Backsplashes have come a long way from their utilitarian beginnings as a purely functional way to protect walls behind stoves and sinks from water damage. Today’s backsplashes do all that and more – they can transform the entire look and feel of a kitchen by making the stove area a stunning focal point. With so many materials and designs to choose from, backsplashes give you an opportunity to add style, color, texture and pattern. Ultimately, the right backsplash can take your stove from mundane to spectacular.

Choosing a Material

The material you select for your backsplash will have a major impact on the overall look and functionality. Here are some top options to consider:


Tile is a classic backsplash choice that offers tons of variety. Ceramic, porcelain, glass, metal, stone – the possibilities are endless. Mix and match tiles in different shapes, colors and textures for serious visual impact. Tile backsplashes are durable, easy to clean and resistant to water.


  • Huge range of styles, colors and patterns
  • Durable and water-resistant
  • Easy to clean
  • Can create custom looks by mixing and matching


  • Grout lines may need frequent cleaning
  • Installation can be tricky for DIYers

Stainless Steel

For a super sleek, modern look, stainless steel backsplashes really make appliances like ranges pop. Stainless makes a bold style statement and is easy to wipe down.


  • Sleek, contemporary look
  • Durable
  • Very easy to clean
  • Reflective surface amplifies light


  • Shows signs of wear like fingerprints
  • Not as customizable as tile


Backsplashes made from natural stone like marble, granite, slate or travertine can really elevate a kitchen’s design. The veining and patterns of each piece create one-of-a-kind visual appeal.


  • Natural beauty of stone patterns
  • Luxurious, high-end look
  • Durable
  • Heat resistant


  • Expensive
  • May stain or etch
  • Needs resealing over time


For a truly eye-catching backsplash, glass tile offers gorgeous shine and depth. Materials like recycled glass tile are also sustainable choices.


  • Reflective, jewel-tone colors
  • Distinctive depth and radiance
  • Recycled glass is eco-friendly
  • Easy to clean


  • Not as durable as ceramic or porcelain
  • Installation can be tricky

Design Options

In addition to choosing a material, think about backsplash shapes, patterns and visual details. Here are some captivating design approaches:

Statement Tile

One way to make a major splash is to use statement or architectural tile. Oversized tiles in bold patterns and colors immediately capture attention. Statement tiles work best as the dominant surface material, not just an accent.


For lots of movement and interest, mosaic tiles with small, multi-colored pieces create pointillistic patterns when installed. Materials like glass, stone and ceramic lend themselves well to mosaics. Metallic mosaics can add great reflective shimmer.

Subway Tile

Classic rectangular subway tiles offer clean lines and graceful simplicity. White is most common, but subway tiles now come in many shades and finishes. Stack them horizontally or vertically, or weave different colors together.

Mixed Textures and Patterns

Don’t be afraid to get creative and mix different tiles together. Combining materials (like stone and glass), sizes (big and small), shapes (squares and skinny rectangles) and colors creates more dynamic designs.


If you want the backsplash to fade into the background behind a bold, colorful stove or range, go minimal. Plain white or very subtle mosaic or brickwork patterns impart quiet elegance.


For contemporary edge, bold geometric patterns in glossy colors energize a backsplash. Angles, diamonds, circles – create visual drama with simple shapes.

Integrating with Counters and Cabinets

Don’t confine your backsplash thinking just to the wall behind your stove. Wrapping backsplashes around adjacent surfaces will make them feel even more like an integrated part of your overall kitchen design.


Carrying your backsplash tile up your countertops onto side walls helps unify everything visually. It also minimizes grout lines in areas prone to spills.

Full Height

Take your backsplash to new heights – literally – by tiling from counter to ceiling. This makes the entire stove wall into a focal point. It works best with simple tile patterns.

Floating Shelves

If you add floating shelves near your range, use the same tile to echo your backsplash. The shelves will seem embedded within your backsplash design.

Matching Cabinets

Selecting some cabinetry or an accent island that picks up colors from your backsplash brings everything together cohesively. Even small touches like hardware matching backsplash metals can create harmony.

Backsplash Ideas by Stove Type

Certain backsplash materials and aesthetics pair especially well with particular stove types and finishes. Some smart combinations include:

  • Stainless steel range – Use a backsplash that plays off the gleaming metal finish. Glass or metal tile, stainless steel panels, or muted tones of stone.
  • Professional-style range – Rustic stone, brick or ceramic tile backsplashes complement pro-style dual fuel or gas ranges.
  • Colorful range – If your range makes a color statement, like cobalt blue or fire engine red, keep your backsplash neutral to avoid clashing.
  • Retro range – For a retro stove like SMEG, mimic midcentury style with diagonal patterns or retro-inspired colors like mint green or pale yellow.
  • Farmhouse sink – Further the cozy cottage look with brick, reclaimed wood or marble backsplash.
  • Island range – Backsplashes can make a range the focal point of an open kitchen/dining space. Use an art or mosaic tile design.

Installation Tips

Proper installation is key to making any backsplash look its best and perform well over time. Here’s how to ensure backsplash success:

  • Carefully prepare the wall surface so tile adheres smoothly and permanently. Proper backing prevents cracks.
  • Plan out your design and desired finished look before beginning installation. Be sure to account for edges and corners.
  • Follow all manufacturer instructions for prep, tile cutting, adhesive use, grout sealing and maintenance. Don’t skip important steps.
  • Take your time during installation to keep tile spacing and alignment even and levels. Rushing leads to problem areas.
  • Once installed, seal grout immediately and thoroughly to prevent staining and damage. Re-seal grout periodically.
  • If choosing natural stone, be extremely meticulous about sealing to prevent etching or discoloration. Use a professional installer if unsure.

Creativity and Protection

While once viewed as purely functional spaces, today’s kitchen backsplashes offer tons of opportunity for creativity and self-expression. With so many materials and designs to consider, you can truly make your stove area a gorgeous focal point that captures attention. Just be sure to keep practicalities like durability and ease of cleaning in mind as well. With the right backsplash, you can make your stove the shining star of your kitchen.

FAQs About These Backsplashes Make the Stove a Star

What are some popular backsplash tile materials?

Some top backsplash tile materials include ceramic, porcelain, glass, metal, natural stone like marble or slate, and recycled glass tile. Each material offers different aesthetics, durability, ease of cleaning and price points.

How do I choose a backsplash design?

Consider the overall style of your kitchen – modern, traditional, retro. Also look at the color scheme of cabinets, countertops and floors. Then select a backsplash material, color, shape and visual pattern that complements the existing elements.

Can I install a backsplash myself?

With proper planning and by carefully following manufacturer instructions, many DIYers can successfully install their own backsplash. Butterfly mosaic sheets make installation easier. If tiling an entire wall floor-to-ceiling, using natural stone, or uncomfortable with the process, consider hiring a professional installer.

What’s the best way to clean and care for a backsplash?

Most tile, metal, glass and stone backsplash materials can be cleaned with warm water and mild soap as needed. Avoid abrasive cleaners. Be diligent about sealing and re-sealing grout. Also seal natural stone periodically to prevent etching or stains.

How can I make my backsplash tie in with the rest of my kitchen?

Wrap the backsplash tile onto countertops or nearby walls, or echo backsplash colors/textures with new cabinets or shelves. Using the same finish, like stainless steel, on the range hood and backsplash creates continuity.

How do I decide on the size, shape and layout of backsplash tiles?

Smaller mosaic tiles, skinnier bricks and eclectic patterns create busier backsplashes, while larger tiles and simpler layouts give a cleaner look. Decide how bold or minimal you want the backsplash to be, then plan tile size and design accordingly. Mixing different shapes and materials together adds interest.


Backsplashes have evolved from purely utilitarian necessities into design showpieces that can completely transform the look of your kitchen. With myriad materials, colors, shapes and patterns to work with, creativity is truly the only limit when planning your dream backsplash. Just be sure to think about functionality as well as aesthetics. With proper planning, the right backsplash can make your stove the stunning centerpiece of your cooking space.