What is the Best Tile to Use for Kitchen Backsplash?

Choosing the right tile for your kitchen backsplash is an important decision that can dramatically impact the look and feel of your kitchen. With so many tile options to choose from, it can be overwhelming trying to select the perfect one for your needs and style. Here is an in-depth look at some of the best tiles to consider for your kitchen backsplash.

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is one of the most popular choices for kitchen backsplashes. It comes in a wide range of styles, colors, shapes, and patterns.


  • Budget-friendly – ceramic tiles tend to be relatively inexpensive
  • Durable – ceramic is very sturdy and stands up well over time
  • Easy to clean – ceramic has a non-porous surface that doesn’t stain easily
  • Variety – there are tons of ceramic tile options to fit any kitchen décor


  • Can chip or crack – ceramic is prone to cracking if subjected to hard impacts
  • Requires sealing – unglazed ceramic needs to be sealed periodically

Some top ceramic tile options include:

  • Subway tile – classic 3×6″ rectangular tiles in white or colored glossy glaze
  • Handpainted/custom tiles – decorated ceramic tiles to make a statement
  • Metal-look tiles – glazed ceramic tiles that mimic metal finishes
  • Patterned tiles – decorative shapes, designs, stripes for visual interest

Glass Tile

Glass tile can lend a shiny, sleek contemporary vibe or brightly colored retro feel to a kitchen backsplash.


  • Dazzling array of colors – glass tile comes in endless bold or muted shades
  • Glossy reflective surface – glass has an eye-catching sheen
  • Easy to clean – glass resists stains and is non-porous
  • Adds depth – glass tile often has an iridescent layered appearance


  • Expensive – glass tile tends to cost more than ceramic or porcelain
  • Chips and cracks – glass can shatter if hit forcefully
  • Difficult installation – glass tile requires special cutting tools and careful handling

Some popular options for glass backsplash tile:

  • Subway glass tile – slim rectangular glass tiles in coordinating colors
  • Mosaic glass tile – tiny glass pieces in mesh sheets for mosaic patterns
  • Large format glass tile – oversized glass tiles make a bold statement

Metal Tile

Metal backsplash tile provides an ultra-modern industrial vibe with eye-catching shine.


  • Highly reflective surface – metal tile has gorgeous luster and shine
  • Extremely durable – metal stands up to heavy use without damage
  • Moisture resistant – metal tile repels water and resists mildew
  • Versatile finishes – choose warm copper, cool stainless, rustic tin, etc.


  • Expensive – metal tile has a higher cost than ceramic or porcelain
  • Prone to scratches – metal finishes can be marred by sharp objects
  • Conducts heat – metal surfaces remain cool to the touch

Some metal tile ideas include:

  • Stainless steel tile – modern and elegant brushed metal finish
  • Copper tile – warm, rustic look that patinas over time
  • Tin tile – industrial salvaged metal tile with rustic charm
  • Metal mosaic tile – small metal pieces in mosaic patterns

Stone Tile

Stone tile brings wonderful texture and earthy appeal to a kitchen backsplash.


  • Natural material – stone has inherent beauty and variation
  • Great durability – stone stands up well to daily use
  • Easy maintenance – stone tile requires little upkeep
  • Timeless look – stone tile remains stylish for years


  • Expensive – natural stone costs more than ceramic or porcelain
  • Can stain – porous stone requires sealing to prevent stains
  • Heavy – stone tile is heavier than other materials
  • Cool surface – stone feels cool to the touch

Some stone tile options to consider:

  • Marble tile – elegant veining with upscale look
  • Travertine tile – rustic porous tile with natural pitting
  • Slate tile – layered stone with earthy cleft texture
  • Quartzite tile – hard stone surface with crystal speckles

Porcelain Tile

Porcelain tile provides a sophisticated, sturdy option for kitchen backsplashes.


  • Extremely durable – porcelain is highly resistant to chips, cracks, stains
  • Mimics natural materials – porcelain is designed to look like stone, metal, wood
  • Matte or glossy finishes – choose ultra shiny or softly muted surfaces
  • Easy to clean – porcelain resists water, grease, and daily wear and tear


  • Heavy – porcelain tile is thicker and heavier than ceramic
  • Difficult cuts – porcelain is hard and requires special tools to cut
  • Higher cost – porcelain tile costs more than basic ceramic

Some fantastic porcelain tile options:

  • Wood-look porcelain – stunningly realistic faux wood grain porcelain
  • Cement-look porcelain – large-scale concrete gray porcelain tiles
  • Brick-look porcelain – vintage brick finishes replicated in porcelain
  • Patterned porcelain – decorative shapes and designs

Choosing the Best Tile for You

When deciding on the best backsplash tile for your kitchen, consider the overall style you want along with practical factors like budget, ease of cleaning, and durability for your lifestyle. Visit tile showrooms to view samples up close and help narrow down colors, designs and textures. Many homeowners also opt to mix and match complimentary tile materials, shapes or finishes for a customized look. With so many tile possibilities, you’re sure to find the perfect option to make your kitchen backsplash shine!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most popular kitchen backsplash tile sizes?

Some of today’s most popular kitchen backsplash tile sizes include:

  • Subway tile (3×6 inches)
  • Metro tile (4×4 inches)
  • Mosaic tile (1/2 x 1/2 inches)
  • Hexagon tile (4 to 6 inches)
  • Mini tile (1×1 inches)
  • Ledger tile (6×24 inches)

What is the most durable and water resistant backsplash tile?

Porcelain and glass are two of the most durable and water resistant backsplash tile options. Both resist moisture, stains, and daily wear and tear.

What tile is easiest to clean for a backsplash?

Ceramic, porcelain, and glass tiles are the easiest backsplash tiles to clean. Their non-porous surfaces resist grime and stains, and can be wiped clean with minimal effort.

What is the most affordable tile choice for a backsplash?

Ceramic tile provides the most affordable option for kitchen backsplashes. Many ceramic tiles cost under $5 per square foot.

What tile can I use to get a wood-look backsplash?

Wood-look porcelain planks are designed to replicate the look of real wood with realistic grain patterns and textures. These durable porcelain tiles make an elegant and water-resistant wood-like backsplash.

What backsplash tiles stay coolest to the touch?

Due to their materials, metal and stone tiles will stay the coolest to the touch for a backsplash. Porcelain and ceramic will also stay relatively cooler than glass or wood tiles.


The best tile for a kitchen backsplash depends on your style, budget, and needs. Timeless subway ceramic tile provides a classic and affordable option. Gorgeous glass tile injects shiny color and sophistication. Rustic stone tile conveys an earthy vibe. Metal tile lends an industrial edge. And durable porcelain mimics high-end finishes. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of each tile against your goals, lifestyle and space. Then choose the perfect backsplash tile to showcase your cooking space in the best possible light. With proper planning and tile selection, you’re sure to end up with a backsplash you’ll absolutely love.