Kitchen backsplashes not only protect the walls from water damage and stains but serve as a stylish focal point in the heart of your home. With so many designs and materials to choose from, it can be challenging to select a backsplash that aligns with your taste, complements your cabinetry and countertops, and makes a fashionable statement. This article takes an in-depth look at the most popular, on-trend backsplash styles for 2023.
Subway Tile Backsplashes – A Timeless Classic
Subway tile backsplashes have been a popular choice for decades thanks to their classic, timeless appeal. These rectangular tiles laid in a bricklike pattern provide a clean, elegant look that pairs nicely with traditional or modern designs.
What is it: Subway tiles are typically 3 x 6 inch glossy ceramic tiles in white, off-white, light grey, or other neutral tones. They are installed in an offset bricklike pattern.
What’s great: The elongated rectangular shape and offset pattern create visual interest and movement. The tiles reflect light well, adding a bright and open look. Subway tile backsplashes have a crisp, clean aesthetic and go with nearly any color scheme or style. They are affordable, low maintenance, and easy to install.
Styling tips: Stick with traditional white or light neutrals for a classic look, or go bold with saturated colors. Mix sizes or orientations for more modern flair. Accent with contrasting grout. Add decorative insets like marble or glass mosaic tiles. Install a subtle border along the top.
Cost: Approximately $5-15 per square foot installed.
Subway tile backsplashes offer versatility to match any kitchen decor, which explains their continuous popularity.
Statement-Making Tile Backsplashes
For those seeking a backsplash that steals the show, statement-making patterned and shaped tile designs make a dramatic impact. From moroccan and arabesque motifs to geometric designs, artistic tile backsplashes infuse personality into the kitchen.
What is it: Artistic, decorative ceramic or porcelain tiles arranged in patchwork patterns, arabesque shapes, or mosaic compositions. Available in a wide color palette.
What’s great: Provides a work of art focal point and powerful style statement. Looks like a custom art installation but uses easy to install tile. Pattern play adds depth and visual interest.
Styling tips: Select a tile pattern or color scheme that aligns with your overall decor. Contrasting grout emphasizes the design. Limit patterns to the backsplash area to prevent overwhelming the space.
Cost: $10-50 per square foot.
For cooks who see their kitchen as a creative canvas, statement tile backsplashes allow you to make your mark through captivating works of art.
Natural Stone Backsplashes
Backsplashes utilizing natural stone like marble, travertine, and granite inject organic texture with gorgeously veined and speckled patterns. Their innate elegance and timeworn beauty bring a refined sophistication to the space.
What is it: Backsplashes crafted from slabs of natural stone like marble, travertine, slate, and granite. Often installed as large format tile or panels.
What’s great: Provides distinctive, one-of-a-kind patterning. Looks and feels luxurious. Natural materials reflect craftsmanship and quality. Pairs well with countertops made of the same stone.
Styling tips: Select stone in a hue that complements cabinets/countertops. Use large format pieces to highlight sweeping veining. Smaller tiles or mosaics create busier effects. Keep other finishes simple to let the stone stand out.
Cost: $40-150 per square foot.
For those favoring a look of fine luxury, backsplashes made of natural stone surfaces impart elegance and splendor.
Handmade Tile Backsplashes
Seeking the artistic flair of handcrafted tile? Many artisan studios produce beautiful handmade backsplash tile in specialized shapes, patterns, and glazes. The human touches add warmth, uniqueness, and craftsmanship to the kitchen.
What is it: Tile crafted by artisans that may use hand-pressed or hand-painted techniques. Offer unique colors, shapes, prints.
What’s great: Provide one-of-a-kind personality that feels bespoke to your space. Interesting imperfections add rustic charm. Craftsmanship and quality are evident. Chance to support independent artists.
Styling tips: Choose varying shapes/sizes for eclectic patchwork designs. Stick to a color scheme that complements cabinets. Highlight handmade charm with simple borders and solid tiles elsewhere.
Cost: $10-50 per square foot.
Handmade artisan tiles lend rustic warmth and craftsmanship, taking the backsplash to personalized heights of style.
Glass Tile Backsplashes
Backsplashes with glass tile infuse brilliant color, shine, and dimension through light-reflecting and textural glass pieces. Sleek and modern or richly patterned, glass raises the style bar.
What is it: Small tiles made of glass rather than traditional ceramic/porcelain. Available glazed, frosted, or clear in a rainbow of colors. Often found in mosaics.
What’s great: Reflective surface bounces light beautifully. Vibrant colors. Smooth surface is easily cleaned. Translucent glass casts alluring shadows. Intricate mosaics make artistic statements.
Styling tips: Glass mosaic sheets create fastest installation. Mix opaque and clear tiles. Use solid glass sheets on fewer walls. Careful with very dark colors.
Cost: $15-50 per square foot.
Glass tile backsplashes project eye-catching brilliance and colorful allure for contemporary chic style.
Metal Tile Backsplashes
For those desiring an industrial modern look, backsplashes with metal tiles in stainless, copper, brass, and other metals infuse cools tones and sleek texture.
What is it: Tile pieces made of various metals like stainless steel, copper, zinc, and brushed nickel. Often have raised diamond, square, or rectangular relief patterns.
What’s great: Lustrous metallic shine. Industrial modern aesthetic. Durable and easily cleaned. Mimics commercial kitchens. Copper and brass patina beautifully over time.
Styling tips: Pair with matching metal hardware and appliances. Limit to one accent wall. Combine with glass or stone mosaic tiles. Use varying metal finishes as accents.
Cost: $10-50 per square foot.
Backsplashes with metal tile lend an urban, contemporary vibe through bold textures and polished, reflective surfaces.
Eco-conscious homeowners are choosing sustainable or recycled backsplash materials that reduce environmental impact without sacrificing style.
What is it: Tile, panels, and surfaces made using environmentally friendly manufacturing and recycled materials. More durable and stain-resistant than traditional tile.
What’s great: Sustainable, recycled materials like glass reduce waste and energy use. Durable panels stand up well to moisture and stains. Attractive stone and concrete styles. Variety of textures and hues.
Styling tips: Combine green backsplash pieces with traditional tile. Choose lighter glass panels to open up smaller spaces. Mixing panel and tile creates blended design. Evaluate durability for high-use areas.
Cost: $5-50 per square foot.
Green backsplashes make conscientious choices attainable – protecting the environment through durable and stylish splashback materials.
The rich patina, warmth, and texture of real wood backsplash panels or tiles impart cozy rustic ambiance to country kitchens.
What is it: Real wood pieces installed in traditional tongue and groove or tile patterns. Reclaimed barnwood brings attractive patina.
What’s great: Natural material provides a cozy feel. Barnwood reclaimed from old buildings has alluring imperfections. Can match or complement wood cabinetry. Easy to install wood panels available.
Styling tips: Use large panels over ranges or prep areas prone to grease splatter. Accent with ceramic tile trim. Limit wood to a single focal wall. Use sealant on grout lines.
Cost: $10-30 per square foot.
Wood backsplashes in weathered barnwood or sleek modern panels infuse rich, organic texture for cozy warmth.
Open Shelving as Backsplashes
Open shelving skipping the backsplash tile in favor of displaying glassware, dishes, cookbooks or plants. The airy, uncluttered look keeps visual space open.
What is it: Wall-mounted open shelves spanning from countertops to upper cabinets without a backsplash. Floating shelves are secured to wall studs.
What’s great: Airy, uncluttered appearance compared to busy backsplash tile. Easy access to frequently used items. Flexible display space to show off glassware, books, etc. Makes a smaller kitchen feel more open.
Styling tips: Use durable, water-resistant shelf material. Limit shorter shelves over cooktops/ranges. Organize items attractively for tidy look. Match shelf style to cabinetry. Light items help the floating effect.
Cost: $75-200 per 4 foot shelf section.
Open shelving creates free-floating displays that keep the space visually open while offering handy access to necessities.
Painted walls offer a sleek alternative for those who prefer an uncluttered, minimalist aesthetic. Falling out of favor, but still an option.
What is it: Omitting a tiled backsplash in favor of painted drywall spanning to upper cabinets. Typically uses high-gloss or oil-based paints.
What’s great: Creates a streamlined, ultra-modern look. Unbroken wall expanses appear larger. Faster and easier to do than tiling.
Styling tips: Use high-gloss or oil-based paints that can handle splashes and are easily wiped clean. Carry wall color to ceiling for seamless transitions. Requires vigilant cleaning to keep painted walls looking good. Prone to damage over cooktops/ranges.
Cost: Around $30-60 for specialty wall paint.
Skipping backsplash tile keeps ultra-contemporary kitchens sleek and streamlined for a seamless minimalist look.
Exposed brick backsplashes inject rustic warmth and dimension through weathered textures and earthy red hues. The natural material pairs attractively with traditional cabinet styles.
What is it: Installing exposed brick backsplashes using authentic salvaged brick or faux reclaimed-look tiles. Creates a raw, industrial look.
What’s great: Rustic appearance with authentic salvaged brick patterns and imperfections. Brick’s porous surface helps absorb noisy echoes. Distressed brick adds cozy, aged charm. Durable, heat resistant, and affordable.
Styling tips: Seal salvaged brick to protect from moisture damage. Use a clear coat to keep a worn, antique appearance. Contrast with bright white cabinets and stainless appliances. Limit brick above cooking areas.
Cost: $10-25 per square foot.
Rugged exposed brick backsplashes infuse cozy rustic ambiance and plenty of cottagecore charm into traditional kitchen spaces.
Hardworking concrete backsplashes provide an industrial modern look through varied grey hues and subtle aggregate patterns. Concrete offers sophicated urban edge.
What is it: Backsplashes created using poured concrete, precast concrete panels, or concrete-look porcelain tiles. May be polished, textured, or stamped.
What’s great: Thick, substantial slabs carved from concrete have luxe feel. Cool, modern look. Available in different finishes and integral pigments. Porcelain provides realistic concrete look with easier installation.
Styling tips: Contrast concrete with bright white cabinets and metals for bold pop. Use special sealers to resist stains. Limit to a single statement wall. Combine with exposed brick or wood for an eclectic look.
Cost: $4-8 per square foot for concrete-look tile, $8-20 installed for precast concrete panels.
With its varied grey hues, subtle aggregate patterns, and luxe thickness, concrete backsplashes bring tempting industrial edge to contemporary kitchen spaces.
Beadboard backsplashes summon coastal New England cottage charm through their distinctive rows of wood beading. Crisp white color keeps the look light and beachy.
What is it: Backsplashes using tongue-and-groove beadboard panels with characteristic raised wood trim edges. Most often crisp white.
What’s great: Beadboard’s repeating raised ridges create eye-catching texture and shadow lines. Timeless cottage/country appeal. Inexpensive. Easy DIY install with plywood panels. Distressed styles have vintage charm.
Styling tips: Opt for moisture-resistant MDF beadboard to deter warping. Use high-gloss paint for easy cleanup. Install boards horizontally to give illusion of higher ceiling. Avoid dark colors that show dirt. Keep countertops light.
Cost: $3-5 per square foot.
Crisp white beadboard backsplashes serve up breezy cottage charm with their distinctive raised ridges and coastal New England-inspired aesthetic.
Self-adhesive vinyl backsplash panels offer an affordable, DIY-friendly option to emulate other high-end looks like tile, metal, or wallpaper. Easy to install and replace.
What is it: Thin PVC vinyl sheets in tile, metal, wallpaper, or other patterns that stick to the wall similarly to wall decals. Mimic pricier materials with less weight.
What’s great: Extremely affordable material and easy DIY installation. Peel and stick application. Temporary solution that is easily replaced. Good for rentals/short-term homes. Variety of patterns available.
Styling tips: Ensure surface is clean prior to application to avoid lifting. Use mild detergent and soft cloth to clean. Avoid abrasive scrubbing. Use caulk to seal edges. Limit use to dry areas only.
Cost: $3-8 per square foot.
Self-adhesive vinyl backsplash panels deliver temporary, affordable style ideal for short-term homes or rentals.
Kitchen Backsplash Ideas by Color
While the texture, sheen, and pattern of your backsplash tile play a big role, the color makes the most immediate stylish splash. Here are inspiring backsplash ideas organized by popular kitchen color schemes:
White Kitchen Backsplashes
White kitchen cabinetry keeps the space fresh and bright, while the backsplash injects style. Choose eye-catching designs in materials like handmade tile, marble, or glass mosaic to prevent too much white-on-white. Warm metal finishes also pop nicely.
- Metallic penny tile
- Marble herringbone
- Cobalt blue glass mosaic
- Geometric white ceramic tile
- Aged white subway tile
Gray Kitchen Backsplashes
Pair moody grays like charcoal and smoked tuft with brilliant backsplash choices to keep the space from feeling flat and gloomy. Bold subway tile arrangements, graphic pattern tile, or multi-colored mosaics keep it upbeat against gray cabinetry.
- Black and white subway tile
- Rainbow glass mosaic
- Graphic metro tiles
- Moroccan fish scale tile
- Distressed white brick
Black Kitchen Backsplashes
Make a dramatic stylish statement with white or other high contrast backsplashes against sophisticated black cabinetry and appliances. Play with texture and shape to increase the visual interest.
- White subway tile herringbone
- Natural stone mosaic
- Diamond mosaic tile
- Stainless steel
- White penny tile
Blue Kitchen Backsplashes
Vibrant, decorative backsplash tile in warm terra cotta, sunny yellow, crisp white, or retro mint green contrasts beautifully with popular blue cabinet colors like navy, light blue-gray, or robin’s egg.
- Yellow ceramic subway with blue accents
- Retro mint, white, blue geometric
- Terra cotta and cobalt Spanish design
- White marble herringbone
- White shiplap beadboard
Green Kitchen Backsplashes
Earthy green cabinets beg for backsplashes with nature-inspired style. Concrete, stone, brick, and wood choices strike a natural modern balance with sage, forest, or emerald cabinetry.
- Weathered plank wood
- Exposed brick
- Multi-toned slate mosaic
- Concrete with black accents
- Frosted sea glass tile
FAQs about In-Style Kitchen Backsplashes
What backsplash colors go best with white cabinets?
White cabinets pair beautifully with nearly any color backsplash. Choose something that complements your cabinet hardware and countertops. subway tile green and glass. Subway tile, natural stone, and glass mosaic backsplashes all look stunning against bright white cabinets.
What is the most popular backsplash for 2023?
Subway tile remains the most popular choice, but bold statement tiles in interesting shapes, patterns, and materials like moroccan fish scale tile, terrazzo, and handmade artisan tile are strong style contenders and offer fresh twists on the classic subway layout.
What backsplash is timeless?
Subway tile, glass mosaic, marble, and stainless steel backsplashes give lasting versatility. Their clean lines work with any style, from country to contemporary to minimalist. While trends come and go, these backsplash materials remain visually appealing.
What’s the easiest backsplash to install?
Self-adhesive vinyl backsplash panels provide the easiest install. Just measure, cut to fit, peel, and stick to the wall. Groutless styles like glass mosaic sheets, large-format tiles with small grout lines, and MDF beadboard also rate as simpler installs.
Can you do an inexpensive temporary backsplash?
Self-adhesive vinyl backsplash panels allow you to inexpensively test out a backsplash look before committing to a permanent tile installation. At $3-8 per square foot, stick-