What is the New Trend in Kitchen Backsplash?

Kitchen backsplashes are a great way to add personality, color, and visual interest to any kitchen. As trends come and go, backsplashes are a simple way to update the look of your kitchen without a full remodel. Read on to learn about the hottest new trends in kitchen backsplash design.

Textured and 3D Tiles

One of the biggest trends in backsplashes right now is the use of textured and three-dimensional tile. These tiles add depth, shadows, and visual appeal beyond flat subway tile or stone. Popular options include:

  • Handmade ceramic tile: Irregular edges and surfaces lend an artisanal, Old-World look. These tiles come in endless shape and color combinations.
  • Molded and pressed tiles: Many companies manufacture tiles with pressed or molded 3D patterns and textures. Herringbone, fish scale, and dimensional patterns are prevalent.
  • Patterned and textured stone: Natural stone slabs and tiles with inherent veining, fossils, rough textures, and patterns are being used. Think textured marbles, travertines, slates, and quartzites.
  • Bold 3D mosaics: Pre-made mosaic sheets with protruding tiles or clustered layers create a chunky, multi-dimensional look when installed. Great for focal walls.

The added shadows and depth from textured tile creates visual drama and interest. It adds flair beyond basic backsplash materials.

Oversized Tiles

Another kitchen backsplash trend is the use of larger format tiles. Oversized tiles minimize grout lines for a sleek, seamless look. Some popular options include:

  • 12×24 inch subway tiles: Extra long, thin tiles laid vertically reduce distracting grout lines. Their elongated shape is dramatic.
  • 16×16 inch stone tiles: Large square stone tiles in materials like marble, travertine, or quartzite create a contemporary vibe.
  • Mosaic sheets: Many companies make pre-assembled mosaic sheets in sizes up to 12×24 inches. Fewer grout seams provide a modern look.
  • Slim 12×48 inch porcelain tiles: These super lengthy tiles have the look of handcrafted subway tile but with fewer grout lines. They create a mid-century style backdrop.

Minimizing grout lines with larger tiles looks fresh and current. It gives backsplashes a high-end, spa-like aesthetic.

Bold and Vibrant Colors

White and neutral kitchen backsplashes are timeless, but colorful statement backsplashes are having a major moment. Homeowners are being more adventurous with bright, saturated hues like:

  • Navy blue: From dark midnight to bright cobalt, navy instantly transforms a backsplash into a focal point.
  • Deep greens: Shades like emerald, sage, and forest green lend an earthy yet sophisticated look.
  • Vibrant orange: From amber to terra cotta, orange injects energy into a space.
  • Bold yellows: Sunny shades of lemon, mustard, or chartreuse add playfulness.
  • Dynamic reds: Crimson, wine, and brick red offer a dramatic punch of color.

Matching your backsplash color to your appliances, cabinets, or wall paint makes the shade pop. Contrasting colors adds excitement.

Natural Stone

Natural stone backsplashes provide a timeless elegance. On-trend stones include:

  • Marble: Classic Carrara, glamorous Calacatta, and boldly veined options remain sought-after.
  • Travertine: With natural holes and texture in warm beiges and browns, it’s inherently casual chic.
  • Quartzite: The hardest of the stones, with dramatic veining like marble. Gray, white, and cream varieties are popular.
  • Sandstone: Has natural ripples, color variations, and soothing earth tones for a harmonious look.
  • Slate: Bringing moody hues and bold cleft textures. Black, gray, and blue-green are prevalent.

Genuine stone delivers unmatched visual impact and luxury. It’s a timeless choice that feels fresh again.

Creative Shape Combinations

Creative mixes of tile shapes in complementary hues is an emerging trend:

  • Combine subway tiles, penny rounds, and honed rectangles.
  • Mix hexagons with faceted rhomboids.
  • Blend listello bricks with offset squares.
  • Install herringbone patterns with contrasting diamonds or octagons. Varying the tile shape adds interest and ties the colors together into an artistic arrangement. Geometric combinations feel modern and visually dynamic.

Moroccan-Inspired Zellige Tile

Another hot trend is Zellige tile, originating from Morocco. Key traits include:

  • Small, handmade baked clay tiles in 2-3 inches sizes.
  • Hexagons, diamonds, four-pointed stars are common shapes.
  • Vibrant blues, greens, yellows and terra cotta colors.
  • Intricate patterns covering entire walls, not just backsplashes.

Zellige tile brings artsy exoticism and bold colors for a bohemian vibe. The intricate arrangements make a stunning style statement.

Handmade Art Tile

Custom, handmade, one-of-a-kind art tile turns backsplashes into a true focal feature. Some options include:

  • Handpainted tiles: Tiles are individually painted with artistic designs in any color scheme.
  • Mosaics: Small tiles or glass pieces create images, patterns, objects. Great for niches.
  • Metallic tiles: Real metals like copper and bronze are fired onto tiles for shine.
  • Reclaimed tiles: Old tiles, china plates, mirrors or jewelry are made into mosaics.

Artisan tiles bring personalization and craftsmanship for a backsplash as unique as you. Make it a meaningful memory piece.

Extending Backsplashes Beyond the Counter

Traditionally backsplashes only covered the area between countertops and cabinets. A new trend is extending them higher, wider, and beyond:

  • Cover an entire wall from floor to ceiling for a dramatic effect.
  • Wrap tile around a window or “picture frame” it.
  • Extend up to the bottom of wall cabinets. Looks great with open shelving.
  • Run tiles horizontally along walls, not just vertically stacked.
  • Add tile above range hoods as capping shelves.

Enlarging the backsplash perimeter maximizes the visual impact and transforms the kitchen.

Mixing Finishes

For added dimension, combine glossy and matte tiles in complementary hues:

  • Glossy subway tiles paired with matte stone or ceramic.
  • Metallic glass mosaics with flat marble tiles.
  • Glossy and matte black tiles together for drama.
  • Satin nickel listello bricks with polished marble strips.

Varying the light reflection and sheen adds subtle visual interest and depth. Contrasting finishes helps each stand out.

Statement-Making Range Hoods

Range hoods are being elevated beyond utilitarian venting to an eye-catching focal point with:

  • Custom copper and stainless range hoods.
  • Intricately tiled range hood surrounds.
  • Range hoods serving as open shelving.
  • Bold colors like matte black, navy blue, or fire engine red.
  • Artsy pressed tin or hammered metals

Dressing up the hood with material complementing the backsplash ties the whole wall together. Don’t let it become an afterthought!

Faux and Engineered Materials

Advances in technology have created a variety of faux stone and tile options that offer the look of natural materials, but with some advantages:

  • Porcelain tiles: Near-identical to natural stone at a lower cost. Matte finishes avoid a “fake” look.
  • Quartz tiles: Made from crushed quartz for a natural stone appearance without maintenance.
  • Cement tiles: Pigment is added to concrete for color throughout the tile. Great durability.
  • Metal laminates: Porcelain or real metal applied to ceramic for a metallic look.

These materials balance aesthetics, durability, and affordability. Get the stone or metal look without hefty maintenance.

Statement Making Niches and Shelving

Make backsplashes more functional by incorporating niches or open shelving:

  • Display cookbooks, barware, or cherished dishware.
  • Create spaces for storing oils, spices, cooking tools.
  • Make an open niche around electrical outlets or valves to highlight them.
  • Frame niches with contrasting tiles, decorative metal, or sconce lighting.

Niches break up large expanses of tile while adding storage space. Make niches and shelving decorative instead of purely utilitarian.

Hidden Functionality

Today’s backsplashes integrate functionality in discreet ways:

  • Outlets are camouflaged into the tile design.
  • Magnetic tiles hold knives, spices, paper towel holders.
  • Bordered designs or Listellos hide receptacles.
  • Vertical niches hide electrical cords.
  • Smart tiles have LED screens, tap controls, wireless charging.

Seamlessly incorporating electrical, storage, lighting needs maintains clean sightlines. Seek creative ways to hide functional elements into your design.

Eclectic Mixing

An emerging trend is mixing varied styles, eras, colors, and textures:

  • Combine industrial concrete tiles with vintage Moroccan zellige.
  • Blend sleek modern subway tiles with antique handpainted ones.
  • Install reclaimed wood boards with polished marble mosaics.
  • Mix stone, ceramic, mirror and metallics together.

Throwing design convention to the wind creates an eclectic, collected look. The freedom of mixing unmatched elements yields a custom palette that buck trends.

Black Backsplashes

Moody, sophisticated black backsplashes continue gaining popularity. But it’s transitioning from gothic all-black to incorporating lighter elements:

  • Mix black with white, grays, woods for balance.
  • Add pops of color with art tile, appliances or decor.
  • Vary matte and glossy textures.
  • Accent with warm metallics and stone.

The versatility of black tile sets an elegant or edgy ambiance while adapting to numerous styles. Keep black backsplashes from feeling too dark and brooding.

Minimal Grout Lines

For a seamless setting, backsplashes are trending towards less visible grout lines:

  • Use large format tiles, skinnier brick joints, beveled edges
  • Opt for flushmount installation.
  • Grout using sanded caulk in matching hues instead of mortar.
  • Consider groutless tiles like Luminaire, Etera or Zip-Clip.

Wide spacing or eliminating grout lines enhances continuity and flow. Maintain clean sightlines and avoid busy, cluttered visuals.

Bold Graphic Patterns

Graphics like florals and geometrics turn backsplashes into standout features:

  • Intense graphic prints with vivid colors
  • Large-scale paisleys, ikat patterns, or palm fronds
  • Overlapping circles, bold diamonds, or overlapping lines
  • Retro 60’s-inspired psychedelic patterns and sunbursts
  • Ethnic Indian or Moroccan motifs with patterning

Big, strong graphics and dense prints make a major style statement.

Unexpected Materials

Unique, non-tile materials for backsplashes is an emerging direction:

  • Reclaimed wood planks in tones like weathered gray
  • Natural stone slabs like sandstone or quartzite
  • Raw metal like zinc, copper, corten steel or stainless
  • Brick, whether stackedbonded or herringbone patterns
  • Beads, shells, pennies affixed in artistic motifs

Stepping outside the box of typical backsplash materials ensures a personalized, standout look.

Warm Metallics

Warm metallics like brass, bronze and copper add shining flair:

  • Hammered copper subway tiles or mosaic sheets
  • Warm brass hexagonal or square tiles
  • Bronzed glass tiles or metallic finishes like Carrara Glass
  • Aged patina finishes in bronze and brass

Metallic backsplashes feel glamorous and illuminate a space. The warmth of the tones keep it sophisticated versus flashy.

Kitchen Backsplash FAQs

Looking to install a new backsplash? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

What are the most popular backsplash materials?

The most common materials are ceramic or porcelain tile, natural or engineered stone, stainless steel, and glass tile. Tile options range from budget-friendly to high-end.

How do I choose the right backsplash color?

Consider colors already in your space like cabinetry, countertops, and appliances. Contrasting or complementary colors can both work well. Keep permanence in mind, but don’t be afraid to take a risk on something bold!

What size tile is best?

Standard sizes are 2×2, 3×6, 4×4 inch tiles, but large-scale rectangular or square tiles are also popular for a seamless look. Mosaic sheets also minimize grout lines. Tile size and layout impacts the overall visual, so consider your kitchen size and any patterns.

Should my backsplash match my countertops?

It depends on the look you want. Matching materials can provide continuity. Contrasting colors or textures can help each stand out. Tying countertop and backsplash together with a complementary color can bridge the two nicely.

How much does a kitchen backsplash cost?

Budget $10-40 per square foot for materials and installation. Factors affecting price are material (stone is high-end), special shapes (mosaics cost more), labor-intensiveness, pattern complexity, and pro installation vs DIY.

Can I install a backsplash myself?

Definitely! With proper planning and materials, DIY installation is totally feasible for most homeowners without prior experience. Watch online tutorials. Focus on proper surface prep and using spacers for clean grout lines.

Should I seal my backsplash?

Sealing is recommended for any natural stone like marble, travertine, limestone or grout. Sealants repel stains and make cleaning easier. Porous unglazed ceramics may also benefit. Use a penetrating sealant made for your material. Reseal every 1-3 years.


Kitchen backsplashes are an opportunity to personalize your cooking space and enliven the design aesthetic. Whether you crave a soothing, cohesive look or want to make a bold style statement, backsplashes enable you to feasibly update the look of any kitchen.

Use this overview of the latest backsplash design trends to help ignite inspiration for your own kitchen transformation. Consider eye-catching materials like 3D tile, graphic patterns, or a statement range hood to create a focal point. Integrate creative shelving, smart functionality, and well-chosen accent colors tailored to your own style.

With the amazing array of beautiful, innovative backsplash products now available, you can confidently create a custom look perfect for your home. Let your backsplash reflect your personality while increasing the luxury, functionality and visual appeal of the heart of your home.