Teardrop-shaped backsplashes are a unique and attractive option for kitchens and bathrooms. With their curved shape and pointed bottom, teardrop tiles create visual interest and bring fluidity to the backsplash design. Beyond their aesthetic appeal, teardrop backsplashes offer practical benefits that make them a smart choice for many homes.
Introduction to Teardrop Backsplashes
A backsplash is a vertical surface protected against splashes, usually positioned behind a sink or stove. Backsplashes originally served the functional purpose of guarding the walls against water damage and stains. Today, while still serving this protective function, backsplashes have become a key decorative element in kitchen and bathroom design.
Backsplashes are commonly made from ceramic or glass tile, metal sheets, stone slabs, or glass. The material and shape of the backsplash tiles can be customized to complement the overall aesthetic of the space. Teardrop-shaped backsplash tiles are a unique shape that infuses backsplashes with soft, fluid lines. The teardrop shape features a rounded top that comes to a gentle point at the bottom.
Teardrop-shaped tiles first emerged in the 1920s as part of the Art Deco design movement. The distinctive curved teardrop form embodied the sleek, streamlined look of Art Deco style. Teardrop tiles experienced a revival in the 1950s and 60s before falling out of fashion. Today, teardrop backsplash tiles are trending again, offering a touch of vintage flair with contemporary appeal.
Benefits of a Teardrop Backsplash
There are several reasons why teardrop-shaped backsplash tiles are an excellent choice:
Visually Appealing Shape
The fluid, asymmetrical shape of the teardrop tile adds visual intrigue to backsplashes. The curved top and pointed base create a subtle sense of movement and dynamism. Teardrop tiles have a softer look compared to traditional square or subway tiles. Their sensual lines can lend a graceful, elegant feel to modern and traditional kitchens.
Complementary with Many Styles
From sleek contemporary spaces to cozy cottage kitchens, teardrop backsplash tiles pair well with diverse design aesthetics. Their vintage origins give them a charming, nostalgic vibe that suits traditional decor. Yet their flowing shape also complements modern styles. Their versatility makes teardrop backsplashes a thoughtful choice for open concept spaces.
Distinctive Focal Point
Teardrop backsplash tiles draw the eye, creating a focal point even on a small backsplash area. The unique shape is more likely to be noticed than basic square tiles. Use teardrop backsplash tile to highlight a particular section of counter space, like behind the stove or around a window.
Continuous Fluid Lines
When arranged in a stacked or staggered pattern, the curved lines of the teardrops align to create a sense of continuous movement up the backsplash. The fluid design stands out from grid-like subway tiles. The smooth visual flow also makes a small backsplash seem larger.
Easy to Clean
The rounded edges and smooth faces of teardrop tiles don’t trap dirt, grease and grime like sharper grout lines of square tiles. Teardrop backsplashes are easy to wipe down and keep clean.
Teardrop Backsplash Design Ideas
Teardrop backsplashes offer great flexibility in application. Here are some popular design ideas:
All-Over Teardrop Pattern
For maximum visual impact, create a backsplash using only teardrop tiles. Lay the tiles in even rows in a stacked or staggered brickwork pattern. Continue the teardrops across the entire backsplash surface for a bold, consistent look. Metro Chicken Wire Carrara White Marble Teardrop Mosaic Tile creates a textured teardrop feature wall.
Accent Teardrop Section
Highlight a specific area like behind the faucet by framing it with teardrop tiles. Surround the teardrops with complementary rectangular subway tiles. The teardrops will stand out as a unique accent against the classic subway tiles.
Mini Teardrop Backsplash
Use small mosaics of tiny teardrop tiles to create a miniature backsplash. Tiny teardrops make great trim along the top of a full backsplash or as an accent line on the wall. Mini teardrops come in mesh sheets for quick application.
Multicolored Teardrop Pattern
Create visual depth by utilizing teardrop tiles in different colors, sizes, or materials. Combining glass, ceramic, and stone teardrops adds interesting texture. Use tones like creamy whites and beiges for a vintage vibe, or go bold with deep hues like navy blue or emerald green.
Many backsplashes incorporate recessed niches to display decorative items or store cooking essentials. Use mosaic teardrop tiles to shape and fill a niche for a coordinated look. Flank the niche with matching teardrop field tiles.
Boldly Colored Teardrops
For dramatic impact, cover the backsplash in glossy teardrops colored bright red, turquoise or orange. Bold hues like these highlight the shape of each tile. Keep surrounding cabinetry and counters muted to avoid overwhelming the space.
For industrial edge, use sheets of perforated metal formed into oversized teardrops. Metal brings eye-catching shine while perforations maintain the signature teardrop silhouette. Combine metal teardrops with wood counters for rustic contrast.
Teardrop Backsplash Design Tips
Follow these tips to ensure your teardrop backsplash looks cohesive and stylish:
- Use at least 2” x 4” size teardrop tiles. Tiny mosaic tiles lose the teardrop shape. Larger sizes better showcase the distinctive curves.
- Lay tiles in a brickwork pattern, offsetting rows for more fluid lines. Stacked grids look choppy.
- Use teardrop-shaped listellos on the vertical space between countertops and cabinetry to extend the backsplash design.
- Pair teardrops with simple, clean-lined cabinets and fixtures. Traditional ornamentation competes with the tiles’ silhouette.
- Select teardrop tiles that complement the backsplash color scheme. Contrasting or clashing hues overwhelm the space.
- Consider finishing the edges of the backsplash with trim pieces that echo the teardrop shape.
- When designing around a window, align the rows so the curve of the teardrops frames the window elegantly.
- Illuminate the dimension of the teardrops with proper lighting. Sconces near the backsplash create desirable shadows.
Suitable Areas for Teardrop Backsplashes
The most common place for a teardrop backsplash is behind a kitchen sink or stove. But this unique shape also brings style to other areas:
Create a focal backsplash behind bathroom sinks or mirrors. The humidity resistance of glass and ceramic tile makes teardrops ideal for bathrooms. For a vintage look, use black and white patterned teardrop tiles.
Wet bars for entertaining benefit from a splash-resistant backsplash like stylish teardrops. Use an accent wall of teardrops to add interest without overwhelming a small wet bar.
Give a fireplace an unexpected material twist by framing it with a cut-to-fit teardrop backsplash. The fire-resistant properties of stone, metal or ceramic tile make them safe options.
Add a backsplash to a kitchen island or peninsula to protect the base from cooking mess. Stunning teardrop tiles make the island the focal point.
Make a statement in the entryway by adding teardrop backsplash tile behind a console table or floating shelves. Use teardrops to reinforce other curved architectural details.
Teardrop Backsplash Tile Material Options
Teardrop backsplash tiles come in an array of different materials. Consider the look, function and durability needs of the space when selecting tile material:
Ceramic or Porcelain Tile
Ceramic and porcelain tiles are affordable, easy to clean, and resistant to moisture and heat. Matte finishes highlight the teardrop contour. Porcelain is less porous than ceramic. Choose glazed porcelain for high-humidity areas.
Glass backsplash tile is sleek, modern and simple to wipe down. Colored and frosted glass varieties allow light to pass through. Glass tile comes in clear, opaque, or iridescent finishes. Use caulk around each tile to prevent cracking.
Metal backsplashes make a contemporary statement, especially hammered copper or stainless steel. Some metal tiles snap together for easy DIY installation. Use sealant rated for metal to prevent oxidation or rust.
Elegant marble tile backsplashes bring luxury to traditional spaces. The stone wears well over time. Marble requires resealing every 1-2 years. Limit marble use to non-work areas since it stains easily.
Travertine is a form of limestone perfect for organic-looking backsplashes. Its earthy, rustic hue matches Tuscan-inspired spaces. Filling travertine’s holes creates a smooth surface. Expect to reseal it annually.
Pebble tiles create unique, naturally textured backsplashes. Teardrop-shaped pebble mosaics flow like a river rock bed. Grout thoroughly to keep pebbles in place. Avoid abrasive cleansers that could scratch.
Installing a Teardrop Backsplash
Teardrop backsplash installation involves careful planning and precision. With some DIY skills, it can be a manageable weekend project. Here are the basic steps:
Choose Tile Layout
Plan the tile layout to ensure full tiles fit evenly on the backsplash area. Balance cut tiles on the edges. A staggered brick pattern highlights teardrops’ shape.
Prepare the Wall Surface
The substrate must be smooth, clean and dry. Remove any old backsplash. Fill any holes or cracks. Prime painted walls for better adhesion. Apply waterproofing if needed.
Measure and Cut Tiles
Measure the backsplash area and mark the tile layout. For curved edges, make cardboard cutouts as guides. Use a wet saw for porcelain, or nippers for glass or metal. Smooth cut edges with sandpaper.
Apply Thinset Mortar
Apply a layer of adhesive thinset mortar to the backsplash area using a notched trowel. Apply only as much as can be tiled over in 30 minutes.
Set the Tiles
Press tiles into the thinset, twisting slightly to coat the back. Rap the tiles with a rubber mallet to adhere fully. Check alignment as you go with spacers between tiles.
Grouting Teardrop Tiles
After 24 hours, mix grout and apply over the tiles, filling gaps. Drag a grout float at a 45-degree angle to remove excess. Wipe clean with a sponge.
Seal and Finish
Allow the grout to cure fully over several days. Apply sealant to the tiles and grout. Add trim pieces like chair rail as desired. Keep the backsplash area dry for sealing to cure.
With attention to prep work and thoughtful design, a DIY teardrop backsplash installation can transform a kitchen or bath. Always enlist a professional tiler for intricate designs or large projects.
Design Inspiration: Beautiful Teardrop Backsplashes
Here are some stunning ways to utilize gorgeous teardrop tiles:
Lovely sea green glass teardrops reflect light beautifully behind this contemporary sink. The organic color and shape provide an earthy contrast to the sleek modern space. Image Source
These creamy travertine teardrops laid in a brick pattern infuse this transitional kitchen with warm, natural texture. Ivory grout allows the veining in each tile to show. Image Source
A retro black and white motif energizes this vanity backsplash. The high-contrast combo and geometric tiles balance the curvature of the teardrops. Image Source
These ombre teardrops in shades of blue craft a soothing, watery effect behind the stove. The color gradient creates depth despite the small backsplash area. Image Source
Large perforated stainless steel teardrops deliver contemporary drama to this bold kitchen. Their fluid metal shapes contrast the linear patterns on the cabinetry. Image Source
How expensive are teardrop backsplash tiles?
Teardrop backsplash tile ranges from $5 – $25 per square foot. Factors like material, size, finish and brand impact cost. Handmade artisan tiles are pricier. Installation and labor add to the total expense.
What maintenance do teardrop backsplashes require?
All backsplashes need regular cleaning to prevent staining, grime buildup and soap scum. Use non-abrasive cleaners and soft cloths. Reseal porous natural stone teardrops yearly. Caulk gaps if tiles become loose.
Should the tiles go to the ceiling?
Continuing tiles to the ceiling makes the space seem taller and can allow creative designs. But full-height requires more tile purchase and work. Standard height is 4 inches above countertops or 1 foot above appliances.
How are teardrop tiles made?
Original teardrop tiles were handcrafted. Today most commercial tiles use molds. Natural clay or porcelain is pressed into teardrop molds and glazed or baked. Custom glass teardrops are hand cut. Metals are shaped by artisan metalsmiths.
What color grout should I use with teardrop tiles?
Grout close to the tile color highlights each teardrop shape. Contrasting dark grout makes the tiles pop. White grout suits vintage styles. Epoxy grout resists staining in humid areas like baths or showers.
With their sensual shape and fluid lines, teardrop backsplash tiles offer an elegant design upgrade to kitchens, baths, and more. Their versatility pairs well with diverse styles from contemporary to cottage. Arranged in eye-catching patterns, these distinctive tiles become a beautiful focal feature. Careful installation results in an artistic, yet practical backsplash that protects the space while uplifting the decor. For anyone seeking to infuse their home with vintage character or modern flair, a teardrop backsplash is certainly an alluring choice.