Choosing the perfect backsplash to complement your granite countertops can be a daunting task. With so many backsplash options to pick from—tile, stone, glass, metal, and more—it’s important to understand what works well with granite so your kitchen décor flows seamlessly. This guide will walk you through the backsplash materials that pair best with granite countertops and provide tips to ensure you end up with a cohesive, eye-catching result.
Pairing Natural Stone Backsplashes with Granite
Natural stone is a classic backsplash choice that works beautifully with granite countertops. The key is selecting stones that coordinate well with your granite’s unique colors and patterns.
Marble is an elegant and timeless backsplash option that can blend seamlessly with granite countertops. Carrara and Calacatta marble varieties with soft gray and white veining are especially lovely with granite. The light colors and subtle patterns add depth while allowing the dramatic swirls and flecks of the granite to stand out.
A marble backsplash can create a refined, upscale look in both traditional and contemporary kitchens. Just take care to seal it properly, as marble is prone to etching and stains. A honed or matte marble finish often works better than polished marble for busy kitchen backsplashes.
With its gently pitted surface and warm earth tones ranging from tan to walnut brown, travertine tile brings a relaxed Old World charm to granite countertops. Travertine’s organic texture beautifully complements the movement and crystalline patterns of granite. The rough hewn surface also helps disguise day-to-day wear and tear.
For a cohesive look, match the veining of your travertine tiles with the colors in your granite slabs. Blend the two materials with a textured stone like travertine on the backsplash and sleek granite on the counters.
Slate backsplash tiles infuse a kitchen with subtle drama thanks to their dark colors, layered texture, and natural cleavage lines. The grayish-black hues of slate coordinate stunningly with granites that have prominent quartz veins and white background tones.
To prevent a high-contrast clash, steer clear of pairing jet black slate tiles with very light granite. But slate with blue, green, purple, and rust-colored accents can create an exciting interplay of textures and tones with the right granite.
Honing slate tiles gives them a soft matte finish that plays up the natural cleft texture while muting the dark color, making the look more kitchen-friendly. Slate works well as full backsplash coverage or in a mosaic tile pattern.
Understated and organic, limestone backsplash tiles in soft natural shades of cream, beige, and pale gray bring a clean elegance to the drama of granite countertops. Subtle swirling fossil patterns add visual interest without competing with busy granite stone.
Limestone’s muted color palette allows vivid granite veining to take center stage. Matte or lightly textured limestone backsplash tiles prevent a flat, monotonous look. Distressed finishes apply an antique character that enhances limestone’s natural aesthetic.
Tile Backsplashes That Work with Granite
Backsplash tiles offer so many colors, shapes, textures, and materials that it is easy to find options that integrate beautifully with granite. From ceramic to glass to metal and more, the tile choices are virtually endless.
Ceramic Tile Backsplash
Glazed ceramic tiles in endless colors and designs are a versatile and affordable backsplash option for pairing with granite countertops. Matching the color of ceramic tiles to the background tones or dramatic accents in your granite slabs ensures a cohesive finished look.
Warm earth tones, like terracotta and brown, create a soothing rustic charm alongside granites with cream, gray, and taupe hues. Vibrant ceramics in teal, navy, or deep red bring exciting contrast and visual drama. Mixing multiple colored tiles in a mosaic pattern is a great way to pick up on the blend of mineral deposits in granite.
Ceramic tiles with an organic shape, handmade appearance, or crackled texture can complement the unique patterning of natural granite. Matte tiles minimize reflections from kitchen lighting compared to high-gloss tiles.
Glass Tile Backsplash
Glass backsplash tiles are available in a rainbow of colors, finishes, and textures that can be combined to create dazzling designs. Using glass mosaic tiles in soft neutral tones or matching the colors to those found in your granite counters results in a classy, elegant look.
The translucent quality and smooth surface of glass tiles also subtly reflect light to create a gleaming, luminous accent wall that enhances dark granite colors. Tiny glass mosaic tiles, installed in interlocking sheets, are especially stunning and bring life to solid granite backsplashes. Just take care that dramatic glass backsplashes don’t overwhelm the starring role of gorgeous granite.
Metal Tile Backsplash
Metal backsplash tiles lend an ultra-modern, industrial chic vibe that powerfully contrasts with natural granite counters. Stainless steel, copper, brass, and aluminum metal tiles with metallic shine or weathered patinas can pick up on the mineral tones within granite slabs.
Using metal tile sparingly as an accent, rather than full backsplash coverage, prevents it from competing too much with ornate granite patterning. Metal backsplash trim that incorporates shelves, pencil ledges, or electrical outlets adds useful functionality.
Porcelain Tile Backsplash
Porcelain tiles offer extensive design versatility, durability, and water resistance, making them a practical backsplash choice to pair with granite countertops. Matching the color scheme of your porcelain tiles to that of your granite is key for continuity.
Natural stone-look porcelain tiles convincingly mimic materials like travertine, marble, and slate while being more budget-friendly. Their matte finish and subtle organic patterns complement granite’s luxurious veining. Vividly colored or hand-painted porcelain tiles in bold patterns jazz up a granite backsplash.
Stone and Glass Combo Backsplash
Combining stone and glass tiles can create customized backsplashes with beautiful texture and color dimension. For example, pair Carrara marble subway tiles with glass tile accents in tones pulled from the granite counters. Or, try slate tiles on the bottom half of the backsplash and brilliant glass mosaics on the top.
Stone and glass blends infuse backsplashes with the natural beauty of granite, the dazzle of glass, and an elegant, upscale feel. This type of backsplash design allows you to break up stark stretches of granite with eye-catching materials.
What Works Best with Light vs. Dark Granite?
The shade of your granite counters should guide your backsplash pairing strategy. Light and dark granites demand different backsplash treatments to achieve design harmony.
Best Backsplash for Light Granite
Light colored granites like Giallo Ornamental, Crema Bordeaux, and Luna Pearl feature tan, gold, cream, or white backgrounds with dark graining and mineral deposits. Their airy look calls for backsplash colors and textures that provide contrast without overwhelming the granite.
- Dark natural stones like slate or basalt provide grounded contrast
- Warm-toned tiles in terra cotta, mustard, or burnt orange
- Cool-toned tiles in deep teal, navy, or cobalt blue
- White subway tiles with dark grout lines
- Stainless steel or silver metals that reflect light
Avoid pairing super light granites like Luna Pearl with pure white backsplashes, as this can look washed out. Instead, bring in shades like soft gray, warm beige, or buttery yellow to enhance the granite.
Best Backsplash for Dark Granite
Dark granites such as Absolute Black, Ubatuba, or Black Forest feature deep blacks, greens, browns, and blues. Their bold color needs a backsplash that pops without clashing.
- Light marble or limestone for contrast
- Bright white, cream, or pastel ceramic tiles
- Clear or frosted glass tiles to reflect light
- Mirror tiles that bounce light around
- Metallics like polished copper or brass
- Vibrant mosaic tiles in orange, turquoise, violet
Stay away from pairing inky black granite with a pure black backsplash, as this can be too dark and dreary. Instead, brighten things up with shades of white, metallic, or glass tiles.
Granite Backsplash Design Tips
Beyond just picking complementary materials and colors, proper backsplash design is key to seamlessly integrating it with granite countertops. Follow these tips:
- Choose a linear look: Subway tiles, stacked stone, or mosaic strips keep the eyes moving horizontally, which balances busy granite patterns.
- Start the backsplash at the same level as the counters: Aligning the bottom edges creates a streamlined, tailored look.
- Select tiles with grout lines that match the granite: Contrasting grout colors can look disjointed.
- Introduce pops of color thoughtfully: Limit vivid glass, ceramic, or metal tiles to the niche, border, or other accent areas so they don’t overwhelm.
- Consider embellishments: Chair rail trim, decorative inserts, or mosaic medallions can incorporate other materials for interest while maintaining a unified look.
- Carry the backsplash up to the bottom of wall cabinets: A full height backsplash can compete too much with ornate granite.
- Incorporate lighting: Illuminate a glass, metal, or stone mosaic backsplash with undercabinet lighting or sconces to highlight the design.
Most Popular Granite & Backsplash Combinations
Certain granite and backsplash pairings have stood the test of time and remain sought-after combinations. Some ideas to consider:
Black Granite + White Marble
Inky Absolute Black granite counters grounded by bright white Carrara marble subway tiles is a timeless but dramatic combo. The bold dark and light color contrast infuses any kitchen with luxury.
Uba Tuba Granite + Green Glass
The swirls of green and black in Uba Tuba granite find a vivid match with emerald or sage green glass mosaic backsplash tiles. This unexpected color pairing results in a modern, eye-catching stone and glass design.
Santa Cecilia Granite + Travertine
The beige and brown tones of Santa Cecilia granite complement perfectly with large-format ivory travertine backsplash tiles. The pairing has a refined yet welcoming Old World Mediterranean style.
Giallo Ornamental Granite + Ceramic Tile
Vivid yellow, gold, and brown ceramic tiles pick up on the colors that swirl throughout Giallo Ornamental granite slabs for a cheerful, coordinated look. Subway tiles or an intricate mosaic design work nicely.
New Caledonia Granite + Metal Tile
The steely gray background and silver mineral deposits of New Caledonia granite work seamlessly with coordinating brushed metal or stainless steel backsplash tile accents. This imparts an urban modern edge.
Baltic Brown Granite + Glass Tile
Deep brown and black Baltic Brown granite counters play beautifully off a backsplash mosaic made up of translucent caramel, espresso, and bronze glass tiles. The pairing feels rich and luminous.
Avoiding Clashes with Granite Backsplash
While there are endless possibilities for backsplashes that coordinate seamlessly with granite countertops, some combinations should be approached with caution to avoid a disjointed look:
- Do not pair black granite with black backsplash tiles. This can look dreary and monotonous. Instead, incorporate light or metallic materials.
- Very vividly colored ceramic tiles tend to fight with granite’s natural variation. Opt for softer hues or muted designs.
- Avoid a completely chaotic mix of multiple loud ceramic tiles that compete with ornate granite. Better to pick one standout accent tile against a neutral background.
- High gloss tiles paired with very reflective granites can cause too much visual confusion. Matte finishes integrate better.
- Super intricate mosaic tiles overwhelm simple granites. Conversely, a heavily complex granite will clash with ornate mosaic backsplash designs.
FAQ About Pairing Granite & Backsplash
Still have some unanswered questions about choosing the perfect granite and backsplash combination? Here are some commonly asked questions on the topic:
What backsplash colors make granite countertops pop?
Backsplash colors in the beige, gray, cream, and white color families make light granite varieties like Luna Pearl and Crema Bordeaux pop by matching their background while allowing the dramatic veining to stand out. Deep hues like black, navy, emerald, and chocolate brown make the movement and colors within darker granites like Absolute Black and Ubatuba really shine.
Does backsplash have to match granite?
It’s best when backsplashes coordinate and complement granite but matching exactly is not necessary. Having some contrast adds visual interest but limiting harsh clashes prevents disjointed décor. Echo colors found in the granite without matching its exact pattern.
Can you put dark backsplash with light granite?
Darker toned backsplash materials like metal, slate, or chocolate brown ceramic can pair beautifully with light granites depending on the granite’s specific coloring. The darker backsplash helps ground and anchor the light granite while adding alluring contrast. Just steer clear of pure black backsplashes with lighter granites.
What is the most popular backsplash for white granite?
White granite varieties often look best with cream, gray, beige, and walnut-colored backsplash options. Soft white or pale gray subway tiles are safe choices. Travertine and tumbled marble tiles also pair nicely for a more high-end feel. Adds some warmer tones with almond, tan, or light terra cotta ceramic tiles.
Can you put marble backsplash with granite?
Marble backsplashes integrate effortlessly with granite countertops, as both are natural stones with intricate patterning. Classic white Carrara marble subway tiles or hexagon marble mosaics pair beautifully with most granite colors. Just match the visual weight so very heavy marbling doesn’t compete with the granite.
What backsplash looks good with black granite?
Light and bright backsplash options prevent your kitchen from feeling too dark and dreary when paired with black granite. White marble, glass, metallic and pastel ceramic subway tiles all complement inky black granite nicely. Just avoid a black on black scheme.
With so many backsplash materials and colors to choose from, it can be tricky deciding what pairs best with your existing or planned granite countertops. Keeping backsplash colors and textures complementary to the granite design ensures your kitchen décor flows in a cohesive, integrated way.
Natural stone backsplashes like marble, travertine, and slate effortlessly match granite’s organic patterning. Meanwhile, ceramic, glass, metal, and porcelain tiles open up endless color combinations that can enhance your granite countertops’ natural beauty. Just follow the design principles outlined here to avoid potential granite and backsplash mismatches.
With a thoughtful backsplash design that draws out the colors and texture of your granite counters, you’ll end up with a stunning, luxe kitchen backdrop to enjoy for decades to come. So take some time to find the perfect granite and backsplash pairing to bring your unique kitchen vision to life!