What Color Backsplash Goes with White Cabinets?

Choosing the right backsplash color to pair with white kitchen cabinets can be tricky. With so many backsplash tile options available, from subtle whites and creams to bold and vibrant hues, it’s important to consider the overall look and feel you want for your kitchen. The backsplash makes a major design statement, so you’ll want to choose a color that complements your white cabinetry while creating the aesthetic you desire.

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Backsplash Color

When deciding on a backsplash color for white cabinets, here are some important factors to take into account:

The Undertones of the White Cabinets

White kitchen cabinets can have warm undertones like cream or gray undertones that are cooler in appearance. Look at your specific white cabinet color and determine whether it’s a warm white, cool white, or neutral white. This will help you pick a backsplash color that enhances, rather than fights against, the cabinet undertone.

Warm white cabinets look best with backsplash colors on the warm and neutral side, like beige, tan, and lighter wood tones. Cool white cabinets pair well with cooler undertone backsplash colors like gray, pale blue, and bright white. Neutral white cabinets are versatile and can work well with nearly any color.

The Overall Kitchen Color Scheme

Consider the other elements in your kitchen like countertops, appliances, and accent decor. Choosing a backsplash color that complements these features will help everything blend beautifully.

For example, if you have stainless steel appliances and gray quartz countertops, a gray or neutral toned backsplash would tie the whole room together. Or if your kitchen décor features pops of blue, bringing in some blue backsplash tile can enhance the color scheme.

The Lighting in the Kitchen

The amount and type of natural and artificial lighting in your kitchen impacts how backsplash colors will look. Lighter backsplash colors like white, cream, pale gray, and beige work especially well in dark kitchens, bouncing light around and opening up the space.

In a kitchen with abundant natural light, you have more flexibility to use deeper shades. But beware of bold backsplash colors looking too intense and overwhelming in a bright, sunlit kitchen.

Traditional vs. Contemporary Style

Are you aiming for a traditional, homey kitchen or a sleek more modern look? Traditional kitchens tend to look best with classic backsplash tile like subway tile, marble, and lighter neutral colors.

Contemporary kitchens can handle bolder backsplash color choices like bright pops of color, vivid patterns, or high-contrast color combinations for dramatic effect.

Personal Preference

While current design trends can help guide your decision, ultimately choose a backsplash color you simply love. If you enjoy cooking in a warm, golden-hued kitchen, go for an amber, honey or terracotta backsplash. If cool and serene is more your style, pick a calming blue, gray or creamy white palette.

Top Backsplash Color Options for White Cabinets

Here are some of the best and most popular backsplash color choices to pair beautifully with white kitchen cabinets:

1. White

An easy, classic combination is glossy white subway tile backsplash with white cabinets. The matching white is simple but elegant, brightening the kitchen while letting your cabinets take center stage.

White tile comes in so many options like varying shapes and sizes of subway tile, decorative patterns like herringbone and penny tile designs, as well as materials from ceramic, glass, marble, and granite.

A bright white backsplash magnifies light to make any kitchen feel open and airy. It also serves as a clean, neutral background that allows your cabinetry, counters, appliances and any pops of color to stand out.

White backsplashes work with any style of white cabinets from Shaker style to modern frameless. Just take care that your white backsplash and cabinets don’t totally blend together. Add contrast through the tile texture and grout color. For example, choose a white marble subway tile with dark gray grout lines.

2. Gray

For a sophisticated, lightly textured look, gray backsplash tile pairs elegantly with white cabinets. Cool-toned grays work best with similarly cool cabinetry, while warmer grays complement antique white and cream cabinets.

Gray is ideal for contemporary kitchens with its minimalist, neutral palette. But it also suits traditional spaces for a timeless feel. Mix multiple shades of gray tile or opt for gray marble or travertine stone for natural depth.

A dark charcoal or black grout outlines the gray tile, creating definition against white cabinets. Stainless steel appliances and gray countertops (like quartz) bring everything together seamlessly.

3. Beige

For a soft, earthy aesthetic, try a beige backsplash with white cabinets. Tan, biscuit, sand and cream-hued tiles offer warmth against crisp white. Textured beige tile like travertine adds visual depth.

Beige works well in casual, country-style kitchens, but also pairs nicely with sleek modern cabinetry for contrast. Use naturally derived materials like stone or marble for an organic look.

If your white cabinets have beige undertones, a matching beige backsplash brings harmony. Just avoid going too matchy-matchy with backsplash and cabinet colors that totally blend. A medium brown grout provides separation.

4. Blue

From pale sky blue to deep navy, blue makes for an eye-catching backsplash color with white cabinets. Sophisticated, moody indigo works wonderfully in contemporary kitchens. A soft robin’s egg blue is right at home in a cottage-chic space.

Accent the blue backsplash with brass hardware and fixtures for an elegant, polished look. Or go with matte black cabinet hardware and light wood flooring for casual contrast.

Adding white kitchen island seating keeps the room feeling light and airy. If your walls are also white, introduce blue through accessories like rugs, curtains and accent decor.

5. Green

Green backsplashes lend a fresh, nature-inspired vibe to white kitchens. Pastel mint and sage greens boost bright, airy spaces. Deep emerald and forest greens create an elegant, luxurious look.

Play with different green tile finishes – high-gloss, matte, crackled glaze – for added visual interest. Introduce other earthy elements like wood flooring, granite countertops and woven décor accents to complement the green palette.

For a more modern twist, pair vibrant green backsplash tile with sleek white cabinets, brass hardware, black countertops and track lighting. The color contrast is dynamic.

6. Yellow

Sunny yellow backsplashes deliver energy and brightness to all-white kitchens. Mustard yellow, lemon yellow or burnt orange hues work especially well with creamy white or antique white cabinets, adding a retro flair.

Keep counter surfaces and backsplash grout on the neutral side so the vibrant yellow remains the focal point. Add accents like fresh flowers and colorful cookware to highlight the cheery yellow tones.

In contemporary kitchens, glossy yellow subway tile makes a bold style statement on a clean white backdrop. For a whimsical cottage vibe, use handpainted yellow ceramic tile in a decorative pattern.

7. Black

For dramatic appeal, a black backsplash pairs strikingly with crisp white cabinets. Try large-scale black subway tiles or mosaic patterns. Matte black finishes nicely downplay the high-contrast look.

Black granite, marble or soapstone backsplashes also lend an ultra-modern, edgy style while providing neutral balance to all-white kitchens.

With such a dark, bold backsplash choice, keep countertops light for balance. White quartz or marble works well. Follow accessory and décor accents in sleek metallics and minimalist styles to complement the sophisticated black and white pairing.

8. Patterned

Make a vibrant style statement by combining patterned backsplash tile with plain white cabinets. Geometric designs, creative mosaics, Mediterranean-style tile patterns, and Moroccan motifs are all eye-catching options.

Pair busier patterned backsplashes with simple Shaker-style cabinetry. Complement with metal accents and matching window treatments in one of the tile colors for a cohesive look.

For contemporary kitchens, boldly colored or graphically patterned tile adds artistic flair against ultra-modern cabinetry. Include black countertops and minimal décor to keep the space feeling sleek.

Ideas for Backsplashes with White Upper Cabinets and Dark Lower Cabinets

Having dark lower cabinets with white uppers is a popular mix-and-match style. Choosing the ideal backsplash tile color to bridge the two cabinet colors can create a beautifully cohesive look. Here are some winning ideas:

  • Cream or beige backsplash tile pairs nicely with the white uppers while blending with the warmth of the lower wood cabinets.
  • Charcoal or black backsplash tile contrasts beautifully with the white upper cabinets while matching the tone of the dark lowers.
  • Wood-look backsplash tile picks up the rich graining in the lower cabinets and adds lovely texture.
  • Bright white backsplash helps the upper cabinets stand out while the dark lowers ground the space.
  • Blue, green or patterned tile adds lively contrast against the split cabinet colors.

The key is choosing a color that doesn’t clash with either cabinet shade. Warm undertone tiles work best with wood lower cabinets in mocha, espresso and walnut hues. Cool-toned porcelain or glass tile suits gray and black lower cabinets.

Tips for Selecting Backsplash Tile with White Cabinets

Beyond just color, here are some helpful tips for choosing the right backsplash tile to match beautifully with white cabinets:

  • Sample different tile colors and finishes against your cabinetry before finalizing your backsplash design. Colors look different in home lighting.
  • Consider not just the tile color but also the grout. A darker grout provides visual separation between white tile and cabinets.
  • Natural stone like marble, travertine and slate offer gorgeous neutral colors with earthy texture and pattern.
  • Mix and match tile shapes, colors and finishes for added dimension. Use sculpted, hand-painted or crackled tiles as accents.
  • Install your backsplash tile in a classic brick pattern or stylish herringbone design for visual flair.
  • Use waterproof grout that resists staining and damage from moisture, especially for kitchen backsplashes.
  • Don’t overwhelm a small or dark kitchen with heavy tiles like granite slabs or dark porcelains. Opt for light and reflective materials.
  • Incorporate classic or vintage tiles for a timeworn, Tuscan-style backsplash that suits worn-in white cabinets.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about choosing backsplash colors to pair beautifully with white kitchen cabinets:

What backsplash colors make white cabinets pop?

Backsplash colors in vivid hues and rich tones create contrast that makes white cabinets stand out. Bright blue, emerald green, and yellow backsplashes make white cabinets pop. Deep shades like charcoal, navy and black also amp up the contrast.

For a more subtle pop, choose backsplash materials with orange, beige or cream undertones which complement and accentuate white cabinetry.

What color backsplash goes with off-white cabinets?

Off-white encompasses cabinet colors from cream and ivory to very light beige and gray. For a harmonious look, choose backsplash tile in a similar undertone and depth of color as the cabinets. Soft sandy beiges, biscuit tiles, light grays, and white marble perfectly suit off-white cabinets.

What backsplash looks best with antique white cabinets?

Antique white cabinets have warm, slightly yellow undertones. Backsplash colors that pick up this warmth are ideal matches. Think beige, cream, almond and soft white tiles as well as wood-look planks. For contrast, try a navy blue or black stone backsplash paired with antique white cabinets.

What backsplash color complements Tuscan style white cabinets?

Tuscan design is characterized by weathered, vintage-looking elements. For white cabinets with a distressed Tuscan feel, earthy backsplash colors add harmony. Tan, brick red, muted yellow, deep green, and sienna hues complement the worn-in Tuscan aesthetic. Handmade ceramic tiles in natural tones suit this style.

What backsplash color works with shiny white cabinets?

Glossy lacquered cabinets demand a backsplash color that adds interest without competing. Elegant gray, beige and cream-colored tiles complement shiny white cabinets. Mosaic glass tile in these neutral hues bounces light around for visual brilliance. Vivid blue or green backsplash colors also dazzle against ultra-sleek white cabinets.


The ideal backsplash color for your white kitchen cabinets depends on the cabinet shade and style along with your personal taste. But by taking into account the factors we’ve covered like undertones, color scheme, lighting and kitchen style, you’re sure to find a backsplash that makes those white cabinets shine beautifully.

Whether you love the classic appeal of white subway tile, the cozy rustic look of wood plank backsplashes or the cheerful pop of color from patterned mosaics, your backsplash choice brings visual interest. Pairing that perfect backsplash tile color and material with pristine white cabinets creates a kitchen space that’s both stylish and timeless.