Want to learn all there is to know about a kitchen backsplash? Well, you've come to the right place. Whether you're looking for a material that will blend into your aesthetic or one that is guaranteed to make a statement, it's good to be armed with as much info as possible so you can make the best decision for your home. From different materials, to design styles, to installation, this handy kitchen backsplash cheat sheet has everything you need, and so much more, to keep your culinary reno running smoothly.
What Is a Kitchen Backsplash?
There are no silly questions here. The kitchen backsplash was originally designed with function in mind: to protect the kitchen walls from food stains, water splashes, and to make post-dinner clean up an easy operation. As culinary interiors have evolved, the backsplash has become an important design feature, too. It's a chance to add a dash of personality to your space while incorporating new materials and trendy colors. Whether you're looking for a budget-friendly makeover option or you're looking to splurge, there are plenty of kitchen backsplash ideas just waiting for you.
What Style of Kitchen Backsplash Should I Go For?
Since the backsplash could become one of the key features in your cook space, you should always opt for ideas that are true to your interior design spirit animal. Scroll on to see a few different styles that might inspire you.
1. A modern take.
Modern design can be interpreted in many different ways, but if you feel drawn toward clean, minimal, and functional aesthetics, this is likely the way to go. Sleek and chic is a surefire way to keep your kitchen looking neat and tidy (a perk of this backsplash style is how easy it is to maintain). And bonus: The streamlined design leaves room to experiment with color and materials, as this fun kitchen by Play Associates demonstrates. Want more? Here are our favorite modern kitchen backsplash ideas.
2. A trip to the country.
The farmhouse look traditionally consists of natural materials such as distressed wood, stone, and ceramic or cement tile with subtle patterns and rustic details. Oh, and don't forget the vintage iron accents á la this rustic cook space by LBF Interiors. Channeling an English cottage is the perfect way to nail the country look, but we've also rounded up some rural farmhouse backsplash ideas so you don't have to go too far for a dash of charming inspiration.
3. The boho approach.
There's nothing quite as laid-back as boho style, and if that sounds like you, a bohemian kitchen backsplash like the one in this culinary space by GIA Renovations is probably right up your alley. Typical features include lots of texture, natural materials, pattern, and lush tones that bring the outside in.
4. Mad for mosaics.
A mosaic kitchen backsplash like the pink penny tile in this space by Nimtim Architects can be a really easy way to create a striking effect on your walls. Don't worry; they're predominantly sold in sheets so you won't have to install one tiny tile at a time! From designs showcasing a single color to intricately thought-out patterns, mosaic tile is an ideal way to add unique visual interest.
5. An industrial vibe.
Industrial style isn't just for those in converted lofts in the city; you can easily take the look to a suburban home, too, as demonstrated by Nest Kitchens above. Just make sure you incorporate features that celebrate the time period; pair with raw or reclaimed materials; or leave brick walls and HVAC exposed. The aesthetic makes the most of utilitarian materials such as wood, metal, brick, and concrete — all of which can be used to create a unique industrial kitchen backsplash.
What Materials Can I Use for a Backsplash?
The only rule when it comes to kitchen backsplash materials is that they MUST be functional. That means that you need to be able to easily clean it without it absorbing moisture or stains. Scroll on for a few of our favorite materials below.
Ceramic and Porcelain Tile Kitchen Backsplash
Ceramic and porcelain tile are extremely versatile, so it's no wonder that they're the most commonly used materials for a kitchen backsplash. From subway tile to square and hex options, there's a look that suits everyone. Additionally, they are available in a range of different price points and pretty much every color under the sun. We love the look of this square grid backsplash by MalyKrasota Design, paired with both black and wood cabinets.
Wood Kitchen Backsplash
From the most common to one of the most uncommon, a wood backsplash is not often something we see but quite frankly looks incredible! The low height plywood backsplash in this kitchen by Uncommon Projects looks simply gorgeous. Just make sure that you treat the wood to protect against water and other liquids, or consider using another material for areas behind the sink or stove.
Metal Kitchen Backsplash
Oh, how we love a metal kitchen backsplash, especially when it is copper like this one designed by deVOL Kitchens. Nothing says professional chef like a stainless steel option, while copper or brass can easily add a touch of glam to the space. Metal instantly adds a sleek and dreamy industrial vibe, but be prepared for a little extra cleaning as this option is definitely a tad high maintenance.
Mirror Kitchen Backsplash
A mirrored kitchen backsplash, like the one in this bright cook space by Humphrey Munson, can work with a variety of different design styles while also creating a massive statement that oozes "wow factor." Besides who doesn't love looking at themselves in the mirror while cooking, eh? Plus, mirrors add dimension and reflect natural light, making this the perfect option for an open and airy space.
Glass Kitchen Backsplash
If you like the shimmering quality of mirror but don't actually want to see any reflections, try a glass kitchen backsplash instead. It is a great way to incorporate your personality into the mix: Place your fave wallpaper pattern behind clear glass for a fresh take, or simply use back-painted glass showcasing pretty much any color your heart desires. Designer Kristen Biagini went with this pretty sky blue that pairs beautifully with the white cabinets. Bonus: Light will bounce off this material brightening up your space even more.
Exposed Brick Kitchen Backsplash
Exposed brick can make for a very handsome kitchen backsplash if it's in good condition. Just follow the lead of designer Lisa Furey and take the material from the floor to the ceiling for a dreamy, rustic feature that will infuse oodles of character and texture into your cook space.
Natural Stone Kitchen Backsplash
From small tiles to huge slabs, when it comes to kitchen backsplash ideas natural stone will always make a powerful statement. And if you want to take it a step further you can use the same material for your countertops, too. In this white kitchen, Croma Design paired herringbone marble mosaic tile on the walls with white countertops and white cabinets creating a sophisticated cook space that you never want to leave.
How Should I Install My Kitchen Backsplash?
Depending on the design of your kitchen backsplash, it could be a DIY project that you complete over the weekend. However, if you don't really know what you're doing you run the risk of the finished product looking a bit amateur, so proceed with caution. It's also entirely dependent on the material you've selected. We recommend hiring a professional if you have any doubts. Materials don't always come cheap, so it's worth spending some extra cash to get the job done right.
And if you're on a budget or in a rental, a peel-and-stick backsplash could be another way to create the kitchen of your dreams. We love the variety of options available at Wall Pops. Just keep in mind that this option won't last forever, so it's best for those who are in temporary living situations or on a budget.