25 Best Backsplash Ideas for Kitchens, According to Designers

Matching Shelf, Backsplash, and Counters

"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

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

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.

Accent the Range

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

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

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.

Plaster Paint

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

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

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.

Dark Matching Counters

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.


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

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.

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 color used on the walls, hood, and cabinets.

Copper Backsplash and Counters

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

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


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

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

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.

Reclaimed Wood

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

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.

Texture-Rich Tile

The kitchen sits at the center of this home designed by Meredith McBrearty, so she opted for a colorful and texture-rich tile backsplash that complements the paints featured in adjoining rooms. Her clients “wanted an unassuming feeling of warmth” so she brought in plenty of antique accents, too.


A beadboard backsplash keeps this kitchen designed by Victoria Hagan feeling relaxed and country chic. It's the perfect complement to the zinc countertop (which is nonporous, naturally antibacterial, and will patina over time) and the sweet cafe curtains.

Vertical Grain Wood

In this dirty pantry by Stephanie Sabbe—designed for our Whole Home 2021—a vertical grain wood backsplash blends with wood counters and open shelving of the same color. The seamless look adds elegance and warmth to the narrow room.

Painted Glass

For something a little more special than the go-to subway tile route, consider this high-shine option. Interior designer Danielle Colding used a glass backsplash for a shinier, more modern and cosmopolitan touch in this city apartment. It goes perfectly with the lacquered cabinets.

Tile Stripes

Subway tile offers tons of room for creativity in the kitchen, so if you want to use subway tile but also want to feature a more unique backsplash, look no further. Here, Chango & Co. created two stripes of olive green to add color and break up the white backsplash. They're placed under the white floating shelves, playing up the linear motif further.

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