11 Unique Tile Backsplashes That Make the Case for Decorating with Color and Pattern
A backsplash is often the pièce de résistance in a kitchen. It's your focal point and where you set the tone for the style of the entire room. Several interior designers say they start with the backsplash and then design the rest of the kitchen around it. While backsplashes in rich materials like marble veer toward either classic or modern design, tile backsplashes run the gamut in aesthetic: Whether you're someone who is super traditional, preppy, or bohemian, you'll find that there's a tile backsplash for you. The timeless subway tile is one style you can't go wrong with—it transcends different designs. If you want to update the look, try laying out the tiles vertically instead of the quintessential horizontal pattern, get tiles in colors other than traditional white, or add dimension with a beveled-edge.
Over the years, (and thanks to Pinterest, Instagram, and popular accounts like I Have This Thing with Floors), tiles have become more coveted then ever before. Nowadays, most new construction or newly renovated kitchens feature some sort of statement tile backsplash, like cool geometric, Moroccan, and Spanish-inspired designs.
How large or small of a backsplash you decide to have is up to you: While some go for a standard backsplash simply covering the area around the stove, others carry the tiles all the way up to the ceiling. One thing's for certain, though—there's nothing like a backsplash to add polish, interest, and originality to your kitchen. Here, we asked interior designers to share some of their favorite tile backsplashes. Their picks will have you plotting a kitchen makeover.
Add a Pop of Interest
"Tile was a main theme I carried from room-to-room in this Spanish-style home," says Amber Lewis, CEO of Amber Interior Design. "I wanted to add a pop of pattern and color in the kitchen to make it even more interesting. The close-up detail is just gorgeous."
Enhance Your Subway Tile
"This subway tile really takes this kitchen to another level," says Shea McGee, founder and creative director of Studio McGee. "The beveled details create a unique dimension—a look that's unexpected."
Make a Statement
"When my team and I moved into the new Jungalow headquarters, we wanted to have a bright, airy, and inspiring space to design and work in," says Justina Blakeney, founder and director of Jungalow. "I chose these Moroccan-inspired cement tiles because of the hypnotizing pattern and bold colors. They really make a statement in our studio kitchen, and look great with the limewash paint we chose."
Try Square Tiles for a Modern Twist
Take It to the Top
"The Tabarka tile adds a wonderful hand-hewn texture to the kitchen, and helps add scale to the tall ceilings," says Bailey Austin, principal designer at Bailey Austin Design.
Bring the Indoors In
"When we were designing our casita Jungalow, my family and I knew we wanted to meld the indoors with the outdoors to help make the casita (which used to be a two-car garage) feel like an extension of our Spanish-style bungalow home," says Blakeney. "I worked with Granada Tile to design these blue hexagon tiles featuring egrets that I painted. After thinking through the placement of the plain blue tiles and the tiles with egrets, we arranged and installed them very intentionally. I love how I can sit back and stare at this backsplash and feel like I am watching birds in flight!"
Add Flare to a Classic Space
Tiles with an elegant pattern can enhance the look of a traditional space—this classic kitchen by Bailey Austin Design is proof.
Go Bold with Tile—and Grout!—Color
"Green is my favorite color, so when we were renovating our kitchen, I wanted to make sure there was no shortage of it in the room we spend the most time in," Blakeney says. "I chose this handmade zellige tile from Badia Design and we went with a dark green grout to really let the tile shine."
Shake up the Pattern
Add Some Shine with a Glaze
"I'm in love with how this glazed terra-cotta tile turned out in this lake house kitchen," says Jennifer Muirhead, principal at Jennifer Muirhead Interiors. "This is a tiny space, so I wanted something special that didn't take away from the rustic setting. This Clé Tile was the perfect choice—it's handmade, so it has that interesting 'perfectly imperfect' look, and the creamy white color keeps it clean and classic."