Creative Backsplash Ideas to Inspire Your Next Remodel

Kitchen backsplashes are often overlooked as a key design element when renovating or building a new home. Yet this relatively small space can have an outsized impact on the aesthetics and functionality of your kitchen.

Backsplashes serve practical purposes – protecting the walls from water damage and stains while also tying together the countertops, cabinets, and appliances into a cohesive look. But they also provide a prime opportunity to reflect your personal style and make a unique design statement.

Most Popular Materials Used for Backsplashes

When dreaming up kitchen backsplash ideas, the first decision is which material best suits your needs and design vision. Here are some of the most popular options:


Ceramic, porcelain, glass, and mosaic tiles allow for stunning designs, textures, and colors. Glazed ceramic and smaller mosaic tiles are budget-friendly options. Porcelain is more durable and resistant to moisture.


Elegant backsplashes can be created with marble, granite, slate, and other natural stones. They bring an organic, earthy feel but require sealing.


Stainless steel, copper, and other metals like tin or nickel create modern, sleek backsplashes that are easy to clean.


Custom cut glass tiles, chic mirrored tiles, or pebble glass mosaics impart shine and dimension.


Real or faux reclaimed wood adds rustic warmth. Needs protective sealants.

When selecting materials, consider the functionality, durability, style, cost, cleaning needs, and DIY vs. professional installation demands of each option.

MaterialDurabilityEase of CleaningCostStyle
TileDurableEasyBudget to luxuryModern to classic
StoneModerate durabilityModerateExpensiveElegant, organic
MetalExtremely durableVery easyBudget to luxurySleek, modern
GlassLow durabilityEasyLuxuryShiny, dimensional
WoodLowDifficultInexpensive for fauxRustic warmth

Key Aspects to Consider When Choosing Backsplash

The material and design should align with your lifestyle, design aesthetic, and budget. Key considerations include:

  • Functionality: Does the material resist heat, moisture, stains and stand up to heavy use? Easy to clean?
  • Maintenance: Will the backsplash require special cleaners or sealants to maintain its look?
  • Design: Cohesive look that ties together other elements like countertops and cabinets? Reflects your home’s style?
  • Affordability: Budget realistic for materials, custom designs, labor if professionally installed.
  • DIY skills: If doing it yourself, do you have necessary skills for cutting, installing the backsplash properly?
Kitchen Backsplash Trends
Kitchen Backsplash Trends

Analyze all angles to select the ideal backsplash style for your kitchen.

Unique Geometric Shapes and Patterns

For contemporary and eye-catching style, geometric backsplashes create visual impact and dimension with unique shapes and lines.

Popular geometric design options include:

  • Herringbone
  • Chevron: Angled zig-zag stripes
  • Hexagons
  • Diamonds
  • Triangles
  • Rectangles
  • Circles

Go bold with contrasting colors or keep it simple with muted tones of one geometric shape. Mixing metallic, glass and ceramic tiles builds intriguing depth and texture.

Geometric backsplashes suit modern, transitional, or eclectic kitchen designs.

Mix Various Colors, Textures and Materials

Why settle for just one material, color or finish? Mixing up the tiles and materials used in your backsplash creates lively, innovative styles.

  • Combine glass, ceramic, metal, and stone tiles
  • Play with matte and shiny finishes
  • Contrast bold colors with neutral tones

This kitchen features a striking blend of lemon yellow glass subway tiles, navy blue mosaic tiles, white grout and dark wood accents. The mix of colors, sizes, and materials make for an artsy, elegant look.

Turn Photos into Backsplash Mosaics

For a personal twist, turn meaningful photos into DIY or custom printed backsplash murals. Some ideas include:

  • Beautiful landscape photos from your travels
  • Black and white cityscape photos
  • Artsy designs or drawings
  • Photos of loved ones (kids, pets, family portraits)

Use a mosaic tile printing service or DIY software to turn cherished photos into photo mosaic tiles for intimate backsplash designs with sentimental value.

Elegant Appeal of Natural Stone

Natural stone backsplashes relay an organic, polished aesthetic perfect for Tuscan, Mediterranean or Farmhouse kitchen designs.

Popular real stone options include:

  • Marble: Elegant veining with upscale appeal
  • Travertine: Earthy, rustic hue
  • Granite: Speckled pattern and sheen
  • Slate: Layered, textural style
  • Limestone
  • Onyx: Dramatic, glowing translucence

Enhance stone’s natural variation in veining and colors with thoughtful lighting design. Dark grout provides contrast to better define stone patterns.

Choosing A Kitchen Backsplash
Choosing A Kitchen Backsplash

Seal natural stone regularly to prevent staining and discoloration from moisture and acids.

Reflective Style with Mirror Tiles

Mirror backsplashes impart instant glamour and visual expansion, making small kitchens appear larger. These light-reflecting surfaces also enhance luminosity from windows and fixtures.

Some mirror backsplash tile options:

  • Stainless steel mirror: Modern industrial edge
  • Antiqued mirror: Vintage patina styling
  • Clear mirror

Protect the reflective surface from heavy steam, splatters and cleaning chemicals with a durable grout sealant. Use microfiber cloths to gently clean without scratching.

Sleek and Shiny Metal Ideas

Metallic backsplashes supply contemporary styling, ambient lighting, and easy cleaning. Popular metal choices include:

  • Stainless steel
  • Copper: Sophisticated sheen
  • Brass: Warm golden glow
  • Nickel
  • Tin: Traditional luster

These durable, moisture-resistant metals suit modern and transitional kitchens. Mix metal tiles with glass, stone or ceramic to prevent an overly industrial feel.

Warm and Rustic Wood Designs

Wood backsplashes infuse cozy, timeworn character for Country, Farmhouse or Craftsman style kitchens with natural charm.

Rustic real or faux wood backsplash ideas include:

  • Reclaimed wood: Salvaged barn wood
  • Unfinished wood
  • Weathered boards

Protect wood backsplashes from moisture damage with water-resistant sealants. Expect some warping over time.

Classic Tile Styles with Vintage Vibes

Vintage-inspired ceramic or porcelain tiles relay old-world charm with patterns harkening back to early 20th century style.

Suggestions include:

  • Subway tile: Iconic 3 x 6-inch rectangles
  • Penny tile: Retro 1-inch mosaic squares
  • Octagons and hexagons
  • Bold retro color schemes

Mix and match varied vintage tile shapes and sizes for sweetly nostalgic backsplash designs.

Custom One-of-a-Kind Tile Murals

For artsy homeowners, handpainted tile murals establish backsplashes as an artistic focal point through customized designs.

Some handpainted tile ideas include:

  • Botanical and floral tiles: Delicate natural motifs
  • Abstract paintings on tiles
  • Landscape tile artwork: Scenes from favorite travel spots

Hire an artist to specially create tiles transformed into beautiful murals for your unique personality and style.

DIY Backsplash Projects for Any Budget

You need not splurge on a professional installer or fancy tiles to DIY an beautiful, creative backsplash. Budget-friendly ideas include:

  • Faux subway tile: Use sticker tiles or paint backsplash with liner tape to mimic classic tile
  • Stencil patterns onto existing backsplash
  • Apply printable wallpaper as backsplash

DIY networks offer full tutorials for crafty homeowners aiming to design their own affordable backsplash project.

Design Tips to Maximize Your Backsplash Impact

Strategic design moves help you make the most dramatic impact with your backsplash:

Tie in countertop and cabinet colors

Pick out one or two colors from cabinets or countertops to echo in the backsplash tile, grout or accent colors.

Consider lighting and reflection

Glass, metal or mirrored tiles enhance lighting effects. Dark tiles can feel heavier.

Balance bright colors

Balance bright colors with neutral palette Pops of vibrant colors go a long way. Anchor them with neutral tiles to avoid sensory overload.

Cohesive style throughout kitchen

Let your backsplash tie together your kitchen’s overall design vision.

Personalize with artwork pieces

Accent the backsplash with glass or ceramic tile “artwork” pieces matching your decor.

With endless possibilities for materials, colors, textures, patterns and designs, backsplashes supply a creative avenue to transform the look, feel and function of your kitchen. Use these creative backsplash ideas as inspiration to design a functional and eye-catching focal point reflecting your personal taste and style.

Related Articles