Does Backsplash Have to Match Countertop?

Choosing the perfect backsplash to pair with your countertop can be an exciting yet daunting task. With so many options for materials, colors, and patterns, it’s natural to wonder – does the backsplash really need to match the countertop? Here’s a detailed look at the factors to consider when coordinating these two important kitchen elements.

Key Considerations When Selecting a Backsplash

When deciding if your backsplash should match your countertops, keep these key tips in mind:

Aesthetics and Visual Flow

Having a cohesive visual flow between the backsplash and countertop creates a pulled-together look. If opting for contrast, ensure the two surfaces still complement each other through color, pattern, texture or material. Dramatic mismatches can look disjointed.


Consider how the kitchen is used and what will be going on around the backsplash area. For example, an active cook may opt for easy-to-clean solid glass tiles behind a stove. Near a sink, moisture-resistant materials are ideal.

Personal Preference

There are no hard and fast rules – if you love a particular backsplash tile but it doesn’t quite match the countertop, go for it! The main consideration is what makes you happy.


Matching materials generally cost less than mixing and matching. Factor this in when making your backsplash decision.

Backsplash Matching Countertop Material

Using the same material for both the backsplash and countertop creates a seamless, uniform look. Here are some popular options:


Quartz makes an excellent backsplash when paired with a quartz countertop. Opt for large format tiles or slabs to mirror the countertop. The minimal grout lines contribute to the streamlined look.


Matching the unique colors and patterns of granite countertops is easy with granite tile backsplashes. Be sure to seal properly.


Elegant marble backsplashes complement marble countertops beautifully. Be aware that marble requires more maintenance to keep looking pristine.


Glass backsplashes are an eye-catching match for glass countertops like those made of recycled glass aggregates. Glass is also easy to clean.

Stainless Steel

For a commercial kitchen aesthetic, pair a stainless steel countertop with coordinating stainless backsplash tiles. The durable, hygienic metal works well in busy spaces.


If your countertops are ceramic or porcelain tile, carry the tiles onto the backsplash area for a seamless look. Matching the grout color is key.

Coordinating Backsplash with Contrasting Countertop

Contrasting your backsplash with your countertop can create visual interest but requires extra consideration. Here are successful pairings:

Stone + Glass

The translucency and reflectiveness of glass backsplashes complements the rugged, earthy texture of natural stone countertops like granite, marble or soapstone.

Wood + Tile

The warmth of wood countertops works well with cool, sleek ceramic or porcelain backsplash tiles. Natural stone mosaics also pair nicely.

Concrete + Metal

The industrial vibe of concrete countertops looks more polished with factory-chic metal backsplashes in stainless steel, copper or tin.

Laminate + Murals

Have fun with laminate countertops by installing a hand-painted tile mural backsplash above. Opt for colors pulled from the countertop’s pattern.

Key Questions to Ask Yourself

Before selecting your backsplash, ask yourself:

  • What feeling are you trying to achieve – sleek, homey, elegant? Matching or mixing materials can set different tones.
  • Do you want your backsplash to blend in or stand out? Contrasting finishes create an accent.
  • Is there a practical reason to choose one material over another? Prioritize function.
  • Do your selections make sense given how the space is used and by whom? Think about durability and maintenance.
  • Do you tend to prefer matching or mixing styles in your home? Decorating with your personal style in mind is important.

Tips for Harmony

If struggling to make a backsplash and countertop combo work, keep these harmonizing tips in mind:

  • Echo colors between the two surfaces in varying values and intensities. A shade matching the countertop usually works.
  • Repeat patterns or textures found in either the backsplash or countertop on the other surface.
  • Include a complementary decorative edge or trim that ties the two areas together.
  • Add other accessories in the space that pull colors from both finishes.

When to Ignore Matching

While matching backsplash and countertop materials is the most common choice, don’t be afraid to buck conventions with these scenarios:

  • You have your heart set on a particular backsplash tile but can’t find an exact countertop match.
  • You are remodeling and want to upgrade the countertops but keep the existing backsplash.
  • You opt for quartz or solid surface countertops but desire a more eco-friendly backsplash material like recycled glass tile.
  • You come across an absolute standout backsplash tile that you love, but pairs poorly with the countertop.

The main goal is creating a space you feel comfortable and happy in. The “rules” can be broken!


At the end of the day, your individual style preferences and functional needs should drive your backsplash choice. While matching backsplashes and countertops create a clean, uniform look, don’t be afraid to get creative with contrasting materials you love. Just be sure varying finishes and colors complement each other. With proper planning and attention to textures and tones, you can feel confident in mixing and matching. Remember – a kitchen should ultimately reflect personal taste. Does the backsplash have to match the countertop exactly? Certainly not!