Kitchen Design Ideas for a Tile Backsplash

kitchen image by Rich Johnson from

Most kitchen designs include a tile backsplash between the counter and the cabinets. This area of the kitchen is a perfect place to show off a decorative element. There are backsplash tile designs to complement a modern or traditional-style kitchen.

One Mosaic Color

Using one colour of mosaic tile everywhere on the backsplash is an effective design that works in a number of kitchens. Choose stainless steel mosaics in contemporary kitchens with slab cabinet doors and stainless appliances.

Look for tumbled marble mosaic tiles in any number of shades to give an earthy and Tuscan feel to the kitchen. Polished stone mosaics or glass mosaics work well in kitchens that don't receive a lot of light--because they reflect whatever light there is.

Two Sizes of Tile

Create interest in the space by using two vastly different sizes of tile in one area. This can be an extended subway tile with a border of mosaics or alternating stripes of 6 x 12 inch tiles and long, thin 1/2 x 8 inch tiles. Keep colours of the two tiles complementary, but with subtle shade differences to enhance the effect. For instance, use multiple shades of earth tones or two shades of green. The idea is to call attention to the two sizes, but not be visually jarring.

Mix Materials

Using two different materials is an effective way of accenting the kitchen backsplash. For example, use one tile overall, with a second material as an insert or use speciality tile behind the cooktop--with a less expensive tile filling in areas along the counters. There should be one cohesive element between the two tiles, such as handcut glass with rustic stone, or honed stone with machine made ceramic. Keep the edges of the two materials similar so the contrast remains in surface texture and colour.

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