What is a Kitchen Backsplash?
A kitchen backsplash (also called a splashback in the UK) is the horizontal material installed against the wall between the kitchen counter and upper cabinets. It is usually made from a durable and wipeable material that protects the walls against spills and messes.
How to choose a Kitchen Backsplash
- Durability: the material must be able to withstand heat and moisture
- Scratch-resistance: especially in hard-working areas like behind the sink and stovetop, the backsplash must be scratch resistant to avoid damaging while removing dirt.
- Hygiene: the surface has to be wipeable. Have a look at the materials section to see which kitchen backsplash is easy to clean.
- Take your cue from the countertop: the backsplash sits on top of the countertop, so it could either be the same material, or something that matches it.
- Timeless vs trendy: as with most design decisions in your kitchen, choose something that would be happy to live with for a few years and not only with the trending backsplashes this year.
Is a Kitchen Backsplash necessary?
The main purpose of a kitchen backsplash is to protect your wall surface from water damage, spills, steam, oil and dirt. A durable, wipeable surface is far easier to clean than a painted wall, so have a look at our kitchen backsplash pictures below to find the best solution for your kitchen.
What is the best Kitchen Backsplash material?
Your lifestyle will in large part determine the type of kitchen backsplash you will choose. While it adds an elegant finish to your kitchen, your style of cooking and your kitchen’s frequency of use may necessitate a more durable finish over a more decorative one.
Let’s look at 15 of the most beautiful kitchen backsplash options that will help you to choose your kitchen backsplash colour and material.
BTW, check out our Kitchen Design Ideas section if you need more design inspiration.
Using marble as your kitchen backsplash is a subtle way to add both elegance and texture to your kitchen. Marble comes in a wide variety of colours and sizes to suit your needs. These range from small to large tiles in various shapes to pieces of solid marble cut to fit your specific kitchen.
Marble has been enjoying a contemporary revival that sees it being used in slick, contemporary kitchens as well in more traditional settings. Its classic good looks rarely go out of fashion and it can be kept fresh over the years by simply updating the kitchen accessories that you use with it.
2. Geometric patterned tiles
Geometric patterned tiles are just one of the many kitchen tile backsplash ideas around. They have been trending for a few years now and can lend a touch of the exotic to a space. These tiles are available in monochrome designs as well as multi-coloured patterns, so the options are endless.
When using a busy pattern, it may be necessary to tone things down around the backsplash so that it doesn’t become overwhelming.
3. Moroccan fish scale tile
While traditionally they were applied to literally look like fish-scales, a Moroccan fish scale tile is a versatile tile that allows for a variety of patterns to be created, depending on how the tile is laid.
These tiles create an intriguing effect, adding a feeling of playfulness to the kitchen space. Available in a wide variety of colours, the pattern can be subtle or vibrant and colourful. Have a look at our Indian kitchen tiles design pictures below for more exotic inspiration!
4. Exposed Brick
Exposed brick is incredibly versatile and can be used to complement anything from a traditional to a modern kitchen. It is a very robust and durable material that can be sealed or painted with a clear of coloured coating.
Many different looks can be achieved by using bricks: when coupled with warm wood and baskets you can achieve an effortless rustic or farmhouse look, but by combining it with cool metals and exposed pipework, you’ll create an industrial space.
5. Bold contrasting tiled pattern
Use a bold tiled pattern to draw attention to your backsplash. A black and white pattern with lots of contrast creates a beautiful feature, while still allowing the colours of the kitchen to be updated easily by changing small, removable items on the counter or shelf space.
Tiles can also be updated by adding patterned vinyl to them. If the tiles have an outdated pattern on them, can the kitchen backsplash tile be painted? With the right primer, most tiles can be successfully painted. Chat with your local paint supplier about the best product to use.
6. Hexagon tiles
Hexagon tiles, creating a beehive effect, make a beautiful backsplash. The colour of the grouting, either matching or contrasting, will influence how much the pattern stands out. These backsplashes create a feeling of order and organization and compliment a minimalist kitchen well.
7. Wood-look tiled backsplashes
While natural wood is not often used as a backsplash for hygiene reasons, the effect can still be achieved by using wood-look tiles. This can then be accentuated with wooden features like shelves or utensil holders, adding warmth to your kitchen.
While backsplashes should be beautiful, they should also be practical. Throw in an additional practical element by using it as storage space for those items you always use at the stove. Clever concealed storage can be installed behind backsplash panels to allow for a neat and seamless kitchen.
9. Pop of colour
Not all backsplashes need to be neutral colours. Using a colourful tile that either complements the colour of your kitchen or that acts as the accent colour in your kitchen, is a great idea. Colour helps to brighten the room and highlights a focal area.
10. Subway tile
The classic subway tile look has become popular in recent years. Subway tiles can be arranged in many ways with the most popular being in a herringbone pattern or horizontally, with each row offset from the row above.
11. Matching Backsplash and Countertop
An easy and effective solution is to simply extend your countertop surface onto the wall to create a backsplash. This creates a beautifully seamless effect. Install a low upstand at the back of work surfaces and full-height backsplashes in the sink and stove areas.
Alternatively, you can get a luxurious effect by applying the countertop material in a tiled form. Choose subway, herringbone or simple square tiles for a beautiful and elegant backsplash.
12. Stainless Steel Backsplash Panels
Stainless steel is the material of choice for the ultimate in hygiene. A highly durable surface, it creates a smooth, wipeable and slick surface that is easy to use and looks great too.
Stainless steel tends to show fingerprints and water easily, so if you choose this material for your modern or industrial-look kitchen, be prepared to wipe it regularly to maintain its look. For more ideas on stainless steel kitchens, be sure to read our Beginner’s Guide to Kitchen Worktops.
13. Brass and Copper Kitchen Backsplash
Luxurious and super trendy, brass or copper kitchen backsplashes add a wonderful lustrous touch to your kitchen. Combine with warm wood accents and marble for the ultimate in luxury. As with stainless steel, be aware that metal requires quite a bit of maintenance on a daily basis.
These metals will also tarnish with time, adding a beautiful patina to their surface.
14. Mosaic Tile Backsplashes
Mosaic tiles in all their forms have been a popular option for backsplashes for several years. They come in a variety of designs and colours so allow for a host of looks to complement any kitchen, especially when it comes to kitchen backsplash ideas with white cabinets.
The latest trend allows you to add some bling to your kitchen with metallic mosaic tiles. Use it with pared-down finishes for added effect. And because mosaics come in pre-made sheets, they are easy to install for the DIY enthusiast.
15. Multi-Coloured Kitchen Backsplash
A recent trend that is taking kitchen backsplash design ideas to new heights, is the installation of custom-designed backsplashes. Painted resin or custom-printed acrylic sheets allows true expression of your kitchen desires.
An easy and affordable way to get a multi-coloured kitchen backsplash is to install tiles in a variety of different colours. Make this beautiful feature backsplash stand out by keeping the rest of the finishes in the kitchen neutral.
A backsplash is a perfect opportunity to add some texture, colour or pattern to your kitchen. Remember to keep in mind the practical aspects of your own kitchen design, while bringing out your personality and style.