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71 Best Backsplash Ideas for Kitchens, According to Designers

Subway tile, you've met your match!

By Hadley Mendelsohn and Medgina Saint-Elien
avery coxpinterest icon
Lindsay Brown

If you're long overdue for a mini makeover in your kitchen, you're one tile away from having the space of your dreams. The best backsplash ideas for kitchen remodels make such a big impact, you might not need to do anything else. This wall material makes all the difference in your layout, whether it runs across the entire thing or serves as an accent behind the range. A bold tile or slab material can even turn an awkward corner between the cabinets into a chic focal point. With so many inspiring kitchens to admire, the hardest part just might be narrowing down the best kitchen backsplash ideas to apply to your space.

"When considering backsplash material, we think it's important to consider the overall rhythm of the space; what is your focal point? What other colors, materials, and textures can you bring in to really support this?" advises Jenn Feldman of Jenn Feldman Designs.

There's an impressive universe of colors and textures you can choose from. Sure, you could go with the classic subway tile from your childhood home, but where's the fun in that? Rustic, contemporary, Art Deco–there are kitchen backsplash design ideas guaranteed to make you look again and keep expanding your mood board. Ahead, learn about the the new materials and styles designers are obsessing over. And keep reading until the end to learn about backsplash dos, don'ts, and best practices.

As for what's to become an instant favorite for kitchens, Avery Cox of Avery Cox Design predicts customization—the more unique, the better. "If I'm really going for something special, I'll select a handpainted or marbled tile from somewhere like Balineum," she says. An artist's touch is having a major moment right now, whether it's in your kitchen or bathroom.

🏡Love looking at designer spaces for inspo? Us too. Let's obsess over them together.


Matching Shelf, Backsplash, and Counters

marble backsplash in navy and white kitchen
Amy Bartlam Photography

"We had a vision of a true chef's kitchen for this traditional home, so modern elements like the linear hood and utilitarian gas range are softened so well by the natural qualities of the heavily veined marble we selected for the backsplash and long floating shelf," says Feldman. "It wraps all the walls in the space and was used on the oversized island as well." It's the focal point in this workhorse space for sure!


Colorful Patterned Tile

open kitchen window and back splash

Caren Rideau, founder of the Kitchen Design Group, believes tile should make a splash. "White subway tile is overused," she says. "I love color! Even if you don't want patterns, choose a tile that's completely blue, green, or pink—it's an opportunity to do something else."


Celebrate the Materials

white kitchen with glazed backsplash
Amy Bartlam Photography

Quality wins even when it's a neutral color as shown in this kitchen designed by Feldman. She finds that the handmade, artisanal tile is a high-impact, low-cost way to make a kitchen sing: "The natural variation in color and imperfections in the glaze and edging imbue the space with so much depth." Glossy off-white tile and leathered soapstone are a timeless combination.

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Accent the Range

tile kitchen
Lindsay Brown

Cox used square teal tiles in this kitchen to bring attention and depth to the cooking alcove. On either side of the range are white tiles with a teal blue trim to carry the color throughout the space.


Go Sustainable

tan tile in kitchen backsplash
Jess Isaac

Ceramic tiles glazed with pigments derived from industrial metal waste are an excellent option for giving your backsplash a refresh. We love how this kitchen by designer Jaqui Sherman combines the tiles with a richly veined slab for the counters and partway up the walls.


Glossy Herringbone Tile

decatur, georgia home of cate dunning's grandmother
Emily J Followill

In this kitchen designed by Cate Dunning, glossy tiles laid in a herringbone pattern contrast with the matte greige cabinets and dark stone counters. Marrying both, the floor tiles are a custom mosaic pattern reminiscent of an old-school Paris bistro.

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Plaster Paint

white kitchen backsplash
Alison Gootee

The kitchen in Liz Lange's New York City home isn't large, but she wanted it to feel as bright and airy as possible despite a smaller footprint. "Rather than going pre-war in its aesthetic, we gutted it and went very clean and modern," she says. She coated all hardware-free cabinetry in white lacquer and used white plaster paint on the backsplash, which looks unfussy and isn't too precious.


Single Row of Tiles

kitchen door with stained glass window home by reath design

The colorful stained glass window steals the show in this eclectic kitchen by Reath Design. Honey-hued paint envelopes the room, giving the space a surge of warmth. Wood countertops and a single row of merlot-toned square tiles complete the look.


Mirrored Surfaces

kitchen backsplash ideas
Mark Lavender Interiors

The classic details make this look like the original kitchen, but designer M. Lavender actually did a complete gut job. Even the layout is new, with a window right over the range so the entire room gets illuminated by western exposure light. The mirrored backsplash over the counters and under the cabinets bounces the light even further.

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Dark Matching Counters

kitchen backsplash ideas

New York City-based designer Garrow Kedigian chose Soft Chinchilla by Benjamin Moore to give the kitchen cabinets a light, cheerful energy. “I always like my kitchens to feel like rooms and not utilitarian spaces, so I always encourage my clients to paint their kitchens with a lively color,” Kedigian says. The backsplash and counters are the same material, black granite from SMC Stone, for a seamless effect.



Read McKendree

Another tileless option? Shiplap. It's perfect for a kitchen that has a coastal theme, like this Nantucket-inspired one designed by Kevin Isbell. The white oak counters warm up the freshly painted space.


Brick Veneer

brick veneerfor the walls the designer chose a classic red brick, but since it was just for looks, went faux “it’s like a thin brick tile,” she explains
Haris Kenjar

That being said, maybe brick is the right choice for your kitchen backsplash and walls. Here, a classic red brick veneer sets the historic, lived-in mood that design firm Landed Interiors & Homes was aiming for. Since it was just for looks, they went faux. So even though looks like it's been there forever, it's actually a newly applied set of tiles that simply look like antique bricks.

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Dark Granite and Paint

oklahoma designer kelsey leigh
mcgregor used charcoal gray
negresco granite on the backsplash
and countertops of this kitchen so
they would nearly disappear against
the dark paint paint after midnight,
kelly moore paints range frigidaire
professional art vintage
Emily Hart

Oklahoma designer Kelsey Leigh McGregor used charcoal gray Negresco granite on the backsplash and countertops of this kitchen so they would nearly disappear against the dark paint color used on the walls, hood, and cabinets.


Copper Backsplash and Counters

unique backsplash ideas
deVol Kitchens

In this deVol kitchen, the custom copper countertops stretch up the walls as a backsplash and cover a slim shelf for decor display and extra storage space. The rich patina gives it a historic appeal.


Glossy Black Tile

dtile kitchens
Studio Helder

Designed by Studio Helder, this striking kitchen is completely covered in glossy tiles. It straddles a unique line between retro and futuristic.

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entertaining kitchen of april tomlin
Paige Rumore

Or if you're not sold on painted walls and want a bit more natural light, plan your kitchen around a wall you can install counter-to-ceiling windows in. This entertaining kitchen—designed by April Tomlin and owned by Thomas Rhett and Lauren Akins—is a prime example.


Marine Tones

kitchen ideas

This Eric Olsen kitchen has serious tile game. If you live by the coast but want something moodier or you simply love blue, take inspiration from the rich navy, gray, and cobalt tones throughout.


Waterproof Stucco

kitchen of the month neighboring bar featuring custom shelves by amuneal and a dishwasher
Lesley Unruh

A corner wet bar within a larger kitchen designed by Sarah Blank is inspiring us to consider a fun paint color in a specialty finish that doesn't age poorly when in the splash zone. The walnut millwork and copper hardware look especially beautiful against the navy texture-rich paint. Check out our Venetian plaster guide for more information on how to achieve a similar look.

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Reclaimed Wood

Countertop, Cabinetry, Room, Furniture, Kitchen, Property, Interior design, Building, House, Home,
Luca Trovato

Warm up a cabin-style kitchen with walls in reclaimed wood. Extend them to your backsplash and it's full-on rustic charm.


Painted Brick

kitchen ideas
Stephen Kent Johnson / OTTO

If you live in a rental and can't do a full-on wall tear-down but really aren't feeling the look of exposed brick, just paint it over with white paint. In this kitchen designed by Shawn Henderson, the white brick backsplash allows for a more modern, fresh mood as opposed to the industrial and darker presence of unpainted bricks.

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