Adding a backsplash is one of the best ways to customize your kitchen and make it reflect your personal style. If you have wood cabinets, you have plenty of backsplash options that will beautifully complement the warm, natural look of the wood. Here are some great backsplash ideas for kitchens with wood cabinets.

Subway Tile

Classic white subway tile is a timeless backsplash choice that looks beautiful with wood cabinets. The simple, clean lines and bright white color provide the perfect contrast to rich wood tones. Subway tile comes in standard 3 x 6 inch sizes, so it’s easy to install in a running bond pattern for a seamless, cohesive look. For added interest, consider alternating between white grout lines and a gray or light brown grout.

Herringbone Tile

Herringbone tile patterns add visual interest and dimension to a backsplash. The interlocking arrangement of rectangular tiles has a woven, textural look. For wood cabinets, neutral colors like white, cream, or light gray work well. You can opt for all one color or mix up a few similar tones. Install it on the diagonal or straight for different effects. The linear pattern pairs nicely with both traditional and contemporary kitchen styles.

Marble Tile

Elegant marble tile makes a lovely backsplash for wood cabinets, combining the sleek veining of marble with the warmth of wood. Stick to soft, neutral marble colors like white Carrara, gray, beige, or cream rather than bold colors or heavy veining, which can look too busy. Large-format 12 x 24 inch marble tiles can have a seamless, sophisticated look. Or create visual interest by laying intricate marble mosaic tile patterns.

Travertine Tile

Another great natural stone option is travertine tile. It comes in warm beige and brown earth tones that complement wood cabinets beautifully. Travertine has a distinct textured, pitted surface with a lot of natural character. Filling in the holes and pores creates a smooth face or leave them unfilled for more texture. Travertine backsplash tiles come in many sizes, including large rectangular tiles and small mosaics.

Metal Tile

For a more modern, industrial vibe, metal backsplash tiles pair strikingly with wood cabinets. Stainless steel, copper, brass, and nickel all pop against the wood grain. Try a subtle metal like brushed nickel or opt for brighter polished copper as an accent. Keep it sleek with large metal tiles or get creative with shaped metal mosaic tiles.

Glass Tile

Another eye-catching option is glass tile, which can lend a kitchen vibrant color and shine. Blend it with wood cabinets by sticking to glass tile with earthy, subdued colors like slate gray, sea green, or bronzed brown. Iridescent glass tile with fluctuating colors is also an option for adding hints of color. For wood cabinets, smaller glass mosaic tiles or a mix of glass and stone tiles can work better than large glass tiles.

Geometric Tile

If you want something graphic and modern, geometric tiles make a bold backsplash for wood cabinets. Hexagons, triangles, diamonds, and chevron patterns catch the eye. Keep the colors neutral like white, black, gray, or beige, and vary up the textures and gloss levels for interest. Use just one shape or combine a few complementary geometric tiles.

Stone Mosaic Tile

Stone mosaic tile backsplashes combine little pieces of natural stone or porcelain tile in an intricate arrangement. Stone mosaic tiles come in organic shapes like circles, hexagons, or cloud patterns. Neutral, earthy color combinations emphasize the mosaic’s textures. Blend stone with marble, travertine, slate, quartz, or ceramic tiles. Stone mosaic backsplashes have an artistic, handcrafted look that pairs beautifully with the craftsmanship of wood cabinets.

Rustic Tile

For farmhouse style wood cabinets, consider a rustic backsplash tile. Handmade or hand-painted ceramic tiles, reclaimed wood planks, pebble stone tiles, and terracotta all have an artisanal, vintage feel. Neutral colors with variations in tone and texture enhance the rustic charm. Mix and match tile sizes, shapes, and materials for eclectic character. A rustic backsplash warms up a kitchen and complements the worn, distressed look of many wood cabinets.

Wood Plank Tile

Of course, wood tile backsplashes seamlessly match wood cabinetry. Linear wood plank tiles are a great coordinating option. Mix different wood grains, colors, and plank dimensions for texture and depth. Try lighter woods against darker cabinetry and vice versa. Horizontal planks maintain the clean lines of most wood cabinet styles, while vertical stacks of wood planks add a more custom, bespoke look.

Best Practices for Installation

  • Make sure to seal natural stone tiles like marble or travertine before installation to prevent staining and discoloration from kitchen messes.
  • Use sanded grout lines for a smooth finish with most tile types. Match the grout color to the tile for a seamless look.
  • Carefully lay out your tile pattern and design ahead of time to ensure you have the right amount of materials and achieve the desired visual effect.
  • For heavy natural stone tiles like travertine, make sure you have adequate reinforcements and support behind the tile.
  • Take care to properly seal any edges and seams during installation to prevent moisture damage.

FAQs About Backsplashes for Wood Cabinets

What color backsplash goes best with wood cabinets?

Neutral shades like white, beige, cream, light gray, and soft brown are safe backsplash colors for wood cabinets. Subdued patterns or mosaics in these tones complement most wood cabinet finishes.

What kind of backsplash is best for a rustic kitchen?

Handmade ceramic tile, reclaimed wood planks, pebble tiles, or terracotta have a great rustic, vintage appeal for farmhouse style wood cabinets. Mix natural shapes and varied textures.

Should you match backsplash to wood countertops?

It’s not necessary, but can look very pulled-together. Try a complementary neutral stone or ceramic tile. For organic wood countertops, natural stone mosaic backsplash or reclaimed wood planks coordinate nicely.

What backsplash goes with cherry cabinets?

Cherry wood has reddish-brown tones, so cream, beige, gray, and white backsplash tiles tend to pair best. A marble, travertine, or stone mosaic backsplash can complement the visual warmth of cherry cabinets.

What backsplash color goes with medium wood cabinets?

For medium wood tones like oak, birch, or maple, versatile options include white subway tile, marble, travertine, stone mosaic, cream or beige ceramic tile, stainless steel, and wood plank tile.


The best backsplash for your kitchen ultimately comes down to your personal taste and decor style. Fortunately, wood cabinets offer amazing versatility to pair beautifully with many backsplash materials, colors, and designs. Just be sure to stick to neutral hues that gel with the wood aesthetic. Then get creative with shapes, textures, patterns, and mixed media to design a backsplash that brings to life your ideal kitchen style. With the right backsplash tile choice, you can really make those lovely wood cabinets shine.