What Backsplash Goes with Wood Countertops

Wood countertops can add beautiful warmth and texture to any kitchen. However, choosing the right backsplash to go with wood countertops can be a challenge. The backsplash plays a supporting role to the countertops and can enhance their beauty. With some thoughtful planning, you can select a backsplash that perfectly complements your wood countertops.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Backsplash for Wood Countertops

When selecting a backsplash for wood countertops, there are a few factors to take into account:


Consider colors that will complement the tone of the wood. Warm wood tones look beautiful paired with backsplashes in cream, beige, brown, taupe and other earth tones. Cooler wood tones can be complemented by grays, greens, and blues.

Neutral colored backsplashes like white or stainless steel can allow the wood counters to take center stage. Just be sure the whites lean warm or cool to match the undertones of the wood.


Look for backsplashes that provide visual interest through material and texture. Wood’s natural grain provides all the texture needed, so pair it with backsplashes that are smooth or have subtle organic textures.

Stone, metal, glass tile or ceramic tile with little veining or pattern usually work well. Avoid heavily mottled or swirled backsplashes as they may look too busy next to wood.


Consider durable, low-maintenance materials that can stand up to moisture and heat from cooking and cleaning. Ease of cleaning is especially important behind a food prep area and lower backsplashes.

Glass, metal, ceramic and porcelain tile are good options. Natural stone can work well, just be aware that some materials like marble may require frequent sealing.

Backsplash Ideas for Wood Countertops

Here are some top backsplash ideas that pair beautifully with wood countertops:

Subway Tile

A classic subway tile backsplash provides a clean, simple look that puts the focus on rich wood counters. Go for white tiles with warm wood tones or darker gray tiles with cooler countertops. Glossy tiles have a sleek, contemporary vibe.

Stone Tile

Natural materials complement each other beautifully. Honed stone tiles in neutral earth tones or beiges make an elegant statement with wood counters. Travertine and limestone are softer natural options that add subtle organic texture.

Metal Tile

Small metal backsplash tiles pack big style impact. Stainless steel, copper, bronze and other metals infuse kitchens with an industrial vibe that complements wood’s warmth. Carefully polish metal tiles since they will show water spots and fingerprints.

Glass Tile

Glass mosaic tiles are available in an endless array of colors, shapes, finishes and degrees of iridescence. Their versatility allows you to select a tone that harmonizes with your wood counters. Their smooth texture won’t compete with the wood grain.

Ceramic Tile

Glazed ceramic tiles offer durability, easy cleaning and resistance to moisture and heat – making them an ideal backsplash choice. A brick pattern in soft neutral tones can provide subtle contrast beside wood counters. Vivid colors or tiles with complex patterns are best avoided.


Beadboard backsplashes add subtle rustic charm beside wood countertops in traditional or farmhouse kitchens. Vertical beadboard planks create clean lines and visual interest. Paint them white or a light tone that enhances the wood counters.

Tips for a Cohesive Look

Here are some tips for creating a cohesive, integrated look with your wood countertops and backsplash:

  • Select a backsplash color/tone in the same color family as the wood counters for visual harmony.
  • Incorporate natural materials and organic shapes/patterns in the backsplash to complement wood’s inherent beauty.
  • Balance colors and textures. If the wood counters have a bold grain, choose a backsplash with little patterning.
  • Direct attention to the counters by keeping the backsplash design simple. Let the wood be the star.
  • Tie everything together with natural finishes like oil-rubbed bronze or antique brass on fixtures and hardware.
  • Extend the backsplash material or color onto nearby walls for a seamless look.
  • Lighting can affect color perception, so check material samples under different lighting conditions.

With smart planning and design, your backsplash can accentuate your beautiful wood countertops. The combinations are endless! Use these fundamental tips as a guide and get creative with colors, textures and styles. Your backsplash can provide the perfect finishing touch to a warm, inviting kitchen focused around natural wood counters.

Frequently Asked Questions

What color backsplash goes best with wood countertops?

Neutral backsplash colors like cream, beige and light brown complement wood countertops beautifully. White and gray are also safe choices that let the wood counters stand out. Select tones that pick up the undertones in the wood.

What kind of backsplash should you not use with wood countertops?

Avoid heavily mottled, swirled or randomly patterned backsplashes with wood counters, as this creates a busy look. Materials like granite, marble or travertine tile may require frequent sealing – not ideal behind a sink or stove.

What is the most popular backsplash for wood countertops?

Subway tiles are a popular classic choice. Beadboard backsplashes also look great with wood counters in traditional kitchens. Honed stone like marble, travertine or limestone are elegant options. Stainless steel and glass tile backsplashes also pair well with wood.

Should you match wood floors and countertops?

It’s not essential to match wood floors and countertops. Contrasting wood tones can look very striking. However, for a harmonious look, choose woods that share similar undertones and grains. Using the same species of wood can create flow.

What sheen should I look for in backsplash tile?

Glossy backsplash tile provides a sleek, reflective look. Honed or matte tile contributes softer texture. Match the tile sheen to the finish on your wood counters – glossy with glossy, matte with matte. If in doubt, choose a tile with little sheen.


The ideal backsplash complements wood countertops without competing. With an endless array of colors, textures, materials and styles, you can find the perfect backsplash to suit your personal style and wood counters. Simple subway tiles in neutral tones or natural stone are classic pairings that accentuate wood’s natural beauty. Metals, glass and ceramic tile provide versatility to create a polished, contemporary look. Focus on backsplashes with subtle organic texture and hues that draw out the tones within your wood. With smart planning and design, you can achieve a warm, welcoming kitchen where your beautiful wood countertops take center stage.