All About the Backsplash: Must-Have Styles for Your Dream Kitchen

Posted May 1, 2019 by Katlyn Droke

Consider this: which space in your entire kitchen can be one of the MOST versatile in terms of design? You may be surprised to find that it could be the humble backsplash. The space itself has pretty functional origins. While it’s unknown when and where the backsplash emerged historically, everyone is pretty familiar with its clear-cut function of protecting the wall from water, grease, or food particles that can splash up from cooking. But over the decades, it evolved past function and more into fashion. Homeowners began putting more thought to crafting the space, and it’s no longer an afterthought in design. This functional aspect still plays a major part, but now it has a stronger foundation in interior design. As a result, the possibilities for style and design are endless as designers explore what’s possible. Best of all: now this space can be an expression of your individual style. Especially if you choose the ever-popular white cabinets and want your backsplash to add an eye-catching detail to the clean, simple cabinetry.

You’re likely reading this because you’ve already decided to incorporate a backsplash into your design. But as versatile as the backsplash is now, how do you know which style is right for you and your home? We broke it down for you into a quick analysis of top tile trends.

See which of these backsplash ideas could be right for you:

picket style tile backsplash above the stove

Picket Tile

This tile spices up the ordinary rectangle tile by adding two sides, creating an elongated hexagonal shape. It’s like a new take on the honeycomb shape or the tiled version of a picket fence. While it’s mostly installed horizontally, it can be beautiful when placed vertically as well. The sharp edges add a modern touch to clean, straight-edged kitchens.

  • Must Love: Clean, symmetrical, and organized lines of geometric patterns

cut stone tile backsplash

Perfectly Imperfect

Imperfections are celebrated in the perfectly imperfect style of tile, which will look alike but have minor deviations in edges, depth, or color. Think of it like your favorite pair of worn jeans or a sentimental weathered wallet: all those marks they’ve gathered are perfect testaments to the stories of your life. From a distance, the tile will look relatively uniform, but when close to the counter you can admire the subtle yet perfect differences between each tile.

  • Must Love: Imperfections that are more like beauty marks on stone

recycled glass backsplash

Heirloom Tile

Like an heirloom, this is a tile that has already lived a long life. Made from recycled materials, they are reinvigorated with new life as tiles. A new favorite in this style is recycled glass (think: beach glass) refashioned into tile that creates depth via an ombré effect. Heirloom can also mean ‘recycled’ in the sense that it is recovered from an old house and re-installed in a new renovation — it can feel like taking the memories of an old beloved kitchen and instilling them into a new one.

  • Must Love: Old fashioned materials being positioned in a new way

heirloom tile backsplash

Handcrafted Tile

Once old fashioned, handcrafted tile is re-emerging in kitchen design. Having a person (rather than a machine) craft and design each piece can result in more unique shapes and intricate detail. If you’ve seen tile in backsplash with a highly decorative pattern on it, then it’s likely handcrafted (or at least inspired by handcrafted tile). This is also a style where you can see other materials come into play, like certain metals or treated wood. Handmade tiles can be a bit pricier than other alternatives, but you’re unlikely to see your exact design copied in many other homes.

  • Must Love: Bold, detail design that isn’t run-of-the-mill

geometrical patterned backsplash

Long Vertical Rectangles

The tried-and-true subway tile has evolved into a more elongated and rotated look. Stretched out to be longer in length and rotated 90°, this pattern can help solve any space peculiarities. Like adding perceived height to a kitchen with a low ceiling or making an oven hood feel more connected to the rest of the space and less adrift. Ultimately, it’s amazing to see how different a backsplash can look by changing the point-of-view and simply rotating the tiles in a new direction.

  • Must Love: A clean new take on a classic tile

stone statement backsplash

Statement Stone – “Waterfall”

What if your beautiful countertop stone continued traveling up the wall and became the backsplash? This style was born on kitchen islands, where the stone of the countertop continued down the side of the island and to the floor. On a backsplash, the solid surface provides a clean and ultra modern look. Imagine the marbling of your beloved countertop marbling taking the eye on the journey through your kitchen, as it travels from the counter to your walls. What story will your stone tell?

  • Must Love: Large landscapes of stone like quartz, marble, and granite

bold colored backsplash


Why think in stone when durable wallpaper can do the same job and offer more freedom in design? This might be a bit of surprise to some, but if you’re the type of person to zag when everyone zigs, then wallpaper is the perfect way to express your unique take on the world in contrast to others. Geometric patterns still apply, but we’re also starting to see more dynamic designs like floral prints or one-of-a-kind, custom graphics. Big florals or scenes with flora and fauna in particular are growing in popularity. Overall, this is a surefire way to create a backsplash that is unlike others.

  • Must Love: More range in design with the opportunity to move away from standard patterns.

These types and styles are not a complete list, but they are the ones that we see reflected the most in trendsetting circles. With so many options it may be hard to choose, but that’s what our design experts can help you with. Browse through Customer Kitchens to see how others have incorporated backsplashes into their overall designs.

Which backsplash trend really makes your heart happy?