Choosing a backsplash to complement dark kitchen cabinets can be a fun yet challenging process. The right backsplash can beautifully accentuate the rich tones of dark cabinets, adding flair and interest to your kitchen design. When selected thoughtfully, your dark cabinet backsplash will pull your whole kitchen together into a chic, cohesive space.
Factors to Consider For Your Dark Cabinet Backsplash
When selecting a backsplash for dark cabinets, consider the following factors:
The backsplash color you choose can make a major impact on the look and feel of your dark cabinetry. Here are some top color options to consider:
- White: A crisp, bright white backsplash is a popular choice with dark cabinets. The contrast pops beautifully. White subway tile, marble, and polished stone are all fantastic white backsplash materials to pair with dark cabinets.
- Off-White: For a slightly softer contrast, go for an off-white, beige, or light grey backsplash. These warmer neutrals add a subtle, elegant contrast.
- Bold Colors: If you want your backsplash to make a statement, go for a punchy color that contrasts or complements your dark cabinets. Deep blues, greens, and burgundies can look striking.
- Metallic: Metallic backsplashes like copper and brass adda glamorous, eye-catching sheen that pairs well with dark cabinetry.
The material you select for your dark cabinet backsplash also affects the overall look and durability. Some top options include:
- Tile (ceramic, porcelain, glass, stone)
- Natural stone (marble, granite, slate)
- Metal and stainless steel
Tile is a very popular choice for backsplashes. But don’t be afraid to get creative with unconventional materials like wood or concrete to complement your dark cabinets.
The pattern or texture of your backsplash also deserves consideration. Here are some ideas:
- Subway tile – Classic, clean lines
- Heringbone or chevron patterns – Angled tile with visual interest
- Mosaic tile – Small tiles that form an intricate pattern
- Stone slabs – Natural veins and texture
- Metal tiles – Industrial minimalism
Backsplash materials can range widely in cost. As a very general rule:
- Tile is budget-friendly
- Natural stone is mid-range
- Metal and glass tile are premium-priced
It’s a good idea to set a backsplash budget before selecting materials. An experienced kitchen designer can work within your budget to find the best backsplash option for your dark cabinets.
Recommended Backsplashes for Dark Kitchen Cabinets
Now let’s look at some of the best, most popular backsplash choices for dark brown, black, or espresso colored kitchen cabinets:
White Subway Tile
A white subway tile backsplash is a timeless, classic choice that brightens up dark cabinetry. The crisp, straight lines pair elegantly with dark cabinet bases and wall cabinets.
White subway tiles come in glossy and matte finishes, so you can control the level of contrast. A bright gloss finish offers maximum pop, while matte is more subtle.
This affordable and versatile tile works with contemporary, transitional, or even farmhouse kitchens. Dress it up by adding a subway tile accent strip or band in a contrasting color.
Marble backsplashes bring an undeniably elegant, luxurious look to dark kitchen cabinets. The white, grey, and black veins of the natural stone complement the hues of espresso or charcoal cabinetry beautifully.
With unique natural patterning in each piece, no two marble backsplash designs are exactly the same. This creates visual depth and interest behind dark cabinets.
For a truly dramatic accent wall effect, select large-format marble tiles and install them in a staggered brickwork pattern.
The eye-catching zig-zag pattern of chevron tiles makes the perfect lively backdrop for moody dark cabinets. This playful geometric pattern contrasts beautifully with the strong horizontal lines of cabinetry.
For dark cabinets, we recommend a classic black and white chevron backsplash or inverted chevron pattern with white tile and dark grout lines. The dramatic angled effect frames dark cabinets wonderfully.
Wood Plank Backsplash
Want to warm up the ambiance of your dark kitchen cabinets? Consider a natural wood plank backsplash. The rich grain and texture bring in natural beauty to balance out dark finishes.
Stained, white-washed, or natural finish wood backsplashes complement dark colors like chocolate or espresso. The linear plank look also mimics cabinet doors nicely.
For a more modern or industrial look, opt for wide reclaimed barnwood planks. You can also add intrigue by installing the planks vertically or on the diagonal.
If your dark cabinets have a contemporary, sleek style you want to enhance, a stainless steel backsplash is a perfect match. The polished metal look provides the ideal reflective surface that plays beautifully off dark cabinet finishes.
Stainless steel backsplashes come in large tiles or long sheets to create a seamless, minimalist look with dark cabinets. You can also add drama with metallic mosaic tiles.
Glistening glass tile backsplashes refract light beautifully behind dark cabinetry. The translucent, jewel-toned tiles add a glamorous accent wall effect.
Try emerald green, sapphire blue, or deep amethyst purple glass tile to complement brown or black cabinets. Or go for an organic look with earthy glass tiles that mimic natural stone.
With an array of colors and finishes like matte, satin, or gloss, glass tile backsplashes pair perfectly with dark cabinets of any style.
Design Tips for Backsplashes with Dark Cabinets
Follow these tips to design a stellar backsplash for your dark kitchen cabinets:
- Match backsplash colors to dark cabinet hardware finishes for a coordinated look. Aged brass hardware would pair well with light cream or copper tile.
- Consider extending the backsplash up the wall past the standard 4-6 inches. This creates a more dramatic accent wall effect against dark cabinetry.
- Use the 60-30-10 rule – 60% dominant backsplash color, 30% secondary color or pattern, 10% accent tile strips or designs. This creates visual balance.
- Don’t overwhelm with overly busy patterns. Pair simple subway tiles with a mosaic accent strip or limit chevron patterns to a contained backsplash area against dark cabinetry.
- Install lighting under upper cabinets or above the backsplash to create a glowing accent wall effect and highlight the colors and textures.
Dark Cabinet Backsplash Ideas
Here are some inspiring backsplash design ideas for kitchens with beautiful dark brown, black, or espresso colored cabinetry:
Rustic Wood Plank Backsplash
The rich wood grain of this reclaimed barnwood plank backsplash adds natural warmth and balances the sharp, linear look of the dark cabinets wonderfully. The varying wood tones blend seamlessly with the dark finishes.
Geometric Moroccan Tile Backsplash
This mesmerizing geometric tile pattern in creamy off-white and earthy brown hues pairs perfectly with chocolate-colored cabinets. The organic shapes and lines complement the clean cabinetry.
Ombre Glass Subway Tile Backsplash
Fading from rich navy to pale blue, these ombre glass subway tiles create a striking accent wall that plays off the dark cabinets beautifully. The mix of glossy and matte tiles adds extra dimension and shine.
Marble & Metal Backsplash
Large marble stone slab tiles laid in a brick pattern serve as a bold, luxurious backdrop for the dark cabinetry. The addition of matte black metal tiles in the center provides gorgeous contrast and a modern touch.
Statement Color Backsplash
This glossy emerald green glass tile backsplash makes the espresso cabinets really pop. The jewel tone is bold yet elegant, and ties in nicely with the antique bronze hardware and fixtures.
FAQs About Backsplashes for Dark Kitchen Cabinets
What color backsplash goes best with dark brown cabinets?
Some of the most popular backsplash colors for dark brown cabinets include white, cream, beige, grey, black, and earth tones like mocha brown and olive green.
What backsplash looks best with black kitchen cabinets?
For black kitchen cabinets, we love crisp white subway tiles, beveled Arabesque tiles, geometric patterns, stainless steel, and bold colors like deep blue or emerald green.
What backsplash is best for an Espresso kitchen?
Espresso colored cabinets look amazing with backsplashes in light neutrals like white, bone, or grey, as well as natural wood grains and textures. Mosaic tiles in earthy hues also complement Espresso beautifully.
What kind of backsplash goes with dark cherry cabinets?
To complement dark cherry finishes, consider a backsplash in warm neutrals like cream, tan, or white with undertones matching the reddish-brown cherry tones. Subway tiles with rust colored accents or natural stone in lighter veining also pairs nicely.
What backsplash color makes dark cabinets pop?
White, off-white, light grey and other light neutral backsplash colors make dark brown and black cabinets really stand out and pop. Glossy glass or polished stone tiles in these hues reflect light and accentuate the rich darkness of the cabinetry.
The perfect backsplash brings out the best in your dark kitchen cabinets, whether black, espresso, or dark brown. Crisp white, natural wood grain, glossy glass mosaic, and marble stone are all stellar dark cabinet backsplash ideas. Just keep in mind the overall style you want to achieve. Then select backsplash materials, colors, and patterns that complement or contrast the rich, moody hues of your cabinetry. With proper planning and design, your backsplash will not only match beautifully, but become the focal point that ties your whole kitchen together in style.