How to Choose the Best Kitchen Backsplash

When designing your kitchen, a question that you’ll have to answer at some point is: what should my kitchen backsplash do I want? The backsplash of a kitchen refers to the space against the wall between the upper cabinets and the countertop.

Backsplashes can wrap around the kitchen or cover parts of the wall. They can be tucked away between cabinets, or they can have an open upper edge like behind the sink, behind the oven range, or elsewhere. Some people even install kitchen backsplash tiling all the way up to the ceiling!

The purpose of backsplash is to provide a waterproof, tiled surface to prevent water damage to the walls of your kitchen.

Choose kitchen backsplash julialongchampsdesign

Consider the Types of Backsplash

There are many different types of backsplash. Here are the most common ones. 


Tile is a great choice for your kitchen backsplash. You can get tile in many different shapes and you can arrange it into beautiful patterns. You can also pick the color of the grout between each tile to give your backsplash a more unique look. 


Stone is another popular backsplash material. Marble backsplash kitchens are particularly popular these days. 


A glass backsplash will give your kitchen a very modern and contemporary look.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is another option for your backsplash, and it often goes behind the stove. 

What is the Most Popular Kitchen Backsplash? Subway tile is one of the most common types of kitchen backsplash you’ll find in new homes. This is a great option if you are decorating a home that you intend to sell. If you’re decorating a home that isn’t investment real estate, then you will probably want to go with a more unique option in line with your tastes. 

Backsplash Pricing

Tile doesn’t have to be too expensive. You can find great backsplash tiling for less than $10 per square foot. If you shop around you can get it for half that. Of course, the more luxurious material you choose the more you will pay for your backsplash material.

The most affordable backsplash materials you’ll find are generally synthetic materials with simple designs. Subway tiling tends to be very affordable. 

Consider Layout & Grout

You can choose from different layouts when arranging your backsplash tile. Creating patterns is generally done by a professional but you can find some great inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram as well.

Grout is the material used to hold tile together. You can pick grout in many different colors which will change the look of your backsplash completely. A color that’s similar to the tile that you have will create an even tone and blend in. Choosing a contrasting color, whether it’s darker or lighter, will create a more bold and dramatic look. I think both can look beautiful in the right setting! 

You also need to consider the grout joint size. The Joint size of grout refers to the space between each tile. a typical joint size is 1/8  of an inch but it can be as large as ¼ of an inch too. 

Backsplash and Cabinets

There are a few ways to coordinate your kitchen backsplash and cabinets.

Consider the color scheme of your overall kitchen. The backsplash and cabinets should complement the color tones in the rest of the space. Avoid clashing colors.

Matching the finish of the cabinets and backsplash creates a cohesive look. For example, shiny cabinet hardware paired with a glossy tile backsplash.

If your cabinets are a stained wood, pick out a backsplash color that complements the undertones of the stain, like beige or gray tiles with espresso cabinets.

For white cabinets, just about any backsplash color works beautifully. But stick to lighter or muted shades to keep the space looking bright and airy.

Choose a backsplash that ties into the decorative features of the cabinets, like glass cabinet doors paired with a glass tile backsplash.

If your cabinets have an ornate or historic style, select a backsplash that fits into the theme, like marble or travertine subway tile for shaker-style cabinets.

Size and shape of tile can also echo cabinet features. Long rectangular tiles can complement rectangular cabinet doors.

Incorporate some of the backsplash material into other areas beyond the main backsplash surface to tie the whole space together. For example, use tile as an accent in open shelving.

Pay attention to grout color. Contrasting grout lines can add visual interest behind neutral cabinets. Matching grout creates a seamless look.

Taking these tips into consideration will help you achieve a coordinated, pulled-together look for your kitchen design.

Backsplash and Countertops

Should backsplash be lighter or darker than countertop?

Here are a few tips on choosing a backsplash color relative to a countertop color:

  • Lighter backsplash than countertop – This can create an open, airy look in the kitchen. The darker countertop grounds the space while the lighter backsplash keeps things visually light. A light marble or stone backsplash often looks nice with a darker granite or quartz countertop.
  • Darker backsplash than countertop – This creates more contrast and drama in the kitchen. It allows the countertop to stand out while the backsplash recedes slightly. Dark colored tile or stone backsplashes pair well with lighter solid surface or granite/quartz countertops.
  • Matching or complementary colors – You can also choose backsplash and countertop materials that coordinate in a matching or complementary color scheme. For example, both in shades of cream/beige, blues, greens, etc. This creates harmony in the kitchen.
  • Consider sheen – Take into account the finish of the materials. Contrasting the sheen (matte backsplash with glossy countertop or vice versa) can make each stand out. Matching matte or glossy finishes creates flow.
  • Personal preference – There’s no “right” answer, it comes down to your own taste and what look you are going for. Take into account the rest of the kitchen colors and cabinetry finish as well.

So in summary, either lighter or darker backsplash than the countertop can work beautifully. Just consider the overall look you want to achieve and make sure the finishes and colors complement each other!

Maintainance and Care

Backsplash should be cleaned regularly especially when food or water hits it. To prevent damage, you may wish to have your backsplash tile sealed professionally. 

I hope this backsplash guide helped you understand a little bit more about kitchen backsplashes. Don’t underestimate the power of a backsplash. We will share the best kitchen backsplash ideas very soon to inspire you!

Backsplash Ideas


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