Backsplash Basics: What to Ask Before Choosing a Backsplash for Your Kitchen

Kimberly M. | Thursday, August 1, 2019

Kitchen backsplashes function as wall protectors, especially walls behind sinks, stoves, countertops, or anywhere else dishes are washed or food is prepared. In the past, backsplash materials consisted of boring white tiling that could be easily wiped off. It wasn't until people began spending more time in their homes that choosing a kitchen backsplash started figuring prominently in home decor schemes.

Today, kitchen backsplash materials have adopted a variety of styles and designs, from stunning minimalist lines and colors to eye-catching eclectic shades of black, bright red and gleaming white. How to pick the right backsplash depends primarily on three things: your kitchen decor, your overall house decor and your personality.

What Kind of Backsplash Tile Materials Are Available?

Backsplash tiles today are made of granite, porcelain, glass, marble, ceramic and metal. The least expensive tile material is ceramic and porcelain while glass, marble and granite are a bit more expensive. However, if you want more affordable backsplash tiles that look like marble or have a metallic surface, ceramic tiles can be purchased that are manufactured to resemble porcelain or glass materials.

Tile Shape Designs — So Many to Choose From!

Mayfair Suave Bianco Polished Piazza 12"x12" Mosaic
Mayfair Suave Bianco Polished Piazza 12"x12" Mosaic - Coming Soon

Your choice of backsplash tile designs is virtually endless — from diagonally cut tiles to more intricately cut laser-designed tiles that look like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle to classic “subway”-style tiles. Other tile shapes include circular, diamond, rectangular or oval. When choosing a backsplash tile shape, consider the shape of your kitchen. If you have a circular kitchen, placing diamond-shape tiles behind counters and appliances may be too much of a contrast. Also think about the kind of ambience you want in your kitchen. Calm, cozy or jazzy?

Messy Family Meal During Prep?

Kids Baking In Kitchen
Kids Baking In Kitchen

How often are you wiping spaghetti sauce spots or bits of cake batter off your kitchen walls? If it's more than once a day, consider using backsplash tiles with a nonporous, glossy finish that is easy to clean and resistant to fading. Stainless steel and ceramic tiles are recommended for busier kitchens. If you want natural stone backsplash tiles, remember they will need to be sealed regularly to prevent staining and moisture damage.

Tips for Picking the Right Backsplash for Your Kitchen and Home

Obsidian Antique Bronze Beveled 12"x12" Mosaic
Obsidian Antique Bronze Beveled 12"x12" Mosaic
  • Attract attention to plain countertops by installing colorful or complex tile backsplashes. Consider mixing metal and glass tiles together to add dimension to your kitchen if your countertop is a little boring.
  • Make smaller kitchens appear more spacious by "wrapping" backsplash around your kitchen. Translucent white or pale-hued tiles will provide a sense of clean, elegant continuity and naturally blend in with other color schemes.
  • Although you may not be thinking about selling your home in the near future right now, keep in mind you may, at some point, want to move. Think about resale value when choosing backsplash materials. For example, non-traditional, eclectic tile shapes and bold colors may be harder to pitch to homebuyers.


If you still aren't sure about choosing the right kitchen backsplash, speak with one of our experienced in-store Partners or consider hiring an interior decorator to examine your kitchen and talk to you about your goals before plunging into this kind of home remodeling project.

About the Author

Kimberly M. has written blogs for Orly Chen Real Estate in Bergen County, New Jersey, condominium brokers in south Florida and real estate agencies offering lease-to-own homes in West Virginia. She is well informed concerning the legal and financial aspects of real estate transactions.