Choosing the right backsplash for laminate countertops can really make or break the look of your kitchen. Laminate countertops offer an affordable and durable option for kitchen counters, but without the right backsplash, they can look a bit dull and dated. The key is choosing a backsplash that complements both your laminate countertop color and the overall style of your kitchen. There are lots of different routes you can take – from sleek glass to elegant tile to rustic wood. Here we’ll explore some of the most popular backsplash ideas to liven up laminate countertops.
Why Add a Backsplash?
Before we dive into materials and styles, let’s look at why you need a backsplash in the first place when using laminate countertops.
Protects your walls from splatters and spills. Having a backsplash above your countertop helps protect your painted walls from inevitable splashes and drips while cooking and cleaning. It’s much easier to wipe down a backsplash than have to repaint a wall repeatedly.
Adds visual interest. Backsplashes can instantly take your countertops from boring to beautiful. The right material and color makes a big difference.
Enhances the design. A coordinating backsplash pulls the whole kitchen together. It ties the countertops to the cabinets for a unified, complete look.
Increases resale value. Updating your backsplash is an affordable renovation that can significantly increase the value of your home. Outdated kitchens turn off buyers.
Showcases your style. From modern to farmhouse, backsplashes let you add a dose of personality and flair. Have fun and showcase your unique style.
Popular Styles for Laminate Countertop Backsplashes
From traditional tiles to trendy shiplap wood, there are so many options when it comes to choosing a new backsplash. Consider which look complements your kitchen cabinets and laminate counters.
Tile is a classic and popular choice. The varieties are endless – from Spanish inspired motifs and handpainted tiles, to metropolitan mosaics and ultra-modern sleek glass.
- Timeless look
- Easy maintenance
- Affordable option
- Can match with any kitchen style
- Lots of DIY options
- Grout can get grimy
- Installation can be tricky for DIY
Consider subway tiles or a mosaic for a foolproof look. Stay away from busy patterns or strong colors that could clash with your countertops. Neutrals and earth tones work well.
For a modern kitchen, try a glossy porcelain or glass tile in a neutral color. Or make a statement with an intricate accent tile behind the stove in a complementing color.
Natural stone like marble, travertine, and granite make for an elegant, upscale backsplash. While more expensive than tile, the natural variations and veining add beautiful depth and interest.
- Natural material has unbeatable visual appeal
- granite and marble especially timeless and luxurious
- Can coordinate with countertops for a seamless look
- Maintains value and appeal for resale
- More expensive than tile or laminate
- Needs resealing periodically
- Porous stone can stain
- Harder installation than tile
Stick with polished, sealed stone, and avoid porous materials like limestone that require heavy sealing. For best results, use in combination with granite or quartz countertops.
Stainless Steel Backsplash
A stainless steel backsplash creates an ultra-modern, industrial chic look. It works especially well with professional-grade appliances for a sleek, built-in aesthetic.
- Sleek, contemporary appearance
- Easy installation with adhesive
- Durable and easy to clean
- Rust and heat resistant
- Lots of METALLIC SHINE
- Can show fingerprints
- Not as DIY-friendly as other materials
- Modern look not for every style
Make sure your countertop color plays well with the sheen of stainless steel. White and black pair excellently. Add pops of color with kitchen decor to keep the look from becoming too sterile.
Wood Plank Backsplash
Wood backsplashes inject a natural, rustic feel that pairs perfectly with many laminate counter colors. Horizontal planks give a relaxed, country charm.
- WARM, inviting look
- Easy installation with adhesive
- Stained to match any cabinetry
- Distressed look matches cottage, farmhouse styles
- Eco-friendly material
- Needs occasional resealing
- Avoid porous woods like pine that stain easily
- Dark liquids could permanently stain
Whitewashed wood looks especially crisp against darker granite-patterned laminates. For a more modern feel, use wide planks stacked vertically for a dramatic effect.
Brick or Faux Brick Backsplash
Weathered brick backsplashes have an undeniable old-world, industrial warehouse appeal. The layered, textured look pairs well with concrete-finish laminates.
- Rustic, well-worn APPEAL
- Brick veneer is lightweight and affordable
- Faux brick wallpaper easy for DIY installation
- Adds visual interest and depth
- Not as sleek or modern looking
- Real brick is very heavy and hard to install
- Cement grout between bricks can discolor
For a lighter look, go for a whitewashed brick or crumbling brick wallpaper backdrop. Stay away from glossy laminates, which clash with the matte brick finish.
Beadboard backsplashes have a timeworn, cottage-style charm. The distinctive grooved planks add a traditional country kitchen look.
- Classic farmhouse Visual
- Wood planks easy to install
- Many budget-friendly faux options like MDF
- Can DIY paint any color
- Matches wood countertops beautifully
- Needs resealing to avoid water damage
- Real wood can dent, warp over time
- Faux options don’t have depth of real wood
For a lighter palette, paint beadboard planks in a cheery robin’s egg blue or buttery yellow. Or go bold with a deep sage green against white laminate countertops.
Best Backsplash Materials for Laminate Countertops
Now that we’ve covered the most popular backsplash styles, let’s look at the best materials to achieve each aesthetic with laminate counters.
Ceramic & Porcelain Tile
Glazed ceramic and porcelain tiles remain a favorite backsplash choice thanks to their durability, affordability and endless possibilities for colors, shapes, and designs.
Modern kitchens can feature sleek, uniform tiles in polished finishes. Rustic styles may use handpainted tiles, or old-world mosaics. Tiles can also perfectly complement countertops – choose varying shades of similar hues. Add an accent strip of decorative tiles for extra pizzazz.
Porcelain tiles are less porous than ceramic and ideal for moisture-prone areas. Use extra durable tiles behind stoves and sinks.
Glass tiles are another top backsplash choice, providing brilliant sheen and depth. Their luminosity enhances any kitchen. Glass tiles are naturally water-resistant as well.
- Reflective, lustrous finish
- Easy to wipe clean
- Won’t absorb stains or moisture
- Add modern or vintage appeal
- Mimic look of natural stone or marble
- More expensive than ceramic
- Installation can be tricky
Use iridescent glass tiles to add serious wow-factor behind sinks or ranges. Or try Moroccan-inspired metallic mosaics. Frosted glass tiles provide dimension with a softer glow.
Backsplashes made of granite, marble, travertine or slate exude high-end elegance and sophistication. The veining and natural patina of stone creates visual depth and interest.
Granite works especially well paired with matching granite-look laminate countertops. Travertine has rustic, Tuscan appeal, while marble backsplashes evoke old-world luxury.
Be sure to properly seal and maintain your natural stone backsplash. Avoid porous materials like limestone that require heavy sealing.
Stainless steel backsplashes make a contemporary, minimalist statement. The mirror-like finish looks sleek behind stoves and sinks, reflecting light beautifully. It’s also heat and water-resistant.
Opt for full sheets of stainless steel or interlocking metal tiles. Make sure your countertop color complements the tone – high contrast white, black, or grey countertops work best.
Wooden plank backsplashes inject warmth and rustic charm in contemporary and cottage kitchens alike. Horizontal planks have a relaxed vibe, while vertical planks feel more modern and dramatic.
Try whitewashed oak, weathered barnwood, or maple boards to match your cabinetry. Use tongue and groove planks for easier installation. Just be sure to properly seal wood against moisture.
Brick veneer panels offer the visual appeal of real brick without the weight and tricky installation. Faux panels come in all different brick styles and colors. For more realistic appeal, opt for a stacked stone look.
Brick wallpaper or decals create the look with much simpler application. Just be sure your countertops pair well with the matte finish and earthy red hues.
Traditional beadboard backsplashes have distinctive V-grooved planks for a timeworn, country charm. Real wood beadboard requires sealing, while faux MDF versions are lower maintenance.
Paint your beadboard in contemporary colors like navy blue for a more modern farmhouse vibe. Beadboard adds a flawless finishing touch to complements wood laminate countertops.
Design Tips and Tricks for Laminate Countertop Backsplashes
Now for some pro design tips and tricks when pairing backsplashes with laminate countertops:
- Choose sleek, streamlined backsplashes for contemporary kitchens with glossy laminate counters in bold solid colors.
- Warm wood or brick backsplashes offset the laminate’s hardness for a cozier, more relaxed look.
- Neutral colored backsplashes like white subway tile keep the focus on dramatic patterned laminates like faux granite.
- Contrasting hues can make laminate counters really pop – try deep blue glass tile with bright white counters.
- Don’t overwhelm small kitchens with busy tiled patterns. Stick to simple subway layouts.
- Vintage laminate colors like speckled blues and greens pair perfectly with retro mint and pink glass tiles.
- Incorporate laminate counter material into backsplash for seamless look – use faux brick panels with concrete-look counters.
- Match your backsplash grout color to the laminate counters for a cohesive, uniform appearance.
- Accent with mosaic glass borders or decorative tile trim to tie the backsplash and laminate counters together.
- Zone your backsplash – do full behind cooking and cleaning zones; use an accent material behind eating zones.
Stylish & Budget-Friendly DIY Backsplash Ideas
Installing a backsplash may seem intimidating, but there are plenty of budget-friendly ways to DIY your project. Here are some of the easiest makeovers:
Adhesive plastic tiles provide the look of ceramic, stone, or metal backsplashes without the difficult installation. Great for temporary updates or rentals.
Brick, Moroccan fish scale, or geometric wallpaper backsplashes peel off whenever you want a new look. Use removable adhesive.
Painted Subway Tile
Use paint pens, stencils or washi tape to transform plain drywall into a white, black, or gray grouted subway tile backsplash.
Adhere budget-friendly pine boards vertically or horizontally. Whitewash planks for a cottage look. Use wood-look vinyl for water protection.
Line the wall behind your stove or sink with shiny pennies. Use adhesive dots to secure each coin in place for vintage flair.
Get creative using old china plates, marbles, metal ceiling tiles or scrabble pieces. Attach with construction adhesive.
With a little time and ingenuity, you can install a custom backsplash that disguises your laminate countertops’ shortcomings without breaking the bank.
FAQs About Laminate Countertop Backsplashes
Still have questions about choosing the right backsplash for your laminate countertops? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
What is the most popular backsplash for laminate countertops?
Tile and glass tile remain the most popular backsplash choices for laminate counters thanks to their timeless appeal, easy maintenance, and endless style options. Subway tile layouts or mosaic glass tile accents work universally.
What backsplash goes best with white laminate countertops?
White laminate countertops look fabulous paired with contrasting backsplashes in navy blue, black, or charcoal glass tile. Stainless steel, faux brick, or carrara marble tiles also complement white laminate beautifully.
What color backsplash goes with cream laminate countertops?
Try a backsplash in a shade a few tones darker than cream counters for a coordinating but not matching look. Soft beiges, warm taupes, light grays, and pale blue tiles all work well.
What kind of backsplash can I do myself?
Peel-and-stick tile, wallpaper, painted or penny-tile backsplashes offer DIY-friendly options. Also, glass sheet tile is beginner-friendly. Always use proper sealants and adhesives for a long-lasting result.
Should you put tile all the way up to the bottom of cabinetry?
It depends on your style. Contemporary full-height backsplashes tile to the underside of cabinets. More traditional styles stop tiles at 4 inches below cabinet height for a small backsplash lip.
How far should a backsplash extend?
Minimum recommended height is 4 inches. Full splashes extend all the way to underside of wall cabinets. For stoves, go up 24-30 inches. Prioritize full splash behind sinks and cooktops.
The perfect backsplash can take laminate countertops from drab to fab. A complementary or contrasting material and color transforms plain counters into a focal point. Tailor your backsplash to match your kitchen’s overall style – whether that’s modern and sleek or homey cottage.
There are endless stylish options for easy DIY upgrades like peel-and-stick tile or painted penny patterns. For more dramatic overhauls, ceramic, stainless or glass backsplashes elevate the look beautifully.
Just be sure to properly prepare laminate surfaces so backsplash adhesives apply securely. Take your time installing materials like tile or wood for straight lines and tight seams. And don’t forget the grout!
With the right backsplash makeover, you can fall back in love with your laminate countertops for a fraction of the cost of new counters. Sprucing up an outdated kitchen has never been easier.