Kitchen Backsplash Ideas

The kitchen backsplash is placed on the kitchen wall between the countertops and the wall cabinets. It protects the walls and especially the zones behind the range, the sink, and the places where you prepare the food, from staining. Your backsplash will stain, but the materials appropriate for it are usually easy to clean and maintain and are a far better option than just a bare painted wall or wallpaper.




The kitchen backsplash also has aesthetic value. With colors, patterns or textures appropriate for a backsplash you can improve the visual appeal of your kitchen, without difficulty and at a reasonable price.

Some backsplashes are only about 4 inches (10 cm) high and are usually a continuation of the countertop. These are not effective, because if you don’t cover the entire area up to the wall cabinets with a backsplash, significant parts of the wall will remain unprotected. With a standard backsplash, about 18 inches (46 cm) high, you will cover the whole area between the countertops and the wall cabinets and you will give your kitchen a finished look.

You might place your backsplash only behind detached zones in your kitchen, such as the range and the sink, thereby attracting attention to them; but a better option is to place a backsplash along the whole length of the room, thus achieving a unified look.

Kitchen backsplash materials

The following materials are popular variants for a kitchen backsplash. Many of them are used for kitchen countertops as well, which means that your backsplash and countertops can be made of one and the same material. The materials are strong, durable and usually easy to clean and maintain. I say usually, because some tiles, stone or metal may require periodic maintenance (sealing or polishing), according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

1. Ceramic and porcelain tiles: these tiles exist in various colors, patterns and textures and may imitate natural stone as well.

2. Metal and metal laminate: with a backsplash from a stainless steel sheet you will give your kitchen a modern and simple look. Besides, its neutral color matches most other colors.

You may use others metals as well, such as copper, zinc, tin, brass or nickel. Some of the metals will change their look with time if you don’t maintain them, and this effect may appeal to you.

As a cheaper variant you may use metal laminate. This is similar to plastic laminate, but is covered with a metal layer.

3. Natural stone: an exceptionally fine material with a unique pattern for each of its layers, making your backsplash different from that of anybody else. It is also extremely durable.

You may use various kinds of stone. For example granite, marble or limestone.

4. Solid surface: synthetic material, existing in variety of colors, patterns and textures. It may also imitate natural stone.

5. Glass: with a backsplash from glass sheets you will, again, give your kitchen a modern and simple look. And, if you have beautiful pictures on the wall, they can still be seen through the glass, while being protected from damage.

Some other, not so traditional, materials for backsplashes exist as well, such as cork, but they are used more rarely or have yet to gain popularity.

Cork, in particular, is a naturally textured soft material. You may pin notes and recipes on it, but I think it’s not very appropriate for the key zones in the kitchen, such as the range and the sink, because you will find it difficult to clean.




Kitchen backsplash design

If you want a simple look, select a backsplash with the same design as your countertop.

If you are looking for a more vivid effect, select patterned tiles. For example, you could use square tiles, set on a diagonal in contrasting colors, like a checkerboard.

Kitchen backsplash made of square tiles set on a diagonal in contrasting colors
Kitchen backsplash made of square tiles set on a diagonal in contrasting colors

If you have a small kitchen, choose a mirrored backsplash or one with a large pattern. For example, you could use several small accent tiles in combination with large tiles with a simple design. In this way, you will make your room look bigger.

Kitchen backsplash made of small accent tiles in combination with large tiles with simple design
Kitchen backsplash made of small accent tiles in combination with large tiles with simple design

If you want more light on the work surfaces, such as the range, the sink and the countertops, select a light backsplash, because light tones and shiny surfaces reflect the light well.

Since the backsplash is between the countertops and the wall cabinets, it is a good idea for it to match both the colors and the textures of the countertops or wall cabinets, with color being the more important. As far as the shape of the backsplash is concerned, some of the materials above, in addition to standard tiles, also exist as sheets. With sheets there won’t be gaps that have to be filled with grout and this means that you will be able to clean the backsplash more easily. (The grout, which fills the gaps between tiles, gathers dirt with time and requires periodic cleaning.)

If you select standard tiles, allow the larger ones to predominate over any smaller ones, because then there will be fewer gaps to fill with grout, and so less to clean. As far as the grout is concerned, the darker its color, the less the dirt on it will be visible.

Price of kitchen backsplash

The price of your backsplash will be determined by such factors as…

  • the size of the area that the backsplash covers.
  • the material used.
  • the design.

In general, a backsplash made of ceramic or porcelain tiles will be cheaper than one made of stone or metal. However, if you have your tiles custom-made, they might be very expensive.

Kitchen backsplash installation

To be sure of the quality of your kitchen backsplash installation, I recommend that you employ the services of a professional.




19 Replies to “Kitchen Backsplash Ideas”

  1. Hi Linda,

    You offer some unique ideas for kitchen backsplashes on your site. Please consider placing a link to this page somewhere on http://www.lindapaul.com/. It will be useful for your website visitors.

    Regards,

    Ganka

  2. I love the murals at Alicia Tapp Designs, I found some awesome glass tile mosaics at http://www.mytilebacksplash.com. There are so many great online stores to choose from with exceptional products and prices. I could not find half of the stuff at my local tile store in Ohio!

  3. Those are some amazing looking backsplash pictures you have to go along with this article. I personally think a backsplash is one of the best ways to improve a kitchen and increase home value.

  4. I am looking for information/pictures for an outside backsplash… not the wall backsplash. The counter is more like a room devider but it is a counter that has the sick, etc with it. But I want something a little more decorative & attractive on the side that is facing the dining room/living room.

    Thank you!

    M Wilson

  5. Great article. I agree, the kitchen backsplash can make or break the style of a kitchen. It really is a major focal point.

  6. Can you tell me the name of the tiles used in the sample on your site with the diamond design? I really love this one. Live in Atlanta, GA. Where can I purchase them? It looks like the granite counter top is with tan brown.

  7. Hi Melvin,

    I cannot say much about this picture as we took it from another website that we cannot find at the moment. It seems that the backsplash is made of tumbled marble. Concerning the counter, it is not granite… it is quartz.

    Regards,

    Ganka

  8. I’m looking for a website that would show both tiling combo for kitchen tiling and counter tiling combo. I wanted to make two different but matching types of things… I just bought a house and don’t have a lot of money to renovate the kitchen so I painted the cupboards antique white creamy color… and wanted some ideas of what it will look like but can’t find the right website for that. I love some looks for the combo I’ve seen on DIY shows and some are awesome as they make the kitchen look rich and inviting. I want to do same… it’s the 1970 kitchen and looks ick!!!

    I want to modernize it.

  9. I like the simple, yet beautiful glass material should I choose for my kitchen decor. It would be very nice and comfortable when placed on the glass: electric smoker, induction cooker, microwave and kitchen accessories.

  10. We are remodeling our kitchen and I want to install a back splash for the sink. I love what was said about glass back splashes providing a modern look and not hiding what is on the wall behind it. Something to think about would be the maintenance of this choice. Glass would need to be cleaned daily.

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