Wall Tile Layout Patterns & Backsplash Ideas

Written by melanie haas
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Wall Tile Layout Patterns & Backsplash Ideas
There are many options when choosing a tile layout for a back splash. (kitchen utensils image by Victor M. from Fotolia.com)

The kitchen is the heart of the home, so the design for the kitchen often reflects a homey, welcoming style. One way to help achieve a warm, inviting kitchen, and to make clean-up easier, is to add tile to the walls, and to the back splash in particular. There are many tile layouts to choose from that will allow you to create a back splash that reflects your personal style.

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One tile layout that creates visual interest on a back splash is a herringbone pattern. For this layout, use rectangular tiles, such as 3-by-6 inch tiles. In this pattern, one tile is placed horizontally, and the next tile is placed perpendicular to the first, creating an arrow-type diagonal pattern. For this pattern, choose tiles that are all one colour or choose two complementary colours, such as black and white or yellow and red. If you choose to use two colours, make sure that you use one colour for all of the horizontal tiles and the other for the vertical tiles.


Another tile layout idea for a back splash is to use square tiles laid out on a diagonal, creating a diamond effect. This idea works well for both solid colour tiles and those with designs or marbling. You could also use more than one colour for this layout. For example, choose four or five solid tile colours and create diagonal stripes using this layout.


Another tile back splash layout that uses square tiles is a checkerboard layout. For this pattern, choose square tiles in two solid, complementary colours, such as royal blue or red and white or light blue and soft yellow. The tiles are laid out in rows that alternate the colours of tile to create a checkerboard effect.

Vertical Stripes

Rather than laying out rectangular tile in horizontal rows, consider creating vertical stripes with the tiles to add height to your back splash. This layout works best when used with solidly coloured tiles, and you can mix several complementary colours, such as blue, green and yellow to create stripes.

Mosaic Insets

An additional tile layout that creates a visually appealing back splash is the inclusion of a tile mosaic inset into the back splash. Often placed above the stove, there are thousands of tile mosaic patterns from which to choose, from country vignettes to scenes featuring foods and drinks. Choose a mosaic that works well with your colour scheme and your kitchen's design style.

Accent Tiles

If a more daring all-over pattern is not your taste, you can choose to place accent tiles in several sections of your back splash to add texture and interest. For example, if you have chosen to use rectangular tiles laid out horizontally, consider interrupting the pattern with a square tile in a copper, bronze, gold or silver finish to add depth to your design.

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