What Backsplash is in Style


A kitchen backsplash serves both aesthetic and functional purposes in your kitchen design. Located on the wall behind the countertops and below the upper cabinets, the backsplash protects the walls from splashes, spills, and splatters while cooking. It also brings visual interest to the kitchen, allowing you to add color, texture, and personality. With so many backsplash tile options available today, choosing the right style can be overwhelming. In this article, we’ll walk you through the most popular kitchen backsplash tile trends, considerations for selecting a backsplash, and tips for integrating it seamlessly into your kitchen design.

Popular Kitchen Backsplash Tile Trends

Kitchen backsplash trends come and go, but some looks have staying power. Here are some of the most popular backsplash tile styles right now:

Subway Tile

Subway tiles are rectangular glossy tiles laid in a brickwork pattern. This classic look has been popular for decades and offers a clean, streamlined aesthetic. White subway tiles are a versatile neutral option, while colored variations add pops of brightness to a kitchen. Subway tile backsplashes are timeless and work with almost any kitchen style from modern to farmhouse.

Stone Tile

Backsplashes made of natural stone like marble, travertine, and slate bring beautiful veining, textures, and earthy hues to the kitchen. Stone tiles work well for Old World or Craftsman style kitchens. Honed finishes provide a soft, matte look while tumbled stone has an antiqued, hand-worn appearance. Porous stones like limestone will need to be sealed to prevent staining and discoloration.

Glass Tile

Shiny and iridescent glass tiles make for an eye-catching backsplash. Often used in mosaics, glass tile comes in every color and finish imaginable – solid, translucent, frosted, crackled, and more. Glass tile offers tons of design versatility. Use it to create a focal point or all-over sparkle. Just take care to use products safe for shower walls since kitchen backsplashes deal with moisture.

Metal Tile

Metallic backsplashes are having a moment, bringing glamour and shine to kitchens. Metal tiles come in stainless steel, copper, brass, and nickel and instantly dress up a kitchen with elegance. Choose a single metallic hue or combine metals for more depth. Warm metal tones like brass and copper pair well with traditional kitchens while stainless steel has an industrial vibe.

Patterned Tile

Make a statement by using patterned tile like Moroccan fish scale tiles, hand-painted Spanish tiles, or intricately designed mosaics. From vibrant florals to bold geometrics, patterned tiles bring energy and flair. Balance the busyness by limiting patterns to a contained backsplash area or intermittent stripes between solid tiles.

Large-Format Tile

Large tiles are an increasingly popular backsplash option, using 12” x 24” or even 16” x 32” porcelain tiles. Extra-large tiles create a sleek, contemporary look and make spaces appear bigger. Options like marble- or wood-look porcelain reproduce the beauty of natural materials in an easy-care tile. Limit grout lines by using tiles with rectified edges.


For a charming cottage style, brick backsplashes infuse vintage character into a kitchen. Salvaged brick has an authentically aged look, while faux brick tile provides the aesthetic without the weight. Stack bricks in a running bond pattern or play with horizontal and vertical orientations. Brick backsplashes work especially well in farmhouse, industrial, or rustic spaces.

Peel-and-Stick Tile

Removable, peel-and-stick backsplash tiles make upgrading your backsplash simple. Many companies now offer peel-and-stick versions of ceramic, metal, glass, and other backsplash tiles. Just peel off the adhesive backing, press into place, and grout. Later if you want to remove them, they peel off without damaging walls. Easy installation makes peel-and-stick tiles a budget-friendly backsplash solution.

How to Select the Right Backsplash for Your Kitchen

With endless backsplash possibilities available, narrowing down your options can be challenging. Keep the following in mind when selecting a backsplash:

Complement the Style

Choose a backsplash that enhances the overall kitchen style you’re aiming for. Rustic wood-look tile reinforces farmhouse charm, while sleek glass mosaics have a contemporary vibe. Let your backsplash build on the room’s aesthetic for a cohesive look.

Consider Practicalities

Factor in functionality when selecting backsplash materials. Softer stones like limestone absorb stains easily and require sealing, while glazed ceramic and glass tiles withstand splatters and are easy to clean. If selecting natural stone, go with a honed finish rather than polished, as polish creates a slippery surface.

Tie Into Colors

Pull at least one backsplash color from existing elements like cabinets, countertops, or flooring. Contrasting colors can make the backsplash pop while sharing colors creates unity. Use a backsplash to transition between disparate colors in other finishes.

Complement Lighting

The way lighting hits the backsplash affects its appearance. Glossy backsplashes reflect light well, while matte finishes diffuse light. Under cabinet lighting directly highlights the backsplash. Make sure your lighting choices showcase the tilework.

Consider Scale

Proportion is key for a successful backsplash. Oversize tiles can overwhelm in a small kitchen, while mosaic tiles energize large expanses. Extending tile to the ceiling makes a taller room feel more grounded. Adjust scale to fit the size and proportions of your kitchen.

Add Functionality

Besides protecting walls, backsplashes serve other functions. Create a workspace by using tiles behind sinks or stoves. Define areas or direct sightlines with a textural or color change. Use special trim pieces to integrate outlets, switches, soap dispensers and more.

Design Tips for Stylish, Functional Backsplashes

By thoughtfully integrating your backsplash into the overall kitchen design, you can maximize both visual appeal and functionality:

Use Angled Shapes Strategically

Tiles with angled shapes, like diamonds or chevrons, cleverly guide sightlines, emphasize dimensions, and add movement. Place directional tiles horizontally to accentuate width or vertically to draw the eye up.

Vary Patterns

Break up potential monotony by varying tile patterns between backsplash areas. Try stacked bond by the range and offset brickwork behind the sink for more flair. Mix and match complementary patterns.

Contrast Grout Colors

White grout with white tile can get washed out. Choose a contrasting grout color that complements the tile hue to add definition. Dark grout also minimizes the appearance of dirt.

Extend Backsplash to Ceiling

Running tile all the way to the ceiling makes a powerful design statement. This eye-catching look maximizes the impact of the backsplash. Keep the upper tiles simple so the area doesn’t feel too busy.

Use Specialty Trim Pieces

Functional and beautiful, specialty trim like mosaics, bullnose edges, pencil liners, and corner pieces polish off the backsplash installation. This trim properly finishes edges and transitions.

Highlight Specific Areas

Define work zones by using more distinctive backsplash tile behind appliances. This strategy visually segments the kitchen into functional areas with the backsplash.

Install Undercabinet Lighting

Properly illuminating the backsplash showcases the tilework and makes prepping and cooking safer. LED strip lighting is affordable, energy-efficient, and installs easily under most cabinets.


What is the most popular kitchen backsplash?

White subway tile remains the most popular backsplash style because it is so versatile. The classic brickwork pattern works with any kitchen aesthetic from farmhouse to contemporary.

What backsplash goes with quartz countertops?

Quartz countertops come in an endless array of colors and patterns, so choose a backsplash that coordinates. Subway tiles, glass mosaics, polished stone, and metal tiles all beautifully complement quartz countertops.

How high should a backsplash be?

The standard backsplash height is 4 inches. However, extending the backsplash higher covers more wall area and makes more of a splash! Full-height backsplashes that reach the ceiling maximize visual impact.

What’s the difference between ceramic and porcelain tile?

Porcelain tile is denser, harder, and less porous than ceramic tile. Porcelain’s extra durability makes it suitable for backsplashes as it resists scratches, stains, and moisture. Ceramic tiles work for backsplashes but require more maintenance.

Can you put tile over existing backsplash?

It is possible to install new tiles over an existing backsplash, but it often requires extra preparation and may not save much work. It’s usually best to remove the old backsplash completely to create the ideal surface for new tile installation.

What backsplash goes with white cabinets?

White cabinets provide a neutral backdrop that pairs beautifully with nearly any color backsplash. Choices like blue, green, black, or patterned add welcome pops of color. Or keep it simple with a white subway tile backsplash.


The backsplash is an integral part of any kitchen design, impacting both aesthetics and functionality. All of the top backsplash tile trends – from natural stone and mosaics to large-format porcelain and brick – introduce color, texture, and personality. Keep the overall kitchen style and practical needs in mind when selecting materials. Use design techniques like mixed patterns, ceiling-height installations, creative grout and trim, and strategic placement to make the backsplash shine. With an array of stylish, durable options now available, you’re sure to find the perfect backsplash tile to suit your kitchen.