What Color Backsplash for White Cabinets

Selecting the ideal backsplash for white kitchen cabinets can really enhance the beauty of your cooking space. With so many backsplash color and material options to choose from, it can be challenging to decide what will look best with your white cabinets. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the most popular and stylish backsplash ideas for white kitchen cabinets. We’ll cover all the options, from timeless subway tile to eye-catching glass mosaics, to help you find your perfect backsplash match. Let’s explore some fantastic ways to complement your white kitchen cabinets with a gorgeous, functional backsplash.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a White Cabinets Backsplash

There are a few important considerations when selecting a backsplash color and material for your white kitchen cabinets. Keep these factors in mind as you evaluate your backsplash design options:

Complementary Colors

Choose backsplash hues that complement the tones in your cabinets for a cohesive look. Warm whites and beiges pair beautifully with white cabinets, as do shades of gray, blue, green, and light wood finishes. Vivid colors can add dramatic contrast.

Texture and Patters

Consider adding visual interest with varied textures like handmade subway tile, travertine stone, or pebble mosaic sheets. Patterns like herringbone and chevron add geometric flair.

Easy Maintenance

Look for durable, water-resistant, and easily washable backsplash materials that will stay looking fresh in the busyness of a kitchen. Glass, metal, and ceramic tile are great options.


Backsplash material costs range widely, from affordable vinyl to high-end stone and custom mosaic tiles. Set a realistic budget before you fall in love with a pricey material!

Top 10 Backsplash Ideas for White Cabinets

Now let’s dive into the 10 most popular and stylish kitchen backsplash ideas for white cabinets.

1. White Subway Tile

The quintessential, versatile white 3” x 6” subway tile backsplash is a timeless and affordable option. Use it alone or pair with variations in grout color. White subway tiles create a clean, bright look alongside white cabinets.

2. Carrara Marble Tile

Carrara marble’s soft white and gray veining adds subtle elegance. Large format Carrara marble tiles (12” x 24”) on the backsplash make a statement. This material is more delicate and requires sealing, but gives an upscale look.

3. Gray Square Tile

A gray backsplash tile looks refined with white cabinets. Gray is versatile enough to work with warm or cool cabinet tones. Matte finish tiles downplay the backsplash next to white gloss cabinets. Checkerboard and stacked layouts add interest.

4. Blue & White Moroccan Fish Scale Tile

For traditional charm with a pop of color, blue and white Moroccan fish scale tile hits the mark. The small, interlocking tiles form mesmerizing mosaic patterns. A blue and white backsplash injects personality behind white cabinets.

5. Glass Mosaic Tile

Tiny glass mosaic tiles in ocean shades, pale greens, and other colors make a glittery, artistic statement. Glass mosaic sheets offer ease of installation. These reflective tiles pair beautifully with white cabinets for a kitchen with captivating depth.

6. Beadboard

Budget-friendly vinyl or painted beadboard backsplashes give a cottage kitchen feel. Crisp white beadboard also keeps the look light and clean. Horizontal beadboard planks emphasize visual width on the backsplash.

7. Stacked White Subway with Penny Rounds

For double the impact, combine standard white subway tiles with eye-catching penny round accent tiles. Copper, black, or colored glass penny tiles draw the eye while white subways maintain the clean look.

8. Travertine Tile

With natural texture and earthy, beige-brown hues, travertine tile backsplashes complement white cabinets nicely. Travertine comes in many patterns and finishing options. Filling the small pits serves up a smoother surface.

9. Wood Planks

Wide vertical wood planks, like white oak or maple, offer a warm, natural contrast to white cabinets. The linear look is also distinctly modern. Use real wood or porcelain planks for this luxe but rustic backsplash design.

10. Hexagon Tile

For a unique geometric backsplash tile option, consider white or near-white glossy hexagon tiles. Their honeycomb-like pattern packs visual punch. Pair different size hexagon tiles together or accent with marble pencil liners.

Factors That Make the Best Backsplash for White Cabinets

Now that we’ve covered the most popular backsplash tile ideas, let’s look at the characteristics that make a backsplash design truly shine with white kitchen cabinets:

  • Color – Beiges, warm whites, grays and subtle blues complement white cabinets best. Avoid high contrast.
  • Finish – Glossy or polished backsplash finishes reflect light and enhance the airy quality of white cabinets.
  • Size & Shape – Mixing tile sizes and shapes (subway, mosaic, penny tile) creates an aesthetically pleasing backsplash.
  • Material – Easy-clean ceramic, marble, metal and glass are ideal backsplash materials for busy kitchens.
  • Layout – Grid, brick, herringbone and other geometric backsplash layouts make for eyecatching designs.
  • Accents – Metallic penny tiles, pretty marble inserts, and decorative moldings accent the backsplash.

By thoughtfully incorporating these elements that support white cabinets beautifully, your dream backsplash design is within reach!

Considerations for Choosing a Backsplash Color

Choosing a backsplash color may be the most important decision you make, as it sets the tone for the whole kitchen. Here are useful tips for selecting a backsplash color for white cabinets:

Matching the Undertone of White Cabinets

White kitchen cabinets may look the same at first glance but actually have warm (beige), cool (blue), or neutral undertones. Identify your cabinets’ undertone and choose a backsplash in a matching tone. Warm white cabinets pair best with beiges, browns, and cream tiles while cool whites match gray, blue and bright white backsplashes.

Contrasting Tones

Some homeowners opt to contrast their cabinets’ undertone purposefully, like pairing cool white cabinets with a warm beige backsplash. Done right, this can create a striking color combination, but beware of clashing.

All-White Scheme

You really can’t go wrong pairing crisp white cabinets with an all-white backsplash. White subway tile, marble, and glass backsplashes give this monochromatic look clean elegance. Include white grout for seamlessness.

Natural Hues

Organic tan, brown, and beige backsplash materials like travertine and wood planks complement white cabinets nicely. These natural, muted tones keep the palette soothing.

Bold and Vivid Colors

Make your backsplash the focal point by using rich turquoise, emerald green, crimson, or cobalt blue tiles against bright white cabinets. Limit vivid colors to a small backsplash space only to avoid overwhelming the kitchen.

Dark Moody Hues

For a more daring, dramatic effect, try bold dark gray, black, or navy backsplash tiles behind white cabinets. These moody hues create striking, high-contrast designs. Use sparingly.

Keep these backsplash color selection tips in mind as you shop for the perfect complementary or contrasting hue!

6 Tips for Selecting Backsplash Tile Material with White Cabinets

Tile material choice impacts the look, durability, and ease of maintenance of your kitchen backsplash. Follow these tips when selecting the ideal backsplash tile material to match white cabinets:

1. Consider Porcelain, Ceramic, or Stone

For an elegant, long-lasting backsplash, porcelain, ceramic, or natural stone tiles are top choices. Materials like porcelain and ceramic are very durable, water-resistant, easy to clean, and come in diverse colors and finishes. Natural stones like marble, travertine, and granite make luxe backsplash statements.

2. Choose Durable Materials

Since the backsplash endures heavy use and moisture, opt for materials that are extremely durable and easily cleaned, like metal or glass tile. Avoid more delicate tiles prone to staining.

3. Don’t Overlook Glass Tile

Glass mosaic and penny tiles make an artistic, contemporary backsplash statement. The reflective quality of glass tile beautifully accents the light from white cabinets. Glass tiles are also seamless and simple to wipe clean.

4. Consider Metal Tile

For an ultra-modern, sleek look, metal backsplashes like stainless steel, copper, and aluminum pair sharply with white cabinets. Metal adds beautiful brilliance and durability.

5. Wood Adds Warmth

Real or faux wood plank backsplashes inject a warm, natural vibe against crisp white cabinetry. Opt for moisture-resistant wood species like teak if using real wood.

6. Pick Matte Finishes

Tiles with matte, natural stone, or concrete-look finishes contrast beautifully with the sheen of lacquered white cabinets. Polished backsplashes can compete too much with light-reflecting cabinetry.

Using these tips when comparing backsplash products will help narrow your options and pinpoint the perfect tile material match for your white kitchen cabinets.

4 Ideal Placement Styles for a Kitchen Backsplash with White Cabinets

Where exactly you install the backsplash makes a difference in its aesthetic impact. Check out these recommended backsplash placements with white kitchen cabinets:

Full Wall Backsplash

One popular backsplash choice is to cover the entire wall behind the countertop and cabinets. This creates a dramatic backdrop, especially if using an eye-catching tile pattern, texture, or color. Be sure to select durable, easy-cleaning tile for this expansive backsplash area.

Backsplash Stopping at Bottom of Cabinets

Another option is to install the backsplash from countertop level only up to the underside of the wall cabinets. This tailored look keeps the backsplash clean and streamlined. The lower tile area is still generously sized to protect the wall from cooking splatters and splashes.

Backsplash Framing Range Hood

Center your backsplash design on the focal point – the kitchen range. Position the backsplash tiles to frame the oven hood in a “picture frame” effect. This tailored tile positioning adds emphasis and highlights the range hood’s features.

Mini Backsplash

For a more subtle accent, opt for a mini backsplash that extends just 4-6 inches above the countertop. The small backsplash stripe still protects the wall and ties in your color scheme. Float mini backsplashes work beautifully behind a kitchen sink.

Weighing these popular backsplash placement options will help you determine the look you want to achieve with your new white kitchen cabinets.

5 Configurations for Backsplashes with White Cabinets

In addition to placement, the configuration of your backsplash tiles impacts the overall visual effect. Here are 5 eye-catching backsplash design arrangements to consider:

Stacked Subway Tile Layout

The traditional approach is stacking 3”x6” subway tiles in an offset brickwork pattern. This classic linear look provides clean lines behind white cabinets. Use white grout to continue the seamless appearance.

Horizontal Planks

Wood or ceramic planks run horizontally make the backsplash feel wider and anchor the cabinets. Floating shelves bracketing the backsplash reinforce the horizontal lines.

Geometric Patterns

Use geometric shapes like hexagons or contrasting squares for visual punch. Try hopscotch or picture frame patterns. Metallic penny tile accents make the geometry shine.

Combination Layouts

Combine tile sizes and shapes for a custom look, like pairing subway tiles with mosaic sheets or larger rectangles. Use different grout colors as design accents.

Contrasting Verticals and Horizontals

Run decorative tile strips perpendicular to the main field tiles to add eye-catching contrast. Thin brick or subway tiles horizontally contrast the vertical main tile direction.

The numerous layout options available for backsplashes give you flexibility to personalize your kitchen design. Experiment to find your favorites.

Top 5 Tips for a Seamless Look with White Cabinets Backsplash

A few easy design strategies help create a streamlined, integrated aesthetic between the backsplash and white cabinets:

1. Opt for Simplicity

Stick with simple, clean-lined backsplash tile shapes like squares, rectangles, and subway tile. Avoid overly ornate tile designs that compete visually with white cabinets.

2. Continuity in Color

Choose a backsplash tile color in the same white, beige, or gray tone family as your cabinet finish for a cohesive look. Include white grout.

3. Consistent Backsplash Height

Install the backsplash to the exact underside of wall cabinets for a tailored, continuous appearance. An uneven backsplash line looks disjointed.

4. Inside Corner Treatment

Use matching caulk or grout color in inside corners between the backsplash and cabinets for a near-seamless transition.

5. Consistent Lighting

Ambient and task lighting reflecting evenly off the backsplash and cabinets prevents each surface from appearing disconnected.

With these design tips, your backsplash will complement the white cabinets beautifully.

5 Unique Accent Ideas for White Kitchen Cabinets Backsplash

Interested in accessorizing your backsplash? Add personality and extra elegance with these accent ideas against white cabinetry:

Metallic Penny Tiles

Shiny copper, silver, and aluminum penny round tiles glitter when illuminated. Scatter them across your backsplash or use to frame the range.

Borders and Banding

Design elegant borders at top and bottom of the backsplash using metal trim, rope molding, or tile inlays for a framed look.

Shelves and Floating Ledges

Mount wall shelves or floating ledges atop the backsplash to display cherished dishware. Open shelves reinforce straight backsplash lines.

Specialty Hardware

Installing creative backsplash hardware like corbels, hooks, and towel bars adds function and interest. Choose hardware that coordinates with cabinet knobs and pulls.


Carve out niches from the backsplash to hold soap dispensers or culinary tools. Niches add personalized character and useable space.

With the right creative touches, your white kitchen cabinets backsplash can be both beautiful and distinctively you.

Putting It All Together: A Sophisticated Gray and White Kitchen Backsplash

To summarize the concepts explored in this guide, here is an example of a stunning, upscale kitchen backsplash design paired with white cabinets:

The homeowners selected large-format, matte finish gray ceramic subway tiles laid in a straight stack pattern against their freshly painted crisp white cabinetry.

The cool gray tiles complement the cabinets’ subtle blue undertones beautifully. They chose a matching gray grout for a cohesive, streamlined look.

The backsplash tiles extend from the countertop to the underside of the wall cabinets for a seamless, custom appearance.

To create visual interest, geometric shapes were formed using marble mosaic penny tile accents at intervals across the backsplash.

The white and gray scheme creates a very sophisticated, elegant kitchen backdrop that allows the colorful fruits, flowers, and plants decorate the space to pop.

This example perfectly illustrates how to thoughtfully design a backsplash that not only protects the kitchen but also matches beautifully with white cabinets.

Achieving Your Dream Backsplash With White Cabinets

The ideal backsplash design elegantly balances function and aesthetics. By thoughtfully considering complementary colors, visually appealing materials and configurations, and smart backsplash placement, you’re sure to achieve a look you’ll love.

Keep your cabinet color, kitchen style, and budget in mind as you explore the many pleasing possibilities. From ultra-sleek modern glass mosaics to homey classic subway tiles, your dream backsplash for white kitchen cabinets awaits.

Frequently Asked Questions About White Kitchen Cabinets Backsplashes (FAQs)

Many homeowners have additional questions about selecting the perfect backsplash for their white kitchen cabinets. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:

What is the most popular backsplash for white cabinets?

The most popular backsplash choice for white cabinets is classic white 3×6 subway tile. White subway tiles instantly create clean, crisp lines that pair beautifully with white cabinetry.

What color backsplash goes best with white cabinets?

Beige, cream, warm grays, and subtle blues tend to complement white cabinets especially well. Vivid hues can also make a bold accent statement. Choose a backsplash hue that matches your cabinets’ undertones.

What tile material is best for kitchen backsplashes?

Ceramic, porcelain, and natural stone tiles like marble make excellent quality, resilient, easy-to-maintain backsplash materials. Glass and metal tile are also durable options but show messes more readily.

How much does a kitchen backsplash cost?

Backsplash tile prices range widely from $2 – $50+ per square foot. More affordable options include ceramic, vinyl and faux tiles. Higher-end backsplash materials like natural stone, handmade, and metal tiles cost more.

Should you match the backsplash to the countertop or cabinets?

It’s generally recommended to match the backsplash color to the cabinets rather than the countertops. Since cabinets have the greater visual weight in the kitchen, coordinating the backsplash with cabinets helps anchor the space.

What is the standard height for a kitchen backsplash?

The typical backsplash height is 4 inches from the countertop. Full backsplashes extend from countertop to bottom of wall cabinets, often 18 inches or more, for a built-in look. Mini splashes are only a few inches high.

How do you decorate a plain white backsplash?

To spruce up a basic white tile backsplash, add interest with varied grout colors, creative tile layouts, borders, floating shelves, niches, and metallic mosaic accents.

Final Thoughts

The ideal backsplash design can really enhance the clean, airy