What’s New in Kitchen Backsplashes

Kitchen backsplashes play a critical role in protecting walls from water damage and spills while also serving as an eye-catching focal point. With so many options now available, from materials to colors and designs, backsplashes can transform the look and feel of any kitchen. This article explores the latest trends and innovations in backsplash design that are making a splash in kitchens today.

Sleek Metallic Tiles

Metallic backsplashes are a top trend, adding glamour and contemporary flair. Copper, brass, nickel, and stainless steel tiles infuse kitchens with an industrial vibe. These lustrous metals reflect light beautifully and pair well with dark cabinetry and countertops for bold contrast. Metallic tiles come in a range of shapes and finishes, like subway tiles, herringbone and hexagonal patterns. Using metallic mosaics or combining metal and ceramic tiles creates even more visual interest. Their luminous sheen offers a glitzy yet versatile option for any style kitchen.

Vintage-Inspired Penny Tiles

Penny round tiles offer a fun, retro look, reminiscent of early 20th century design. The small, dot-like tiles are arranged in sheets to form gorgeous patterns. Bright glossy colors in aqua, coral and citrus hues transport the kitchen to another era. Juxtaposing penny tile patches amidst a neutral backsplash adds eclectic charm. Alternatively, covering an entire backsplash in penny tiles makes a bold, artistic statement. Their spherical shape reflects light in a unique way for added dimension. Durable and easy to clean, penny tiles bring personality and playfulness to the space.

Mosaic Artistry

Mosaic tiles remain a top backsplash option, allowing for incredible creativity. Tiles come in every color, material and shape imaginable to design spectacular mosaic backsplashes. Mixing and matching gorgeous glass, ceramic and natural stone tiles creates artistic murals and landscapes only limited by imagination. For a more uniform look, mosaics also come in mesh sheets. Combining large tiles with intricate mosaic inlays highlights specific areas, like behind sinks or stoves. Handmade mosaics with irregular edges have an Old World, Mediterranean feel. Just as in ancient Roman and Greek structures, mosaics make the backsplash a true work of art.

Moroccan-Inspired Zellige Tiles

Zellige tiles offer intricate Moroccan-style patterns typically in square, diamond and starburst motifs. These ornate ceramic tiles were originally handmade in Fez, Morocco using regional clays. Their complex geometric shapes reflect light exquisitely for surface excitement. Blue, green and yellow are common zellige colors reminiscent of Mediterranean palettes. Zellige patterns lend incredible visual texture, transforming backsplashes into the room’s focal point. Use zellige tiles sparingly as accents or fully cover walls and ceilings for dramatic effect. Their elaborate shapes and sheen create depth and movement for an exotic global flair.

Handmade Art Tile Murals

For a truly custom backsplash, consider a hand-painted art tile mural. Skilled artisans craft murals using specialized glazes and firing techniques. Vivid landscapes, scenes, flowers or abstract designs come to life on the backsplash. Art tiles can also commemorate special memories or interests like favorite vacation spots. Murals allow for creative storytelling through artful backsplash design. Made using chemical-free, sustainable materials and practices, art tile murals are also eco-friendly. A mural becomes a meaningful heirloom, adding immense character to the kitchen.

Bold and Vibrant Colors

Color makes a statement in backsplashes today with vibrant hues spanning the spectrum. Warm red and orange tones bring energy while cool blues, greens and purples create serene ambiances. Use color to accentuate architectural details or make the entire backsplash one dramatic color. Combining complementary or contrasting colors also livens up the space. Handmade tiles offer even more color variety with unique glazes, patterns and textures. Vivid backsplashes in on-trend colors breathe life into neutral kitchens or match appliances and cabinetry to tie the whole room together.

Stacked Stone and 3D Tiles

Dimensionality is on the rise with 3D tiles sculpted to mimic natural materials like stacked stones, wood planks and travertine. Textural tiles add depth, from subtle surface relief to dramatic contours. Stacked stone tiles in slate, travertine and marble looks emulate rough-cut layers of rock. Wood-look tiles recreate rustic planks with visible grains and knots. Textural tiles infuse backsplashes with lovely shadow effects and visual excitement from every angle. Using them strategically as accents or full wall coverings enhances the overall design and ambiance.

Unconventional Organic Materials

Nature inspired backsplashes are also growing in popularity using unconventional organic materials like crushed shells, mixed pebbles, and agate slices. Seashell tiles bring ocean hues to the kitchen in shades of cream, gray, pink and blue. Fossil stone tiles with imprints of ancient ferns or sea creatures create a geological mosaic. Backsplashes made from reclaimed barn wood or grapevine branches add rustic warmness. Using organic materials harmonizes the kitchen with nature. Their irregular shapes, multi-tonal colors and inherent patinas form one-of-a-kind backsplashes. Taking inspiration from the earth itself, they organically enhance the space.

Sophisticated Marble and Quartzite

Elegant marble and quartzite slabs bring refined style to kitchen backsplashes. Prized through the ages for their beauty, marble and quartzite have timeless appeal. With gorgeous veining, swirls and flecks, no two slabs are alike. Materials like Carrara, Calacatta, and Statuario marble or Taj Mahal quartzite feel rich and indulgent. Their translucent crystalline patterns seem to glow, illuminating the kitchen beautifully. Using marble or quartzite on the entire backsplash or just small accents conveys tailored luxury. These stones wear well over time, becoming even more storied with age.

Geometric Patterns

From zigzags to hexagons, triangles and diamonds, geometric backsplashes are making a striking comeback. Graphic patterns create rhythm and visual energy. Tiles in contrasting colors make the geometrics pop even more. Herringbone and chevron styles add subtle directionality and movement. Geometric patterns feel fresh and modern yet also nod to retro mid-century designs. They can lend an architectural sensibility when used over the entire backsplash or provide artistic flair as an accent. Geometric tiles serve as blank canvases to play with color, shape and line for limitless stylish possibilities.

Sophisticated Simplicity of White

Crisp white backsplashes provide a clean and seamless look, especially on contemporary designs. White tiles keep the focus on other architectural elements like dramatic countertops and statement light fixtures. All-white backsplashes enlarge spaces, amplify natural light and create soothing, airy ambiances. White penny tiles, subway tiles, marble and stone achieve different textures. Combining matte and glossy finishes adds subtle contrast. Crisp white with barely-there grey veining gives a stately feel. White also makes the ideal neutral backdrop to layer accent colors and materials over for customizable style.

Eco-Conscious Materials

Sustainable materials are a growing backsplash trend with tiles made from recycled glass, reclaimed wood, cork and other eco-friendly sources. Recycled glass tiles come in stunning colors and even metallic finishes. Wood backsplashes can utilize reclaimed barn siding or fallen limbs. Using post-consumer recycled paper or cork tiles preserves trees. There are even bio-based tile materials made from rapidly renewable bamboo, straw and coconut fibers. Just as durable as traditional materials, sustainable tiles are better for the planet. Their unique variations in color and texture add character while conserving resources and reducing waste.

Bold Backsplash/Countertop Combos

Using the backsplash and countertop as complementary design elements is on the rise. Contrasting materials, like metal backsplashes with quartzite countertops, create visual impact. Vibrant solid surface countertops paired with neutral ceramic tile backsplashes let each element stand out. Matching up intensities is also an option, like bold multicolored quartz with a mosaic backsplash. Dark dramatic countertops make bright white backsplashes pop even more. Think of the backsplash and countertop as a cohesive duo and play with color, texture and pattern to make a design statement.

FAQs about the Latest Trends in Kitchen Backsplashes

What are some popular backsplash color trends?

Vibrant blues and greens are rising, along with warm earth tones like terracotta and mustard yellow. Bold black and white graphic patterns are also on trend. Metallic sheens in copper, gold and silver are increasingly popular too.

What backsplash materials are most trendy now?

Metal and porcelain tiles, textured 3D tiles, recycled glass, penny tiles, and eco-friendly materials like cork are rising in popularity. Marble slabs and mosaics also remain timeless and elegant options.

What backsplash shapes and designs are in style?

Geometric patterns like chevron, herringbone and hexagon are prevalent now, sometimes in contrasting colors. Moroccan-inspired tiles and mosaics make artistic statements. Mixing metallic, glass and stone tiles creates eclectic charm.

How can backsplashes complement countertops?

Use both elements to establish a color palette and design motif. Contrast textures and tones for visual excitement. Choose materials that share qualities like veining or sheen to tie them together elegantly.

Which backsplash trends create dimension?

3D hand-sculpted tiles, stacked stones, penny tiles, mosaics, and multifaceted glass tiles all refract light for surface depth and movement. Varying tile sizes and organic materials also add architectural interest.

What are easy ways to update a backsplash?

Just a few colorful mosaic sheets behind the range create a focal point. New metal or glass accent tiles can modernize traditional ceramic tile. Painting over an old backsplash and stenciling a chevron or geometric pattern gives trendy flair.

How can backsplashes enhance small kitchens?

Light, reflective surfaces like white subway tiles enlarge spaces visually. Vibrant mosaic tiles draw the eye. Neutral stone or glass blended with pops of color adds interest without overwhelming.

What should be considered when selecting a backsplash?

Durability for high-use areas near stoves and sinks. Ease of cleaning is key too. Coordinate with existing countertops, cabinetry, flooring and decor. Factor in the room’s lighting and ambiance goals as well.


Kitchen backsplashes have come a long way from basic white ceramic tiles. Homeowners now have an incredible array of materials, colors, prints and textures to choose from. Vintage penny tiles, handmade art murals, recycled glass mosaics, marble stone slabs, metallic hexagons, and organic textured tiles are just some of the stylish and innovative options available. With so many possibilities, the backsplash truly becomes an opportunity to infuse personality into the heart of the home. Following current trends or taking inspiration from global designs and nature itself can guide choices. Ultimately, the ideal backsplash reflects the homeowner’s tastes and lifestyle to create a kitchen that feels uniquely personal. With the latest backsplash innovations, possibilities are endless for beautiful and functional kitchen design.