Important: This massive backsplash ideas article is in two sections. The first sets out the different types of backsplashes. The second is a photo gallery of stunning backsplashes. It’s a long article so we wanted to bring this to your attention right away so you can get to what you’re looking for.
When trying to get a great kitchen backsplash design applied during a kitchen remodel, you have to look at the materials being used.
There are many modern kitchen backsplash ideas can be made from a variety of styles and materials and can even come in a great number of colors to ensure it is the focal point of the kitchen and offset the kitchen design.
You can use glass tiles, a tile mural or ceramic tile backsplash, stainless steel, marble backsplash, and stone kitchen backsplashes to name but a few. You should look carefully to see what is available for your use.
One of my favorite kitchen design approaches is a fairly neutral design with respect to floor, cabinets, countertops and ceiling but then using the backsplash to add the color.
I’m not the only person who likes this approach; it’s very popular.
The main backsplash materials include ceramic tiles, glass mosaic tile or stone. Some kitchens use a combination, but I prefer sticking with one material throughout.
What is the backsplash?
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The backsplash is the wall above countertops… often the wall space between lower and upper cabinets. It’s also the wall area above a stove and below the hood (assuming the stove is against the wall).
Why do you need a backsplash?
In addition to enhancing design, backsplashes perform an important function. It protects the wall. It can get messy in a kitchen, especially in the sink and stove areas. The backsplash protects walls from “splashes” of water, grease, food, liquids and whatever else is going on.
Partial or full coverage?
If you can, by far the best approach with a backsplash is to extend whatever material you’re using from top to bottom. That means from the countertop to the base of the upper cabinets. Not only does this provide fuller protection, but it looks much, much better.
Table of Contents
- Backsplash Ideas by Material
- Types By Pattern
- Backsplash Colors
- Backsplash Statistics
- Backsplash Ideas Photo Gallery
Backsplash Ideas by Material
Ceramic tiles feature a mix of clay and minerals with water. These are fired at high temperatures to create sturdy bodies. A liquid glass coating may also be applied to create a glaze that adds a nice shine.
- This is hard in its body and also difficult to crack.
- It can also resist stains and scratches.
- Ceramic tiles are very easy to install.
- These can also be found in a vast variety of colors and patterns.
- Ceramic is not for high-impact areas where extreme pressure can be found.
- These tiles can be rather heavy.
It costs around $2 to $7 per square foot to get ceramic tiles.
Subway tiles look like traditional bricks but are made with smoother and lighter colors. These are made to look like a mix between traditional ceramic tiles and harder brick materials. These are heavily inspired by bricks that are found at subway stations, hence the name of the surface.
- These are sturdy and easy to add.
- These can be mixed with grout materials that can be colored to mix in well with the tiles.
- Subway tiles are also available in a good variety of color tones.
- You can mix in different color tones with one another to create some repeating patterns.
- These have to be sealed off regularly so they will continue to look great.
- These can also be tough to use in some high-traffic areas.
It can cost about $3 to $7 per square foot to add subway tile to a backsplash.
Stone tiles feature a series of natural stones compressed and mixed together. Granite and slate are the most popular stones to use here although marble and sandstone can work too. The stones are cut into a series of thin pieces and mixed together to create a strong surface.
- This offers a great look that is still less expensive than what you’d get out of larger stone slabs.
- The stones are carefully organized in lightweight bodies to make them easier to secure.
- These are smoothed out well so it will be easier for you to clean them off.
- Stone tiles can be organized in a variety of patterns.
- You will have to regularly seal your stones so they will not be at risk of harm from outside materials.
- Water and other compounds could damage your stones if they are not cleaned and sealed regularly. Stones typically have several small pores all around.
The price varies substantially depending on the stones being used. It can cost anywhere from $5 to $15 per square foot just to use such tiles.
Glass tiles are made with thin pieces of glass secured together. These are often used with just one color on a wall although some backsplashes can come with several colors at a time. You can create repeating patterns or use a random series of glass colors. Also, the glass tiles can come in a variety of sizes. A mesh backing is also used to keep these tiles strong.
- There are no limits as to what colors or tile shapes you can get out of glass tile backsplashes.
- These reflect light quite well and are easy to secure.
- These are rated to be used in high-traffic areas. They are practically identical to what can be found on glass floors.
- Due to the added mesh materials needed, these can be difficult to install.
- Because glass tiles are known to come in many varying sizes, it can be tough to get them arranged properly with enough grout or sealant all the way around.
This is another option with a vast range in terms of how much it costs to get such items installed. You might spend $7 to $30 per square foot just to get glass tiles installed.
A stone slab is different from stone tiles in that you are using one larger stone body instead of a series of smaller bodies connected together as tiles. A slab will come from one large stone surface and will be cut down into a slim body. This is so it can fit onto your backsplash with a solid backing used to keep it all together. This can also be sanded down to create a smooth and consistent body.
- This adds a refined and more natural look as you are using one standard stone body all over the surface.
- There are no limits to how the patterns on such slabs may look. The patterns will be more natural in their appearance thanks to the authentic stone materials being used.
- Like with stone tiles, these are porous and should be treated with care.
- Sealing is required every couple of years.
It costs about $5 to $20 per square foot for a stone slab backsplash. The total varies based on how refined the surface is and the type of stone that is used.
Mosaic tiles are made with stone or glass materials for the most part. They are made with a variety of colors in mind. Grout is used to link individual tiles together and should be relatively visible. While they can come in many colors, they should be made of the same materials in your installation.
- The appearance of your backsplash will be much more dynamic with such a backsplash in mind.
- You can always choose the colors you want on your tiles before installing them.
- The grout can be colored or stained to fit in with the tiles.
- These have to be sealed regularly.
- Sometimes the tiles might not be identical in their shapes.
You would have to spend $2 to $8 per square foot to get mosaic tiles added to your backsplash.
Porcelain is a ceramic surface that is fired at a much higher temperature than many other similar surfaces. This creates a dense body that is much less porous.
- It is ideal for use in high-traffic areas where stains are more likely to develop. The surface does well with resisting stains.
- This is easy to clean off.
- It can be found in a variety of colors and styles.
- The backing materials needed for such tiles are typically thicker and harder to apply. You might need to get some extra help to fix up what is on a surface.
Porcelain is affordable as it goes for $3 to $7 per square foot.
Glass sheets can be applied onto your backsplash. A glass sheet can be cut into any size to fit into your backsplash. In some cases, you can get a glass sheet organized with a series of symmetrical tiles in a variety of colors.
- It is easier to install a sheet than it is to get individual tiles secured.
- The glass body will create a nice shine and stand out well on your property.
- Glass can scratch up rather easily.
- You would have to clean off the glass regularly as stains are easier to spot on glass than in other surfaces.
- The glass surface is transparent. Therefore, you would have to look at how well the backing looks before adding the glass backsplash onto the surface.
It costs more to get glass sheets ready than it does for most other materials. You might spend $10 to $15 per square foot to get a glass sheet ready.
Matchstick tile is made with a series of slim bits of material stacked on top of each other. These are arranged in a horizontal pattern although you could get a vertical pattern going if you prefer. These are made with glass materials for the most part and are organized by color. Similar hues will go with each other on a typical matchstick tile application. This option gets its name from how the tiles used are slim in their design like matchsticks.
- The strong attention to detail is very noticeable.
- You can get this in a variety of patterns. You could even get the widths of each line to vary.
- Colors for this option can repeat or be random depending on your preference.
- It can be difficult clean off such a surface.
- This can easily stain depending on the materials used for making the tiles.
This is available for $5 to $20 per square foot depending on the complexity of the design and how extensive the installation will be.
Metal tiles are used when you’re aiming to get a more professional look in your property. Metal is designed with a vibrant silver-like body in most cases although it can be tinted. It offers a solid and smooth look that can be cut into a slim series of sheets.
- The dense nature of metal makes it a non-porous surface that is easy to use in many wet and high-impact spots.
- The shine that comes off of metal can especially make it stand out in many spots.
- The metal tiles can be cut into a series of brick-like shapes among other choices depending on what you prefer to use.
- This is heavy and often difficult to install.
- It can scratch up easily if you are not careful with it.
Metal tiles can go from $5 to $30 per square foot depending on the strength and density of the tile.
Cement tiles are made with real cement materials and are mixed into various shapes. You can get the tiles prepared in any shape you want. These will produce bold-looking designs when applied right.
- These are resilient and will last for years to come.
- These are less porous than many other solid materials.
- Such tiles can be prepared with either solid colors or with a series of repeating artistic patterns.
- They can scratch easily.
- Such tiles can be harmed by acids or harsh detergents.
You would have to spend $10 to $18 per square foot to get cement tiles added to your backsplash.
A mirror surface for your backsplash typically comes in one of two forms. It can come as either a traditional full-bodied mirror cut to fit in the area or through a series of smaller mirror tiles.
- This surface doesn’t have to be fully reflective. You can order mirror tiles that are somewhat opaque so there is a bit of a reflection without being far too distracting.
- This allows for a great metallic look that stands out on any surface.
- It is easy to scratch up mirror surfaces.
- These have to be cleaned off regularly as it is very easy to spot stains on them.
- Some people may be disoriented by the reflections that come off of these mirror surfaces.
You would have to spend $10 to $25 per square foot to get mirror tiles on your backsplash.
Terra-cotta is a clay-based surface that features a brownish or reddish tone in most instances. It can be fired up to keep it from being porous. It can also be sealed in some cases. This comes in a number of sizes as well.
- You can get this cut into a series of square tiles or rectangular brick-like tiles.
- This adds a warm and calming look to any backsplash.
- Because it is non-porous, it will not take in all that much water. It can also be sealed to keep a nice shine going.
- The color may wear out over time.
- This works best if you seal it on a regular basis.
Terra-cotta tiles typically go for $3 to $8 per square foot in most cases.
Marble consists of carbonite materials like dolomite and calcite. It is a sturdy option that is prominent for having a natural look and is also very easy to add onto any surface. It can be cut in any way that you see fit. It may be used in a slab or tile form. Either way, it can be cut into a series of slim sheets to make it easier for them to be added to your backsplash walls so long as a proper anchor backing is used.
- Marble is made with a refined look that has some natural stress lines and color tones.
- Marble is available in light and dark colors alike.
- This adds a sense of luxury or quality to any kind of surface.
- This must be sealed regularly as it can take in water if you are not careful.
- Avoid using high amounts of pressure on marble as it can chip quickly.
It costs $10 to $20 per square foot to get marble surfaces added into your space.
Brick materials are often used on backsplash areas to create a relaxed look. Bricks are often cut into a series of slivers that can be applied onto a base. Some cement materials can divide each of these bricks from one another. You can also get your bricks sanded down if desired.
- Brick offers a natural look to any spot.
- You can find bricks in a variety of tones although red and brown colors are the most prominent.
- This has to be sealed consistently so water will not get into any pores.
- The textures of bricks can be inconsistent depending on how their materials are shored up.
You could spend $10 to $20 per square foot on brick surfaces for your backsplash.
A wooden backsplash comes with a wood veneer for the most part. Wood is often added in either individual slabs or as tiles. It can be stained in many tones. It can also appear in either a horizontal or vertical arrangement.
- The lighter nature of wood makes it an appealing option to have if you’re looking to establish a more comforting look.
- Wood backsplashes can fit in well with many cabinets, countertops and other wood surfaces in your kitchen.
- Wood must be sealed regularly to keep water from getting in the way.
- Wood can also scratch up easily.
- You could possibly chip your wood if you are not careful with it.
Wood backsplashes can be found for $5 to $15 per square foot.
You can add a new window into your backsplash. A window backsplash uses a glass body that is transparent and creates a modern look into your kitchen.
- It allows light to naturally get into the area without having to use lots of artificial light sources.
- It is a luxurious option that might be more attractive in some spots.
- Because it is clear and easy to see through, it could impact your privacy depending on where you put it.
- The installation process can be extensive due to the need to cut around a spot to create a new window.
The extensive cost of getting a new window added can make creating such a backsplash a challenge for some. It can cost around $20 to $50 per square foot to get a new backsplash added. The cost varies based on the intensity of the project in terms of getting a new window applied in a spot.
Travertine tiles are made from limestone that has been deposited by mineral springs. It has a lighter or tan tone to it.
- This can be found in many color tones to fit your needs.
- These will not scratch or warp easily. They have been naturally fired to create a stronger backing.
- Travertine is a naturally porous compound that has to be sealed regularly.
- This can be harmed by acidic substances and can especially be damaged by vinegar.
Travertine tiles cost about $2 to $6 per square foot.
Limestone is made primarily from skeletal fragments of various marine organisms. It includes calcite and aragonite among other forms of calcium carbonate.
- Limestone is about as strong as hardwood and yet lasts longer.
- Limestone can be found in an assortment of colors.
- This is a very versatile stone for how it fits in well in many spots around your kitchen. A limestone backsplash can be paired with a limestone worktop, for instance.
- This can be harmed by a number of acids.
- This must be maintained regularly with sealants while also ensuring that any moisture that gets onto the sealant is cleared out as soon as possible.
Limestone tiles can be for from $2 to $10 per square foot.
Slate is a natural stone material that is strong and offers a powerful body. It is normally found in darker tones and can come with a series of small grooves to make it stand out even more.
- Slate tiles can last for years to come.
- This comes in a number of beautiful tones.
- It can also be found in many arrangements with different stress lines added onto some.
- Some tiles might be at risk of cracking.
- Each tile must be applied onto a solid surface with mortar to keep them intact.
You can find slate today for about $2 to $10 per square foot.
Types By Pattern
A square pattern is the most popular option that you can use. This works as a basic symmetrical design where the squares are all of around the same size and style.
- Square patterns create a consistent look all around a kitchen.
- There is room for variance in terms of the colors on each square tile around your backsplash.
- The grout materials used in between each tile can also be stained or colored in any way you see fit.
- The repeating nature of the square pattern can become predictable and dull over time if you’ve got a much larger backsplash area to work with.
Rectangular backsplash pattern
As the pattern suggests, a rectangular style uses a series of tiles that are made to be longer than they are tall. This creates a brick-like look to your backsplash depending on how it is made.
- Rectangular tiles can come in a variety of heights. You can choose smaller tiles for a matchstick design or brick-sized tiles that look more commonplace.
- There are no limits as to how many types of rectangular tiles you can use. You can apply tiles in a variety of heights all around your backsplash.
- You can use as many colors for your rectangular tiles as you want.
- Your tiles should be cut carefully to be of a proper length so there won’t be any overly short ones standing out in the middle of your design.
A metallic pattern will use a series of brighter and more reflective materials. In this case, you will have tiles that are made of metals or other similar compounds that are carefully coated to give off a shiny look.
- This will mix in well with a variety of kitchen surfaces and appliances.
- The bright colors add a sense of intensity to any kitchen.
- The light reflections on these backsplashes can be rather bright and tough to work around.
Vertical wood-style backsplash
A wood-look pattern creates an appearance that gives off a homely and warm style. It has a series of bright and attractive wood grain features. It may be created with real wood materials although some synthetic materials may be applied as well.
- This establishes a rustic look when chosen right.
- You can get a pattern organized in a horizontal or vertical alignment depending on your preference.
- The wooden design can come in light or dark tones.
- Some of these designs can be difficult to clean off. Stains might be easier to notice on their bodies.
Pebble stone backsplash
Novelty designs can be found in a variety of forms. You can find some backsplashes that feature a series of natural stones that are arranged together to create a pebble-like design.
- A novelty design will provide you with a more attractive and distinctive look.
- Such designs can be organized in any manner that you see fit.
- All the materials used for such a design have to be organized carefully so the backing in a spot is fully covered.
- Everything added has to be secured with enough cement or other adhesives so individual pieces will not fall off or wear out fast.
When choosing a backsplash, you have to set up a proper color onto the surface. A great color adds a striking look to any backsplash and will allow it to look more vibrant and appealing to the average viewer. Such colors to add include the follow popular options:
Make sure when choosing a color that you do so while looking at how that color will fit in well with the rest of the kitchen. This is to create a better total appearance that has an outstanding style without any colors clashing or otherwise looking far too unusual in their style.
Most Popular Backsplash Colors
- White: 33.5%
- Beige: 21.5%
- Gray: 15.2%
- Multi: 11.7%
- Brown: 3.6%
- Blue: 3.4%
- Black: 2.8%
- Other: 8.3%
Most Popular Backsplash Materials
- Ceramic Tile: 21.1%
- Subway Tile: 16.5%
- Stone Tile: 15.8%
- Glass Tile: 12.5%
- Stone Slab: 7.4%
- Mosaic Tile: 7.4%
- Porcelain Tile: 6.2%
- Glass Sheet: 5.8%
- Matchstick Tile: 2%
- Other: 5.3%
Backsplash Ideas Photo Gallery
Here’s a collection of 40 stunning, but different kitchen backsplash ideas.
A fantastic wood kitchen with painted cabinets. The backsplash is beige and blue 1 inch mosaic tiles that provide a striking contrast to the glossy marble countertops.
The only backsplash in this country kitchen is behind the stove, with a strip of tile along the pink and yellow vent hood. The pastels of the stone tiles pick up the warmer shades in the granite countertops.
A multi-colored stone backsplash with tiles in varying shapes. A section in the center above the stove is in much smaller square tiles with a bronze faucet extending from it. The square pattern is repeated above the stove on the small vent hood.
A very light cream ceramic tile backsplash brightens up the rich wood cabinets and the beige granite countertops.
A white kitchen with glass-faced cabinets above the main preparation area and sink. The backsplash is a mix of black, gray, and white glass mosiac tiles. Source: Zillow DigsTM
Dusky brown and red stone tiles mimic the look of light brick and keep this kitchen understated and traditional.
A pristine white and cream open-concept kitchen with a two-tiered second island that doubles as an eat-in bar. The backsplash is a gorgeous soapstone with lots of light gray veining.
A country kitchen with a light blue island and multicolored ceramic tiles for the backsplash. Like many of the other kitchens in this collection, a coordinating centerpiece above the stove adds visual interest to the larger section of backsplash.
A view of the above kitchen from just behind the kitchen island, providing a better view of the backsplash behind the stove.
This luxurious kitchen has two different materials in the backsplash. A metallic stone subway-style tile with a strip of bold, glistening 1 inch mosaic tiles in gold, red, and orange. Source: Zillow DigsTM
A soft stone tile backsplash with a bolder centerpiece behind the stove top. The light backsplash keeps this neutral kitchen in a warm color palette.
A luxurious rich dark wood kitchen with an enormous amount of marble backsplash with orange veining.
An old-world style dark wood kitchen with light marble countertops and a beige stone backsplash. The center arrangement above the stove has a decorative iron design in the middle.
A light, aged brick backsplash with an inset center design with a chevron pattern. Source: Zillow DigsTM
A retro backsplash in mustard and chocolate brown glass 1 inch mosaic tiles.
A simple tile backsplash with a kitschy floral pattern as the focal-point behind the range adds additional character to the arched doorways and cabinet openings of this charming kitchen.
A ceramic tile backsplash with a metal medallion above the range in a pastoral scene.
A close up of a behind-the-range backsplash in tiny glass mosaic tiles, stone tile, and a metal quilting pattern.
A wood kitchen with a bold, colorful, and somewhat zany backsplash in ceramic multi-colored tiles of varying sizes. Source: Zillow DigsTM
An elegant kitchen with an adjacent dining room. The busy brown and cream granite countertops are contrasted by the light, subtle backsplash.
A solid, seamless stone backsplash with a strip of cream, gray, and red glass mosaic tiles around the perimeter.
A unique kitchen with glossy white formica countertops and a glass tile mosaic behind the range. To the right and left of the range are glass windows with a light blue tint that look out on the fenced-in backyard. Source: Zillow DigsTM
A beautiful kitchen in shades of brown with a stone backsplash and an inset center focal point of thin, long tiles of charcoal and bronze.
A glass-tile backsplash with multiple colored tiles and accents of beautiful, glittering glass mosaic tiles.
A simple, sweet country kitchen with mint cabinetry and an alternating pattern of green tiles along the white tile backsplash. Source: Zillow DigsTM
A contemporary kitchen with beautiful details on the wood cabinets and a framed focal point mosaic above the range.
A modern kitchen in black and white. The contrast is softened by the long tile backsplash in shades of gray and taupe. Source: Zillow DigsTM
A contemporary light wood kitchen with a backsplash that extends all the way to the overhanging section above the wall cabinets that has recessed lighting.
A white kitchen with rounded cabinets and an oval kitchen island in a rich dark hardwood. The stunning deep red of the backsplash immediately draws the eye.
A kitchen with an interesting glass tile backsplash that looks different depending on the angle of the light. Copper elements add shine to the design.
Another look at the above kitchen, paying particular attention to the copper vent hood above the range.
In the right light, the backsplash appears to be made out of copper, when in reality it is glass and ceramic.
A glass-tile backsplash with accents of gold and red.
A contemporary kitchen with high end appliances and a beautiful white subway tile backsplash with a light grout. Source: Zillow DigsTM
A slightly curved kitchen with a bold glass mosaic tile backsplash and light granite countertops.
A dark kitchen with marble countertops and a large amount of glass mosaic tile on the wall above the range and extending on either side.
A contemporary kitchen with a small center island and beautiful wood floors. The gray subway tile gives way to ornate ceramic tiles and then to a focal point mosaic above the range.
A charming kitchen in white with a center range on the island. The backsplash consists of one layer of gray tiles below the yellow walls.