8 Types of Tile Backsplashes: Kitchen Remodel Inspiration


Redesigning your kitchen? Most people think of a classic kitchen redesign involving a fresh coat of paint on the wall, a new set of dining furniture, maybe a new oven or dishwasher. Most people don’t think of redoing the counter backsplash, but this might be just the change you need to give your kitchen a good-as-new, revived type of look. We’ve installed endless backslashes for kitchens and bathrooms with various types of tiles, achieving many of these designs you’ll see below. When remodeling your kitchen use this short guide as inspiration to find the perfect tile backsplash design that best suits you and your home!


staggered tile

Image credit: Decor Pad

​If you like the classic orthogonal pattern of rectangular tiles, a gentle staggering of the tiles can make things look a little more interesting without disrupting the general flow and satisfying angles of the design. The clean lines have the same overall effect without the risk of monotony, especially with a glossy porcelain or ceramic finish combined with a contrasting grout.

Laying tile in a staggered arrangement instead of a straight alignment adds to the dynamic presentation.

​In fact, the staggered design can be combined with nearly any number of size, shape, and color pattern, so you can keep the theme of your kitchen intact while incorporating this subtle backsplash idea. Mix and match the size of the tiles while retaining the staggered design for an even more intricate and dynamic look.


herringbone pattern

Image credit: Houzz

This iconic pattern is a favorite of design enthusiasts who want a bit more excitement in the kitchen without drawing too much attention to the backsplash area and disrupting the rest of the theme.

A herringbone pattern can be remarkably smooth or can look too cluttered depending on how you style the rest of the kitchen decor. Fortunately, the herringbone backsplash design can also be incorporated with a variety of tile finishes, sizes, and shapes, and in fact the subtlety (or lack thereof) of the herringbone shifted pattern can be varied as well. This will ensure that no two herringbone designs are exactly the same, so you don’t have to worry about jumping on the bandwagon or feeling unoriginal!

In the featured image, a sharp herringbone with marbled tiles creates lots of dimension in the space. See how different the same general idea looks compared to the subtle white herringbone below, which is also turned in a more vertical stacking design for an interesting effect.
infographic for tile backsplashes


laser cut tile designs

Image credit: Cabinet City

​If you can spring for it, intricate laser cut tiles will create a much more elegant and put-together vibe in the kitchen. These are, of course, more expensive not just for their design but also the difficulty of their installation. But when you make this investment, you also don’t have to worry about all your neighbors following the same generic thematic design, since laser cut tile designs tend to be unique and hard to recreate. Beautiful damask shapes can lend an air of sophistication to the food prep space, but if you’re just looking for something that is generally more exciting than plain rectangles, you of course don’t have to opt for the more opulent designs.

Mirror Tile

mirror tile

Image credit: Pix Shark

Reflective tiles are making a statement in the kitchen now more than ever! The beauty of mirror tiles is that they can be all of uniform shape and size or arranged in a more mosaic style. They also don’t have to be directly of mirror glass, which reflect images the same way any mirror in your home does; in fact, mirror-style or mirror-inspired tiles simply reflect a lot of light, creating interesting rainbow patterns that will bounce around the kitchen and look slightly different at each part of the day depending on the angle of the sun.

​If you have a sleek, modern kitchen with lots of shiny surfaces, mirror tile backsplash might be the perfect addition to the kitchen and will stand out beautifully against more muted cabinetry and furniture.


hexagon tile

Image credit: Decorazilla

​Hexagons are making waves in the design world as a trendy option for bathroom tiles, kitchen backsplashes, flooring, and more! Available in a range of sizes, finishes, colors, and other variable options that you can personalize, hexagons will uphold a satisfying geometric pattern without looking bulky or out of place.

Small, pixelated, mosaic-style hexagons as well as evenly-spaced, large hexagons are both beautiful options for a new kitchen backsplash.


diagonal tile

Image credit: Ceramic Tec

​Another geometric alternative to classic parallel backsplashing includes diagonal tiles. Square tiles rotated onto the point will look just different enough to wow your visitors without disturbing the overall aesthetic. Again, the same tile arrangement can have two completely different vibes depending on the colors used as well as the materials and finish of the tile.

​For example, the image below has a color scheme including a contrasting darker color, but imagine how it would look if sizes of the diagonal squares were altered as well!


print and colors

Image credit: Durangostone

Many people don’t realize that tiles come in print! Lots of people like to play with marble swirls or glossy, single-color tiles, but printed tiles can add a lot of life to an otherwise bland counter space.

​Printed tiles make great accent pieces in particular, but if you really love an exciting, busy backsplash, feel free to use as many different kinds of prints as you want. You can fit different designs together over the course of many different tiles, you can use a repeating image, you can create a single overall picture – whatever you feel works best for your kitchen.


classic subway tile

Image credit: Science Rocks

​Now, we may have spent this entire article presenting alternatives to the classic subway tile backsplash, but it’s truly such a timeless design that no backsplash design guide is complete without giving the good old subway tile at least an honorable mention. The iconic subway tile is three inches tall by five inches wide, but has been proportionally recreated on different scales for more variation. These bold-faced tiles are smooth and sleek and work well with contrasting grout (or even grout of the same color to allow it to blend in). Ceramic or porcelain tiles give a clean, glossy surface that designers keep turning back to after all these years!

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