8 Ideas to Transform Your Kitchen Backsplash From Useless To Useful (and Beautiful)

Black & white patterned tiles over a stove in a craftsman-styled kitchen.

Backsplashes can transform the look of a kitchen (and make it more useful, too)!

Last year saw the battle of the kitchen backsplash! Websites flooded with images of brightly colored, crazily designed murals and tile combinations. Other ideas, like matching marble backsplashes, became an instant hit. You may have asked yourself, do I really need a backsplash? What’s the big deal?

Backsplashes serve several purposes, both functional and aesthetic. They protect your walls from splatters and stains and are much easier to clean than drywall, improving overall hygiene. They also add a touch of visual interest, can brighten your working space, and tie all the design elements in your kitchen together.

However, the possibilities are almost endless. You could choose between a solid or tiled backsplash, multi-colored or consistent, textured or smooth, and more. Here we’ve broken down the best shapes, sizes and styles in kitchen backsplashes, so you can choose your own unique, and long-lasting, design.

Shapes & Patterns:

Subway Tile

Location: Vista, California

Subway tile’s popularity endures for several reasons. The simple, clean lines add visual interest, while pairing with almost any interior. It’s also possible to create numerous patterns such as herringbone, offset, vertical, stacked, or more. You could choose long, thin shapes, a more standard 2 x 4 rectangle, or mix and match sizes!

White subway tiles are the classic choice, but Oceanside Glass and Tile creates them in many colors, including metallics and iridescent tones. Here’s a style tip: If your cupboards and countertops are matte, choose a glossy tile for contrast, and vice versa!

Shapes & Patterns:

Geometric Shapes

Location: Austin, Texas

Other timeless tile shapes such as hexagons, diamonds, and even Moroccan fish scales can form a beautiful, long-lasting backsplash. Mercury Mosaics creates a stunning array of handcrafted tiles in various sizes and shapes.

You’ll notice rich jewel tones such as emerald and cobalt dominating kitchen designs in 2024. Tiny tiles such as penny mosaics are also back in fashion. Just remember that such trends tend to change more quickly, so medium-sized, classic shapes won’t date your kitchen so soon.

Shapes & Patterns:

Square Accent Tiles

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Another trend on the rise in 2024 is the accent tile! Surround one larger, more colorful design with a matching, more neutral set of tiles. This could work for you if you just can’t choose between a few beautiful tile options, or if you worry that a full set of mosaic tiles will overwhelm your kitchen.

Clay Squared, an art studio that specializes in handcrafted designs, creates modern and vintage styled tile murals in rich jewel or moody earthy tones. Your backsplash will become a tile-framed mini mural!

Materials & Styles:

Natural Stone

Location: King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
For an ultra lux, unforgettable look, enhance your kitchen with natural stone. Many celebrities are currently creating marble backsplashes to match their countertops. Calacatta marble, like that sourced by Colonial Marble & Granite, creates bright, glowing kitchen surfaces, full of subtle details. Granite, slate, and faux stones serve as other long-lasting options.

Materials & Styles:

Wood Backsplash

Rustic interiors continue to enchant homeowners for their warm, inviting, and timeless feeling. This stunning Austin kitchen, featured on Houzz, blew us away. The wood beams and paneling were all reclaimed or sustainably sourced by Wood Co. Their penny gap panels serve beautifully as a backsplash. Extending them to the ceiling can make your kitchen feel taller and airier. A light wood fits beautifully with a modern farmhouse look, while richer woods can complete your own woodland castle. If hard wood strains your budget too much, there are many beautiful faux wood tile options to make your kitchen stand out.

Materials & Styles:


Location: Montreal, Canada

Some designers will argue that glass could make a risky and frustrating backsplash, becoming dirty or breaking easily. However, Ciot creates thick, tempered glass tiles that positively glow. You don’t have to worry about chipping them, and glass is incredibly easy to clean. Their tiles come in clear, earthy, and brightly colored tones. This choice will greatly brighten your kitchen.

Materials & Styles:

Ceramic, Porcelain & Mosaics

Location: Salt Lake, Utah

Ceramic and Porcelain tiles continue to dominate in kitchen backsplashes for their durability, the ease of cleaning, and the huge range of artistic shapes and styles. To us, Mercury Mosaics embodies the best of ceramic tiles, even offering a custom design option. Casa Vita Bella’s lustrous porcelain tiles combine the best of historic and modern taste. Both materials act as a mainstay that will elevate your kitchen’s resale value.

Mediterranean and Spanish-style mosaics like those by Casa Vita Bella have endured for centuries and are all the trend yet again. Earthy textures, timeless patterns, and bright colors can make a well-needed splash in minimalist kitchens. Consider choosing a palette with neutral colors for more staying power.

Materials & Styles:

LED Backlighting

Location: Sanford, Maine
If you’d rather look to the future, nothing says modern chic like LED backlighting. Both practical and trendy, LEDs softly illuminate your working space while creating a visual focal point. Acrylite creates solid color backsplashes and ones with custom printed images so you can enjoy your own luminous mural. Consider installing LED accents in other parts of your home to create a cohesive aesthetic.

Which trends are your favorite, and which do you think will be just a flash in the pan? We’d love to see pictures of your unique kitchen backsplash and hear about your favorite manufacturers! Connect with Built for Home on social and let us know!

About the Author

Caylah Coffeen is a writer and editor sharing her insight on unique home products that help readers make their homes feel more like home. She also mentors fiction authors at her publishing company, Creative Cornerstones, based in Huntsville, Alabama.


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