What is the Best Backsplash for White Cabinets?

Choosing the right backsplash is one of the most important decisions when remodeling a kitchen with white cabinets. The backsplash serves both aesthetic and functional purposes – it protects the walls from splashes and stains while also adding visual interest to your kitchen. With so many backsplash options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to select the best one to complement white cabinets.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Backsplash for White Cabinets

When selecting a backsplash for white kitchen cabinets, here are some important factors to keep in mind:


The backsplash color plays a big role in creating the overall look and feel of the kitchen. For white cabinets, popular backsplash color choices include:

  • Neutrals – White, off-white, gray, beige
  • Classic subway tile white
  • Stainless steel
  • Blues – Navy, sky blue, soft blue
  • Greens – Seafoam, mint, sage
  • Black and white patterns

Lighter colored backsplashes help reflect more light in the kitchen and keep it looking bright and airy. Darker colors or patterns make more of a statement and contrast nicely against the white cabinets.


Common backsplash materials:

  • Ceramic tile – budget-friendly, durable, easy to clean
  • Glass tile – elegant shimmer, delicate
  • Metal tile – contemporary, industrial look
  • Natural stone – marble, travertine, granite, slate
  • Mosaics – small tile pieces creating patterns

Consider factors like budget, ease of cleaning, and style preference when weighing material options. Materials like ceramic and glass tile tend to work especially well with white cabinets.


The options are endless when it comes to backsplash styles! Here are some top choices for white kitchen cabinets:

  • Subway tile – Classic rectangular white tiles in a brickwork pattern. Timeless and clean.
  • Herringbone – Tile set in a V pattern, often with grout lines contrasting the tile color. Has a bit more character than basic subway tile.
  • Peninsula – Elongated rectangular or square tiles set in alternating directions. Gives a sense of movement.
  • Mosaics – Tiny tiles making up artistic patterns and designs. Playful and eclectic when done with glass tile.
  • Metro – Brick-style lay, often multicolored. Contemporary urban chic.
  • Moroccan Fish Scale – Interlocking tile pieces forming a diamond scale pattern. Exotic flair.
  • Marble slab – Elegant marble subway tiles or large marble backsplash slab. Luxurious beauty.

Consider your own style preferences, from traditional to modern to farmhouse. The backsplash should tie in with the overall kitchen decor.


Proper lighting is key to getting the full impact of your white kitchen cabinets and backsplash. Use:

  • Task lighting under cabinets
  • Pendant lights over islands
  • Recessed lighting to brighten the full space
  • Accent lighting to highlight specific areas

Enhance and bounce light off the backsplash by strategically placing fixtures.

Backsplash Height

Full height backsplashes extending all the way up to the undersides of the upper cabinets tend to look best with white cabinets. This gives a seamless, built-in look. Partial backsplashes are another option, but beware they allow more opportunity for grime to accumulate on walls.

Backsplash Ideas for White Cabinets

Here are some stunning backsplash styles perfectly suited for white kitchen cabinets:

Subway Tile

The quintessential and timeless backsplash for white cabinets is white subway tile. Go for a classic gloss finish or experiment with matte white tiles and grout for a more modern feel. Stack the tiles in a brickwork pattern or get creative by laying them diagonally. Delicate gray veins or subtle marbling in higher end subway tiles can add interest without taking away from the clean white palette.

Blue and White Patterned Tile

From Moroccan tile to handpainted designs, blue and white patterned backsplashes are an easy way to infuse personality into a white kitchen. Try small mosaic tiles for concentrated bursts of color and texture. Or opt for larger tiles with Greek Key or other graphic motifs. Matte finishes give a relaxed charm.

Marble Tile

Carrara, Calacatta, and Statuario marble backsplashes are a luxurious choice. The white marble has grey veining that adds movement and contrast. Large marble subway tiles or hexagon mosaics both make a statement. Keep the rest of the design simple to let the gorgeous marble take center stage.

Glass Tile

Glistening glass tile backsplashes catch the light beautifully in an all-white kitchen. Install a seafoam green or soft blue glass mosaic backsplash to add refreshing color. Or create a geometric focal point with clear and frosted glass combinations. Glass tile works with many styles from modern to vintage.

Metal Tile

For an edgy, industrial vibe, try a stainless steel or tin backsplash tile. Metallic silver, copper, bronze, and brass also make bold choices, as they pick up the shine of stainless steel appliances. Combine metal mosaic sheets with white tiles for extra dimension.

Black and White Geometric

Very on-trend, graphic black and white backsplashes with triangular, hexagonal, or diamond-shaped tile patterns pop against white cabinets. Go for dramatic high contrast with glossy tiles and black grout. Or keep it subtler with matte tiles and thin grout lines.

Wood Panel

Wooden plank tiles, shiplap, or 3D panels make for a cozy backsplash option. The natural wooden tones add warmth and texture. Try weathered grays and bleached woods that coordinate with the cabinets. Mix with white tile accents for contrast.

Design Tips for Backsplashes with White Cabinets

  • Match the undertones of whites in cabinets, countertops, and backsplash for a cohesive look.
  • Incorporate metal finishes like nickel or chrome in the backsplash to tie in stainless steel appliances.
  • Consider how the edge of an island or peninsula will transition into the backsplash.
  • Accent with glass tile or mosaic strips for extra detailing.
  • Pair dramatic veining in marble backsplash with plain white cabinets and counters.
  • Anchor colorful or bold backsplashes with consistent white perimeter cabinets and island.

What is the Best Backsplash for White Cabinets?

While the options are endless, some safe bets for backsplashes that look fabulous with white kitchen cabinets include:

  • Subway tile – Classic, clean, versatile
  • Marble tile – Elegant and luxurious
  • Blue and white patterned tile – Cheerful pop of color
  • Glass mosaic – Light-reflecting and shimmery
  • Stainless steel tile – Sleek and modern

At the end of the day, choose a backsplash that suits your personal taste and design vision for your kitchen. The best backsplash highlights, complements, and enhances the beauty of your white cabinets. With thoughtful material and color choices, your backsplash will not only protect your kitchen walls, but provide a stunning focal point.

FAQ About Backsplashes for White Cabinets

What is the most popular backsplash for white cabinets?

The most popular backsplash for white cabinets is white subway tile. The classic rectangular tiles laid in a brick pattern is a timeless choice that looks clean and fresh.

What backsplash goes best with white cabinets and quartz countertops?

With white cabinets and quartz countertops, we recommend a backsplash color that pops for contrast yet coordinates, like blue or green glass subway tile, marble mosaic, or metallic tiles.

Should the backsplash match the countertops with white cabinets?

It’s not essential for the backsplash to match the countertops. Contrasting materials and colors can look more interesting. Just ensure the tones complement each other.

What backsplash color makes kitchen cabinets look whiter?

Lighter colored backsplashes in soft whites, grays, and beiges make white kitchen cabinets appear brighter and whiter. Darker backsplash colors have higher contrast that makes the cabinets stand out.

Can you put marble backsplash with white cabinets?

Yes, marble backsplashes are stunning with white cabinets. The white marble has grey veining that adds luxury and dimension. Carrara is the most popular, along with Statuario and Calacatta marble.


The backsplash is arguably the most important design element that can make or break the look of white kitchen cabinets. Carefully weigh the color, material, and style options and choose the one that aligns with your goals for the space. From subway tiles to marble mosaics, there are so many stylish ways to complement white cabinets beautifully with the perfect backsplash tile. Use lighting strategically to enhance its visual impact. Then stand back and admire the gorgeous new focal point in your kitchen!