Choosing the perfect backsplash to complement your granite countertops can be a daunting task. With so many backsplash tile options to select from, it can be challenging to settle on the right style, material, color and pattern that will work best with your existing granite. This guide will walk you through how to choose a backsplash that pairs beautifully with granite countertops for a cohesive, stylish kitchen design.
Factors to Consider When Selecting a Backsplash for Granite Countertops
There are a few key considerations when choosing a backsplash to go with granite countertops:
Granite Color and Pattern
The most important factor is selecting a backsplash that complements the exact color and pattern of your existing granite. Granite comes in many different color variations from solid blacks and creams to speckled multicolored blends. Some granite has distinctive veining or movement. Be sure to take a close look at your granite and take note of the dominant colors and any distinctive features. This will help inform your backsplash selection.
For example, for a black granite with little veining or movement, a dramatic backsplash like boldly colored glass tile or Spanish mosaics would look stunning. For beige granite with brown, rust or copper colored movement, a backsplash featuring natural stone like travertine or marble would complement nicely.
Kitchen Aesthetic and Architecture
Also consider the overall look and layout of your kitchen. Think about the cabinetry, flooring, hardware and other finishes and furnishings in the space. Is your kitchen modern and sleek or traditionally styled? Do you have an open concept kitchen or a small galley layout? Is there good natural light or do you rely more on fixtures? This will help you choose a backsplash that enhances the room’s aesthetic.
For contemporary kitchens, glass, metal or ceramic tile in a solid color or simple pattern works well. Rustic or traditionally styled kitchens can benefit from stone or brick backsplashes. Smaller kitchens appear larger with light colored backsplashes that reflect light.
Purpose and Function
In addition to complementing the granite and kitchen aesthetic, the backsplash needs to be durable and easy to clean. Consider the amount of cooking, splattering and high heat your backsplash will endure. Enameled glass, metal and ceramic tile stand up well. Natural stone is beautiful but requires sealing.
For heavy-duty cooking zones like behind a stove, heat-resistant and easy-to-clean glass tile is a great choice. Near a sink, water-resistant materials are best to prevent water damage.
Budget is often a factor when selecting backsplash tile. Natural stone tile like marble or travertine costs more than ceramic or glass tile. Specialty tiles can also add expense. Keep costs down by using a simple shape tile or alternating patterns.
At the end of the day, choose a backsplash design, tile material, color and aesthetic that makes you happy. You will see it every time you cook or spend time in the kitchen. The backsplash should match the overall style of the kitchen but also reflect your personal taste.
The Best Backsplash Options for Popular Granite Countertop Colors
Now that you know how to approach the decision making process, let’s explore some excellent backsplash ideas for some of the most popular granite colors.
Black Granite Backsplash Ideas
Black granite makes a dramatic statement in any kitchen. From inky absolute black to black with brown, gold or gray veining, black granite adds luxurious richness. Polished black granite countertops gleam while leather or honed finishes offer subtle, matte textures.
To allow the black granite to take center stage, keep the backsplash simple. Here are stylish options:
- White subway tile – Classic 3×6 inch glossy white tiles create a clean contrasting backdrop that allows the granite to pop. Add interest by stacking the tiles in a herringbone pattern or staggered layout.
- Black and white mosaic – For more visual drama try a black and white mosaic tile backsplash. Geometric or freeform patterns, like an Arabesque layout, stops the eye and creates movement.
- Bold glass or ceramic tile – Black granite can handle a bold backsplash. Try large format rectangular tiles in a single brilliant color like cobalt blue, rich turquoise or sizzling orange. Or make a modern statement with irregular sized glass tiles or ceramic tile in graphic patterns.
- Exposed brick – The organic texture and color of exposed brick makes an attractive contrast against polished black granite. For a modern twist opt for charcoal colored thin brick.
- Metal backsplash – If your kitchen has professional style stainless appliances, continue the look with a stainless steel or aluminum metal backsplash. Durable and sleek.
White Granite Backsplash Suggestions
Crisp white granite countertops create an open and airy feel. The most popular backsplash pairings for white granite are:
- White subway tile – For a seamless look, install white 3×6 inch subway tile. The identical color ties the countertops and backsplash together. Use glossy white tile to reflect light and enlarge the space.
- Natural stone mosaic – Organic tones and movement of natural stone like marble, travertine or slate mosaics complement white granite. Offset irregular stone mosaic tiles with straight white grout lines.
- Glass mosaic – Colorful or iridescent glass mosaics energize a white granite backsplash. Try pale blue glass tile or multi-colored stone for a subtle pop of color.
- Metal tile – Alternate white granite with sleek stainless steel or aluminum backsplash tile. The contrast of hard and soft textures is appealing.
- Brick – For coastal vibes combine white granite with aged white or pale gray brick tile. Or go modern with oversized bright white subway brick.
- Wood – Weathered barnwood planks introduce rustic charm to white granite and brightens the space. For contemporary style use rectangular multi-toned wood mosaic tiles.
Brown Granite Backsplash Recommendations
Warm brown granite countertops are endlessly versatile. Complementing backsplash ideas include:
- Natural stone – Elegant options like travertine, marble or limestone tile backsplashes nicely pick up the depth and movement in the granite. Keep tile shape simple to let granite motifs shine.
- Slate or ceramic tile – For more casual style, try a multi-toned slate mosaic backsplash or textural ceramic tile in brown, beige and terracotta colors.
- Distressed wood – Reclaimed wood planks in a whitewashed or gray-stained finish adds character to brown granite countertops.
- Brick – coordinating brown, red or orange-toned brick backsplash tile gives vintage charm to brown granite.
- Clear glass – Create contrast with a sleek glass tile or glass mosaic backsplash. Clear or frosted glass allows granite characteristics to be the focal point.
- Metal – Modernize with an industrial edge using corrugated metal or raw steel backsplashes with brown granite countertops.
Patterned Granite Backsplash Ideas
Granites with bold veining, crystallization or colored movement present fun but tricky backsplash pairings. With so much visual interest in the counters, keep the backsplash simple.
- Solid color glass, ceramic or metal tile – Allow the granite to shine by framing it with a backsplash in one brilliant solid color that picks up an accent shade in the granite.
- Clear glass or white subway tile – Disappear the backsplash with seamless clear glass tile or classic white subway tile. Keep backsplash layout simple.
- Natural stone – Subdued natural stones like neutral travertine tile highlights rather than competes with ornate granite. Avoid stone backsplash with granite that has heavy movement or crystallization.
- Painted drywall – Paint the backsplash wall directly onto drywall in a glossy finish. Select a color that complements the most prevalent shade in the granite pattern.
Design Ideas to Consider for Granite Backsplashes
Beyond settling on the broad backsplash material and color, also consider these backsplash design elements:
Backsplash Shape and Tile Size
Standard square or rectangular tile shapes work well with granite but for more interest consider:
- Subway tile – Classic 3×6 inch rectangular glossy tiles laid in a stacked pattern.
- Penny tile – Tiny 1-inch hexagons or circles create visual texture.
- Diamond, fishscale or scalloped tiles – Angular shapes catch and reflect light.
- Oversized tiles – Large solid tiles like 12×24 inch rectangles contrast with busy granite.
- Mosaic patterns – Small tiles form geometric or artistic mosaic designs.
Changing up the backsplash layout breaks up the space. Consider:
- Staggered tile layout – Offset rows so tiles do not directly stack.
- Herringbone pattern – Tiles set in angled herringbone design directs the eye.
- Horizontal layout – Long rectangular tiles or wood planks installed horizontally expand space.
- Tile only part of wall – Add a decorative tile border or tile only partway up the wall. Paint upper portion.
- Inset sections – Use tile as insets or accents between upper cabinets.
Backsplash and Granite Intersection
Planning the transition where the backsplash meets the granite visually unifies the space.
- Allow granite to flow seamlessly from countertop to backsplash with a coordinated color.
- Add a decorative accent row of mosaic tile, metal or glass along the countertop edge.
- Install a premium backsplash material like marble tile closest to the granite. Use more affordable ceramic tile on upper backsplash.
Creative Backsplash Materials
In addition to traditional backsplash tile, also consider:
- Recycled glass tile – For an eco-friendly fused glass mosaic tile in brilliant colors.
- Metal tile – Choose stainless steel, copper or tin backsplash tiles.
- Mirror tile – Reflective and shimmering to accentuate granite movement. Great for small kitchens.
- Barnwood or reclaimed wood planks – Rustic, natural style.
- Concrete tile – Urban vibe in gray shades.
FAQ About Selecting a Backsplash for Granite
Many homeowners have additional questions when deciding on the perfect granite and backsplash combination. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
What backsplash goes with black granite?
Black granite can pair beautifully with nearly any color backsplash from stark white subway tile to vivid turquoise glass mosaic. Black granite also allows for creative materials like metal, brick or reclaimed wood.
What color backsplash goes with Uba Tuba granite?
Uba Tuba is an exotic black granite imported from Brazil with distinctive white, beige and gold mica crystallization. A backsplash in any shade of white, from bright white subway tile to cream or beige marble mosaic, complements Uba Tuba granite wonderfully.
What backsplash looks best with brown granite?
Warm brown granite countertops look fabulous with natural stone backsplashes like travertine, marble or slate tile. Rustic brown, beige or rustic colored ceramic tile also pairs nicely. For more modern style try a gray and white glass mosaic.
What tile goes with white granite?
White granite has a crisp, clean look. White subway tile or marble mosaic backsplashes seamlessly blend with white granite. For contrast add a pop of color with sky blue or sage glass mosaic tiles. Stainless steel or aluminum metal tiles also accent white granite nicely.
Can you put ceramic tile backsplash with granite?
Absolutely! Ceramic tile makes an excellent backsplash pairing with granite countertops. Glazed ceramic tiles repel splashes and stains and come in endless colors and patterns to match any granite. Use care with heavy tiles as they may require additional support.
Does backsplash tile need to match granite?
It looks best when the backsplash ties into and complements the overall color scheme and pattern of the granite. However, exact color matching is not essential. Coordinate or contrast the granite and backsplash by picking up on subtler accent colors in either material.
What about using limestone or travertine backsplash with granite?
Natural stone like travertine, limestone or marble make classic, elegant backsplashes that pair nicely with granite. Be aware that the stone requires resealing yearly. Avoid very heavily patterned granite with stone backsplash as they may compete.
With the tremendous variety of backsplash tile materials, colors, sizes and patterns available, you are sure to find a beautiful backsplash to coordinate with your existing granite countertops. Pay attention to the specific coloration and patterning of your granite.
Then consider the overall look you want to achieve – sleek modern, rustic, industrial, minimalist or traditional. Also factor in practical needs like durability.
Use the suggestions outlined here to narrow your options and expand your creativity. With a well-chosen backsplash your kitchen will transition from ok to spectacular.