Large Tile Backsplash Create Sleek Look with Larger Tiles

A large tile backsplash can create a sleek, modern look in any kitchen. Using larger format tiles on your backsplash is an impactful yet easy way to update the style of your kitchen. Compared to traditional small backsplash tiles, fewer grout lines and a more streamlined appearance give large tile backsplashes a cleaner and more contemporary aesthetic.

Benefits of Using Large Tiles for Kitchen Backsplashes

There are many advantages to choosing large format tiles, typically 12 inches or larger per tile, for your kitchen backsplash design:

Clean, Minimal Lines

With fewer grout lines interrupting the surface, large backsplash tiles create a smoother, less busy appearance. The result is a crisp, sleek look perfect for contemporary kitchen designs.

Modern Style

The streamlined look of large tile backsplashes pairs well with modern kitchen elements like stainless steel appliances, flat panel cabinets, and industrial finishes. Large tile helps create a minimalist, uncluttered style.

Spacious Appearance

Using larger tiles can give the perception of a more expansive space. The tiles have less cluttered look than small mosaics or penny tiles, opening up the kitchen visually.

Cohesion with Flooring

Large floor tiles are popular for modern kitchens. Coordinating large backsplash and floor tiles can pull the whole space together beautifully.

Easy Maintenance

With fewer grout lines, large tile backsplashes are easier to keep clean. Grout inevitably collects dirt and needs more frequent scrubbing. Minimizing grout lessens this maintenance.

Cost Savings

Installing larger tiles means using less tile overall. Purchasing fewer tiles can translate into significant cost savings on materials for your backsplash project.

Popular Choices for Large Backsplash Tiles

Many types of tiles are now manufactured in large formats perfect for sleek, contemporary backsplashes. Some top options include:


Porcelain tile is highly versatile, available in a wide variety of sizes, colors, finishes, and patterns. Durable and low maintenance, porcelain in 12×24 inches or larger sizes is an excellent backsplash choice.


Like porcelain, ceramic tiles now come in very large sizes. Modern glazes and printing techniques allow for stunning designs. Affordable and easy to clean, bold ceramic tiles make an impact.

Marble & Quartzite

Elegant marble-look tiles in larger sizes can create a high-end backsplash design. The veining and luminosity pair beautifully with brass fixtures. Similarly, quartzite-look porcelain captures the stone’s grayscale tones in large formats.

Glass & Metallic

For contemporary glitter, glass and metal tile backsplashes are perfect. Oversized glass tiles, from translucent white to bold oranges or blues, lend modern flair. Metallic tiles in copper, stainless, or gold add glam.

Cement & Terrazzo

Concrete and terrazzo styles translated into porcelain tiles convey an industrial vibe. Their solid, muted color palettes gain elegance when scaled up in size on the backsplash.

Backsplash Design Ideas Using Large Format Tiles

Get inspired with these backsplash design ideas using 12-inch, 16-inch, 24-inch or even larger tile sizes:

All-Over Solid Tile

For a super sleek look, install one oversized tile across the entire backsplash space. This creates an uninterrupted minimalist feel. Perfect if you love contemporary style.

Sleek white marble backsplash

Vertical Stacks

Stacking elongated, rectangular tiles vertically draws the eyes up and gives backsplashes a streamlined look. Pair with matching horizontally-laid floor tile for a seamless effect.

Vertical stacked backsplash tile

Statement Accent Strip

Use a single strip of large, eye-catching tile to create a focal point while maintaining simplicity. This works especially well surrounding a kitchen window or framing the stove.

Blue and white geometric kitchen backsplash tile

Mix Up Shapes and Sizes

Incorporating some smaller tiles in matching colors and finishes can add subtle contrast and interest while retaining the sleek effect. Arrange creatively!

Backsplash with mixed sized tiles

Extended Height

Carry oversized backsplash tiles onto adjacent walls or even the ceiling for a enveloping look. Continuing single large tiles amplifies the spacious feeling.

Tall white backsplash extended to ceiling

Mosaic Accent

Add a mosaic inset of small polished tiles within the large tile backsplash for a hint of glamour. This can be done around the range hood or in a column next to a window or corner.

Kitchen backsplash with mosaic tile accent

Geometric Patterns

Cutting large format tiles into geometric shapes like triangles, diamonds and hexagons can create modern patterns and dimensional effects.

Geometric tile pattern backsplash

Graphic Prints

Thanks to technology like digital printing, even bold graphics and artwork can be incorporated onto large backsplash tiles for a super creative effect.

Graphic bird print backsplash tile

Choosing the Right Tile Size

When designing your large tile backsplash, consider the size and layout of the space to help choose the optimal tile size and configuration.

Small Spaces

Oversize tiles can overwhelm a tiny kitchen backdrop. Aim for 12×12 inch or 16×16 tiles. Stack vertically to add height instead of wide formats.

Medium Spaces

A 16×32 inch tile may be the sweet spot, single subway-style stacks create a tall, expansive look. Limit busy mosaic accents.

Large Spaces

Make a statement with gigantic 24×48 inch, 36×36 inch or larger tiles. Full slabs on the wall create ultra-modern simplicity. Section off part of the backsplash for contrasting tiles or mosaics.

Around Windows

Frame out windows or glass doors beautifully with vertical stacks of elongated rectangular tiles. Sizes like 8×16, 12×24 or 12×48 work well.

Near Counters

Keep the spacious look going by the countertops with very wide rectangular tiles or squares laid horizontally. Limit grout lines by using 16×32, 24×24 or larger tiles.

Picking Grout Color for Large Tile Backsplashes

Choosing a grout color requires some careful consideration with oversized backsplash tiles.

Match the Tile

For the sleekest look, match the grout color as closely to the tile as possible. This helps the tiles appear like a continuous slab.

Contrasting Grout

If the tile has strong variations or veining, go with a grout that matches the lightest color in the tile. This makes the tile motifs pop.

Dark Grout with Light Tile

Pairing white or light tiles with a dark charcoal gray or even black grout can look modern and dramatic.

Light Grout with Dark Tile

Conversely, darker tiles like slate blue or forest green can use a soft gray or ivory grout to offset their bold impact.

Accent Grout

An accent strip or inset of mosaic tile with brightly colored grout complements muted large tiles beautifully. Consider a bold teal, citron or coral grout.

Always make sure to use unsanded grout recommended for tile joints under 1/8 inch. Sanded grout can scratch larger tile and create a cloudy haze.

Installing Large Tile Backsplashes

Installing oversize tile backsplash properly takes some special considerations:

Select Durable, Low Porosity Tile

Check manufacturer ratings and only choose tile rated for walls and high moisture areas. Denser porcelain and lesser porous tiles hold up better.

Choose the Right Adhesive

For large tile, use a premium flexible thinset mortar adhesive to prevent cracks and adhesion issues from tile weight or wall movement.

Prepare the Walls

Backsplash walls must be flattened and smoothed with drywall, plaster or high-build primer/paint if irregular. This prevents cracked tiles.

Use Leveling Clips

Plastic leveling clips like Raimondi hold tiles even until mortar cures, preventing lippage between tiles. Essential for large tile.

Check Layout

Dry lay tiles on the floor first to visualize full layout and plan adjustments. Mark and cut perimeter tiles to fit edges.

Sealing Grout

Seal grout once fully cured, typically 72 hours after install. This prevents staining and aids cleaning. Re-seal yearly.

With proper planning and installation, large tile backsplashes act as a durable, low maintenance focal point for years to come. Their sleek, spacious effect brings contemporary style to any kitchen.

FAQs about Large Tile Backsplashes

What size tile is best for kitchen backsplashes?

For a contemporary look, 12-inch by 24-inch, 16-inch by 16-inch, or even larger tiles create a sleek, expansive effect. Smaller mosaics and pennies can look busy.

How thick should backsplash tile be?

Tile thickness can range from 1/4 inch for mosaic sheets to 3/8 or 1/2 inches for larger tiles. Thicker tile is more durable for backsplashes. Porcelain is usually thicker than ceramic.

What type of tile is best for kitchen backsplash?

Porcelain, ceramic, or natural stone tiles make excellent quality backsplash tiles that are more stain and moisture resistant. Glass and metal tile add glamour but require gentle cleaning.

How high should a backsplash be?

Standard backsplash height is 4 inches from the counter to the bottom of the upper cabinets. Contemporary backsplashes can extend to the bottom of the cabinet or up to the ceiling.

Should backsplash match countertops?

It’s not mandatory, but coordinating finishes and colors between backsplash and counters makes the space feel more cohesive. Contrasting tones can be pretty too.

Can backsplash tile go behind stove?

Absolutely. Carry the backsplash tile up behind the stove. Use fire-resistant materials rated for high temperatures like porcelain or metal if going all the way to the ceiling.

Should I seal my tile backsplash?

Sealing is highly recommended for grout to prevent staining and discoloration. Many manufacturers also recommend sealing the tiles themselves for easier cleaning and lowering porosity. Re-seal every 1-2 years.

Achieving a Sleek and Contemporary Kitchen Backsplash

With the right combination of materials, colors, proportions and angles, a large tile backsplash can create a gorgeous minimalist focal point in your kitchen. Take advantage of oversized tile’s spacious aesthetic and clean lines to design a backsplash that is both striking and timeless. Use these tips to make a sleek, contemporary statement!






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