What Backsplash Goes with Dark Countertops: An Extensive Guide

Choosing the right backsplash to pair with dark countertops can make a dramatic difference in your kitchen’s aesthetic. The backsplash serves as an eye-catching focal point and brings together your countertops, cabinetry and other design elements into a cohesive look. With so many backsplash tile options available, deciding what works best with darker countertops isn’t always straightforward. This comprehensive guide provides plenty of tips, considerations and beautiful backsplash ideas to complement dark countertops.

What to Consider When Choosing a Backsplash for Dark Countertops

When selecting a backsplash for dark granite, marble, soapstone or painted countertops, keep the following guidelines in mind:

Complement or Contrast

  • A backsplash can either blend in with dark countertops for a streamlined look or contrast them for added drama. Lighter tiles like white, beige or grey marble backsplashes beautifully complement darker countertops. Boldly patterned or brightly colored tiles make the backsplash pop against a dark background.


  • Look at undertones in your countertops to determine whether warm or cool backsplash colors will work best. Granites and soapstones with brown, red or orange tones pair well with warm terra cotta, tan or rustic yellow tiles. Countertops with grey, blue or green undertones match nicely with cool tones like white marble, light grey and metallic mosaics.


  • Consider pairing sleek countertops like quartz or polished granite with textured backsplash tiles like handmade subway tile, travertine or pebbled mosaics. Rougher countertop materials like soapstone and limestone benefit from a smooth glossy backsplash for contrast.


  • Busy countertops with bold graining or patterns look best with simple uniform backsplash tiles. Solid surface or minimal pattern countertops can handle busier backsplash designs like a detailed mosaic or Moroccan fish scale tile.


  • Keep the backsplash design consistent with your kitchen’s overall decorating scheme. For modern kitchens, choose contemporary glossy or geometric backsplash tile. Farmhouse kitchens tend to look best with subway tile backsplashes.

Backsplash Ideas for Dark Granite Countertops

Dark granite countertops provide a rich, sophisticated foundation for kitchen backsplash tile ideas. Here are some of the most gorgeous pairings:

White Marble

A stunning contrast combo for granite countertops, subway style white marble tile with thin grey veining pairs particularly well with darker espresso and black granite. Keep the rest of the backsplash design simple to let the dramatic color pairing take center stage.

Beige Travertine

Honing in on the brown undertones in dark granite, beige travertine backsplash tiles create a harmonious earthy look. The variety of natural colors and stone-like texture make travertine an ideal match for granite. Blend in some small mosaic tiles for added interest.

Stacked White Subway Tile

For a clean and bright pairing with black granite countertops, classic white 3″x6″ glossy subway tiles stacked in a brickwork pattern is a timeless choice. Contrasting grout lines in either bright white or light grey finish this look.

Taupe Glass Mosaic

Small iridescent glass tiles in a blend of taupe, greige and silver hues pair beautifully with darker granite countertops, adding just enough color contrast without competing. Keep the surrounding design simplified to let the mosaic tile be the focal point.

Backsplashes for Dark Marble Countertops

From bold graphic patterns to metallic shine, marble backsplash tile provides plenty of eye-catching options to complement luxurious dark marble countertops:

Geometric Herringbone

For dark marble countertops with grey veining, a backsplash of white Carrara marble or quartz laid in a statement herringbone pattern really packs visual interest. Choose a marble mosaic tile with little veining or patterns for best contrast.

Metallic Glass Subway Tile

Dark polished marble countertops are the perfect backdrop for shiny metallic subway tiles in copper, nickel or bronze tones. Use mosaic sheets for easier installation of tiny glass tiles. Staying in a similar cool color family keeps this pair looking sleek.

Moroccan Fish Scale Tile

Make a decidedly Spanish style statement in your kitchen with colorful handmade ceramic fish scale tiles. Available in myriad colors, choose deeper hues like cobalt blue, emerald or eggplant that tie into veining in your marble countertops.

Large Format Tile

For a seamless contemporary look, pair streamlined dark marble countertops with large format porcelain tile like a 24″x48″ glossy white subway. Extra-large tile minimizes grout lines for a sleek and spacious aesthetic.

Backsplash Designs for Dark Soapstone Countertops

Soapstone’s muted greyish-green coloring and softly striated patterns pair well with backsplashes in both warm and cool palettes:

Green Glass Subway Tile

Picking up on the subtle green tones in soapstone countertops, a pale sage green glass subway tile backsplash ties in beautifully. Grout with bright white silicone for high contrast. Add a few petite mosaic tiles for a pop of texture.

Natural Stone Mosaic

A backsplash mosaic made from tumbled marble, travertine and granite tiles in beiges, greys and browns effortlessly complements the natural veining in soapstone. The blend of organic texture and colors work perfectly together.

Rustic Terracotta Tile

Warm up a soapstone kitchen with traditional terracotta tiles featuring hand-painted patterns in sunset rust and aztec red hues. Old world decorative tile pairs nicely with soapstone’s rustic vibe. Leave a few tiles unadorned for contrast.

White Shiplap Planks

For a light and airy farmhouse style backsplash alternative, use shiplap planks painted crisp white. Minimal grout lines enhance the wide wood boards to maintain the organic feel of natural soapstone counters.

Creative Backsplash Ideas for Dark Painted Countertops

Painted countertops provide almost limitless possibilities for backsplash tile combinations from graphic patterns to artistic designs:

Black & White Geometric

Oversized black and white tiles arranged in a zig zag geometric pattern make a bold graphic statement against charcoal painted countertops. Choose porcelain tiles with a gloss finish for maximum contrast and visual interest.

Metallic Herringbone Accent

Jazz up glossy dark blue painted countertops with a metallic silver mosaic herringbone tile accent wall. Limiting the special designer tile to a single backsplash wall keeps the budget in check while adding a showstopping focal point.

Colorful Handmade Encaustic

Have fun with mix and match colorful encaustic tiles featuring artisanal Moroccan patterns. Handmade tiles look fantastically eclectic and artistic against dark matte finish countertops. Include a few solid tiles to tone down the busyness.

Picture Tile Mural

For a whimsical backsplash, arrange small hand-painted picture tiles into a mural depicting landscapes, flowers or even an undersea scene. Italian ceramic picture tiles lend an old world artisanal feel against sleek modern dark countertops.

Tips for Installing Backsplash Tile with Dark Countertops

To help your new backsplash complement dark countertop surfaces beautifully:

  • Check that your tile choices also coordinate well with your cabinetry finish and flooring.
  • Use a tile spacer for uniform grout lines and neater finished results.
  • Consider having countertop fabricators remove any overhang to allow tile to run flush from wall to counter edge.
  • Seal natural stone tiles and grout lines prior to installation to prevent possible staining.
  • Include decorative accents like chair rail molding, tile trims or glass tile inserts to enhance your design.

Frequently Asked Questions

What color backsplash goes well with black granite?

White, beige, light grey and taupe tiles provide enough contrast to stand out against dark black granite. Ivory or cream subway tile paired with dark grout lines adds nice separation. Crisp bright white backsplashes make black granite pop.

Should you match backsplash to countertops?

It’s not mandatory, but often looks best, to pick up some tones from your countertops in the backsplash. For dark countertops, that may mean echoing the color in a mosaic accent strip or choosing grout that ties in. Backsplashes in jarringly different colors can sometimes look mismatched.

What backsplash is trending with dark cabinets?

White backsplashes, especially subway tiles, remain popular with dark cabinetry for bright contrast. Creative bold patterns like geometrics and Moroccan fish scale tiles in lighter colors also complement dark cabinetry well. Metallic mosaics add a trendy designer touch.

Can you put dark backsplash with dark countertops?

Although lighter tiles often look best, you can pair darker backsplashes with dark countertops. Stick with colors in the same family, like charcoal tile with black granite, for a cohesive monochromatic look. Add interest with mosaic inserts, special finishes like polished vs. matte, or varied grout colors.


The ideal backsplash design for dark countertops comes down to your personal style. Whether you prefer an elegant matching look or unexpected bold contrast, the creative possibilities are endless. Just keep in tone, texture and overall aesthetic in mind. With the right backsplash tile choice, your dark granite, marble, soapstone or painted countertops will look even richer. Let your backsplash be an inspired finishing touch that pulls the whole gourmet kitchen together.