What Backsplash Goes with Brown Countertops?

Choosing the perfect backsplash to complement brown countertops can be a fun yet challenging design task. The good news is that brown is a versatile neutral that pairs beautifully with a wide range of materials and colors. Here are some of our top tips for selecting a backsplash that will truly enhance your brown countertops.

Factors to Consider

When selecting a backsplash for brown countertops, keep the following factors in mind:

Style of the Countertops

Is your brown countertop a solid surface, natural stone, tile, concrete, or wood? The style and exact shade of brown will impact the backsplash options. For example, cool travertine calls for a different look than warm butcher block.

Color Scheme of the Kitchen

What are the other colors used in your kitchen – in the cabinets, appliances, floors, walls, and decor? The backsplash should complement the overall color scheme. Warm metals, earth tones, and neutrals are common pairings.

Kitchen Style

Is your kitchen styled as traditional, contemporary, transitional, farmhouse, industrial, etc? Matching the backsplash to the overall kitchen aesthetic is key. For example, sleek subway tile suits a modern space, while handmade tile works for rustic decor.

Natural Lighting

The amount and type of natural lighting will affect how colors show. North-facing rooms may require brighter backsplashes to prevent a dark, gloomy look. South-facing rooms can get away with deeper hues.

Personal Preference

At the end of the day, choose a look that makes you happy and fits your personality. There are no set rules – get creative!

Top Backsplash Ideas for Brown Countertops

Here are some of our favorite backsplash ideas for brown countertops:

1. White Subway Tile

A classic choice, white 3×6 subway tile offers a clean, crisp contrast against rich brown counters. The color pairing is elegant and timeless. Use glossy finish tile and brown grout lines for definition.

2. Travertine or Limestone

Natural stone like travertine, limestone, and tumbled marble in soft whites, tans, grey-browns beautifully complement brown counters. The organic veining adds depth and texture. Modernize the look with slimmer 12×24 tiles.

3. Mixed Natural Stone Mosaic

For major visual interest, combine assorted natural stone tiles like marble, travertine, slate, and granite in a mosaic pattern. Stick to a neutral color palette that ties into the brown counters. Add modern metal tile accents if desired.

4. Wood Planks

The warm look of real or faux wood planks, installed vertically, imparts a nature-inspired elegance. Complement mid-tone brown counters with exotic zebrawood or bamboo planks. For dark counters, use lighter oak or maple woods.

5. Metal Tiles

Inject contemporary industrial edge with metal backsplash tiles in brushed bronze, copper, nickel, or stainless steel. The sheen plays beautifully against matte brown surfaces. Consider a herringbone layout for added dimension.

6. Glass Tiles

Both transparent and opaque glass tiles make a sleek pairing with brown counters. Opaque white glass tiles exude modern flair. For a punched-up look, add dots of color with transparent glass tile accents.

7. Handmade Encaustic Cement Tile

With their artisan look, these patterned tiles crafted from cement, clay and mineral pigments perfectly suit Farmhouse and Spanish style kitchens. Choose a neutral palette with pretty prints to complement brown counters.

8. Green Glass Subway Tile

Make a vibrant style statement with emerald, sage or other rich green glass subway tiles. The jewel tones energize the space and pop against brown. Keep the rest of the kitchen decor simple to let the backsplash shine.

9. Hexagon Tile

The unique shape of geometric hexagon tile adds visual appeal when applied in varying patterns. Use a single color like white, black or taupe for a modern look. For texture, mix natural stone hexagons in earthy shades.

10. Stone and Glass Blend

Blend materials for supreme depth by combining stone mosaic tiles with glass mosaic or stone slabs with glass tile accents. The pairing adds stunning contrast and dimension against brown counters.

Tips for Installation

Once you’ve selected the perfect backsplash tiles, proper installation is key:

  • Use backerboard, not drywall, for a sturdy base.
  • Check for surface irregularities and make sure the wall is plumb and level.
  • Follow all manufacturer’s instructions for prep and installation.
  • Use plastic tile spacers for consistent grout lines and professional results.
  • Seal natural stone tiles before and after installation.
  • Choose sanded grout for joints wider than 1/8 inch or wall installations.
  • Wipe tiles immediately during installation to remove excess grout.
  • Use caulk, not grout, where tile meets the countertop.

With the right backsplash tile, your brown countertops will really shine. Have fun exploring the endless possibilities to create your dream kitchen!

Frequently Asked Questions

What color backsplash goes best with brown countertops?

Neutrals like white, beige, cream and taupe make safe backsplash choices for brown countertops, as do earth tones like sandy brown, mocha and chestnut. For contrast, vivid shades like emerald green, deep blue or sunny yellow also pop beautifully against rich brown.

What kind of backsplash is best for a brown granite countertop?

Natural stone backsplashes like marble, travertine or slate tile complement brown granite counters nicely. Metal, glass and ceramic tile in neutral tones also pair well. Mosaic patterns add visual punch. Just avoid busy backsplash prints that compete with the granites natural pattern.

Should you match backsplash to countertop?

It’s not mandatory, but coordinating your backsplash with the countertop color or pattern can help create a cohesive, stylish look. Contrasting backsplashes also work with brown countertops as long as the colors complement each other.

What color cabinets go with brown countertops?

Medium wood cabinets suit brown countertops nicely, as do stained oak and espresso cabinets. For paint colors, grays, taupes and cream whites complement brown counters. Avoid competing warm hues like red or yellow cabinets.

How do you choose a backsplash?

Consider the countertop color and style, overall kitchen color scheme, lighting, cabinetry, kitchen style (modern, traditional, etc) and your personal taste. Select backsplash materials, colors, patterns and layouts that enhance and blend with these elements to create a cohesive look.


Brown countertops offer a warm, natural foundation for all different kitchen designs. Whether your style is traditional, modern, industrial or rustic, the key is finding a backsplash that aligns with your overall vision. Neutrals like stone, ceramic and metal tile are classic yet versatile options. For a pop of color, don’t be afraid to go bold with eye-catching shades like emerald or sapphire blue. Just have fun with different materials and layouts until you find your perfect match. With the right backsplash tile, your brown counters will be enhanced for years to come.