How to Pick Backsplash to Match Countertop

Choosing the right backsplash to complement your countertop can make a huge difference in your kitchen’s overall design aesthetic. With so many options for materials, colors, and patterns, it may seem daunting to find the perfect match. Here are some helpful tips on how to pick a backsplash that will seamlessly tie together with your countertop.

Assess Your Countertop Material and Color

The first step is to look at what material your countertop is made of and its dominant color tones. Granite, marble, quartz, laminate, and tile all have distinct characteristics that will pair better with certain backsplash materials and colors.

  • For neutral countertops like white or cream quartz or laminate, nearly any backsplash color or pattern will complement it well. Go with your personal style.
  • Granite countertops with busy stone patterns in tan, brown, or gray tones do best with simple, coordinating solid color backsplash tile.
  • Cool-toned countertops like blue, gray, or black granite or quartz look great with glossy subway tile or mosaic tile in similar cool shades.
  • Marble countertops with veins of grays, creams, and taupe complement marble or ceramic tile backsplashes.
  • Vivid countertop colors like bright red or deep green quartz need a backsplash with coordinating colors but simpler pattern.

Match the Backsplash Color to the Countertop

A foolproof way to achieve a cohesive look is to select a backsplash tile or glass sheet color that directly matches or nicely coordinates with the tones in your countertop. Hold up color swatches to see which hues look most pleasing together.

For example, if your granite has flecks of navy blue, bring out that color with a deep blue glass tile backsplash. Or go with tan subway tile to match the brown and cream swirls in marble.

Tip: Limit backsplash colors to just 1 or 2 colors that predominate in the countertop. More than that looks busy.

Consider a Contrasting Backsplash for Drama

While matching backsplash and countertop colors is traditional, don’t be afraid to make a statement with contrast. Dark countertops like black granite or emerald green quartz really pop against a white or light gray backsplash.

Stainless steel backsplashes also add contemporary flair contrasted with rich wood or colorful laminate countertops. Just be sure the finishes aren’t so dramatically different that they clash.

Complement Countertop Pattern with Simple Backsplash

Countertops with highly varied stone patterning or distinctive visual texture look best with simple, minimal backsplashes that don’t compete for attention.

For example, backsplashes with basic white subway tile, small mosaic tile, or glass tile in a single color subtly complement granite and marble’s natural designs. Let the countertop be the star.

Enhance a Solid Countertop with an Expressive Backsplash

Laminate, quartz, or solid surface countertops with minimal veining or a uniform solid color give you more room tohighlight an exciting backsplash.

Bolder options like handmade art tile, large patterned tiles, 3-D tiles, or metallic tiles will make a strong design statement against a solid countertop.

Factor in the Cabinets Too

When selecting your backsplash, also consider how it relates to your kitchen cabinets for the most cohesive look.

  • For light cabinets, stick with light backsplash tile or glass. Dark backsplashes can make light cabinets appear dingy or scuffed in contrast.
  • With darker wood cabinets, go for bolder dark backsplashes in complimentary color tones.
  • For two-toned cabinets, pick out a backsplash color that ties in to the tones of both the upper and lower cabinets.

Define Your Style

Narrow down backsplash options that work for your personal interior design style.

  • For contemporary style, sleek glass, mosaics, subway tile, or stainless steel make ideal pairings.
  • Farmhouse kitchens come to life with brick, wood plank, or porcelain stone-look tile backsplashes.
  • Classic kitchens can’t go wrong with marble and ceramic tile or patterns like herringbone.
  • Cottage kitchens look cozy with beadboard panels or pastel-hued ceramic tile backsplashes.

See Samples In Situ

Once you’ve narrowed down your backsplash options, purchase samples or visit showrooms. Seeing a material in the context of your existing countertop and cabinetry can give you the best sense of how well it complements.

Be sure to view samples with different lighting at varied times of day to ensure the color tones interact as desired. Install the backsplash samples temporarily if possible.

Don’t Overthink It

Finding the perfect backsplash to match your countertop doesn’t have to be a stressful process. Focus on determining the look and feel you want for your kitchen and let that guide your backsplash selection.

Keep in mind that minor color and finish variations between the two surfaces will occur naturally. Don’t overanalyze for a seamless match. The overall aesthetic harmony and design style is what makes a kitchen come together.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I match backsplash color to a patterned granite countertop?

Pick out 1 or 2 dominant color tones in the granite to match solid colored tiles to. A busy granite pattern pairs best with simple white, gray, or subtle mosaic backsplash tile.

Should I choose a backsplash that is lighter or darker than my countertop?

It depends on the look you want. Lighter backsplashes help light countertops like white marble really stand out. Darker backsplashes make darker countertops like black granite pop. Contrasting shades are eye-catching.

What backsplash goes with a brown quartz countertop?

Warm tones like beige, tan, sand, and terracotta backsplash tile or glass coordinate well with brown quartz. Creamy white backsplashes also give a nice balance.

Can I put tile directly onto a laminate countertop as a backsplash?

It is not recommended. Laminate countertops swell and contract, which can crack grout lines. Install cement backerboard behind laminate before tiling instead.

Should the edge of a tile backsplash align with the countertop edge?

It depends on preference, but typically backsplashes end precisely where the countertop meets the wall. Extending tile past the countertop edge risks it getting damaged and looks misaligned.


Choosing a backsplash to match your countertop comes down to determining which colors, patterns, and textures align with your countertop material and the overall look you want. Assessing your countertop color and pattern as a starting point while also factoring in your cabinetry, lighting, and style will lead you to a cohesive design. With an abundance of backsplash options from sleek glass to ornate ceramic and natural stone tile, you can find the perfect complementary match. Use samples and envision how combinations will look together in your space. Most importantly, select a backsplash you’ll enjoy seeing and using in your kitchen every day.