What is the Most Popular Backsplash?

Backsplashes are an important design element in any kitchen. As a functional accent wall located behind the countertop and around the stove, the backsplash takes a beating from splashing liquids and food spills while adding visual interest to the kitchen. With so many design options to choose from, what is the most popular backsplash style today? Let’s explore some of the top backsplash trends and solutions for contemporary kitchens.

The Timeless Subway Tile

Subway tile has been one of the most classic backsplash options for the past century, and for good reason. The simple, rectangular white ceramic tile gets its name from being used extensively in New York City subway stations, but it has graced countless kitchen walls and provides a clean, classic look.

Benefits of Subway Tile Backsplashes:

  • Timeless and versatile design suits any kitchen’s style
  • Classic white color brightens the kitchen
  • Low cost and widely available
  • Easy for DIY installation
  • Can be paired with any countertop material
  • Durable and easy to clean

Subway tiles come in bright gloss whites as well as softer matte finishes. They can be laid in the traditional brick pattern or creatively stacked diagonally or in herringbone designs. Subway tiles look great paired with marble or quartz countertops. Overall, the subway tile is still the most popular kitchen backsplash tile for a classic, affordable, and easy-to-care-for option.

Statement-Making Stone and Tile

While subway tiles create a modest backsplash, bold natural stone and ceramic or porcelain tile makes a statement. Stone surfaces like marble, travertine, and granite have dramatic veining that instantly classes up a kitchen. These naturally generated patterns have an organic, earthy look. Porcelain and ceramic tile allows even more creativity, as digital printing can mimic natural stone as well as produce custom graphic designs.

Advantages of Stone and Tile Backsplashes:

  • Natural beauty of stone patterns and textures
  • Tile available in countless colors, prints, and materials
  • Can match or accent the countertops
  • Easy care since most varieties are sealed
  • Provides an upscale, dramatic focal point

Large format stone and tile is on trend, sometimes covering entire walls with minimal grout lines. Organic-looking drifted patterns and 3D tile effects are also popular. Combining different tiles in patterns or decorative borders creates more visual appeal. The high-end look of stone and tile backsplashes elevates the overall kitchen’s style.

Gorgeous Glass Tile

Another top backsplash material is glass tile. Its luminous, glossy finish and vibrant colors create a focal point. Glass tile comes either transparent like jewels or opaque in every color. Combining colors and glossy metallic glass varieties provides endless looks, from retro chic to sleek modern.

Why Glass Tile Backsplashes Shine:

  • Reflects light beautifully for a luminous effect
  • Available in unlimited colors like blue, green, and red
  • Mirrored, iridescent and metallic glass tiles add shimmer
  • Can be arranged in infinite eye-catching patterns
  • Easy to clean smooth surface
  • Does not require sealing like natural stone
  • A stunning yet relatively affordable option

Glass tile shimmers and bounces light around the kitchen. It pairs well with white cabinetry as well as stainless steel appliances. For a contemporary kitchen with wow-factor, glass tile might just be the perfect backsplash choice.

Rustic Brick Backsplashes

On the opposite end of the spectrum from shiny glass, brick backsplashes provide a rustic, earthy look and feel. Real reclaimed brick has an Old-World, historic charm. Faux brick tile offers the aesthetic without the higher cost and installation work of full bricks.

Reasons Brick Backsplashes Are Timeless:

  • Looks authentic in farmhouse, cottage, or Old-World kitchens
  • Natural reddish and earth-toned color palette
  • Provides an aged, vintage appearance
  • Allows creative herringbone stacked designs
  • More affordable than genuine reclaimed brick
  • Easy to install faux brick panels or tiles

A brick backsplash pairs well with natural wood cabinetry and stainless steel appliances. For vintage appeal, solid brick backsplashes bridge traditional styles and industrial loft kitchens seamlessly. The textural, matte surface adds warmth and dimension. Brick continues to feel fresh, evoking rustic ambiance.

Elegant Metal Backsplashes

For sleek, contemporary kitchens, metal backsplashes bring industrial style. Stainless steel, copper, brass and other metals create an urban, edgy look. Metal backsplashes came onto the design scene along with professional-grade appliances and prep sinks becoming more common in home kitchens.

Benefits of a Metal Backsplash:

  • Sleek, polished metal matches pro-style appliances
  • Good heat resistance behind stoves
  • Makes a bold style statement
  • Easy to wipe clean and keep hygienic
  • Select metals like copper offer antimicrobial properties
  • Variety of modern metal finishes and patterns
  • Can mimic tile in some perforated or patterned panels

Seamless stainless steel make a big impact, but there are metal tiles and perforated panels to choose from too. Cool-toned brushed nickel, warm copper, and eco-friendly zinc offer even more options. Metal backsplashes work nicely behind a prep sink or range to tie the whole professional cooking area together.

Rustic Wood Backsplashes

Wood backsplashes infuse warmth and texture into kitchens with their natural beauty. Reclaimed wood boards in different stains, arrangements, and patterns create charming backsplashes. Woods like cedar and cypress naturally withstand moisture and make rustic backsplash panels.

The Appeal of Wood Backsplashes:

  • Provides visual interest with natural grain patterns
  • Warms up kitchens with wood’s inherent coziness
  • Distressed, vintage-look stains create rustic flair
  • Contrasts nicely with stone or brick countertops
  • Adds country cottage, farmhouse appeal
  • Real wood backsplash sheets easy to install
  • Complements exposed beam ceilings and wood floors

A wood backsplash pairs nicely with white cabinetry or black countertops. For outdoor and country kitchens, wood backsplashes complement the overall design. A trendy take adds a syncopated arrangement of wood boards instead of uniform panels. Wood backsplash options give the flexibility to create many charming styles.

Fresh White Beadboard Backsplashes

For light and breezy cottage style kitchens, white beadboard backsplashes are a perfect match. Traditional beadboard has distinctive thin, vertically grooved patterning. The timeless stylespacer creates old-fashioned charm in contemporary kitchens.

Reasons White Beadboard Backsplashes Work:

  • Provides subtle texture and visual interest
  • Crisp white color keeps kitchens feeling open
  • Distressed finishes have a vintage feel
  • Relatively affordable and easy to install
  • Can be paired with any cabinetry color
  • Easy to wipe clean and maintain
  • Looks great with apron-front sinks and hardware

Beadboard backsplash panels come in convenient 4×8’ sheets for quick DIY updates. For added coastal flair, beadboard backsplashes get accented with navy blue hues. The light, down-to-earth charm of white beadboard backsplashes suits many design styles.

Eye-Catching Moroccan Tile

Moroccan tiles, also known as zellige, are intricately patterned ceramic tiles that have been decorating buildings for centuries. Tiny individual tiles fit together to create larger mosaics reminiscent of Islamic architecture.

Reasons Moroccan Tiles Dazzle as Backsplashes:

  • Intricate geometric and floral motifs
  • Vibrant blue, green and yellow colors
  • Glossy or matte glazes in endless combinations
  • Looks fantastic behind a range or sink
  • Adds excitement and global flair
  • Pattern pops against neutral cabinetry
  • Handmade, antiqued appearance

For a worldly yet elegant backsplash focal point, Moroccan tiles deliver. The mosaic designs inspire awe, elevating simple kitchen materials to exotic new heights. Moroccan tiles can even extend their magic onto the hood or countertops.

Natural Wood Panel Backsplashes

For a lighter and brighter rustic style, natural wood panel backsplashes are ideal. Thin vertical or horizontal slatted panels create an airy, cottage look. Unfinished cedar and cypress have moisture-resistant natural oils that make them perfect around sinks and stoves.

Why Wood Panel Backsplashes Work:

  • Provides texture without dark tones
  • Visually widens and brightens kitchens
  • Rustic woodsy appearance on a budget
  • Easy to install and remove
  • Moisture-resistant cedar and cypress ideal
  • Allows open shelving and accents between
  • A breeze to wipe clean

Perforated and lattice-style wood panels (reminiscent of covered bridges) also make fantastic backsplashes while allowing hooks, racks, and shelves to be incorporated. For a beachy feel, weathered driftwood arranges beautifully as backsplash boards. Wood panel backsplashes give that cozy, cabin-in-the-woods vibe.

Hints of Colorful Handmade Tile

While full backsplashes of handmade tile cost a fortune, small handmade tile accents add personalized charm. Mexican talavera tiles, hand-painted Moroccan tiles, or irregular shaped ceramic tiles make artsy focal points.

Reasons to Add Handmade Tiles:

  • Inexpensive way to get artisanal appeal
  • Handmade quality with slight imperfections
  • Bright pops of color and artistic shapes
  • Talavera and zellige tiles nod to other cultures
  • Can mimic the look of vintage broken tile
  • Arrange in eye-catching patterns and pictures
  • Add whimsy and personality to any kitchen

Searching for tiles at salvage warehouses or online shops yields a medley of handmade accents. Use a few special ceramic tiles sparingly between traditional backsplash tile or panels. The artistic, bespoke result makes for a meaningfully unique kitchen backsplash.

Easy-Clean Laminate Backsplashes

Not everyone can handle the maintenance required of grout between tile or cooktops spattering behind ranges. Enter laminate backsplashes like Formica, offering seamless, wipeable surfaces that are also budget-friendly.

Laminate Backsplash Benefits:

  • Affordable, starting under $3 per square foot
  • Easy “peel and stick” application
  • Fewer seams than tile means lower maintenance
  • Heat and stain resistant
  • Available in countless colors and patterns
  • Looks like ceramic, stone, or wood
  • DIY-friendly installation

Matte finish laminate backsplashes cleanly blend into modern and minimalist kitchens. Or make a retro-inspired statement with glossy laminate and bold 1950s patterns. For renters and DIYers, laminate backsplash sheets offer stylish and simple kitchen backdrops.

Eco-Friendly Recycled Glass Backsplashes

Upcycling projects frequently reuse glass, transforming bottles and windshields into colorful mosaics. Recycled glass tile made by companies like New Ravenna Mosaics puts this concept into affordable backsplash sheets.

Why Choose Recycled Glass Tile:

  • Repurposes waste glass into new tiles
  • Has a visually striking mosaic appearance
  • Provides very durable surface material
  • Easy to clean, smooth surface
  • Large range of eco-friendly colors and blends
  • Fairly low cost for artisanal glass
  • Custom options available

Thepalette of recycled glass backsplash tile skews to aquas, blues and greens from bottles but includes other colors as well. For sustainable kitchens, recycled glass tile reduces waste while creating a conversation piece. The translucent, one-of-a-kind backsplash dazzles.

Unexpected Tin Backsplashes

For an industrial edge, some designers are getting creative with metal tin backsplashes. Vintage tin ceiling tiles or corrugated tin panels offer inexpensive alternatives to stainless steel.

Tin Backsplash Benefits:

  • Inexpensive and easy to source
  • Nostalgic, vintage appearance
  • Industrial loft or retro flair
  • Can mimic stainless steel or ceramic tile
  • Endless pattern and finish options
  • Easy to cut, shape as needed
  • Light color to brighten kitchens

Overlapping antique tin ceiling tiles create an eclectic mosaic. Corrugated tin sheets riveted together provide bold ridged lines. A tin backsplash pairs especially well with exposed ductwork, pendant lighting, or reclaimed wood. Tin backsplashes bring unexpected charm.

Modern Minimalist Concrete Backsplashes

Concrete surfaces are migrating from chic industrial lofts to modern residential kitchens. For a minimalist, edgy look, concrete adds subtle texture in an organic, neutral shade.

Reasons for Concrete Backsplash Popularity:

  • Matches existing concrete countertops
  • Understated urban look, often with soft grind patterns
  • Can be stained, etched, or polished into different finishes
  • Provides an indestructible, seamless surface
  • Mutes busy tile patterns in open concept homes
  • Allows creative shape options around windows
  • Unique mottled texture adds natural drama

Shop-poured concrete backsplashes can cost a pretty penny, but DIY concrete overlay kits create a budget version. Matte and reflective finishes change the look, but concrete’s cool earthiness always anchors space.

White Shiplap Wood Plank Backsplashes

Crisp white shiplap wood instantly livens up kitchen backsplashes with clean lines, texture, and dimension. Tongue-and-groove planks create an overlapping effect. Modern backsplashes use sleeker milled planks instead of reclaimed barnwood.

Reasons Shiplap Wood Backsplashes Work:

  • Timeless, classic stripes and texture
  • Brightens kitchens with fresh white color
  • Provides subtle contrasting lines
  • Relatively affordable and easy to install
  • Distressed options available for a rustic look
  • Complements marble, soapstone, granite counters
  • Can be painted any color for custom look

White shiplap wood backsplashes pair perfectly with marble or butcher block countertops and kitchen islands. The contrasting textures and whites enhance each other. Crisp white painted shiplap brings cottage charm to contemporary farmhouse kitchens.

Unique Penny Tile Backsplashes

Small round penny tiles covering walls recall Victorian kitchens but offer renewed interest with bright colors. Vintage marbles, Moroccan mosaics, or ceramic penny rounds interlock for artistic affordable backsplashes.

Reasons Penny Tile Accents Captivate:

  • Inexpensive natural or colored marble options
  • Patterns resemble old-fashioned mosaics
  • Timeworn look complements antique kitchens
  • Can create images or medallions
  • Easy to install with thin grout lines
  • Adds texture and color behind sinks or ranges
  • Classic but unexpected shape mixes up tile

While penny tiles once came in a few colors like mint green, red, and black and white, newer takes include blues for a glamorous pop. Penny tile backsplashes instantly transport kitchens back in time.

Sophisticated Metallic Backsplashes

Once relegated to flashy accent walls, metallic backsplashes now subtlety transform kitchens with an elegant glimmer. Instead of silver or gold, today’s designs incorporate metallic textures and finishes into ceramic tile, faux concrete, and even wood.

Subtle Metallic Backsplash Advantages:

  • Adds a hint of glam without going overboard
  • Warm gold, rose gold and bronze tones on trend
  • Matches modern brass fixtures and finishes
  • Emits a soft glow and reflectivity
  • Looks luxe behind a professional stove
  • Elevates the atmosphere and brightens
  • Available in marble, glass, tile and sustainable materials

Going for the metallic look no longer means loud disco-era backsplashes. Sophisticated metallics run the gamut from marble veining to speckled quartz, inconspicuously transforming kitchens into quietly posh spaces.

Statement-Making Backsplash Lighting

Today’s backsplashes increasingly incorporate lighting for brilliant design impact. From LED strips built between tiles to illuminated glass, back-lit backsplashes create focal features.

Reasons Backsplash Lighting Stands Out:

  • LED strips can change color
  • Provides a glow behind glass or stone
  • Calls attention to the backsplash design
  • Makes cooking tasks easier to see
  • Ambient light brightens the whole room
  • Occupancy sensors turn on lights automatically
  • Offers energy efficiency compared to overhead lighting
  • Customizable to only light desired spaces

While installing electrical components requires professional help, the effects blend seamlessly into backsplashes. Ambient glows enhance stone patterns and highlight cooking zones where needed. Illuminated backsplashes make a spectacular and practical statement.

FAQs About Popular Backsplash Ideas

What tile is most popular for kitchen backsplashes?

The most popular backsplash tile is the classic white 3×6 subway tile. Its rectangular shape and bright white color suits traditional to contemporary kitchen designs. Subway tiles are affordable, easy to install, and match any style.

What is the most cost effective backsplash?

Laminate backsplash sheets provide the most affordable solution for backsplashes. At $3 per square foot on average, faux-finish laminate backsplashes stick on straight over existing walls or tiles. For temporary home improvements, laminate backsplashes enhance kitchens on a budget.

What backsplash is easiest to clean?

Seamless glass, metal, and laminate backsplashes are all easy-wipe options. Their non-porous surfaces allow backsplashes to be quickly cleaned with just a sponge and warm water. Glass and metal resist stains while laminate backsplashes have protective finishes that aid cleaning.

What is the most popular backsplash color?

White remains the dominant backsplash color. White subway tiles or grout between backsplash tiles maintain bright, airy kitchen spaces. But cobalt blue and emerald green backsplash accents have risen in popularity as bold, striking choices.