Backsplash for White Kitchens: Hottest Backsplash Ideas for White Designs

A backsplash is an integral design element in any kitchen. It serves both aesthetic and functional purposes – protecting the walls from splashes and stains while also adding visual interest. For white kitchens, the backsplash takes on even more significance, as it can make or break the entire look. Choosing the right backsplash for an all-white kitchen requires careful thought and planning.

The good news is that there are many stunning options to consider for white kitchen backsplashes. From clean and classic subway tiles to eye-catching glass mosaics, a white kitchen backsplash can enhance the bright, airy feeling of the space or add pops of contrasting color. This article will explore some of the hottest backsplash ideas and trends for contemporary white kitchen designs.

Combining White Tiles in Creative Ways

White tiles are a popular backsplash choice because they keep the look light and open. But all-white backsplashes can also come across as flat and monotonous. The key is combining different shapes, sizes, and styles of white tiles in creative layouts.

Some options include:

Mixing subway tiles with penny tiles

The classic 3×6 subway tile is an ever-popular backsplash tile, and for good reason. Its simple rectangular shape installs neatly in a brickwork pattern, lending a traditional vibe. Pairing subway tiles with smaller mosaic penny tiles adds interest thanks to the variation in scale. Penny tiles come in 1-inch squares, with a high-contrast look reminiscent of vintage kitchens. Use penny tiles sparingly as an accent border or geometric focal point against a field of white subway tiles.

Alternating matte and glossy tiles

Not all white tiles have the same finish. Playing with matte finishes against super-shiny gloss tiles adds subtle visual texture and dimension. Try glossy tiles on the lower portion of the backsplash as they reflect light well and are easy to wipe clean of splashes and drips. Use matte tiles on the upper portion for a soft, understated look.

Mixing stone and ceramic/porcelain

Natural stone like marble, travertine and limestone make an elegant pairing with ceramic or porcelain tiles. White stone has delicate grey veining for added character. Combine 12-inch stone tile slabs as a sleek focal point with 3×6 white ceramic subway tiles surround. Or, do a mosaic stone inset medallion against a bright white ceramic tile background.

Combining shapes

Move beyond just squares and rectangles by integrating carved-edge hexagons, curved tiles, subway tiles set on point, penny rounds, and stacked triangular tiles. Shapes like diamonds, scalloped tiles, octagons and ovals can also be worked in for more customized white backsplashes. Mix and match for organic, free-form designs.

Boldly contrasting grout colors

For subway tiles, penny tiles, and other rectangular tile styles, the color of the grout lines will impact the overall visual effect. Bright white grout maintains a seamless, unbroken look. But for more flair, go bold with contrasting grout. Deep charcoal grey, black, and navy blue grout lines add definition and modern edge against white tiles.

Consider making the grout color an accent hue already found in the kitchen, such as on a colorful mixer or appliance, for a cohesive look. For example, use vivid orange grout lines with white tiles to match retro orange bar stools. Crisp black grout pairs well with stainless steel appliances.

Vintage charm with beadboard

For a touch of cottage charm, beadboard makes for an appealing backsplash alternative to tile. Wide planks of beadboard contain a series of evenly spaced indentations that create visual interest and texture. Traditionally painted white, beadboard has a timeless, vintage appeal.

Install beadboard horizontally or vertically depending on the lines you want to accentuate. Small gaps between the planks create built-in shadow lines for added contrast. Pair white beadboard backsplashes with darker wood countertops and antique-inspired cabinet hardware for a classic farmhouse kitchen aesthetic.

Sculptural 3D tiles

While many backsplash tiles are flat and one-dimensional, 3D tiles have wavy, curved, or angled surfaces for added depth and shadow play. As light hits the tiles, the relief design casts intriguing shadows on the wall. Popular 3D tile styles include:

  • Wave tiles – With an undulating, wave-like profile
  • Octagon and Hexagon tiles – Molded into various angular shapes
  • Fishscale tiles – Fanned scales protruding from the edges
  • Crackle tiles – Irregular crazed and cracked finishes

3D tiles work especially well in small doses, like a focal backsplash niche. Limit to one decorated area so as not to overwhelm the simplicity of a white kitchen.

Statement-making Moroccan Fish Scale Tile

A current hot trend in backsplashes is the Moroccan fish scale tile design. This style features rows of fingernail-sized ceramic tiles fanned out in an overlapping pattern resembling fish scales or roof shingles. The tiles are glazed in iridescent hues like sea glass green, blue, and aqua that shimmer under light.

While fish scale tiles often come in variegated colors, they can also be found in glossy white for a striking backsplash focal point. Pair them with plain white subway tiles or set them in a herringbone design. The tightly overlapping scales create dimensional texture and eye-catching sparkle.

Backlit Onyx Stone

For a spectacular focal feature, nothing beats backlit onyx. Onyx is a naturally translucent stone that almost glows when illuminated from behind. While typically black or brown, onyx also comes in white or other soft hues. Sections are cut thin and lit with LED lighting, creating a stunning glow.

Install a backlit onyx backsplash in a niche behind a cooktop, along the lower portion of the backsplash, or as a full onyx wall for a contemporary showstopper. The warm, soothing glow lends incredible visual interest, especially for a relaxing evening ambiance.

Mosaics: Joyful Patterns and Shapes

Mosaics provide endless possibilities for imaginative white kitchen backsplashes. Small glass, stone, or ceramic tiles are combined to form colorful murals, swirling abstracts, geometrics, picturesque landscapes, and more.

Some fun ways to incorporate mosaic tiles include:

Embellished niches

Frame out a niche or cubby area, prime spots for displaying treasured dinnerware collections. Fill with mosaic tiles in joyful colors and designs specific to the display, like garden vegetables and fruits for vintage china.

Borders and geometric frames

Define the edges of a backsplash by framing it out in mosaic tiles. Try a connecting Greek Key design around the perimeter. Or, do contrasting colors – bright mosaic tiles surrounding a center field of white subway tile.

Picture mosaic landscapes

Recreate landscape scenes using tiny mosaic “pixels.” Suggestive landscapes blend right into a backsplash surface. Try aquatic themes featuring the sea, lakes, and tropical motifs like palm trees and pineapples for kitchen inspiration.

Metallic mosaics

Glass tiles coated on the backs with lustrous metals like copper, pewter, and bronze create dazzling shine. Metallic mosaic tiles reflect and amplify light beautifully in white kitchens for warmth and sparkle. Gold, silver, and platinum-hued tiles especially shimmer.

Sea glass mosaic

The ocean-inspired sea glass trend translates seamlessly into backsplashes through mosaics that mimic the colors of washed smooth sea glass. In shades of seafoam, aqua, teal, and sky blue, these watercolor-style tiles work in organically shaped clusters or ragged-edge sheets.

Natural Stone Beauty

Marble, travertine, slate, limestone – natural stones make luxe and elegant backsplash options with inherently beautiful striations, whorls, and veining that feels wonderfully organic. While most stones occur naturally in neutral hues, technology now allows stone veneers to be whitewashed for a lighter, airier look perfect for white kitchen designs.

Some popular natural stone backsplash options include:

White Carrara marble

Prized by sculptors and architects for centuries, the pure white background and subtle grey veining of Carrara marble creates a timelessly elegant backsplash. dists the polished texture and neutral color.

White quartzite

With its crystalline makeup, quartzite has a sparkly, sandstone-like appearance. Quartzite backsplashes have a fresh, beachy vibe.

Whitewashed brick

Salvaged brick veneers are whitewashed and applied in a running bond pattern. The distressed, mottled finish of the brick has both rustic and modern appeal.

Travertine subway tiles

Hewn from limestone, travertine is full of crevices and holes that bring ancient character to backsplash tile. A white travertine subway tile backsplash has natural textural depth.

Handpainted and Handmade Tile

Seeking something truly one-of-a-kind? Handpainted, handmade tile backsplashes offer the opportunity for custom creative designs. Talented artisans craft tiles molded and decorated completely by hand in all sorts of imaginative ways.

Some handcrafted tile ideas perfect for white kitchens include:

Signed ceramic tile murals

Develop a backsplash design concept and have a tile artisan hand paint tiles to match the vision. From whimsical garden scenes to favorite city skylines, a handpainted tile mural becomes a personalized work of art for your kitchen. The artist often signatures the final individual tiles.

Handmade encaustic cement tiles

Encaustic tiles get their rich, painterly designs from layers of inlaid colored cement applied by hand. The tiles have a captivating luminosity and Mediterranean vibe. White kitchen backsplashes pop even more brilliantly against encaustic accents.

Custom porcelain tile printing

Transform personal photos and art into backsplash tile murals through custom digital transfer printing. Children’s art, wedding photos, even pet portraits can be printed onto porcelain tiles and fired for a meaningful backsplash showcase.

Creative Display Backsplashes

Take the backsplash function one step further by using it as a display area that enhances the kitchen’s decor. Some creative display backsplash ideas include:

Framed family photos

Attach framed photos directly to the backsplash over the counters or around the cooktop area using adhesive. Black and white portraits and color photos with white mats stand out beautifully against white tile. It allows you to gaze fondly at family while prepping and cooking.

Meaningful collections

Mount a special collection like antique spoons, kitchen tools, or cooking pins for adorable flair. Display them decoratively on the backsplash inside simple frames or on peg rails attached to tiles.

Shadowbox displays

Embedded shadowboxes create recessed areas to tuck away small decorative items or notes behind glass. Attach delicate doilies, ribbons, dried botanical sprigs, or fabric swatches into the shadowbox. When lit, the items inside cast intriguing shadows on the surrounding backsplash.

Framed vintage kitchen art

Search flea markets and antique shops for classic kitchen-themed art prints. Framed botanical drawings, fruit studies, culinary prints, and café scenes make inspired backsplash décor. Group several small frames together or go bold with an oversized art piece.

Luxurious Metal Backsplashes

Metallic finishes give an ultra-luxurious feel to backsplashes, reflecting light spectacularly. While metal backsplashes require a higher budget, the glamorous effect enhances a kitchen’s overall atmosphere. Some dazzling metal backsplash materials for contemporary white kitchens:

Stainless steel

A sleek, professional stainless-steel backsplash has a serious gourmet kitchen vibe, as the durable metal protects walls behind cooktops or ranges. It also acts like a mirror, bouncing light around the kitchen. Opt for stainless steel sheets or metallic mosaic tiles.


Often used for high-end countertops, zinc brings industrial edge to backsplashes in a matte grey finish. The natural patina of zinc develops an appealing aged, antique look over time.

Embossed metal tiles

Metal tiles come textured with dimensional designs like embossed chevrons, overlapping medallions, raised diamonds, and basketweaves. The embossing catches and reflects light for added visual impact against white cabinetry.

Rusted tin

Reclaimed tin panels with naturally occurring rust patches, scratches, and patina introduce charming aged character to backsplashes. Rust-hued variations contrast beautifully with crisp white.


Over time, copper evolves from a vibrant metallic sheen to an aged greenish patina due to oxidization when exposed to air. Backsplashes with copper metal tiles or sheets provide an interactive, changeable element.

Outdoor Inspirations: Porcelain Pavers

For easy-maintenance, durable sophistication, indoor-outdoor porcelain paver tiles intended for patios and walkways also make fabulous backsplashes. Their low-absorption makeup resists staining, mold, and mildew. Porcelain pavers come in a variety of neutral hues, shapes, and textural finishes.

Some ways to use porcelain pavers for backsplashes:

  • A geometric herringbone pattern of overlapping pavers
  • Mixed sizes like 8”x24” plaanks stacked vertically with tiny 1”x1” mosaic squares
  • Pavers made to mimic natural stone, limestone, or concrete
  • Textured, three-dimensional paver tiles for sculptural effect

Creative Backsplash Storage Solutions

Backsplashes present a prime spot to incorporate discreet storage options for a less cluttered kitchen. Some functionality-boosting options include:

Open floating shelves

Mount floating shelves across part of the backsplash to store spices, oils, condiments, and seasoning packets. Opt for slim metal utility shelves with built-in railings to hold items securely in place.

Baking sheet storage

Install tall, narrow channels along the backsplash to neatly store bulky baking sheets and cooling racks upright and out of the way until ready to use.

Knife storage

Special wall-mounted wood or acrylic knife blocks attach directly to backsplashes to keep sharp utensils right where you need them but safely out of reach of small hands.

Pot lid racks

Lids for pots and pans can occupy a lot of cabinet space. Opt for wall-mounted lid racks with rows of wooden or metal pegs designed to keep lids organized and accessible by the stove.

Towel racks and bars

Mount stainless steel towel bars horizontally along the backsplash by the sink area for handy paper towel storage and an easy way to hang kitchen towels to dry.

Jars and bins

Secure jars, canisters, or bins to the backsplash using rail mounting systems. Keep dry baking goods and ingredients right within reach.

Illuminated Backsplashes

For contemporary flair, various lighting techniques can illuminate backsplashes in inventive ways. Visually elevate a white kitchen after dark by making the backsplash glow.

LED strips

Tuck LED light strips above, below, or behind backsplashes to cast a soft ambient glow. LEDs come in changeable colors to control the mood. Set to bright white for task lighting or a calming blue for evening ambiance.

Backlit glass tiles

Specialty tiles like luminescent glass or translucent onyx become dazzling design features when backlit with LED lighting. They seem to emanate light for magical effect.

Fiber optic cables

Tiny fiber optic cables conduct light and can be dotted across backsplashes in mimicry of a glittering night sky. Group into constellation patterns or sparkling clusters. Just a few key lights result in brilliant pinpricks of illumination.

Eclectic Salvaged Materials

For one-of-a-kind rustic charm and character, some designers craft gorgeous backsplashes from reclaimed salvaged materials like old barn wood, leftover roofing tiles, and antique windowpanes.

Some eclectic salvaged backsplash ideas to consider:

  • Distressed wooden crates arranged in geometric patterns
  • Weathered barn wood planks cut into irregular tiles
  • Oversized Scrabble game tiles spelling out phrases
  • Broken concrete or cement shards for an urban look
  • Sections of old tin ceiling tiles
  • Colorful recycled glass or pottery shards
  • Antique brick, stone, or terracotta roof tiles

The eclectic combinations possible with repurposed materials results in backsplashes brimming with idiosyncratic personality. Any item appreciates in visual appeal when creatively translated into a kitchen backsplash design.

Faux Backsplash Finishes

For budget-friendly alternatives to pricey backsplash materials like natural stone, glass, and metal, faux finishes accurately recreate the look at a fraction of the cost. With clever application of paints and textures, backsplashes take on dimensionality. Consider these faux finish options:

Whitewashed brick finish

Brick-look wallpaper, brick veneer panels, or brick-finish concrete forms create the look of exposed brickwork. For white kitchens, opt for backsplash products with white-washed treatments.

Faux subway tile

Use white plastic wall tiles with pre-applied grout lines, or stencil the look of grout on beadboard. From a small distance, it appears convincingly like real ceramic tile.

Faux marble/granite

Painting techniques like ragging, sponging, stippling, and color washing produce the multi-toned, veined look of luxury stone.

Faux travertine

Textured wallpapers or textured paint treatments mimic the natural holes and crevices of travertine limestone at a fraction of the price.

Faux malachite/agate

For a mineral-inspired vibe, apply paint in concentric layers, then drag a combing tool through to recreate swirling striated patterns. Metallic glazes boost the gemstone effect.

Creative DIY Backsplash Ideas

For the hands-on, budget-conscious homeowner, consider a DIY






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