Grey kitchen cabinets are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their versatility and modern aesthetic. However, choosing the right backsplash color to go with your gray cabinets can be tricky. The backsplash forms an integral part of any kitchen design and can make or break the overall look. With so many backsplash color options available, it’s important to consider factors like the undertones in your grey cabinets, the rest of the kitchen decor and the overall mood you want to create. This article will discuss what color backsplash pairs best with gray kitchen cabinets and provide plenty of ideas and inspirational photos to help you find the perfect match.
Cool-Toned Grey Cabinets
Cool-toned grey cabinets have blue, green or purple undertones that give them a sleek, modern look. If your gray kitchen cabinets have a cool undertone, then you’ll want to opt for backsplash colors that complement it. Here are some excellent cool-toned backsplash color options to consider:
A white backsplash is a classic choice that pairs beautifully with cool-toned gray cabinets. The crisp, clean white helps accentuate the cooler undertones in the gray. White marble, subway tile or ceramic tile backsplashes can give your kitchen a timeless yet contemporary look. White creates a bright, airy feeling and makes the space feel more open.
For a more subtle look, consider a light grey backsplash with cool-toned grey cabinets. Try a light grey marble mosaic tile or matte ceramic in a lighter shade. This will create a more uniform appearance and give the space a sophisticated, spa-like atmosphere. Light grey has a similar undertone to the cabinets so they’ll blend nicely while still providing enough contrast.
While it may seem counterintuitive, a darker shade of grey can actually pair quite strikingly with cool-toned cabinets. Think charcoal, slate and graphite backsplash tiles. The deeper grey hue adds drama and dimension while coordinating with the blue/green undertones of the cabinetry. Dark grey backsplashes work best with lighter countertops and floors to provide adequate contrast.
From cobalt to sky blue, blue backsplashes are made for pairing with cool grey cabinets. Go for statement royal blue subway tiles or try something more subtle like icy glass mosaics. The blue tones will harmonize seamlessly with the cooler undertones in the grey. Blue evokes feelings of harmony and tranquility so it’s perfect for creating a relaxing kitchen aesthetic.
Sage, mint, teal – green backsplashes in all shades complement cool greys beautifully. Green is perceived as refreshing, natural and peaceful so it’s an ideal backsplash choice for contemporary kitchens. Try emerald or seafoam glass tiles to reflect the cooler undertones present in your cabinets. Green and grey is a sophisticated color scheme that works well in modern, transitional or even farmhouse kitchens.
While it’s bold, black is a surprisingly versatile backsplash color that can create a striking look with cool-toned grey cabinets. Because both colors have depth, they pair together seamlessly. Black granite, porcelain or marble backsplashes can lend a sophisticated, upscale feel. If the combination is too dark try scattering in lighter countertops and sinks. Black and cool grey is eye-catching yet elegant.
Warm-Toned Grey Cabinets
Warm grey cabinets contain beige, yellow or red undertones that give them a cozy and welcoming look. To complement the warmer hues, you’ll want to choose backsplash tiles in colors like:
Cream, off-white or beige backsplashes work in perfect harmony with warm grey cabinets. The creamy soft tones accentuate the beige notes within the warm grey. Natural stone like travertine or marble in a cream/beige colorway makes for a timeless, organic vibe. Use warm cream subway tiles or mosaic for a more classic backsplash option. Cream creates a relaxed rustic or transitional aesthetic.
For those that enjoy earthy tones, a tan or brown backsplash can blend seamlessly with warm cabinetry. Try natural materials like tan travertine tiles, sandstone or brown granite slabs which contain similar undertones. The tan and warm grey combination conveys a welcoming, grounded feeling perfect for Tuscan, craftsman or farmhouse kitchens. Tan helps soften the grey into a more approachable hue.
Terracotta is a burnt reddish-orange shade that works harmoniously with warm greys. Whether you opt for terracotta ceramic subway tiles or handmade quarry tiles, this rustic hue complements the yellow tones in warm cabinetry. For a Spanish style aesthetic, combine terracotta tiles with decorative Talavera accents and ironwork rangehoods. The mix of grey and terracotta oozes with old world charm.
Yellow might not seem an obvious pairing for grey cabinets. However, for warm-toned greys it can actually be an energetic, cheerful choice. Soft buttercream, sunshine or mustard yellow backsplashes breathe life into warm grey kitchens. Try geometric yellow ceramic wall tiles or Moroccan-inspired mosaics. Yellow represents optimism and joy, perfect for contemporary kitchens. Just stick to soft or muted yellow hues.
Red is a statement backsplash color that infuses any kitchen with drama, passion and excitement. The boldness of red works with warm grey cabinets because it picks up the reddish undertones. Deep oxblood red, rusty brick or crimson mosaic tiles create a powerful look that’s still grounded by the earthy grey cabinetry. If red feels too daring try a terra-cotta hue instead.
Certain shades of purple like lilac, eggplant and plum provide just enough vibrancy to balance warm greys attractively. Backsplashes in these jewel-toned purple hues inject a sense of regality and luxury into the kitchen. Glossy purple ceramic wall tiles or iridescent glass mosaics reflect light energizingly. Purple feels more daring than blue but still harmonizes with warm grey tones.
Best Neutral Backsplashes for Any Grey Cabinets
Sometimes a pop of color isn’t desired and a neutral backsplash is preferred regardless of undertones. Here are some foolproof neutral backsplash options for gray cabinets:
White Subway Tile
Classic white 3×6” subway tiles are a simple, timeless backsplash choice that works with absolutely any shade of grey cabinets. White tiles keep the look light, airy and uncluttered. Their rectangular shape adds nice clean lines while still being budget-friendly. White subway tiles suit any kitchen style from modern to traditional.
Elegant white Carrara marble with its faint grey veining provides just enough visual interest without overpowering grey cabinetry. The veining helps tie together the white marble and grey cabinets nicely. Carrara marble backsplashes lend a sense of luxury. Try 12” marble subway tiles or mix in marble mosaics.
Gray Stone or Cement Tile
For a muted, natural look try a backsplash using grey-toned natural stone like slate or soapstone. These have an organic feel with subtle variations in the stone that complement gray cabinets attractively. Dark grey concrete or cement tiles are another great neutral option with cool textural appeal.
Chevron Pattern Tiles
Chevron tiles remain a popular backsplash choice because of their ability to work in any kitchen. The zigzag tile pattern provides nice directional contrast against grey cabinetry. Chevron backsplash tiles come in countless color options but grey, white and beige work most seamlessly. They create visual interest without overpowering.
Hexagon Mosaic Tiles
For a fun retro feel try a geometric backsplash using hexagon mosaics in shades of gray, white, cream or black. The hexagon shape allows for artistic arrangements and patterns to be formed across the backsplash surface. Pair grey hex mosaic with grey cabinets for a unified modern or eclectic look.
Mirrored backsplash tiles lend any kitchen reflective light and the illusion of expanded space, perfect for small kitchens. They work with any cabinetry color but pair especially nicely with grey because of their similar cool, metallic aesthetic. Try framed mirror tiles or disco ball mosaics for added retro flair. Keep other finishes matte to allow the mirror tiles to shine.
Factors to Consider with Grey Kitchen Cabinets
There are a few important considerations when selecting a backsplash color for grey kitchen cabinets beyond just undertones:
Lighter backsplash colors like white will create more visible contrast against grey cabinets while darker hues like charcoal will blend in more seamlessly. The level of contrast you want is an important factor. High contrast makes cabinets pop while low contrast provides a sleek, uniform look.
The reflective qualities of the backsplash material also impact contrast. Glossy glass or metallic backsplashes will reflect more light, increasing the sense of contrast against matte grey cabinets. Reflective surfaces bring energy while matte feels more soothing.
Mood & Style
Determine the overall mood you want your kitchen to evoke before choosing a backsplash. Cool hues like blue or green create relaxing, peaceful vibes. Warm tones like cream and terracotta make kitchens feel cozy and inviting. Blacks and greys lend modern, edgy styles. Crisp whites keep the aesthetic light.
The amount of natural light your kitchen receives should guide your backsplash decision. Darker toned backsplashes work best with ample light while warm light-reflecting hues open up darker spaces. Mirrored backsplashes maximize light potential.
Floors & Countertops
Be sure to view the backsplash color in the context of your overall kitchen finishes. Contrasting countertop and floor colors prevent too much heaviness. Try balancing cool-toned grey cabinets with warm wood flooring. Achieve a cohesive look while keeping the backsplash the focal point.
Backsplash Ideas for Gray Kitchen Cabinets
Here are some gorgeous gray kitchen cabinet and backsplash combinations to inspire your own design:
1. Light Blue Glass Subway Tile Backsplash
The soft blue glass subway tiles accentuate the cool grey tones in these contemporary cabinets nicely. White quartz countertops keep the look fresh and airy.
[Photo of blue glass subway tile backsplash against grey cabinets]
2. Black & White Geometric Moroccan Tile Backsplash
This striking black and white zigzag tile backsplash complements the weathered grey finish of the cabinets. Touches of wood surfaces provide warmth.
[Photo of black and white geometric tile backsplash on gray cabinets]
3. White Marble Herringbone Backsplash
Wide grey veining within the crisp white herringbone marble backsplash ties in stylishly with the grey shaker-style cabinets in this elegant kitchen.
[Photo of white marble herringbone backsplash on grey cabinets]
4. Modern Graphite and Glass Mosaic Backsplash
This mosaic backsplash uses a mix of graphite and clear glass tiles to echo the sophisticated charcoal gray cabinets beautifully. The glossy finish creates depth.
[Photo of a graphite and glass mosaic backsplash against dark grey cabinets]
5. Rustic Wood Plank Tile Backsplash
Real wood backsplash tiles with grey distressed staining complement the concrete grey cabinets gorgeously in this rustic kitchen. The wood warms up the cool grey tones.
[Photo of grey stained wood plank tile backsplash on concrete grey cabinets]
6. Subtle White & Grey Subway Tile
The white subway tiles with faint grey striping provide subtle contrast against the grey cabinetry in this minimalist open concept kitchen. Modern yet soothing.
[Photo of white and grey striped subway tile backsplash on medium grey cabinets]
7. Bold Black & White Chevron Tile
For those not afraid of making a statement, bold black and white chevron tiles create eye-catching contrast against warm grey cabinets. The bathrooms sing!
[Photo of black and white chevron tile backsplash against warm grey cabinets]
The array of colors that work well with gray kitchen cabinets is vast, ranging from backsplash whites to blacks and everything in between. Cool-toned grey cabinets pair attractively with backsplashes in shades of blue, green, grey and black for a more modern aesthetic. Warm grey cabinets tend to complement beige, yellow, orange and red backsplash colors for a cozier style. Of course classic white and neutral gray backsplashes are foolproof options too. Just be sure to consider the overall mood, lighting and adjoining finishes when selecting your ideal backsplash color. With so many options, you’re guaranteed to find a beautiful backsplash to match your gray cabinets.