An eye-catching kitchen backsplash can completely transform the look and feel of your cooking space. With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide on the perfect backsplash tile for your kitchen. Here are some of the most popular kitchen tile backsplash ideas to inspire your remodel.
Timeless Subway Tile
The quintessential and timeless subway tile is a classic choice for a backsplash. Typically 3-by-6 inches, these rectangular tiles featuring flat fronts and evenly spaced grout lines provide a clean, streamlined look. Subway tiles come in a vast array of colors, materials like ceramic or glass, and finishes like glossy or matte. A white subway tile backsplash serves as a blank canvas for colorful accents and provides a fresh, bright backdrop for your kitchen. For more visual interest, opt for subway tiles in complementary colors or patterns.
Eclectic Penny Tiles
Penny round tiles are a fun alternative to classic subway tile. Ranging from 1 to 4 inches in diameter, penny tiles add eclectic character and dimension to your backsplash. They come in a variety of vintage inspired colors and patterns for a retro vibe. Pair different penny tile shapes and sizes together or alternate them with subway tiles. Their small scale makes them perfect for applying an eye-catching geometric, floral, or abstract design over your backsplash.
Modern Minimalist Porcelain Tile
For a sleek, contemporary look, minimalist porcelain tiles make a sophisticated backsplash option. Available in larger formats like 12-by-24 inch rectangles or mosaics of small squares, porcelain tiles offer a seamless appearance thanks to their low porosity. With minimal grout lines and neutral shades like white, gray, or black, large-format porcelain tiles create a stunning modern backdrop. Add visual texture with 3-D tile effects or polished, satin, or honed finishes.
Rustic Farmhouse Brick or Wood
Capture farmhouse charm with a handmade, rustic tile backsplash. Salvaged brick tiles with naturally worn edges and varied hues add vintage character to a kitchen. For a reclaimed wood look, porcelain planks painted, glazed, and shaped to mimic authentic aged barn wood offer durability without the maintenance real wood requires. Pair your rustic tiles with an apron-front sink, antique brass fixtures, and open shelving for a cozy, country kitchen aesthetic.
Vibrant Moroccan Fish Scale Tile
Make a bold style statement with colorful patterned or hand-painted tile. Drawing inspiration from classic Moroccan architecture, fish scale tiles are an ornate choice for a backsplash. Available in glossy hues like blue, green, and yellow, the diamond and circular tile shapes interlock for an intricate mosaic look. Use fish scale tiles sparingly as an accent behind your stove or let them steal the show by covering your entire backsplash.
Textural 3D Tile
Three-dimensional tiles provide depth and visual intrigue for a backsplash. Stacked tile creates a faceted 3-D effect. Bump tiles feature rounded raised surfaces for subtle textural appeal. Or opt for embossed, grooved, wavy, or pebbled tiles that cast delicate shadows. These dimensional tiles work best as an accent mixed with smoother subway or penny tiles. Limit them to one area, like behind the faucet and sink, to prevent overwhelming your backsplash.
Natural Stone Tile Beauty
For natural beauty and durability, stone tiles make an excellent backsplash option. Honed travertine and marble tiles in soft beiges and whites create a seamless, organic look. Tumbled stone tiles with chiseled edges offer textural appeal. Or get the look of natural stone at a budget-friendly price with porcelain tiles that realistically mimic patterns of marble, travertine, and granite. Add eye-catching veining with detailed stone-look mosaics or polished stone accents.
Handmade Encaustic Cement Tile
Encaustic cement tiles offer artisanal Old World charm with intricate patterns. Made from cement, clay, mineral pigments, and sand, the tiles are hand-pressed with decorative tin molds under high pressure for detailed relief designs. Available in geometric patterns, nature motifs, and artistic designs, they come in muted tones like grey, sage green, and terracotta. Use them sparingly to define a focal point or feature wall behind the stove.
Vintage-Style Hexagon Tile
For a retro spin, cover your backsplash in hexagon tiles. Their unique six-sided shape allows for creative geometric designs. Use varying hues and patterns for an eclectic honeycomb effect or stick to a single color for graphic impact. The small scale of hexagon tiles keeps them from looking too busy. Play up the vintage vibe with glossy black, bright white, or bold Technicolor tiles. Pair with metro shelves, retro appliances, and mid-century decor.
Mirror Tile for Reflective Shine
Make your kitchen appear larger while amping up the visual interest with reflective mirror tiles. Available in various sizes and shapes, mirror tiles come framed or frameless for seamless installation. Use them sparingly behind the sink or range to create the illusion of more space and cast dance reflections around the room. Keep safety in mind and avoid placing mirror tiles that could reflect sunlight and cause glare.
FAQs About Kitchen Tile Backsplashes
What is the most popular backsplash tile size?
The most popular backsplash tile sizes are 4×4 inches, 3×6 inches, 4×12 inches, and 2×2 inches. The standard subway tile size of 3×6 inches provides a classic look. Mosiac tiles and penny rounds come in 1-2 inch sizes. While large format tiles like 4×12 inches minimize grout lines for a clean look.
How do I choose a backsplash tile color?
When selecting a backsplash tile color, consider the color scheme in the rest of your kitchen. Contrasting grout colors can also make the tile color pop. Neutral tiles work well as backdrops, while bold colors make a dramatic style statement. Tiles that match your countertops, cabinets, or appliances will create a cohesive look.
What tile is best for kitchen backsplash?
Ceramic and porcelain tiles are best for kitchen backsplashes as they are water, stain, scratch and heat resistant. Subway, mosaic, stone, and glass tiles also make great backsplash options. Choose tiles with texture or decorative patterns for visual interest. Ensure tiles have a PEI rating of at least 3 for durability.
How much does it cost to install a tile backsplash?
The cost to install a tile backsplash is between $600-$1,200 depending on the tile type, backsplash size and installation labor. More intricate tile patterns, natural stone tiles or large format tiles usually cost more. Many DIYers can install their own backsplash for under $400.
Should you seal a tile backsplash?
It is highly recommended to seal grout lines on all backsplashes. Sealing the grout creates a barrier that prevents stains and moisture from penetrating the grout lines. Choose a penetrating sealant formulated for grout rather than a topical one. Re-apply sealer on grout lines annually.
How do you cut tile for a backsplash?
Use a wet saw fitted with a sharp diamond blade to accurately cut ceramic, porcelain or stone tiles for a backsplash. Make precise measurements before cutting tiles. For detailed cuts like holes for outlets, use a tile nipper followed by a file and sandpaper to smooth the edges. Always wear safety goggles.
The kitchen backsplash serves both form and function. Protecting your walls from splatter and spills, while also providing eye-catching style. With so many backsplash tile materials, colors, patterns, and designs to choose from, get creative with your backsplash and let it enhance your personal culinary design aesthetic. Evaluate your cooking habits, kitchen decor, and style sensibilities. Then use these popular kitchen backsplash tile ideas to inspire your dream design. With the right tile choice, you can craft a stunning backsplash that flawlessly matches your unique taste.