What is the Best Kitchen Backsplash?

Selecting the ideal backsplash for your kitchen can be an exciting yet daunting task. With so many options to choose from like tile, stone, metal, glass, and more, it’s important to consider what will work best for your space and design aesthetic. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about picking the perfect backsplash for your kitchen.


A kitchen backsplash serves both form and function. Not only does it protect your walls from splashes, spills, and stains, but it also makes a major style statement. The right backsplash can take your kitchen design to the next level, while the wrong one can make the space feel unfinished.

When selecting a kitchen backsplash, there are a few key factors to consider:


Kitchens are high-traffic spaces prone to messes, so durability is key. Look for materials that are water-resistant, stain-resistant, and easy to clean. Popular durable backsplash options include tile, metal, and stone.


Consider how much maintenance your backsplash will require. Some materials, like glass tile, require frequent sealing to keep looking pristine. While natural stone needs periodic sealing and can be prone to etching from acidic foods. Low maintenance options include metal, ceramic or porcelain tile.

Design Aesthetic

Deciding on a design aesthetic for your kitchen is crucial when selecting a backsplash. Is your style traditional, modern, farmhouse? Do you want a neutral, minimalist look or crave bright, bold colors? The backsplash should complement your cabinetry, countertops, appliances and overall vibe.


Backsplash materials can range dramatically in price. Know how much you want to spend and find options to fit your budget. Inexpensive choices like ceramic tile and stainless steel can still make a statement. While pricier picks like marble, handmade tile and lacquered glass offer high-end looks for those willing to splurge.

With these factors in mind, let’s explore some of the best kitchen backsplash options in greater detail.

Tile Backsplashes

Tile is one of the most popular choices for kitchen backsplashes and for good reason. It’s available in a vast array of sizes, shapes, colors, textures and patterns to suit any design style. Tile is also very budget-friendly. Here are some top tile backsplash ideas:

Ceramic or Porcelain Tile

A ceramic or porcelain tile backsplash is a great choice for any kitchen. Ceramic tiles are made from clay that is fired at high temperatures, while porcelain contains denser clays fired at even higher temps – resulting in a harder, less porous product. Both offer durability, easy maintenance, resistance to moisture, and affordable pricing. The variety of styles from subway tile, to moroccan fish scale tile, to hand-painted tile is endless.

Glass Tile

Glass tile can provide a gorgeous, shiny backsplash that reflects light beautifully in the kitchen. Often found in mosaics, mixing glass tiles in different colors and textures can create visual interest. Glass tile requires frequent sealing, but provides a radiant, sleek aesthetic.

Metal Tile

Metal tiles made of stainless steel, copper, bronze or other metals infuse kitchens with an industrial vibe. Great for contemporary spaces, metal tiles have high durability and a reflective, eye-catching look. They can develop patinas over time, adding character. Ensuring proper installation is key with metal tile.

Stone Tile

For a natural, earthy aesthetic, stone tile brings elegance to a backsplash. Options like marble, travertine, slate, and granite pair nicely with wood cabinetry and natural materials. Stone tiles require sealing to prevent staining and etching. Their striking good looks make the maintenance worthwhile.

Patterned & Handmade Tile

To make a true design statement, choose patterned or handmade tile. From bold geometrics, to intricate mosaics, to hand-painted tiles with images like flowers or seascapes, the designs you can create are limitless. Mixing patterned tile shapes and colors makes a big visual impact.

Stone Backsplashes

Natural stone not only looks beautiful in kitchens, but is an extremely durable material. Types of stone like granite, marble, and slate can be used both in tile form or as full slabs for a seamless appearance. Here are popular stone options:


Granite’s elegance, durability and natural pattern-making make it a sought after higher-end backsplash. Its hard composition resists scratching, staining and heat. Sealant is required to prevent absorption of liquids. Granite works wonderfully in both traditional and modern kitchens.


Prized for its veining and coloration, marble brings timeless beauty to backsplashes. Available in a range of hues like white, gray, black, green, and pink – marble makes a refined statement. As a softer stone, marble requires sealing to prevent etching and staining. A marble backsplash gives a kitchen lasting luxury.


With its subtle cleft texture and earthy shades, slate complements kitchens focused on natural materials. A slate backsplash pairs effortlessly with wood cabinetry and stainless appliances. Slate needs to be sealed prior to installation and periodically thereafter. Its durability makes the maintenance worthwhile.


Known for its smoother texture and darker charcoal hues, soapstone has an attractive, low-key vibe perfect for traditional or cottage kitchens. Nonporous soapstone doesn’t need frequent sealing. It’s also heat-resistant. Distinctive veining patterns give each soapstone slab or tile unique beauty.

Alternative Backsplash Materials

Beyond classic tile and stone, some creative alternatives to consider for one-of-a-kind backsplashes include:

Stainless Steel

A sleek, modern option perfect for contemporary kitchens is a stainless steel backsplash. Available in tiles or full sheets, stainless steel’s durability, easy cleaning, and reflective surface make it an impactful choice. Use it alone or mix with glass tile for contrast.

Tin Backsplash

Tin tiles infuse vintage, rustic charm into kitchens, especially when mixed with wood elements. Allowing tin tiles to develop a patina over time adds to the appeal. Tin provides an eye-catching look while being budget-friendly. Use caution with strong cleaners that may react with tin.

Copper Backsplash

Similar to tin, copper backsplashes also impart an antiqued, artisanal vibe with their natural patina finish. The warm, reddish tones of copper beautifully complement wood cabinets and granite. Copper is naturally antimicrobial, though still requires occasional sealing. This metal makes a striking, upscale statement.

Painted Glass

For a backsplash unlike any other, painted glass offers dazzling customization options. Choose from brilliant colors, images, patterns, landscapes, and more to turn a backsplash into a true work of art. Use tempered glass to decrease fragility. Sealing and careful cleaning is a must with painted glass.

Recycled Materials

Eco-friendly backsplashes made from recycled materials like discarded wood, old tin ceiling tiles, repurposed glass bottles, and salvaged barnwood provide charming, rustic ambiance. Mixing and matching recycled pieces creates an intriguing patchwork statement. This creative reuse benefits the environment, too.

Key Considerations When Selecting a Backsplash

To recap, when evaluating which backsplash is best for your kitchen, keep these key tips in mind:

  • Consider the overall design aesthetic you want to achieve – modern, transitional, traditional, etc. Your backsplash should blend into that style seamlessly.
  • Think about your lifestyle and how heavily the kitchen is used. Look for durable, moisture resistant, easy to clean materials if your kitchen sees a lot of action.
  • Natural stone and glass will require more sealing and careful maintenance over time than materials like ceramic tile or metal. Factor in required upkeep.
  • Inspect the top quality and composition options within your desired material. A handmade art tile will differ greatly from a basic store bought ceramic tile in look and price.
  • Plan color and pattern combinations that provide visual interest while avoiding clash. Tying in cabinet and countertop hues is ideal.
  • Pay close attention to proper installation if doing a DIY backsplash. Many materials like natural stone require expertise to install correctly.
  • Be practical regarding your budget. Know what’s affordable for the square footage you need to cover while still getting a look you’ll love.

FAQs about Selecting a Kitchen Backsplash

What color backsplash goes best with white cabinets?

Some top options that pair beautifully with white cabinetry include: light grey or soft neutral subway tiles, navy or cobalt glass tiles, black and white patterned tiles, deep green marble tiles, white marble slab backsplash, or stainless steel tiles.

What is the most popular backsplash color for 2023?

Trending backsplash colors for 2023 include light, airy tones like soft blue, sage green, blush pink, and alabaster white. Deep, moody hues like forest green and navy blue are also growing in popularity. Unique patterns and textures will be big next year as well.

What backsplash goes with both light and dark cabinets?

Some versatile backsplash options that look stunning with either light or dark cabinetry include: white subway tile; marble or granite slab in white, grey, or black; stainless steel tile; and mosaic glass tile in metallic, neutral, or deep jewel tones.

What is the easiest backsplash to install?

Peel-and-stick backsplash tile is the easiest DIY-friendly backsplash option to install. Requiring no grout or special tools, these self-adhesive tiles go up directly onto primed walls and can be easily removed later without damage. Sheet metal backsplashes are another simple install.

Can you put backsplash tile straight on drywall?

It is not recommended to install tile directly onto drywall alone. The weight can cause the tile to detach over time. Best practice is to apply a cement backerboard first and then attach the tile. The backerboard provides stability and moisture protection that drywall lacks.


Determining the ideal backsplash requires balancing your personal taste, kitchen design, lifestyle, budget and the properties of the materials available. Key is choosing a material that not only satisfies your aesthetic preferences, but also makes sense for your specific space.

Tile backsplashes offer the greatest diversity of styles at affordable prices. Natural stone backsplashes bring timeless elegance. While unconventional materials like metal, glass, and salvaged items provide distinctive options. With some thoughtful evaluation of all the possibilities, you’re sure to find the perfect backsplash to make your kitchen complete.