How to Match Backsplash with Countertops Different Pairing Ideas

Matching your backsplash with your countertops can really tie your kitchen design together. The right backsplash and countertop pairing can create a cohesive, stylish look while also being practical and easy to maintain. There are many different materials and colors to consider when finding the perfect complementing backsplash and countertop for your kitchen.

Factors to Consider When Matching Backsplash with Countertops

When selecting a backsplash to pair with your countertops, there are a few key factors to take into account:


Choosing a backsplash and countertop in coordinating colors, whether matching or contrasting, can create a cohesive look. Select backsplash tiles that pick up on the undertones and hues present in the countertop material. For example, pair a white quartz countertop with a backsplash featuring white subway tiles plus blue and gray porcelain tiles that match the veining in the quartz.


Consider pairing countertop and backsplash materials that have a similar visual texture and feel. For instance, concrete countertops coordinate well with stone, slate, or metal backsplash tiles. Stainless steel countertops look sharp with glass or metallic backsplashes. Granite countertops can be matched with stone, porcelain, or mosaic tile backsplashes.


The backsplash design should complement the aesthetic of the countertop. For contemporary countertops like quartz or concrete, sleek modern backsplash tiles like large format porcelain work well. Rustic butcher block countertops call for backsplashes with craftsman style like subway tile or reclaimed wood.


Factor in ease of maintenance when selecting your backsplash/countertop duo. Porcelain or glass tile backsplashes are very durable and water-resistant, making them ideal partners for busy countertops like granite, quartz, or stainless steel. Natural stone backsplashes require more sealing and care.

Top Backsplash and Countertop Pairings

Here are some of the most popular and practical countertop and backsplash combinations:

1. White Quartz Countertop with Subway Tile Backsplash

The classic pairing of white quartz countertops with white subway tile backsplash is a timeless and versatile choice. Crisp white quartz offers an easy-care alternative to marble with a modern appearance. White subway tiles serve as a blank canvas and fit into both traditional and contemporary kitchens.

Accent the white backsplash with shades of gray, blue, or green subway tiles that pick up on the veining in the quartz. Stack the subway tiles in a herringbone pattern or in a brick layout for added visual interest. For a pop of brightness, consider shiny penny tiles as an accent in the backsplash.

2. Granite Countertop with Glass Tile Backsplash

Granite countertops provide natural beauty with their unique swirls, speckles, and veining. Pairing them with an iridescent or multi-colored glass tile backsplash creates a reflective, luminous look. The shimmer and color variations of the glass tiles beautifully complement granite’s organic patterns.

Amplify the dimension by selecting glass tiles in multiple sizes and shapes. Installing them in a mosaic pattern adds striking visual texture. Darker granite colors like black, deep blue, or green make an especially dramatic backdrop for the glistening glass tiles.

3. Marble Countertop with Stone Backsplash

For an elegant and timeworn look, combine Carrara or Calacatta marble countertops with backsplash tiles made of natural stone like travertine, limestone, or slate. The understated stone backsplash allows the marble countertop to really shine as the focal point while also pulling the whole palette together.

Honing the stone backsplash tiles gives them a matte, soft look that pairs nicely with the sheen of polished marble countertops. Lay the stone backsplash bricks in a running bond pattern for a seamless look. Or install marble subway tiles for the backsplash to mirror the countertop material.

4. Butcher Block Countertop with Tin Tile Backsplash

Give your kitchen a rustic farmhouse feel by coupling butcher block countertops with a backsplash made of tin ceiling tiles. The rich wood grain and organic texture of the butcher block pairs beautifully with the vintage charm of pressed tin backsplash tiles.

Look for tin tiles with embossed or decorative patterns that play up the old-fashioned aesthetic. Use a combination of square and rectangular tiles to give the backsplash more dimension. For added contrast, go for black tin tiles against lighter wood butcher block countertops.

5. Stainless Steel Countertop with Glass Brick Backsplash

Industrial style stainless steel countertops lend an ultra-modern, streamlined look. Complement them by installing a backsplash made of translucent glass bricks. The glass bricks enhance the sleek contemporary vibe while also letting light shine through.

Choose frosted or tinted glass bricks to soften the reflective nature of the stainless steel. Install the glass bricks in metallic frames for more contrast. Or alternate clear and opaque glass bricks to create an eye-catching pattern. This striking combo pairs well in modern, minimalist kitchen designs.

6. Concrete Countertop with Mixed Metal Backsplash

The mottled tone and naturally porous look of concrete countertops calls for an eclectic, artisanal backsplash like a medley of mixed metal tiles. Combining metal tiles in copper, bronze, stainless steel, and brushed nickel creates bold contrast and reflects the organic nature of concrete.

Install the mixed metals in a mosaic pattern to maximize the artistic impact. Or play up the handcrafted industrial vibe by using reclaimed tin ceiling tiles, license plates, or corrugated metal panels. The varied metal backsplash beautifully dovetails with the matte gray patina of weathered concrete countertops.

7. Soapstone Countertop with Subway Tile Backsplash

Soapstone is a great durable and heat-resistant alternative to marble and granite countertops. For a backsplash, pair it with white, gray, or black subway tiles. The classic simplicity of subway tile allows the natural striations and subtle soft gray shading of soapstone to take the spotlight.

Match the grout color to the soapstone veins to create a seamless look. For contrast, soapstone also pairs well with handmade artisan tiles like Moroccan fish scale tiles or vibrantly colored Spanish mosaics. The handcrafted tiles complement the bespoke look of each unique soapstone slab.

8. Quartzite Countertop with Porcelain Tile Backsplash

With the look of natural stone but more resilience, quartzite makes an excellent countertop material that holds up to heavy use. Porcelain tile backsplashes are an ideal match as they are equally durable and water-resistant.

Look for larger format rectangular, 12 x 24 porcelain tiles to mimic the stone-like appearance of quartzite slabs. Earth tones like beige, brown, white, or black porcelain tiles coordinate well with the natural quartzite patterns. Lay the tiles in a staggered brickwork pattern to achieve a harmonious look.

9. Reclaimed Wood Countertop with Tin Backsplash

For a vintage farmhouse style, pair a rustic reclaimed wood countertop with a backsplash made from antique tin ceiling tiles. The tiles, stamped with ornate designs, add a touch of turn-of-the-century industrial flair.

Alternate square tin tiles with rectangular ones to create visual interest. Wood cabinets and shelves help unify the natural wood countertop with the metallic sheen of the tin backsplash. You can also inset panels of reclaimed barn wood into the tin backsplash for more eco-chic harmony.

10. Laminate Countertop with Vinyl Backsplash

For a budget-friendly option, match laminate countertops with stick-on vinyl backsplash tiles or panels. Vinyl backsplashes provide good bang for the buck, offering endless pattern and color options that mimic pricier materials like ceramic, metal, or glass tile.

Coordinate solid color laminate countertops with vinyl backsplash tiles in shades like red, green, or turquoise for retro flair. Or pair wood-pattern laminate countertops with faux brick or textured stone vinyl backsplash panels for a convincingly authentic look. This combo works well for rentals, basements, or laundry rooms.

Creative Ways to Match Backsplashes with Countertops

Beyond basic coordinating colors and materials, there are creative ways to make backsplashes and countertops truly sing together:

  • Echo patterns – Select a granite or quartzite countertop with distinctive veins, flecks, or crystals and match up the backsplash motif. For example, large format porcelain or ceramic tiles with similar grains and striations.
  • Contrast textures – Pair sleek polished quartz with an organic natural stone backsplash like travertine to add visual interest. Or couple concrete countertops with antique tin ceiling tiles for an artisanal contrast.
  • Extend materials – Use your countertop material as inspiration for the backsplash design. For example, cutting granite remnants to create a coordinating backsplash accent strip behind the stove.
  • Incorporate metals – Add a contemporary edge by bringing in metal finishes like stainless steel, copper, or antique brass in the backsplash. Metallics pair nicely with stone countertops and concrete.
  • Share colors – Tie your palette together by using even a small pop of color from your countertop in the backsplash accents. For instance, picking up on subtle blue tones with glass tiles.
  • Focus on texture – Use the backsplash as a tactile contrast to the countertop. Combine glossy marble countertops with rough, natural stone backsplash bricks. Or couple curved concrete edges with flat metal backsplash panels.
  • Pick a theme – Design your backsplash and countertop combo around a specific motif. For example, both featuring Moroccan patterns, classic Greek key designs, or artistic Spanish motifs.

Matching Backsplash Ideas for Popular Countertop Materials

Here are some great backsplash pairing suggestions for common countertop materials:

Granite Countertops

  • Glass, ceramic tile, or porcelain tile backsplash – picks up granite colors
  • Mosaic backsplash – complements granite patterns
  • Metal like copper or stainless steel backsplash – adds contemporary edge
  • Stone like travertine or slate backsplash – creates natural harmony

Marble Countertops

  • Stone like marble brick or slate backsplash – matched elegance
  • Ceramic, porcelain, or glass tile backsplash – ties color palette together
  • Mosaic tile backsplash – radiates added dimension
  • Brick-patterned tile backsplash – provides clean lined contrast

Quartz Countertops

  • Subway tile backsplash – timeless and versatile
  • Stainless steel backsplash – sleek modern pairing
  • Geometric mosaic backsplash – echoes quartz visual textures
  • Wood plank backsplash – warms up the look

Concrete Countertops

  • Mixed metal tile backsplash – industrial chic contrast
  • Stainless steel backsplash – enhances modern vibe
  • Reclaimed wood backsplash – adds rustic warmth
  • Glass tile backsplash – complements organic texture

Laminate Countertops

  • Faux tin ceiling tile backsplash – vintage flair
  • Bold printed/patterned backsplash – camouflages seams
  • Stick-on vinyl backsplash – budget-friendly option
  • Removable wallpaper backsplash – easy color/pattern change

Soapstone Countertops

  • Subway tile backsplash – allows stone to stand out
  • Natural stone backsplash – harmonizes with texture
  • Moroccan fish scale tile backsplash – handcrafted flair
  • Geometric ceramic tile backsplash – complements striations

Wood Butcher Block Countertops

  • Tin ceiling tile backsplash – rustic industrial combo
  • Subway tile backsplash – neutral canvas
  • Stainless steel backsplash – modern pairing
  • Reclaimed barn wood backsplash – farmhouse style

Tile Countertops

  • Contrasting tile backsplash – complements color/pattern
  • Matching tile backsplash – creates seamless look
  • Mirror tile backsplash – radiates dimension
  • Mosaic tile backsplash – enhances artistic impact

Stainless Steel Countertops

  • Glass tile or glass brick backsplash – illuminates and softens
  • Geometric patterned tile backsplash – graphic pop of color
  • Textured stone backsplash – adds organic contrast
  • Matte ceramic subway tile backsplash – muted complement

How to Match Backsplash with Countertops by Kitchen Style

Beyond the specific materials, also consider the overall kitchen design style when selecting coordinating backsplash and countertop pairings:

Traditional Kitchen

  • White marble countertop with beige and grey stone subway backsplash
  • Granite countertop with ceramic subway tile backsplash
  • Wood countertop with classic white tile backsplash

Country Kitchen

  • Butcher block countertop with galvanized metal backsplash
  • Laminate countertop with red gingham vinyl backsplash
  • Soapstone countertop with reclaimed barn wood backsplash

Contemporary Kitchen

  • Quartz countertop with stainless steel backsplash
  • Concrete countertop with mint green glass tile backsplash
  • Stainless steel countertop with white penny tile backsplash

Farmhouse Kitchen

  • Butcher block countertop with black tin tile backsplash
  • Marble countertop with reclaimed brick backsplash
  • Wood countertop with corrugated metal backsplash

Modern Kitchen

  • White quartzite countertop with hexagon mosaic backsplash
  • Gray concrete countertop with square black tile backsplash
  • Stainless steel countertop with frosted glass brick backsplash

Eclectic Kitchen

  • Soapstone countertop with handmade Spanish tile backsplash
  • Granite countertop with abstract artistic tile backsplash
  • Tile countertop with unexpected color like sunny yellow backsplash

Backsplash Height Considerations

The standard backsplash height is 4 inches tall. However, extending your backsplash to the bottom of your upper cabinets or range hood provides added protection and a more seamless look.

For a full backsplash, measure from your countertop to the bottom of the wall cabinets and cut mineral fiberboard, beadboard, tiles, or metal sheeting to fit. This full coverage is great for busy cooking zones prone to splatters and spills.

If your countertops and cabinets are dark, also consider a full backsplash in a lighter color to keep the kitchen looking airy and open rather than closed in. Full backsplashes work well with subway tile, glass tile, stainless steel, or tin backsplashes.

Partial backsplashes in a standard 4 inch height work best for lighter countertops and cabinets. The petite accent strip draws the eye to the countertops as the focal point. Subway tiles, mosaic sheets, and other intricate styles make great partial backsplash designs.

Ultimately, align your backsplash height and coverage with your countertops, cabinets, and overall kitchen design aesthetic.

DIY Installation Tips

Some backsplash options like self-adhesive vinyl tiles, sheets, and panels make for easy do-it-yourself installation. For beginners, removable and temporary backsplash materials are also a good option.

However, for permanent tile, glass, metal, or stone backsplashes, it’s best to consult a professional installer to ensure it’s done properly. Carefully read manufacturer instructions.

If tiling, prepare the surface and lay out your design. Use proper adhesive and grout for the backsplash material. Take care to achieve straight, level rows and smooth finished corners. Don’t rush, allow proper drying time between steps.

Backsplash Maintenance Tips

Follow these tips to keep your backsplash looking like new:

  • Seal natural stone backsplashes annually to prevent staining and etching. Use a grout sealing product on tile backsplashes.
  • Clean backsplashes often with mild soap and water to prevent buildup of grime. Avoid abrasive cleaners.
  • Use non-acidic cleaners specially formulated for natural stone, granite, and marble backsplashes to avoid etching.
  • Rinse glass tile backsplashes well and avoid using windex or harsh chemicals which can cause deterioration over time.
  • Re-apply clear caulk periodically around edges and seams of the backsplash to prevent moisture damage.
  • Immediately clean up food splatters and spills on backsplash to prevent staining, especially with porous materials like travertine.


What backsplash goes with white countertops?

White countertops pair beautifully with classic white subway tile, marble brick, or stone backsplashes. For contrast, try a backsplash in navy blue, black, or dark wood.

What flooring goes with a white kitchen?

Good floor pairings with a white kitchen include white or light hardwood, bleached wood, maple, white washed wood, concrete, stone, marble, and porcelain or ceramic tile.

What is the most popular kitchen backsplash?

Currently subway tile, granite, marble, ceramic tile, and quartzite are among the most popular kitchen backsplash materials. Subway tile with a white or gray grout is a timeless favorite.

Is backsplash necessary?

While not strictly necessary, most kitchen designers recommend installing a backsplash as they protect the walls above countertops from water damage, stains, and daily wear and tear in a heavy use area. They also contribute great visual appeal.

What’s cheaper backsplash or granite?

In general, materials like ceramic, porcelain, or glass tile are cheaper per square foot than natural stone options like granite backsplashes, making them a budget-friendly option. But granite remnants are very affordable for small space backsplashes.

Should backsplash match cabinets or countertops?

It’s actually ideal when a backsplash coordinates with both cabinets and countertops to tie the whole kitchen together. Contrasting yet complementary colors and textures between the three create a holistic designer look.

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