From the Floor Up

12 Kitchen Backsplash Tile Ideas

Posted by Daltile Team on Sep 11, 2015 8:30:00 PM

Featured on THE NEW AMERICAN HOME Quartzite in Golden Sun

You want your kitchen backsplash to do its duty. But you also want it to look great. Maybe you’d even like it to be the centerpiece of the room. Luckily the design possibilities for backsplash are just about endless.
Start gathering kitchen backsplash ideas right here and get ready for a kitchen that will leave you and your guests dazzled.

1.    Subway Tile

Subway tile is an evergreen classic that seems to work with just about any design style. It fits with classic designs, brings a bit of retro into transitional spaces, and never looks out of place in the contemporary design. This retro trend has come back around as one of the most popular backsplashes today.

Update the look with a colored tile. Or pick a tile that is larger or smaller than the traditional 3 x 6 to get the look with a twist. Also check out the many materials available in a subway tile like natural stone, porcelain, metal, and glass.

2.    Metallic

Metallic is an industrial look that is popular in kitchen designs recently. It adds a reflective quality that adds more light to the space and opens up the room.

The contemporary look is available in bright, shiny finishes or in rustic, aged finishes. Backsplash tiles come in mosaic sizes all the way up to a large format tile. You can have actual metal tiles or opt for a ceramic or porcelain body tile with a metallic finish.

Urban Metals in Stainless 6 x 6

3.    Mosaics

Mosaic tile is generally somewhere between one and two inches and is highly customizable. You can mix and match for your own design, or you can pick one of the many professionally designed mosaics that comes pre-assembled on a mesh backing for easy installation. The mesh-backed mosaics have turned the corner and now offer interlocking blocks that further increase the beauty and continuity of the mosaic.

Mosaics are available in some interesting shapes today that make your backsplash one-of-a-kind. Check out elegant arabesque tiles, triangle shapes, penny rounds, or pencil tiles for a backsplash mosaic that becomes the center of the room.

4.    Pop of Color

Because the backsplash makes up only a small part of your kitchen, you can use it to introduce bold color that accents your room design. It’s the perfect place to add some brightness that won’t overwhelm the space.

Carry the bright color through the room with accessories and accents. If you choose a crisp green on the backsplash add a basket of green apples on the island to harmonize your bold color choice.

Egyptian Glass in Moonstone Blend  mosaic and Granite in Volga Blue on the countertop

5.    Change it Up

A backsplash has the potential to really change the look of a space. It can draw attention away from elements that you’d like to downplay, or it can blend into the background. You can also use the backsplash to bring together two different looks.

The backsplash is placed in the vertical center of the room. It can bridge the gap between the top half and bottom half of the room if you’ve chosen different colors or textures for each. It can also make the transition between two different styles in your design. If you have some very contemporary lighting fixtures and old Shaker style cabinetry, a subway tile backsplash can make the two opposites work together.

6.    Tone on Tone

Tone on tone is the use of two different finishes or textures in the same backsplash. For instance, you may have both polished and honed stone in your mosaic backsplash. This style creates textures in your kitchen that give it depth and character.

It may have been a no-no in the past but mixing textures is climbing to the top of the trend ladder. Tile, especially mosaic, is available in a growing number of textures and finishes for a beautiful tone on tone style.

Featured on THE NEW AMERICAN HOME showing Travertine in Mediterranean Ivory 1 x 2 rough cut

7.    Texture

Speaking of texture, a backsplash can add a lot of interest to the kitchen when it is textured. Though flat tiles are a classic, think outside the box with split-faced stone or a mosaic designed to pop off the wall.

Daltile leads the industry in textured tile bodies and imaging that really make for a unique backsplash. The Showscape™ series features tiles that are not flat, but have minor depth changes plus color dimension that give the look of texture without giving you extra grout lines.

8.    Patterns

The classic grid is a no-fail way to apply a backsplash. But consider other options. The pattern you use for your tile backsplash can become a design element that helps to define the kitchen.

Brick joint is a popular pattern with the subway tile trend. Placing square tiles corner to corner in a diamond pattern adds some interest. Or you can select two or three different sizes of tile and increase your pattern choices.

Granite Radiance in Ubatuba Blend

9.    Industrial Look

The industrial look is a versatile design that can be dressed up or dressed down depending on your taste. The hallmark of the industrial look are metal and chrome appliances, hardware, and even countertops or cabinetry.

Tile backsplash blends seamlessly into industrial looks. Try a metallic or glass backsplash to continue the sterile, high-polish theme.

10.    Slab Stone

By now, you are very familiar with stone countertops. But did you consider continuing your countertops onto the backsplash? Up the elegance factor by putting natural stone slab on the backsplash and wall.

You might consider using a different finish to differentiate between the counter surface and the backsplash like polished on the counter and leather finish on the backsplash. Marble, granite, travertine, and limestone all make excellent additions to the kitchen.

Soiree in Nevis

11.    Whole Wall

Backsplash traditionally covers 18 inches above your counters around the sink and stove top. But why not consider taking that backsplash further? Continue your backsplash up the wall and get rid of tradition altogether.

You can put any tile on the wall—floor tiles, glass tiles, exterior tiles. You can be as creative with the materials as you want. That means that your walls can have anything from mosaic to large format or split-face stone to polished marble.

12.    Separate the Room

We’ve already talked about how backsplash can harmonize a room. But you can also use it to separate the room. In an open floor plan, you might want to create some sort of visual barrier between spaces, and backsplash is a simple way to do that.

You can also create mini rooms within your kitchen using backsplash. Cover the bar with a different backsplash tile to set it apart. Or use the same tile but in a different pattern or put it all the way up the wall instead of just the backsplash.

Now that you’ve been inspired by these kitchen backsplash tile ideas, go and create your own unique backsplash that will set your kitchen apart.

Topics: Kitchen Tile Ideas, Mosaic, Backsplash

Imagine What's Possible
Get Inspired

Daltile doesn't just manufacture quality ceramic, porcelain and natural stone products for everything from the floor up. We put a lot of effort into providing materials that meet--even anticipate--your design expectations. 

Join us as we explore the world of design, style, and trends.Gather ideas for your new home or remodel and get advice from the experts.

Architects, builders, designers and contractors can benefit as well from our occasional industry feature.

Turn to the experts for tile success no matter the application.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts