Kitchen backsplashes not only protect the walls from water damage and stains, but they have become a trendy way to add style, color, and texture to your kitchen design. With so many backsplash options to choose from, it can be tricky to settle on the most popular backsplash for your kitchen remodel or redesign. Here is an overview of some of today’s most sought-after kitchen backsplash ideas.
Classic white 3×6 subway tile remains one of the most popular backsplashes for kitchens. The rectangular tiles have a timeless look and are incredibly versatile. They work with any style, from modern to traditional to farmhouse. Subway tile backsplashes are affordable, easy to clean, and durable. They can be installed in the traditional grid pattern or creatively stacked or in herringbone designs. Subway tiles also provide a great backdrop for adding pops of color or texture with accent tiles.
Why Subway Tile is So Popular
- Timeless and classic look
- Affordable and budget-friendly
- Easy to clean and durable
- Versatile – works with any kitchen style
- Easy to install
- Provides clean backdrop for adding color or texture
- Available in range of colors beyond basic white
Marble tile provides an elegant and luxurious feel that works wonderfully in gourmet kitchens. The natural veining and swirls of marble tile add depth, interest, and character to the backsplash. Carrara marble is the most popular choice, known for its soft gray and white coloring that suits both traditional and contemporary kitchens. While natural marble is on the pricier side, there are more budget-friendly marble-look porcelain and ceramic tile options. The stone-like beauty of marble tile backsplash can provide the wow-factor to any kitchen redesign.
Advantages of Marble Backsplash Tile
- Natural material with elegance and luxury
- Beautiful veining and swirls add visual interest
- Variety of marble options – Carrara is most popular
- Works in traditional, modern, or contemporary kitchens
- Can be cost-effective with marble-look porcelain tiles
- Adds personality and a focal point to kitchen
Glass tile backsplashes make a gorgeous choice, providing tons of drama, light, and modern appeal. These backsplashes reflect light beautifully, act as a focal point, and come in a huge range of colors, finishes, and patterns. Mixing different colored glass tiles together adds striking visual texture. For a more modern vibe, bold and bright-colored glass tiles in daring hues can be installed alone or combined with metallic tiles. Frosted or iridescent glass tiles provide a softer look. Glass tile is best installed on walls versus the work triangle where durability is needed.
Benefits of Glass Tile Kitchen Backsplashes
- Reflective and eye-catching focal point
- Modern and contemporary appeal
- Tons of color and pattern possibilities
- Adds texture and interest to backsplash area
- Can mix frosted, metallic, and clear glass tiles
- Best used outside of heavy work zones
- Pairs well with other tile materials
Exposed brick backsplashes inject vintage charm into kitchens and work especially well in older homes with existing brick walls. Whitewashed brick has rustic farmhouse appeal, while natural red brick ups the industrial edge. Brick backsplashes complement stainless steel appliances and butcher block countertops nicely. Keep the rest of the design simple to let the natural texture of the brick take center stage. Brick does require re-sealing regularly. Faux brick veneer tiles offer the look without the maintenance.
Why Brick Backsplashes Work
- Vintage charm and character
- Natural material with beautiful texture
- Whitewashed brick has rustic farmhouse appeal
- Red brick adds an industrial vibe
- Pairs well with stainless steel and butcher block
- Needs to be sealed regularly
- Faux brick veneer tiles provide maintenance-free option
Stainless Steel Tile
Stainless steel tile backsplashes are surging in popularity due to their ultra-modern style, industrial vibe, and reflective surface. The metallic cool tone of stainless steel tiles complements professional-grade appliances beautifully. These tiles have a sleek, futuristic look that pairs well with a minimalist aesthetic. Caution is needed with stainless steel backsplash tiles because they show fingerprints, smudges, and water spots readily. Consider placing them outside of heavy prep zones or combining with other materials like glass tile.
Benefits of a Stainless Steel Backsplash
- Sleek, modern, industrial style
- Matches professional stainless steel appliances
- Ultra-contemporary and futuristic
- Reflective surface catches the light
- Caution: Shows smudges and fingerprints
- Keep away from heavy prep zones if possible
Moroccan Tile (Zellij)
For those seeking a colorful and eclectic backsplash, Moroccan tiles deliver. This artisanal tile features intricate patterns and eye-catching geometric shapes. Traditionally, the tiles are hand-cut and then tapped together so subtle gaps remain, emphasizing the patternwork. Blue and white are classic color pairings. Moroccan tile backsplashes infuse bohemian flair and give traditional kitchens a fun twist. These funky backsplashes work nicely with ornate accents and darker cabinets.
Moroccan Tile Backsplash Benefits
- Colorful, eclectic, and playful
- Intricate geometric shapes and patterns
- Traditionally handcrafted leaving subtle gaps
- Classic blue and white color pairings
- Adds bohemian and artistic flair
- Complements ornate accents and dark cabinets
Graphic Pattern Tile
Bold, graphic pattern tiles let you make a dramatic style statement with your kitchen backsplash. Geometric patterns like zigzags, diagonals, diamonds, triangles, and chevron shapes catch the eye. Use just one graphic tile pattern for visual impact or mix and match complementary patterns. Contrasting graphic tiles with solid subway tiles helps ground the look. Graphic cement tiles handmade in Portugal are an artisanal option gaining popularity.
Why Choose a Graphic Pattern Backsplash?
- Make a bold visual statement
- Geometric patterns add modern flair
- Contrast patterns create striking combinations
- Complement with solid tiles to balance aesthetic
- Handmade graphic cement tiles are an artisanal option
- Allows creativity and personalization of backsplash design
Wood backsplashes infuse natural warmth and texture into kitchen spaces. The most common are reclaimed wood planks made of barnwood or salvaged oak wine barrels. Wood backsplashes have an earthy, rustic feel that pairs nicely with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. Real wood does require oiling or sealing regularly. Faux wood-look porcelain planks provide a lower maintenance option. For a modern twist, combine real or faux wood with sleek metal or concrete accents.
Benefits of a Wood Backsplash
- Natural material with beautiful grain and texture
- Rustic, earthy, and warm aesthetic
- Reclaimed barnwood very popular
- Complements stainless appliances and granite
- Requires sealing (or use wood-look porcelain)
- Contrast with concrete, metal for modern vibe
For a naturally-inspired backsplash, travertine tile is the perfect choice. Travertine is a type of limestone formed by mineral springs, featuring earthy colors, pourous holes, and a rough-hewn layered texture. This natural stone adds organic beauty to both rustic and contemporary kitchens. Travertine comes in a range of warm earth tones from cream to walnut brown. The holes offer visual depth but require extra sealing. Honed travertine minimizes holes. Consider pairing rich veined travertine with glass or ceramic tile accents.
Why Travertine Tile is Trending
- Natural limestone with organic, textured beauty
- Rustic, earthy aesthetic
- Variety of rich earth tone colors
- Natural holes add depth but require sealing
- Works in rustic or contemporary kitchens
- Lovely combined with glass/ceramic accents
Quartzite Countertop Backsplash
Using your kitchen countertop material to continue up the backsplash is a seamless idea that creates a streamlined, integrated look. Quartzite countertops are currently trending, praised for their granite-like beauty without the extra maintenance. Integrating quartzite into the backsplash provides stylish continuity. Sleek modern cabinets suit a full quartzite backsplash. Or pair quartzite with ceramic, glass, or metal tiles for contrast. Durability and heat-resistance make quartzite an ideal backsplash surface behind stoves.
Benefits of a Quartzite Backsplash
- Creates integrated, streamlined look
- Beautiful natural material without hassle
- Provides continuity with popular quartzite counters
- Works with modern to contemporary cabinetry
- Combines nicely with glass, ceramic, metal tiles
- Durable and heat-resistant behind stove
For a lighter, airier look, open shelving offers an on-trend alternative to upper cabinets. Floating shelves let backsplashes take center stage, highlighted beautifully. Mixing shelving materials like rough wood boards, sleek metal rails, and glass adds textural interest. The space also allows for displaying cherished kitchenware and accents. Open shelving works best for organized minimalists. Ensure plenty of closed storage remains for those not keen on daily tidying. Consider shelving just a single area or upper cabinets without backs.
Why Open Shelving is Popular
- Creates a lighter, more spacious feel
- Spotlights and highlights backsplash
- Mixing natural/metal materials adds texture
- Allows display of decor items or cherished dishes
- Best for minimalists who stay organized
- Do a small section or open the backs of upper cabinets
Using Multiple Materials
Don’t limit yourself to just one backsplash tile material! Mixing and matching several complementary tiles is an of-the-moment look. Blend subway tiles with marble inserts or combine wood planks with stainless steel and glass tile accents. Using a showstopping designer tile as an accent strip against a neutral background also spotlights special pieces beautifully without big expense. Take creativity to the next level with a mosaic-style blend of multiple shapes, textures, and colors.
Benefits of Mixing Backsplash Materials
- Blends styles – modern with traditional
- Contrasting textures create visual interest
- Mix high-end and budget-friendly materials
- Showcase accent tiles against simple background
- Go bold with mosaic blend of shapes and colors
- Layer materials in creative patterns or designs
As eco-conscious design gains popularity, green backsplashes made of recycled and sustainable materials are on the rise. Choose from recycled glass tiles, reclaimed wood planks, cork tiles, and innovative recycled paper-resin products. Bringing nature indoors, living walls of moss or succulents make the ultimate green statement backsplash. Normal grout works, but avoid synthetic sealants. Beyond sustainability, green backsplashes provide fresh color, texture, and an inviting organic vibe.
Benefits of a Green Backsplash
- Sustainable materials like recycled glass, wood, cork
- Innovative products made from recycled paper/resin
- Living walls with moss, succulents or plants
- Avoid synthetic sealants, use eco-friendly grout
- Fresh, organic aesthetic for kitchen
- Inviting mix of colors and natural textures
With this overview of today’s most sought-after kitchen backsplash tile ideas, you can zero in on the material and look that best suits your personal style. Subway tiles, marble, and glass make classic choices, while brick, wood, and stainless steel bring vintage or modern personality. For bold style statements, opt for graphic pattern or Moroccan tiles. And remember to think outside the box by mixing materials or considering open shelving. Whichever backsplash you choose, let it be an expression of your own design tastes, goals, lifestyle needs, and sustainability values. The options are limitless!