Tiled Kitchen Island Ideas Transform Your Kitchen with Tiled Island Ideas

A tiled kitchen island can completely transform the look and feel of your kitchen. Tiling your island provides visual interest, adds texture, and makes it easier to clean. With so many tile options to choose from like ceramic, porcelain, glass, and natural stone, you can create an island that perfectly matches your kitchen’s style.

Tiling just the island and not the whole kitchen is often an easy and budget-friendly way to spruce up outdated kitchens. A tiled island also allows you to experiment with bold colors, patterns, and designs since it is a contained space. Read on for tiled kitchen island ideas, tips on choosing tiles, popular tiling layouts and patterns, and everything else you need to know to add a showstopping tiled island to your kitchen.

Benefits of a Tiled Kitchen Island

There are many advantages to choosing a tiled kitchen island over other surface materials like granite, marble, or wood:

Visual Interest

Tiles add tons of personality, texture, and visual appeal to your island compared to plain solid surface materials. Mixing different tiles and patterns creates even more visual interest.

Ease of Cleaning

Tile is non-porous and does not require sealing like natural stone. This makes it very easy to keep clean. You can simply wipe up messes with a sponge without worrying about stains and bacteria getting absorbed into the surface.


High-quality ceramic and porcelain tiles are very durable and resistant to scratching, chipping, and heat. This makes them ideal for kitchen islands that will get used frequently. The grout may need occasional sealing, but the tiles themselves are extremely long-lasting.


With the wide range of tile shapes, colors, designs, and materials, you can create a completely custom island that matches your kitchen’s style perfectly. Mix and match patterns and finishes for a one-of-a-kind look.


Depending on the tile you choose, tiling can be a relatively affordable way to update your kitchen island compared to natural stone or solid surface materials. Ceramic and porcelain tiles offer the best value.

Most Popular Tiles for Kitchen Islands

You have endless tile options for kitchen islands, but some of the most popular choices include:

Ceramic or Porcelain Tile

Glazed ceramic and porcelain tiles are glossy, water-resistant, and very durable. Popular options include subway tile, Moroccan-inspired zellige tile, geometric patterns, and reproductions of vintage designs.

Glass Tile

Glass mosaic tiles have a shiny, elegant look. Penny rounds and small glass subway tiles are common choices. Use an epoxy grout to prevent staining.

Natural Stone Tile

Granite, marble, travertine, and slate tiles give an upscale, luxurious look. Make sure to use a durable stone that can handle stains.

Cement Tile

Cement tiles have an intricate, handmade appearance. The patterns go all the way through the tile so they never wear away. No tile is exactly the same.

Choosing Tiles for Your Kitchen Island

Keep the following tips in mind when selecting tiles for your kitchen island:

Consider Functions

Your island may need to withstand hot pots, stains from food prep, and heavy use. Pick durable, easy-to-clean tiles like ceramic, porcelain, or stone. Stay away from high-maintenance materials like unsealed natural stone.

Match Kitchen Style

Classic kitchens look great with subway tiles, hexagons, or mosaics. Modern kitchens can handle bold cement tiles or geometric designs. Farmhouse kitchens look best with brick-shaped tiles or stone.

Mix Tile Shapes

Using all one size and shape of tile can look flat and monotonous. Create interest by combining different tile sizes, shapes, colors, and textures.

Include an Accent Tile

Use a bolder accent tile sparingly to add a pop of color. For example, include a row of mosaic tile or colorful handmade cement tile.

Choose Grout Color Wisely

Grout plays a big role in the overall look. White grout keeps things clean and classic. Gray blends in. Bold grout colors make the tiles pop.

Set a Realistic Budget

Natural stone tiles will cost more than ceramic or porcelain. Keep costs down by using expensive tiles sparingly as accents mixed with more affordable tiles.

Tile Layout and Pattern Ideas

The layout of your tile pattern can be simple or intricate. Here are some gorgeous and creative tiled island designs to inspire you:

Horizontal Stacked Bond

Stacking tiles in a straight horizontal line is a classic and clean look. Subway tiles, rectangles, and hexagons all look great in stacked bond patterns.

Vertical Stacked Bond

Flipping the tiles vertically creates visual interest and a more modern vibe. The vertical lines also give the illusion of a taller island.


Arranging rectangular tiles in a woven basketweave pattern adds beautiful texture and dimension. Use varying tile sizes for more interest.


Herringbone patterns created with rectangular tiles are on-trend and give a modern zing or farmhouse feel, depending on the tile. Play with different tile sizes.


For a bold and modern island, use graphic cement tiles or ceramic tiles in geometric patterns like hexagons. Mix multiple colors for a striking effect.


Interlocking diamond-shaped tiles lend visual intrigue and a hint of retro style. Clear glass, marble, or travertine tiles work beautifully.

Penny Rounds

Covering an island in penny round mosaic tiles is a luxe, reflective surface. The round tiles also hide grout lines for a seamless look.

Moroccan Zellige

Intricately patterned zellige tiles in vibrant blues and yellows create a statement. Add handmade terracotta tiles for variation.

Mini Subway Tiles

Tiny brick-like subway tiles give a crisp, clean finish. Lay them in a herringbone pattern or vertical stack for extra flair.

Full Tiled Island vs Partial Tiled Accent

Should you tile just a section of your island or cover the entire surface in tile? A few things to consider:

Fully Tiled Island

Covering the entire island top and front in tile creates a bold, seamless statement. This looks best if the rest of the kitchen is kept simple.

Tiled Accent Strips

Adding strips of special accent tiles along the front and edges of the island allows you to mix designs. For example, pair marble subway tiles with a strip of Moroccan zellige.

Tiled Focal Point

If your budget is limited, focus on tiling a specific section like behind the stovetop, the dining space, or just the front edge as a visual anchor.

Combination Approach

You can also tile specific areas of the island and make the rest of the surface another material like quartz or wood. This allows you to mix up textures and save money.

How to Install Tile on a Kitchen Island

Tiling your own kitchen island is possible as a DIY project if you are comfortable with tiling. Here are the basic steps:

Prep the Surface

Ensure the island surface is clean of any coatings or finishes. Sand down any glossy areas. Apply a primer coat if needed.

Lay Out Tiles

Dry lay tiles on the surface first to ensure you have the layout and spacing you want. Don’t actually attach yet.

Mix Thinset Mortar

Combine thinset mortar powder with water in a bucket. Follow package directions for ratios. Let sit 5-10 minutes.

Spread Thinset

Use a notched trowel to spread a layer of thinset mortar evenly across the surface area where tiles will go.

Set Tiles in Place

Place tiles one by one on the thinset, using spacers to ensure consistent grout lines. Press down firmly to adhere.

Let Tiles Set

Allow tiles to set undisturbed for at least 24 hours. The thinset needs this time to fully cure and harden.

Clean Up Excess Thinset

Once cured, scrape off any excess thinset with a putty knife. Use a damp sponge to wipe the tiles clean.

Apply Grout

Use a grout float to spread grout in between all tile joints. Let sit for a bit and then wipe away excess.

Seal and Finish

After grouting, apply a penetrating sealer to the tiles to guard against stains and moisture. Finally, caulk edges.

Tiled Island Design Inspiration

Need a visual spark to help ignite your own tiled island design ideas? Browse these gorgeous tiled kitchen islands for inspiration: https://www.youtube.com/embed/peF-K3znj9A

Modern Marble Herringbone

This sleek kitchen island features large-scale off-white marble tiles laid in a chic herringbone pattern. The creamy marble pairs beautifully with the dark cabinetry for contrast.

Modern marble herringbone island

Vintage Cement Tile

The vibrant pattern and slightly imperfect handmade quality of these cement tiles lend vintage character to this farmhouse kitchen island. No two tiles are exactly alike for organic charm.

Vintage cement tile island

Luxe Penny Round Mosaic

Tiny glass penny round tiles reflect light beautifully on this contemporary kitchen island. The polished nickel accents and base material mix nicely with the light blue mosaic tiles.

Luxe penny round mosaic island

Sleek Stacked Travertine

The layered, stacked effect of these travertine subway tiles adds natural texture to the minimalist vibe of this kitchen island. Notice how the tile extends to the lower shelf as well.

Sleek stacked travertine island

Geometric Cement Tiles

The vibrant colors and intricate geometric patterning of these handmade cement tiles create a stunning focal point on this black and white kitchen island. It packs a major design punch.

Geometric cement tile island

Contrasting Stacked Slabs

The unique stacked stone slab countertop material stands out on this kitchen island thanks to the contrasting grain and stain colors. The organic shapes give it a rustic yet modern look.

Contrasting stacked slabs island

Moroccan Zellige Tile

Traditional Moroccan encaustic tiles in vivid blue and terracotta provide an eye-catching focal point on this kitchen island. The varying tile sizes and geometric design create interest.

Moroccan zellige tile island

Frequently Asked Questions About Tiled Kitchen Islands

Still have some questions about designing and installing a tiled island? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

What tile material is best for kitchen islands?

Ceramic, porcelain, and stone tiles are best able to withstand the high use and potential messes of a kitchen island. Glass tiles can work too but require specialty grout. Choose matte finishes to hide stains and scratches. Avoid high-maintenance unglazed tiles.

How durable are tile countertops?

Properly installed tile countertops can last for decades with minimal maintenance beyond yearly grout sealing. The tile itself is unlikely to chip or stain. Porcelain and ceramic tiles are harder than natural stone.

Should I tile under the overhang or just the top?

It’s best to tile under the entire overhang for a fully finished look, especially if people can see the underside of the island from a nearby eating area or standing spot.

How much does it cost to tile a kitchen island?

The cost of tiling an island can range from $500-2000 on average depending on tile choices, layout complexity, island size, labor fees or DIY install, and if you tile the whole island or just a section.

What color grout should I use with patterned tiles?

With highly patterned or multi-colored tiles, choose a neutral grout color like white or light gray so it blends into the background. Avoid stark black or dark grout, which will call attention away from the tiles.

Transform Your Kitchen with a Showstopping Tiled Island

Adding a tile surface instantly upgrades a basic kitchen island into a stunning focal point and statement piece. With so many gorgeous tile materials, patterns, layouts, and color schemes to choose from, it is easy to customize your tiled island design to perfectly match your kitchen’s existing style.

Tiling also provides practical benefits like durability, easy cleaning, and an affordable way to refresh your kitchen’s look and feel. There are endless options for looks ranging from sleek and modern to ornate and vintage.

For maximum visual impact at minimum expense, focus on tiling just your existing kitchen island rather than the entire kitchen. This concentrated area lets you highlight special tile designs and give your kitchen a bold new personality.

With the design inspiration, tips, and how-to steps included above, you now have everything you need to confidently tackle tiling your own kitchen island. Just take your time to select the perfect tiles and layout for your taste and kitchen functionality. Very soon you can be enjoying a stunning new tiled island that will be the envy of all your guests.