What Color Backsplash Goes with Dark Cabinets?

Selecting the right backsplash color for dark kitchen cabinets can really enhance the beauty of your kitchen. With so many backsplash color options to choose from, it can be challenging to settle on just one. But fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the most popular, stylish, and timeless backsplash ideas to pair with dark cabinets.

An Overview of Dark Kitchen Cabinets

Dark kitchen cabinets are having a major moment right now. Deep, moody shades like navy, charcoal, espresso, and even black are topping the trends for cabinet colors. There are many reasons for the surge in popularity of dark cabinetry:

  • Dramatic and bold – Dark cabinets make a striking statement and instantly create a dramatic, sophisticated look. They are bold and eye-catching.
  • Versatile – Believe it or not, dark cabinets are actually quite versatile! They can work in many different kitchen styles from traditional to contemporary. Dark cabinets also pair well with numerous color schemes.
  • Timeless – While trends come and go, dark cabinets have staying power. They have a classic, timeless beauty that does not feel trendy. Dark cabinets are a sound investment that will remain stylish for years to come.
  • Cozy ambiance – Dark cabinets have a cozy, warm feel to them. Paired with the right backsplash, they can make your kitchen downright inviting.

Now that you understand the allure of dark cabinets, let’s explore how to choose the perfect backsplash color to complement your dark cabinetry.

Top Backsplash Color Ideas for Dark Cabinets


You cannot go wrong pairing pure, crisp white with rich dark cabinets. This combo is a classic backsplash idea that always looks elegant and refreshed. White has a lightening effect that keeps dark cabinet kitchens from feeling too somber or closed in.

White backsplash tiles pop beautifully against dark cabinets, creating a striking high-contrast look. And white is versatile enough to work with any cabinet color from deep espresso to charcoal gray to inky black.

Subway tiles, marble tiles, and glass tiles are all fantastic white backsplash options. White provides a clean, neutral backdrop that allows your dark cabinets to really shine.



For a more subtle contrast, various shades of gray make an excellent backsplash color choice for dark cabinets. Gray contains some black and white for a versatile, neutral effect.

Light grays create a soft but noticeable contrast against very dark cabinet colors. Mid-tone grays like slate and pewter mesh seamlessly with dark gray cabinets. And darker grays like charcoal can accent black cabinets.

Concrete, stone, and glass backsplashes all come in a wide range of gray tones to match dark cabinets. Go with a matte finish for a modern, industrial look or polished for some sheen. Gray is a fantastic backsplash option for contemporary, transitional, or modern kitchens.



If you want to lean into the dramatic dark vibe, choose a black backsplash with black cabinets or another ultra-dark shade. An all-black kitchen makes a bold, head-turning statement.

Black granite, metal and glass backsplash tiles all pair beautifully with black cabinets. You can also opt for black subway tiles, slabs, or mosaic patterns. Mix in some metallic accents for a touch of contrast and shine.

Make sure to incorporate some lighting and reflective surfaces to keep an all-black kitchen from feeling too dark and enclosed. But overall, matching black cabinets with a black backsplash creates an upscale, edgy look.



Navy is having a moment in home décor, and it makes for a knockout backsplash color with dark espresso or chocolate cabinets. The richness of navy blue brings out the depth and dimension of dark wood cabinetry.

Glass, marble, or subway tiles in various navy hues add flair and color. For some contrast, incorporate white grout lines or metallic accents. Navy blue with dark cabinets exudes elegance, perfect for formal kitchens.



Emerald, sage, olive – greens in all sorts of jewel-tones pair amazingly with dark brown cabinets. Green brings a nature-inspired element that feels fresh yet classic.

Dark green subway tiles, handmade tiles, or glass mosaics all pop beautifully against espresso or chocolate cabinets. Pair green with brass fixtures for an extra luxe look. A dark green backsplash can take your traditional dark wood kitchen up a design notch.



For a cohesive, natural-looking kitchen, choose wood-finished backsplash tiles that coordinate with dark wood cabinetry. Matching the wood stain exactly will create a seamless feel. Or choose a slightly lighter or grayer toned wood backsplash for a more dynamic look.

Real wood backsplash planks made of maple, oak, or hickory add gorgeous natural texture and pattern. Or opt for wood-look porcelain planks that emulate the look of wood grain without the maintenance. Wood backsplashes with dark wood cabinets are warm, welcoming, and timeless.


Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a top backsplash idea for contemporary kitchens with dark cabinets. Sleek, shiny metal backsplashes impart an ultra-modern, industrial vibe against deep cabinet colors.

Stainless steel backsplashes come in tile, sheets or panels. Opt for symmetrical metal patterns or asymmetrical random designs. Pair with black, espresso or charcoal cabinets and modern appliances and fixtures for an edgy, contemporary ensemble.



For a charming cottage kitchen aesthetic, try a red brick backsplash with dark cabinets. Old-world brick backsplashes balance out the sleekness of dark modern cabinets.

Natural clay bricks or faux brick veneers create homey appeal. Leave the grout lines natural or choose a white or gray grout color. Mix in some wood or cream accents for an eclectic, country kitchen style. Brick instantly infuses dark cabinet kitchens with character and dimension.



Don’t shy away from playing with pattern if you have dark cabinets! From Moroccan mosaics to geometric designs, bold patterns and textures complete the backdrop.

Patterned tiles like hand-painted Talavera, terra cotta, or encaustic cement dazzle against dark cabinets. Mix patterns within the same color scheme for lots of visual interest. For example, consider navy and white zig-zags against navy cabinets. Patterns add energy and modern personality to dark cabinet palettes.


Design Considerations for Dark Cabinet Backsplashes

Now that we’ve covered the top backsplash color ideas, let’s go over some design factors to keep in mind:


Contrast is an important design principle for backsplashes with dark cabinets. Some contrast in color/tone creates definition between the backsplash and cabinets so each element stands out beautifully. Backsplashes that are too matchy-match with the cabinet color get lost instead of popping.

As a general rule of thumb, lighter backsplash colors create more contrast against dark cabinets, while darker hues blend in more seamlessly. But contrast is not all about light/dark. Cool tones contrast warm tones. Matte finishes contrast shiny finishes. Large tile contrasts small mosaic tile, etc.

Also consider the level of contrast you want – do you prefer a subtler, more coordinated look or bold, dramatic contrast? Take all the elements into account when selecting your backsplash color.

Color Undertones

Cabinet and backsplash colors have undertones that can clash or harmonize. For example, a red brick backsplash has warm orange-red undertones, while navy cabinets skew cooler in tone.

Choosing backsplash tile in the same color family or on the same warm-to-cool spectrum creates a cohesive effect. Avoid pairings like emerald green tiles with cherry cabinets (red-orange undertones).

That said, clashing undertones can look amazing if done intentionally for contrast. So if you want an eclectic, funky vibe, mix those undertones!

Natural Lighting

The natural light exposure in your kitchen impacts how dark cabinet colors – and your backsplash – will look. South-facing kitchens awash in sunlight take darker colors better than north-facing rooms.

If your kitchen is dim, lighter backsplash colors will prevent it from feeling too somber and enclosed. Also consider adding lighting and reflective surfaces to brighten up the space.

Room Proportions

Smaller kitchens can feel overpowered by dark cabinets paired with a dark backsplash. Stick to medium to lighter backsplash colors to keep things airy. Large and open kitchens have more room to experiment with bold, dramatic dark-on-dark palettes.

Personal Taste

At the end of the day, choose a backsplash color you genuinely love with your dark cabinets. While white and gray backsplashes are safe bets, don’t be afraid to get creative. From moody green to regal navy to modern black and white patterns, your options are limitless!

Questions to Ask Yourself

Before selecting your perfect backsplash color, ask yourself:

  • What overall style do I want my kitchen to have – modern, traditional, classic, eclectic?
  • Is my style trendy, or more timeless?
  • Do I tend to get bored of décor colors quickly? Or gravitate towards classic palettes? This will indicate whether trendier colors or more neutral backsplashes are the better choice for you.
  • How much natural light comes into my kitchen?
  • What are the undertones of my dark cabinet color – are they warm with red/brown hints or cooler toned?
  • Do I prefer high contrast or more coordinating, blended color schemes?
  • What are my favorite colors? What colors make me feel energized and happy?

As you narrow down your preferences, the perfect backsplash color for your dark kitchen cabinets will reveal itself!

Avoiding Mistakes

While there are no absolute wrong choices for backsplashes with dark cabinets, here are a few pitfalls to avoid:

  • Choosing a backsplash color that blends in too seamlessly with the cabinets – this causes the backsplash to look washed-out.
  • Selecting a backsplash and cabinet color combo with clashing undertones.
  • Picking a trendy backsplash color that you may tire of quickly.
  • Going too dark and bold on backsplash and cabinets in a small, dim kitchen.
  • Getting stuck playing it safe with a basic option and missing a chance to have fun with a unique backsplash design.

As long as you pay attention to contrast, undertones, and your kitchen lighting, you will avoid the most common missteps people make when designing a dark cabinet backsplash.

The Takeaway

Choosing the backsplash color for dark kitchen cabinets is an exciting process! To quickly recap, the most stunning and timeless options include:

  • Crisp white
  • Shades of gray
  • Black
  • Navy
  • Deep green
  • Natural wood
  • Stainless steel
  • Brick red
  • Patterned and textured tiles

Consider the level of contrast desired, color undertones, kitchen lighting and proportions, and your personal taste. Get creative and have fun designing a showstopping backsplash for your gorgeous dark cabinets!

FAQs About Backsplash Colors for Dark Kitchen Cabinets

Still have some questions about selecting the perfect backsplash color for dark kitchen cabinets? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

What color backsplash goes best with espresso kitchen cabinets?

Espresso kitchen cabinets have rich brown tones with reddish undertones. Some gorgeous backsplash ideas include:

  • Creamy white – creates pleasing contrast against the dark wood
  • Gray – try pale grays for more contrast, and darker slate gray for complementing
  • Moss green – earthy hue complements reddish brown tones
  • Rustic wood – match the tones of the cabinetry for cohesion
  • Stainless steel – imparts modern flair

What kind of backsplash goes with dark cherry cabinets?

Dark cherry cabinets have beautiful reddish-brown hues. Recommended backsplash pairings:

  • Black – makes a bold, dramatic statement
  • Navy – picks up dimension from the reddish undertones
  • Brick – adds charming, old-world appeal
  • Multicolored stone – ties in earthiness of dark cherry

What backsplash looks best with chocolate brown cabinets?

Rich chocolate cabinets pair beautifully with these backsplash ideas:

  • Creamy off-white – contrast popped against dark brown
  • Slate gray – matches the cool grays in chocolate coloring
  • Galvanized metal – industrial sheen complements the dark color
  • Travertine stone – brings natural outdoor look indoors

What kind of backsplash goes with black kitchen cabinets?

With ultra-dark black cabinets, you have lots of gorgeous backsplash options:

  • Bright white – amplifies the sleek, dramatic black palette
  • Matte black – go bold with an all-black look
  • Gray stone – adds subtle contrast and texture
  • Blue glass – navy or cobalt tiles create interest
  • Metallic tiles – shine against the dark cabinet base

What color backsplash for charcoal gray cabinets?

Charcoal gray cabinets pair nicely with these sophisticated backsplash hues:

  • White marble or glass subway tiles
  • Gray stone like soapstone or limestone
  • Deep blue-greens like emerald and teal
  • Natural wood plank in darker stains
  • Polished metal or nickel accents

What backsplash colors look good with dark grey cabinets?

The best backsplash pairings for dark grey kitchen cabinets include:

  • Glossy white – amplifies the sophistication of dark grey
  • Light gray – provides subtle contrast
  • Black – makes a bold statement
  • Pale blue – adds a pop of color
  • Stainless steel – looks modern and sleek

What color backsplash goes with medium brown cabinets?

For mid-tone brown cabinets, excellent backsplash choices include:

  • Off-white with brown veining or specks
  • Tan or light brown natural stone
  • Turquoise glass tiles or shiny mosaic
  • Retro mint green colors
  • Multicolor geometric patterned tiles

What backsplash looks good with oak cabinets?

For natural oak wood cabinetry, ideal backsplash colors include:

  • Cream or off-white – enhances the wood tones
  • Lighter natural wood plank – coordinates perfectly
  • Earth tones like beige, tan, and light brown
  • Sage green or terracotta – brings out wood reddish hints
  • Distressed brick or stone – complements country oak cabinets

What are some backsplash ideas for dark cabinets?

The top backsplash suggestions for dark kitchen cabinets are:

  • Bright white subway tiles
  • Natural stone slabs in lighter neutrals like sand, salt and pepper, cream
  • Shiny metal and stainless steel
  • Vintage brick red
  • Two-tone designs like navy and white geometric tiles

The options are endless for creating a gorgeous, eye-catching backsplash to complement your stunning dark cabinets!


The backsplash is the crowning jewel that completes your dream kitchen with dark cabinets. By understanding classic and trendy backsplash options, considering contrast and color undertones, and choosing a style you genuinely adore, you are sure to end up with a showstopping result.

Dark cabinets provide a fabulous base to make your backsplash shine. Whether you opt for timeless white subway tiles, vibrant emerald glass mosaics, rustic wood planks or sleek stainless steel, your dark cabinet kitchen will make a dramatic statement.

Be bold, creative and have fun designing the backsplash of your dreams against your beautiful dark espresso, charcoal, black or navy cabinets. The visual impact will be stunning.

So explore all the options and combinations. Choose colors and materials with personal meaning that make you smile. With the guidelines provided in this article, you can confidently pick a backsplash color that perfectly matches your gorgeous dark kitchen cabinets!