What Color Backsplash With Black Cabinets? A Comprehensive Guide

When designing a kitchen with black cabinets, choosing the right backsplash color is key to tying the whole look together. A backsplash serves both form and function – it protects the walls from splashes and stains while also providing an opportunity to inject color, texture, and personality. With so many backsplash options to choose from, it can be daunting to select the perfect color to complement your black kitchen cabinets. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about picking the ideal backsplash color for your black cabinets.

Why Choose A Backsplash For Black Cabinets?

A backsplash is highly recommended for any kitchen, but especially so with black cabinetry. Here are some of the top reasons to incorporate a backsplash:

  • Protects walls – Backsplashes shield the wall areas around a stove or sink from water, sauce or food splatters. This saves you from constantly having to repaint or retouch walls due to stains.
  • Easy to clean – Backsplash materials like ceramic tile or metal backsplashes clean up simpler than drywall or painted walls. Their durable and smooth surfaces just need a quick wipe down.
  • Adds visual interest – Backsplashes lend color, texture and pattern to break up wall expanses. This creates visual depth and interest in the kitchen.
  • Inexpensive update – Installing a backsplash provides a relatively simple and affordable way to update the look of a kitchen. Backsplash projects require less time, skill and money compared to a full kitchen renovation.
  • Completes the design – A backsplash is a key element that finishes off a cohesive kitchen decorating scheme, anchoring the countertops and tying in the cabinetry style.

Top Backsplash Color Considerations With Black Cabinets

When selecting a backsplash for black kitchen cabinets, keep the following guidelines in mind:

Complementary Colors

Choose backsplash hues that directly complement the darkness of the cabinetry. Warm, saturated accent shades will give the black cabinets some vibrancy. Some top options include:

  • Burnt orange
  • Tomato red
  • Sunny yellow
  • Deep blue
  • Emerald green

Or go for an unexpected pastel pop of color:

  • Powder blue
  • Blush pink
  • Pale yellow
  • Lavender
  • Seafoam green

Contrasting Colors

For more contrast against black cabinets, vivid white or light backsplashes make the cabinets really stand out. Consider:

  • Bright white subway tile
  • White marble or quartz slabs
  • Light natural stone like limestone or travertine
  • White ceramic or porcelain tile

Also think about metallic finishes like stainless steel, tin tiles or brushed nickel for contemporary contrast.

Neutral Tones

Another approach is to complement black cabinetry with neutral, earthy backsplash colors like:

  • Cream or beige
  • Light to medium wood
  • Gray, charcoal or black
  • Tan or sand
  • Rustic slate

This adds subtle contrast while still keeping the palette soothing and cohesive.

Personal Style

Most importantly, choose a backsplash color that matches your own kitchen design vision and decorating tastes. Want a homey cottage feel? Go for light cream or vintage pastel tiles. Love contemporary flair? Try bold solid colors or metallic materials. Keep the overall style of your kitchen design and home in mind.

8 Best Backsplash Colors For Black Cabinets

Based on design trends and color pairing principles, here are 8 of the top backsplash color options to consider for black kitchen cabinets:

1. White

Crisp white is a go-to contrasting backsplash color that makes black cabinets truly pop. White reflects light to brighten up the space and keep the look clean. Subway tiles, frosted glass, marble slabs or white shaker tiles all make ideal white backsplash designs. White creates a sharp, vibrant modern look with black cabinets.

To soften the contrast, incorporate soft cream or off-white tones like almond white or ivory instead of pure white.

2. Gray

For a more subtle, elegant contrast, different shades of gray make excellent backsplashes for black cabinets. Light dove gray has an airy feel that offsets the cabinets nicely. Charcoal gray mimics and deepens the cabinet color in a sophisticated way. Blue-gray adds a unique hue while still remaining neutral.

Gray marble, porcelain or ceramic tile, or even weathered wood paneling could provide the ideal gray backsplash pairing.

3. Wood

Natural wood grain backsplashes complement black cabinets beautifully. The rich warmth of wood contrasts the cool darkness of the cabinets, creating a cozy rustic or cottage aesthetic. Lighter oak or maple boards will brighten up the space while deeper walnut or chestnut have a dramatic effect.

Distressed wood panel backsplashes, reclaimed barnwood planks or wooden mosaic tiles work really well. Mixing wood with white or cream tiles also strikes a nice visual balance.

4. Tile

Ceramic, porcelain or stone tile backsplashes provide tons of options to match with black cabinets. Handmade artisan tiles in warm earth tones, funky patterns, mosaics or unique 3D tiles could create a focal point. Or choose solid tiles in brilliant colors like deep red, turquoise or purple for a bold pop.

Natural stone tiles like marble, travertine, limestone or slate could offer subtler organic texture. Tile backsplashes provide versatility at various budget levels.

5. Stainless Steel

For contemporary kitchens, stainless steel is a sleek metallic backsplash option with black cabinets. Matte, brushed or polished steel finishes all have a modern, edgy look. You can install full stainless sheets, stainless mosaic tiles or tin ceiling tiles.

Reflective metal pairs well with glossy cabinet finishes and matches stainless appliances for a unified look. Metallic copper backsplashes also work great.

6. Green

Deep emerald or forest greens surprisingly complement black cabinetry for a dramatic, luxurious style. Green backsplashes with black granite countertops could emulate the look of malachite. Pastel minty greens offer a more refreshing vibe.

Consider green glass tiles, handpainted art tiles, or cabochons to inject an artistic jewel-tone flair against the black cabinets.

7. Blue

From vibrant cobalt to weathered navy, different shades of blue make artistic backsplash colors with black cabinets. Bright royal blue or turquoise glass tiles create a whimsical punch. Concrete-look blue gray porcelain exudes rustic sophistication.

Blue colors work for casual family kitchens as well as chic modern spaces. Try breezy beach styles with soft seafoam greens and blues.

8. Brick

For organic texture and color, brick backsplashes pair beautifully with black cabinets. You could install real brick or faux brick veneer tiles. Red brick has a classic farmhouse feel, while lighter greige or white brick makes a more contemporary statement.

Brick patterns can also incorporate multiple tones, with light bricks subtly contrasting darker bricks. Mix with wood and metal accents.

5 Tips For Selecting A Backsplash

Keep these tips in mind when selecting the perfect backsplash for your black kitchen cabinetry:

  • Gather inspiration – Look at photos online or in design magazines to give you ideas about colors, materials, patterns and tile layouts. Identify looks that appeal to you.
  • Consider the style – Choose a backsplash that aligns with the overall style you want – modern, rustic, transitional, etc. The backsplash should tie into that look.
  • Look at lighting – The amount of natural and artificial lighting in your kitchen will affect how dark or light you can go with a backsplash color. Lighter backsplashes help brighten darker spaces.
  • Observe the floors – Coordinate the tone and feel of your backsplash with your kitchen flooring. A wooden floor pairs well with a brick backsplash, for example.
  • Include metal accents – Incorporate metallic pendants, sink hardware, cabinet handles and light fixtures to complement a more colorful or rustic backsplash. Metallics tie everything together.

How To Install A Kitchen Backsplash

Installing a kitchen backsplash is a relatively easy DIY project for most homeowners. Here are the basic steps:

Select Your Material

Tile, metal, glass, stone and other backsplash materials each have different installation requirements. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions specific to your material.

Prepare the Surface

Thoroughly clean the backsplash area and remove any old backsplash. Repair and smooth any damaged drywall or plaster. Prime and paint if needed.

Map Your Design

Dry lay your backsplash tiles on the countertop to determine the optimal layout and design pattern. Balance the look and minimize awkward cuts.

Adhere the Backsplash

Apply thinset mortar evenly across the installation area using a notched trowel. This creates ridges for the tiles to adhere to. Push tiles into place while the thinset is still tacky and grout once dry.

Finish and Seal

When tiles are fully set, wipe away excess grout and apply a grout sealer. Use caulk around edges and corners for water protection. Finally, clean the finished backsplash thoroughly.

FAQs About Backsplashes for Black Cabinets

What color backsplash goes best with black cabinets?

White, gray, wood tones, and vibrant jewel tones like deep greens, blues, and reds all complement black cabinets beautifully. Neutral earth tones like tans, creams and sand colors also work well.

What backsplash colors make a kitchen look bigger?

Lighter reflective colors like white, light grays and beiges will make a dark kitchen with black cabinets look larger and brighter. Consider glossy backsplash tiles or materials for extra reflective light.

What backsplash is timeless?

Subway tile, marble, and wood backsplashes are classic choices that will always look great in kitchens, pairing nicely with most cabinet colors. Natural stone and ceramic tiles also have a timeless, enduring appeal.

Can you put dark backsplash with dark cabinets?

Yes, don’t be afraid to pair darker charcoal-colored backsplashes with black cabinets. Contrasting tones in the same shade family add subtle interest. Just make sure to incorporate other materials like wood or metal to break up the dark colors.

What backsplash goes with oak cabinets?

For oak cabinets, consider white, beige, gray, wood plank, brick, or natural stone backsplashes. Ivory, cream and almond backsplashes also work well with light golden oak cabinetry.

What size backsplash tile is best?

4×4, 3×6 or 4×12 inch tiles are common backsplash sizes. Larger tiles like 6×6 inch tiles help a backsplash look more modern and sleek. Mosaic tiles 1×1 inch or smaller add eclectic style. Balance larger and smaller tiles for visual interest.

Can backsplash tile be used on the wall?

Yes, many homes continue backsplash tile onto the walls around the cooking area for protection. Use caulk between the countertop and tile instead of grout for better water resistance. Match the grout lines for a seamless look.

What grout color should I use with black cabinets?

For most backsplash tile colors, a gray or white grout works well with black cabinets, ensuring grout lines don’t look too dark or harsh. With white tile, use white grout. With colored tile, match the grout to the darkest tile tone or use gray.


Installing a backsplash is the ideal way to finish your kitchen decor, protect your walls and add personality behind black cabinets. Whether you opt for light and fresh white backsplashes or dramatic jewel-tone stone tiles, a well-chosen backsplash color brings everything together. Use these ideas and tips to select the perfect backsplash to complement your unique black kitchen cabinetry. With countless gorgeous options, you can’t go wrong!