13 Inspirational Ideas for a Gorgeous Kitchen Backsplash That’ll Turn Heads!

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The backsplash plays a key role in your kitchen, serving both aesthetic and functional purposes. It not only protects your walls from spills and splashes, but it’s also an essential design feature that ties together all the other elements in the room. That said, finding the right backsplash can seem like a daunting task. A kitchen renovation is truly a long-term commitment!  

When selecting your backsplash, it’s important to choose wisely. Are you eager to jump onto the latest trend, or are you more comfortable with a classic style that will stand the test of time? The possibilities are endless, so we’ve compiled a list of the most popular kitchen backsplash ideas to make your life a little easier as you prepare to remodel your space! 

1. Stone: A natural choice 

When designing a traditional or farmhouse-style kitchen, a classic material such as natural stone is a perfect fit. Stone comes in a variety of forms, from factory-made tiles to custom-cut pieces. You might even choose to keep the original slab intact. Stone backsplashes can also be arranged into mosaics to suit any taste. There’s a wide range of available colours, from lighter soapstone to dark grey marble. With so many possibilities, you’re sure to find a backsplash to fit your style. 

Natural stone adds a dash of uniqueness to your kitchen – no two stones are alike – but it does require a bit more maintenance than other backsplash materials. It can be prone to damage if you don’t take care of it, and its porousness means that grease stains may be more difficult to clean. The most popular options for stone backsplashes include quartz, soapstone, marble, and travertine. 

2. Sea glass

If a day at the beach is your ultimate getaway, why not bring that feeling home with a sea glass backsplash? This unique material adds beauty to your kitchen while providing great protection for your walls. Fans of sea glass love its blue hues, which range from smoky grey to vibrant turquoise. You can mix colours or stick with a monochromatic scheme with equal success. This season, it’s all about tile size. For an on-trend backsplash, go for larger tiles, regardless of their shape and pattern. Because it’s made of glass, this material is easy to maintain, providing a gorgeous look that lasts.

 

3. Terracotta 

Terracotta backsplashes are perfect for creating a warm and inviting atmosphere in your kitchen. Much like natural stone, terracotta comes in a variety of colours, depending on where the clay originates. You may choose to go with a lighter hue or opt for something in a more copper tone, which tends to be most popular because of its depth and richness.  

Due to the material’s porous nature, terracotta can be challenging to maintain when used as flooring; it works much better as a backsplash where it’s less exposed to dirt! 

4. Zellige Tiles 

We’ve been seeing more and more Zellige tile backsplashes in recent years, and their popularity shows no signs of waning! These tiles are part of a hundred-year-old cultural tradition and will give your kitchen a unique touch. The beauty of these handmade tiles lies in their asymmetry, which lends them an authentic quality. You can choose a glossy or matte finish depending on your preference. While they’re most often sold as rectangular subway tiles, you can also have them made to measure by specialized craftspeople. This is probably one of the most unique handmade kitchen backsplash idea!

Since they’re not manufactured in factories or by machines, Zellige tiles require a bit more care. You’ll need to use a brush to clean between the cracks, and a layer of protective sealant is recommended to ensure they don’t get damaged. 

5. Panelling

When people think of a classic backsplash, ceramic is usually the first thing that comes to mind. But for a more natural look, consider wood panelling. It’s also simple and easy to install. Prefabricated panelling is the most affordable option but it’s also possible to have it made in custom sizes. Clean-up is a breeze: a quick wipe with soapy water and you’re done! And panelling can be painted any colour to match the rest of your kitchen perfectly.

6. Wallpaper 

It’s made a return in recent years, but this isn’t your grandmother’s wallpaper! Today’s wallpaper comes in a vast array of colours, patterns, and textures, available both in specialty stores and online. Get creative with a style that matches your personality: flowers, geometric shapes or a vintage tapestry design – the choices are endless. And because wallpaper is relatively simple to install, it’s much easier to swap it out for a new pattern when you want a change, unlike ceramic! What’s more, water- and dirt-resistant wallpapers clean up beautifully, making it a durable option!

7. Navy blue

Lighter colours are increasingly giving way to darker hues. Dark blue has a calming quality, which is why it’s often found in bedrooms and living rooms. If you’re tempted to paint your kitchen walls navy blue, avoid overpowering the room by reserving it for your backsplash. A trendy and easy solution! 

8. Add some spice with ceramic tiles 

When designing a ceramic backsplash, don’t be afraid to have fun. Tired of the minimalist look? Eager to add a dash of personality? There are tons of patterned ceramic tiles to choose from. Try a mix of colours, experiment with eclectic shapes, or use a blend of both! When it comes to accent walls, the sky’s the limit. Prefer something more timeless? You can’t go wrong with chevrons, arabesque patterns, mosaics, and larger asymmetrical tiles. When settling on a colour, stick with complementary tones or variations on a single hue, from light to dark. Focus on finding a design that will outlast trends and fit in with the rest of the room. 

9. Coloured grout

Grout does more than hold tiles together – it can also be an important design element. If you prefer a neutral backsplash, we suggest going with a contrasting grout colour. Why not pair an off-white tile with orange or navy grout? Keep in mind that dark colours are much easier to maintain than traditional white grout.  If you tend to be a bit slow on the scrubbing and cleaning, coloured grout is the best suited kitchen backsplash idea for you.

10. Mirrors

A home can never have enough mirrors: you probably have one in the entryway for that last-minute makeup check, in your bathroom to guide your nightly flossing, or in a home office to provide an illusion of space. But have you ever considered installing mirrors as a backsplash? Mirrors work well with industrial designs, standing in as a raw element in the same way as steel or reclaimed wood. Alternatively, you might opt for a vintage, patinated mirror, a bubbled effect, or a slightly clouded surface for a more rustic feel. Although beautiful and stylish, mirrors are more difficult to maintain since they reveal every little splash and must be cleaned frequently. 

11. Moroccan tiles

If you have the soul of a traveller and want to add some exotic colours and textures to your kitchen, Moroccan tiles make for a bold and eye-catching backsplash. They’re instantly recognizable with their contrasting patterns of delicate arabesques, and they come in any combination of colours. If you prefer to go a more traditional route, try mixing burnt orange with navy blue, or mustard yellow and deep green. To balance out the room, choose neutral cabinets and fixtures to avoid overwhelming the eye. These tiles are the perfect kitchen backsplash idea, being that they create a stylish statement.

12. Stainless steel

You may think stainless steel is only for appliances, but these backsplashes might convince you otherwise. The modern, sleek look of stainless steel can elevate a space and provide a thread of continuity throughout your kitchen. Stainless steel contrasts elegantly with black cabinets, adding depth and vitality. Another advantage of stainless steel? It’s super easy to maintain. It also reflects light, making the whole room seem much bigger. If you want to give your kitchen a luxurious, high-end feel, consider a stainless steel backsplash. You won’t be disappointed! 

13. Brick

Brick accent walls are all the rage, but have you ever thought about brick for your kitchen? If you want durability, easy maintenance and a rustic feel, you can’t go wrong with a beautiful brick backsplash. Brick adds a classic and timeless touch to any space, harkening back to a simpler era while retaining a certain chic cachet. A brick backsplash will infuse your kitchen with a warm atmosphere that’ll make your guests feel right at home. If you’re looking for a comforting, authentic style with a bit of texture, brick is the perfect material! That’s why brick is in one of the top kitchen backsplashes ideas for a timeless kitchen.

Yearning for more inspiration as you create the kitchen of your dreams? Check out this year’s hottest kitchen trends, the latest kitchen flooring options, or our completed kitchen projects to get your creative juices flowing!

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Marilena Tricarico has been a key figure in the interior design world for over 15 years. Her expertise and designs have been featured on the hit TV show Décore ta Vie for 10 years. Today, she shares her knowledge of the renovation industry with RenoAssistance as a video content producer and host.