What Backsplash Goes With Butcher Block Countertops

Selecting the ideal backsplash to complement butcher block countertops can be an exciting yet challenging process. With the natural warmth and texture of wood, you’ll want a backsplash that enhances those qualities without competing. The good news is that there are many backsplash materials and styles that pair beautifully with butcher block. This guide covers the pros, cons and best options to help you narrow down your choices.

Introduction to Pairing a Backsplash With Butcher Block Countertops

Butcher block countertops made from wood instantly add natural charm to any kitchen. The laminated strips of hardwood boast an attractive grain pattern and the rich patinas that develop over time only add more character. Butcher block offers a versatile, durable and eco-friendly countertop choice.

When it comes to selecting a backsplash for butcher block countertops, you’ll want to complement the wood while allowing it to shine as the star. The key factors to consider include:

  • Color – Choose backsplash hues that coordinate well with the varying wood tones in your butcher block. Warm, neutral tones tend to work best.
  • Texture – Consider how the backsplash material’s texture will interplay with the linear grain of the wood. You’ll usually want some visual contrast.
  • Style – Rustic, farmhouse, traditional and eclectic kitchens suit the homey style of butcher block especially well. Match your backsplash to the overall aesthetic.

With the right backsplash choice, you can allow the natural beauty of your butcher block countertops to take center stage while providing an accent that ties your whole kitchen decor together.

Best Type of Backsplashes for Butcher Block Countertops

Several backsplash materials pair attractively with warm wood butcher block countertops without competing or clashing. Here are some of the best options to consider:


Tile offers endless possibilities to match any kitchen style. Matte finish tiles in neutral hues work particularly well with butcher block.


  • Huge variety of colors, textures, sizes, shapes and patterns
  • Matte options don’t compete with butcher block’s shine
  • Neutral colors like white, beige and gray complement wood tones
  • Can create any style from sleek to rustic
  • Durable and water-resistant


  • Grout lines may get dirty requiring regular cleaning
  • Installing tile backsplashes takes skill

Best Tile Types: Ceramic, porcelain, marble, travertine

Tile Shape Ideas: Subway, hexagon, penny round, brick, fish scale, geometric


The right metal backsplash can infuse any kitchen with contemporary styling or vintage character.


  • Adds eye-catching shine as an accent for matte butcher block
  • Metal choices like tin, copper or nickel suit rustic to modern decor
  • Can be shaped into diverse panels or tiles
  • Provides a waterproof, heat-resistant surface


  • Can show scratches and dings over time
  • Avoid highly polished metal that could compete with butcher block

Best Metal Types: Tin, copper, stainless steel, galvanized metal

Metal Style Ideas: Tin ceiling tiles, hammered copper, subway nickels, aged patina panels


Natural and engineered stone offer an elegant yet rugged complement to wood butcher block’s down-to-earth style.


  • Materials like marble, granite, slate and quartz provide character
  • Offers delightful contrast between the stone’s smooth finish and wood’s visible grain
  • Rustic stone choices emphasize the organic quality of wood
  • Provides a naturally water-resistant, durable option


  • Porous natural stones require sealing
  • Stone can chip if subjected to hard knocks

Best Stone Types: Marble, granite, slate, travertine, quartzite

Stone Shape Ideas: Brick, mosaic, ledger panel


For a harmonious, seamless look, using wood plank backsplash tiles allows you to match the butcher block.


  • Creates a unified appearance between countertops and backsplash
  • Opportunity to play with different wood grains and patterns
  • Warm, welcoming and inherently suited to a butcher block kitchen aesthetic


  • Less contrast between the two wood elements
  • Requires careful wood sealer application on backsplash

Best Wood Types: Maple, cherry, oak, walnut, hickory

Wood Style Ideas: Mix wide and narrow planks for interest


Nothing could be easier than a painted backsplash, making this budget-friendly option perfect for DIY upgrades.


  • Infinite color choices to match any decor
  • Matte, eggshell or satin finishes pair best with butcher block
  • Affordable and easy application for DIY upgrades
  • Can paint directly onto drywall or existing tile


  • Paint may stain or scratch over time requiring touch-ups
  • Not as durable as tile, metal or stone options
  • Less texture than other materials

Best Paint Type: Matte, eggshell or satin latex paint

Paint Color Ideas: Cream, light grey, sage green, burnt orange

Glass Tile

Glass tile backsplashes refract light beautifully. Styles range from colorful mosaics to sleek subway tiles.


  • Adds a translucent, luminous quality against the wood backdrop
  • Smoky, frosted or translucent glass avoids competing with butcher block’s shine
  • Available in range of colors, shapes and textures
  • Provides a water-resistant surface


  • Not as durable as natural stone tiles
  • Grout lines can get dirty just like traditional tile

Best Glass Tile Types: Frosted, smoked, marble, subway

Glass Tile Style Ideas: Subway sheets, mosaics, metallic, crackled

Ideal Color Schemes for Butcher Block Backsplashes

Sticking with a neutral color palette for your backsplash creates a soothing, welcoming kitchen environment that allows the wood tones to take center stage. Here are some of the best backsplash color schemes to bring out the beauty of your butcher block countertops:

Neutral Tones

Creamy whites, beiges and soft greys effortlessly match most wood butcher block shades from light maple to reddish-brown cherry or chocolate walnut. These muted backsplash colors provide a subtle contrast while keeping the focus on the wood.

Classic color pairings include:

  • Ivory or cream backsplash with brown walnut butcher block
  • Soft grey backsplash and reddish acacia butcher block
  • White subway tile with light maple butcher block

Warm Tones

Warm terra cotta, brown and tan backsplash hues can provide a harmonious accent for darker wood countertops. These earthy tones blend especially well with grain patterns.

Inviting combinations:

  • Reddish travertine backsplash with rich cherry butcher block
  • Terra cotta subway tile with espresso-stained oak
  • Multicolor slate backsplash for eclectic contrast against walnut

Cool Tones

While warm wood tones dominate butcher block, you can add dynamic contrast and visual interest by incorporating some cool tones in the backsplash accents.

Striking but balanced pairings:

  • Inky blue glass subway tiles with maple butcher block
  • Sage green backsplash paint color with reddish acacia
  • Frosted silver metal backsplash with weathered barnwood

Backsplash Styles for Popular Kitchen Design Aesthetics

Certain backsplash materials and styles pair especially well with butcher block countertops to enhance specific kitchen aesthetics.

Rustic Kitchen

Rustic backsplash choices emphasize the handcrafted, organic appeal of wood butcher blocks.

  • Distressed tin ceiling panels
  • Antiqued brick tiles
  • Multi-colored natural stone mosaic
  • Reclaimed barnwood planks

Farmhouse Kitchen

Vintage-inspired backsplashes in cottage hues keep the focus on welcoming butcher block counters.

  • Beadboard planks painted white
  • Checkerboard white subway tiles
  • Wavy accent tiles in seafoam green
  • Weathered wood panels

Traditional Kitchen

Elegant backsplashes that provide subtle contrast help highlight timeless butcher block in traditional decor.

  • Honed marble brick tiles
  • Diamonds and octagons mosaic in cream
  • Sleek stainless steel subway tiles
  • Frosted white glass penny rounds

Contemporary Kitchen

Glossy and geometric backsplash tile shapes interplay with linear butcher block for contemporary flair.

  • Mirror tiles
  • Slate grey and white checkerboard
  • Silver metal fish scale mosaic
  • Glossy brick-shaped glass tiles

Eclectic Kitchen

For maximum self-expression, an eclectic kitchen backsplash allows you to complement the butcher block counters with your unique style.

  • Handmade ceramic art tiles
  • Colorful glass tile mural
  • Peel and stick patterned wallpaper
  • Painted freehand mural

No matter your design vision for your kitchen, there is a creative backsplash option that will enhance your beautiful butcher block countertops. Taking the time to carefully consider colors, textures, materials and styles will ensure your backsplash and butcher block counter combination exceeds your expectations. With proper prep and installation, you’ll have a striking, durable kitchen backdrop to enjoy for many years.

Choosing Backsplash Dimensions to Match Butcher Block Countertops

Properly scaling your backsplash tiles or panels creates a coordinated look with your butcher block counters. Here are some tips:

  • Small mosaic tiles help taller butcher block surfaces feel more grounded.
  • Match wider planks or larger tiles to a thick butcher block countertop.
  • Extending tile to the underside of wall cabinets gives the illusion of a lower, more spacious room.
  • For a lighter look with thin countertops, try medium to larger subway, brick or hex tiles.
  • Inset bargain butcher block strips as an accent against pricier large stone or metal backsplash tiles.

Take measurements and lay out plans to get the proportions right before installing your backsplash. This helps ensure your butcher block remains the focal point.

Best Grout Colors for Butcher Block Backsplashes

While the backsplash tiles themselves are the main act, don’t overlook the importance of grout color. For butcher block counters, neutral grout hues tend to work best.

  • Whites, ivories, bone and beige grout recede, keeping attention on the wood.
  • Greys nicely complement both light and dark butcher block shades.
  • Match lighter grouts with light tiles and vice versa for coherence.
  • Contrasting grout can also be striking, like white tiles with black grout and espresso butcher block.

Be sure to seal natural stone tiles and grout lines to prevent staining and discoloration, especially with porous grouts. With the right grout color choice though, your entire backsplash will enhance your prized butcher block.

Enhance Backsplash and Butcher Block Bonding with Accent Hues

Bring your kitchen decor together by choosing accent pieces that pick up on colors in both your backsplash and butcher block counters.

  • Vintage rugs with patterns echoing backsplash tile shapes
  • Barstools or kitchen island in wood tones matching the butcher block
  • Painting walls, cabinets or an accent wall in backsplash hues
  • Cookware displaying colors seen in the tiles or wood grain
  • Patterned window treatments complementing the palette

Use these supporting design elements to create kitchen harmony. The end result will be a cohesive space where your backsplash and butcher block counter combination takes center stage.

Expert Tips for Installing a Backsplash with Butcher Block

Achieving proper installation is key to creating a functional, beautiful backsplash and butcher block pairing that will last. Here are pro tips to do it right:

Allow Proper Counter Overhang

Your installer will need room to work. Make sure existing butcher block extends at least 1.5 inches beyond the wall. This overhang gets cut later.

Select Durable Adhesive

Choose quality thinset mortar adhesive for tile, polyurethane for wood, construction adhesive for metal or tin panels.

Prepare the Surface

Remove existing backsplash. Fill any uneven spots in drywall. Prime and paint if needed.

Lay Out Your Pattern

Dry lay tiles to confirm the layout before installing. Measure twice, stick once.

Apply Adhesive

Spread adhesive evenly with a notched trowel. Only cover sections you can quickly tile within open time.

Use Spacers

Spacers allow room for adhesive and grout between tiles. Ensure even gaps.

Grout and Seal

Let adhesive cure before grouting. Apply grout with float, wiping away excess. Seal grout and natural stone.

Finish Edges

Once backsplash is installed, cut away counter overhang and apply trim pieces along top edges and side walls.

With the right prep and techniques, your butcher block countertop and stunning new backsplash will unite to create a kitchen highlight.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pairing a Backsplash with Butcher Block Countertops

What backsplash goes best with maple butcher block countertops?

For lighter maple butcher block, neutral backsplash choices like white subway tile, soft grey stone mosaic, nickel tiles or cream paint tend to work especially well.

What kind of backsplash should I avoid with walnut butcher block counters?

Avoid glossy or heavily patterned backsplash tiles that compete for attention against dramatic walnut wood grain. Stick with neutral hues in matte, natural materials.

What backsplash colors look good with dark wood countertops?

Deep wood tones provide contrast for paler backsplash colors. Cream, ivory, light grey and white backsplashes all pair beautifully with darker walnut or espresso-stained oak butcher blocks.

Can you use wood as a backsplash with butcher block countertops?

Definitely! Matching wood plank backsplash tiles will create a seamless appearance. Just be sure to properly seal the wood against moisture.

What kind of backsplash goes with a rustic kitchen with butcher block counters?

Rustic materials like reclaimed barnwood planks, distressed metal tiles, aged brick or a handmade ceramic mosaic backsplash enhance the warm, eclectic feel of a rustic kitchen with charming butcher block counters.


Butcher block countertops offer timeless beauty and practicality to any kitchen. Take your space to the next level by pairing the wood counters with a backsplash that complements and enhances the butcher block.

Carefully weigh the pros and cons of materials like tile, metal, stone, wood and paint. Consider how color, texture, dimensions and style come together to match your home’s aesthetic. With proper planning and installation, you can achieve a striking, functional backsplash and butcher block duo that will bring you joy for decades to come.