How to Match Countertops with Backsplash

Matching your countertops and backsplash is one of the most important design decisions when remodeling a kitchen. The right combination can create a cohesive, stylish look while the wrong pairing can make the space look disjointed. Follow this comprehensive guide on how to seamlessly match countertops with backsplash for a put-together kitchen design.

Selecting Countertop Material

The first step is choosing the right countertop material that aligns with your design vision. Consider the aesthetic, functionality, durability and maintenance required. Popular options include:

Granite Countertops


  • Beautiful natural stone patina and veins
  • Extremely durable
  • Easy to clean
  • Resists stains, heat and scratches


  • Expensive
  • Requires yearly sealing

Quartz Countertops


  • Non-porous – resists stains and scratches
  • Durability – withstands chips and cracks
  • Minimal maintenance
  • Wide variety of colors and patterns


  • Less heat resistance
  • Higher cost than laminate

Marble Countertops


  • Elegant, luxurious look
  • Cool to the touch
  • Can be honed for matte look


  • Etches and stains easily
  • Requires frequent sealing

Laminate Countertops


  • Budget-friendly option
  • Easy installation
  • Range of colors and patterns
  • Scratch and scorch resistant


  • Prone to chipping or swelling if wet
  • Not as durable as natural stone

Butcher Block Countertops


  • Warm, natural beauty of wood
  • Budget-friendly
  • Easily repairable


  • Requires diligent maintenance
  • Can warp if not properly sealed

Pairing Countertops with Backsplash

Once you decide on a countertop, use these guidelines to match it seamlessly with the perfect backsplash.

Granite Countertops

Matches: Ceramic, metal, stone or glass tile. Stainless steel or textured slate.

Avoids: Shiny or busy backsplashes that compete.

Granite’s natural patina works well with backsplashes that complement without overpowering. Neutral stone or ceramic tiles allow the granite to remain the focal point. Avoid glossy materials.

Quartz Countertops

Matches: Metal, glass, mosaic, stone tile or quartz slabs.

Avoids: Porous materials like unsealed grout.

Quartz’s nonporous surface pairs nicely with tile, glass or mirror backsplashes that reflect light and enhance the sense of space. Varying textures add visual interest. Avoid natural stone slabs which can appear too busy against quartz.

Marble Countertops

Matches: Subway tile, textured stone mosaics, glass or marble slabs.

Avoids: Glossy tile or stainless steel.

Marble’s elegance is complemented by classic white subway tile or marble brick patterns. Textural mosaics with shades matching the marble create a cohesive look. Avoid modern materials with the vintage charm of marble.

Laminate Countertops

Matches: Stainless steel, painted glass or ceramic tile.

Avoids: Stone slab backsplashes.

Laminate allows flexibility to match painted, glass or mosaic backsplash tile in complementing colors. Stainless steel adds a contemporary edge. Avoid stone slabs that can appear incongruent.

Butcher Block Countertops

Matches: Subway tile, stainless steel or textural slate or limestone.

Avoids: Stone slabs or glass tile.

Butcher block pairs well with classic white subway tile or stainless steel for contrast. Natural stone mosaic or slate backsplashes complement the warmth of wood. Avoid stone slabs that compete and glass tile with its colder look.

Design Tips for Cohesive Look

Follow these tips for a seamlessly designed kitchen with countertops and backsplash that complement each other perfectly:

  • Select neutral countertop and backsplash colors – This creates a clean, spacious look. Introduce pops of color through appliances, cabinets or decor.
  • Mind the edges – Use matching caulking or grout colors on countertop and tile edges for a streamlined look.
  • Consider backsplash shape – Extend backsplash to ceiling for modern look. Limit to countertop-level for traditional.
  • Factor in countertop back edge – Waterfall edges suit full-height backsplash. Butt edges for limited backsplash.
  • Illuminate properly – Light the backsplash effectively to enhance the colors and textures.
  • Focus on accent points – Use an accent tile sparingly between sections of main backsplash tile.

Recommended Pairings

Here are gorgeous yet functional countertop and backsplash combinations:

  • White quartz countertop, white subway tile backsplash, navy blue cabinetry
  • Black granite countertop, multi-colored stone and glass mosaic backsplash, light wood cabinetry
  • Butcher block countertop, stainless steel backsplash, sage green cabinetry
  • Marble countertop, marble brick backsplash, bright white cabinetry
  • Concrete-look quartz countertop, penny tile backsplash, charcoal cabinetry


An elegant kitchen begins with the details. Take the time to thoughtfully pair your countertops and backsplash using the guidelines and recommendations provided. This ensures your kitchen remodel has a cohesive, pulled-together look you will enjoy for years to come. With a striking yet compatible combination, you can have a kitchen that both functions practically and awes with its beauty.

Questions and Answers

Q: What are some ways to make sure the countertop and backsplash colors work together?

A: Using a neutral colored countertop like white or black and selecting a backsplash in complementing muted tones is a foolproof way to achieve color cohesion. You can also pick out a subtle color from the countertop’s veins or patterns and match that in the backsplash.

Q: Should you match the countertop and backsplash materials exactly?

A: Not necessarily. Having some contrast adds visual interest. The key is to pair materials that have a similar aesthetic. Such as marble countertop with marble mosaic backsplash or granite with pebble stone backsplash. The textures can differ while colors and tones are matched.

Q: What is the most popular backsplash height?

A: The 4-6 inch range is the most popular backsplash height aligning with the back edge of the countertop. Full height backsplashes extending to the ceiling have also grown in popularity for a contemporary, sleek look.

Q: Should backsplashes complement or contrast with cabinets?

A: It depends on the look you are going for. Matching the backsplash with cabinetry creates a monochromatic, seamless appearance. Contrasting the two is more bold and makes the backsplash a focal point. Either approach can work beautifully.

Q: How can you make a small kitchen appear larger with backsplash?

A: Use reflective surfaces like subway tile or stainless steel backsplashes which bounce light around and make the kitchen feel more spacious. Keep colors light and avoid dark backsplashes which can close off the space. Extending to the ceiling also gives an airy, open look.

Q: What are some backsplash trends for 2023?

A: Some top backsplash trends include dimensional tile, Unexpected shapes like hexagons, Large-scale patterns, Ombre or gradient colors, Eco-friendly materials like recycled glass, Mixing materials within the backsplash and Using backsplash as an art feature.