What Type of Backsplash Goes Best with Granite?

Choosing the right backsplash to pair with granite countertops can make a huge difference in the look and feel of your kitchen. The backsplash serves both practical and aesthetic purposes – protecting the walls from splashes and spills while also providing an opportunity to enhance your design. With so many backsplash options to choose from, it can be tricky to decide what works best with granite. This guide will walk you through the pros and cons of pairing various backsplash materials and styles with granite countertops to help you select the perfect option for your space.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Backsplash for Granite

Granite is one of the most popular choices for kitchen countertops due to its natural beauty, durability, and versatility. Granite comes in a diverse array of colors and patterns from solid hues to variegated speckled surfaces. When selecting a granite, it’s important to also consider what backsplash will complement it. The backsplash should work cohesively with the granite to create a unified look. Here are some key reasons to pay close attention to your backsplash selection:

Aesthetic Appeal

The backsplash serves as an eye-catching focal point and opportunity to incorporate color, texture, and visual interest. Selecting a backsplash that complements or contrasts the granite can enhance the overall beauty of the kitchen.


The backsplash protects the walls from water, oil, grease, and other cooking splatters. Choosing a durable, easy-to-clean material is important for maintenance and longevity.

Tying the Design Together

Since the backsplash is placed right against the countertops, it seamlessly connects the countertops to the rest of the kitchen. A cohesive backsplash-countertop pairing prevents disjointed or clashing design elements.

Reflecting Your Personal Style

From sleek subway tiles to handmade mosaics, the backsplash offers a way to infuse personality and customize your cooking space. Seek out a backsplash that aligns with your interior design vision.

Carefully weighing your granite selection alongside backsplash options will ensure these critical elements work in harmony.

Factors to Consider When Pairing a Backsplash with Granite

Selecting a backsplash to match a granite countertop requires careful consideration of a few key factors:


The backsplash color plays a major role in how cohesively it pairs with granite. For a seamless look, choose a backsplash in the same color family or a shade that has echoes of colors from the granite stone. For more contrast, go for a backsplash in a complementary or boldly different color palette.


Granite surfaces have rich veining, speckles, and movement. The amount of variation in the granite can inform the ideal backsplash pattern. Busy granites pair best with solid backsplash colors or simple uniform patterns. More minimal granites can be matched with varied patterns and textures.


Consider whether a glossy or matte finish in the backsplash material will achieve the desired aesthetic next to the granite finish. Pair glossy granite with polished backsplash tiles and opt for a honed or textured backsplash with matte granite.


Durability and maintenance must also come into play when selecting a backsplash material. Natural stone, ceramic tile, glass tile, and metal tile all have slightly different properties to weigh for your kitchen.

Carefully evaluating these elements will lead to a backsplash and granite combination that looks cohesive, maximizes your granite selection, and suits the kitchen’s needs.

Top Backsplash Options for Pairing with Granite Countertops

Now that we’ve covered the key considerations for matching a backsplash to granite, let’s explore some of the best backsplash materials and styles for achieving a unified, eye-catching kitchen design:

Ceramic Tile

A ceramic tile backsplash is a popular choice to pair with granite countertops. Ceramic tiles now come in a huge range of colors, prints, textures, and sizes to mix and match. Key benefits of ceramic tile include:

  • Durable and resistant to moisture
  • Provides easy cleanup of spills and splatters
  • Can mimic natural stone, metal, or glass for less cost
  • Available in a vast array of colors to match or contrast granite
  • Simple installation and readily available

Ceramic tile offers endless options to find the perfect colors, prints, and designs to complement granite surfaces. Pair classic subway tiles, mosaic sheets, or decorative medallion tiles with granite for a timeless backsplash look.

Glass Tile

Sleek and modern glass tile backsplashes brilliantly catch the light and create dynamic reflections that enhance a kitchen. Key features of glass tile include:

  • Distinct shine and reflective surface
  • Available in range of textures like frosted, pebbled, or smooth
  • Provides resistance to moisture, heat, and scratches
  • Installs easily in eye-catching patterns and designs
  • Metal or stone tile accents can provide appealing contrast

Glass tile beautifully accents polished or darker granites with its reflective luminosity. Using different colors and gloss levels can create subtle contrasts or harmonious blends.

Stone Tile

Natural stone tile brings an elegant, unique look as a backsplash, featuring organic veining and patterns. Popular stone tile options include:

  • Marble – Classic beauty with variation and veining that matches many granites
  • Travertine – Has a textured, pitted surface and brown, rust or beige-colored veins
  • Slate – Rustic layered stone with earth tone colors
  • Limestone – Offers creamy whites, tans, and grey with noticeable fossilized patterns

Stone backsplash tile in a granite-speckled material like sandstone or polished travertine can mimic the look of the countertops for a cohesive appearance.

Stainless Steel Tile

For a contemporary, industrial vibe, stainless steel backsplash tile provides a sleek metallic look. Benefits of stainless steel tile include:

  • Provides an ultra-modern style pairing nicely with dark granites
  • Durable, water resistant, and easy to keep clean
  • Can appear in brushed or mirror-finish to reflect light
  • Option to highlight with colorful grout lines
  • Can mimic pricey professional-grade appliances

Stainless steel tile backsplashes stand out against dark black, brown, or red granites with eye-catching luster and utility.

Subway Tile

Classic rectangular white subway tiles offer a versatile clean, minimalist look. 3″ x 6″ standard subway tiles laid in a brickwork pattern provide numerous perks:

  • Timeless, unfussy design works with nearly any granite
  • Sleek, simple style puts the granite on display
  • Whiteness makes small kitchens feel more open
  • Inexpensive option for quick kitchen refresh
  • Durable and low-maintenance

White subway tile backsplashes look especially crisp against darker granites like black, brown, or blue-toned stones. Glossy tiles with thin grout lines keep the focus on the granite.

Mosaic Tile

For loads of visual appeal, mosaic tile backsplashes bring energy and artistry. Key features of mosaic tile include:

  • Small scale tiles allow for intricate mosaic designs
  • Vibrant colors and eclectic patterns provide visual punch
  • Materials like glass, porcelain, or stone available
  • Provides opportunity to include customized medallions
  • Can introduce multiple colors to match variegated granites

Vibrant mosaic tile backsplashes in harmonizing tones provide major contrast next to solid granites. More subdued stone or glass mosaics nicely accompany busier patterned granites.

Metal Tile

Adding dimensional style, metal backsplash tiles lend an industrial vibe layered with color and sheen. Metal tile options consist of:

  • Stainless steel – Brushed and mirror finishes; warms up cool hues
  • Copper – Warm finish evolves into patina over time
  • Zinc – Naturally weathered gray finish; industrial aesthetic
  • Tin – Reflective silver color; eye-catching next to granite

Metal backsplash tiles work best with black, gray, or brown granites depending on the desired warmth. Stainless plays up cooler granites while copper boosts warm hues.

Porcelain Tile

Offering immense durability, porcelain tile backsplashes withstand heavy use and harsh cleaners. Benefits of porcelain tile:

  • Highly resistant to stains, scratches, and water
  • Maintains brightness and color over time
  • Provides smooth uniform look like glass
  • Available in wide range of sizes, shapes, colors and patterns
  • Easy maintenance and cleaning

Porcelain backsplash tiles pair nicely with polished or light-toned granites where their shared reflective qualities enhance the space.

With limitless colors, prints, textures and materials to select from, these backsplash tile styles offer on-trend pairings to accentuate and harmonize with your chosen granite.

Avoiding Clashes: What to Avoid Pairing with Granite

While the possibilities for backsplashes to pair with granite are endless, there are a few combinations that can potentially create a disjointed or distracting look:

Matching Busy Patterns

Super complex granites with swirling varied colors and movement can compete visually with equally busy variegated backsplash tile. Pairing two high-energy patterns can make a kitchen feel too frenzied. Opt instead for solid colored backsplash tiles.

Contrasting Tones

Matching a backsplash and granite with wildly different or opposing color tones often looks mismatched rather than contrasting. Unless you’re seeking a bold eclectic style, select a backsplash containing some echo of your granite’s tone and color family.

Same Flat Matte Finish

Matching a matte granite surface with a flat matte backsplash tile can create a dull, lifeless aesthetic. Incorporate some sheen and light reflection by pairing a matte granite with a polished, glossy, or glass backsplash tile.

Clashing Styles

Combining formal granite with a rustic backsplash tile may seem disjointed. Seek cohesion of styles and aesthetics when pairing granite and backsplash for a pulled-together look.

Avoiding these ill-matched combinations can help you discover the ideal backsplash to enhance and unify with your chosen granite.

Design Ideas for Pairing Granite and Backsplash

Need some inspiration for ways to effectively match granite and backsplash? Here are a few stylish kitchen design ideas:

Contrast Dark Granite with White Subway Tile

The high contrast between rich black granite countertops and crisp clean white subway tiles is classic. Use pure bright white or slightly warm ivory subway tiles. Lay them in a simple brickwork pattern or get creative with horizontal stripes or herringbone designs. Dark grout lines define the tiles against the granite. For dimension, frame the range hood with the same tiles.

Echo a Granite Color in Glass Tile Design

Pick out a subtle tone from exotic multicolored granite and amplify it in the glass tile backsplash design. Use a combination of glass mosaic sheets, tiles, and metallic accents. Including the echoed color connects the granite and glass for a cohesive effect.

Pair Granite with Stacked Natural Stone

Complement patterned granite counters with a backsplash of varied stacked stone tile. The organic texture and colors of natural materials like travertine, marble or slate soften the polished granite. Tones in the stone should reflect specks of color in the granite.

Go Monochromatic

For a super sleek modern look, install granite counters and backsplash in the same solid minimal color like navy, charcoal gray, or black. Use polished, high-gloss finishes in both the granite and tile. The unified palette keeps the focus on the beautiful streamlined design.

Frame With Matching Inset Designs

Utilize specialty shaped tiles like listellos or pencils to outline, frame and inset sections of the backsplash. Match the colors and finishes to details within the granite patterning. Inset metallic tiles can highlight flecks of mica in the stone. Coordinate the grout color as well.

Contrast Light Granite with Dark Long Subway Tile

For a crisp contemporary contrast, match a creamy light granite with rectangular glossy subway tiles in a darker hue like navy blue, rich brown or black. Lay the 3″x12″ subway tiles vertically to create height and drama. A thin single grout line will further streamline the look.

The possibilities are endless when thoughtfully blending colors, textures, shapes and materials to design a backsplash that truly complements the granite.

How to Install a Backsplash with Granite Countertops

Once you’ve selected the ideal backsplash to pair with your granite countertops, proper installation is key to unify these elements into a cohesive design. Here’s an overview of the process:

Remove Existing Backsplash

Carefully take out any existing backsplash. Use a putty knife to chisel off tile adhesive and scrape the wall down to the bare substrate. Address any underlying wall damage.

Dry Fit Layout

Map out the tile layout by arranging tiles over the counter and against the walls. Adjust to get the desired pattern, orientation, and spacing. Use spacers to account for grout lines.

Prepare the Surface

Thoroughly clean the wall surface and apply primer. Then liberally spread thinset mortar adhesive using a notched trowel to evenly cover the area.

Set the Tiles

Firmly press tiles into the thinset one at a time using a slight twisting motion. Use leveling clips beneath any uneven tiles. Let the thinset cure according to manufacturer instructions.

Apply Grout

Push grout into the spaces between tiles using a rubber grout float or squeegee. Wipe excess grout with a damp sponge in diagonal motions. Allow the grout to dry.

Seal & Finish

Apply sealant to the grout lines and granite counter edge to protect from staining. Buff any haze with a soft cloth. Caulk perimeter edges and install end caps or trim.

Following proper installation techniques for your selected tiles ensures they adhere securely and unify the backsplash and counter for years to come.

Maintaining a Backsplash with Granite Countertops

Once your new cohesive backsplash and granite design is installed, maintaining it properly is key to sustaining its beauty. Here are some tips for caring for the backsplash and granite:

  • Seal granite and grout annually to prevent staining and increase water resistance
  • Use gentle cleaners for day-to-day care of granite and tile surfaces
  • Rinse backsplash well after cleaning to remove residue and suds
  • Immediately wipe spills, splatters, and water drops to avoid buildup
  • Re-caulk joints over time as needed to prevent moisture issues
  • Get cracks, chips, or loose tiles repaired right away
  • Consider re-sealing or polishing granite over time to restore luster
  • Clean glass or metal tile backsplashes frequently to avoid hard water spots

Caring for the backsplash and granite properly helps retain their like-new appearance and ensures they continue to work harmoniously.

Final Thoughts

The ideal backsplash pairing truly complements and completes a kitchen design with granite countertops. With endless options for materials, colors, prints, and styles, thoughtfully select a backsplash that aligns with your chosen granite’s finish, patterns, and color tones. A cohesive backsplash and granite combination elevates your kitchen’s functionality and visually unifies the space. By avoiding mismatches and following proper installation techniques, you can achieve a stylish, harmonious blend of these critical kitchen elements that will bring you joy for years to come.

FAQ About Pairing a Backsplash with Granite

Still have some questions about choosing the perfect backsplash for your granite? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

What color backsplash goes well with dark gray granite?

Dark charcoal granite pairs nicely with white or soft gray backsplash tiles. Crisp white subway tiles offer vivid contrast while gray marble, glass or porcelain tiles blend smoothly.

What kind of backsplash compliments Uba Tuba granite?

Uba Tuba’s vibrant mix of greens, blacks, grays, and golds pairs beautifully with glass or ceramic tile in shades echoing the colors. Try bold green glass subway tile or multi-toned stone and glass mosaic sheets.

What backsplash looks good with black granite?

Black granite makes white subway tiles pop. You can also complement it with backsplashes in shades like silvery gray, muted blue and charcoal glass tile.

Can you use marble backsplash with marble countertops?

Yes, using marble backsplash and countertops in harmonizing colors and finishes creates a seamless elegant look. Just be aware both will require frequent sealing to prevent stains.

What backsplash goes with Santa Cecilia granite?

Warmer toned backsplashes in copper, beige, tan, cream, or rustic brown accent the golden flecks in Santa Cecilia granite. Weathered natural stone or ceramic tiles work nicely.

What tile color complements white granite?

White granite pairs gorgeously with white subway tiles and grout for a light bright kitchen. You can also use backsplash tile in light grays, silvers, pearlescent glass or mother of pearl tiles.


With limitless options for backsplashes to match with granite, selecting materials and styles that align aesthetically and functionally ensures your kitchen design fully harmonizes. Thoughtfully weigh the granite’s colors and patterns against the varying properties of ceramic, glass, stone, metal, and porcelain backsplash tiles. Seeking designs that complement or subtly contrast for visual interest leads to cohesive style. With proper installation and care, your paired backsplash and granite design can withstand everyday use while making your kitchen shine for decades to come.