Backsplash ideas: A Complete Guide with Pictures (Updated)

Backsplash ideas: A Complete Guide with Pictures (Updated)

- in Decorating Tips

There are all kinds of options available today to upgrade or remodel a kitchen. One of the options you might want to look into is the backsplash. By now this term should be pretty familiar to you, but if it’s not, that’s okay! Below, you will find a guide on backsplash tiles, as well as the obvious, the types of material these tiles are made with, and the colors to consider! I hope you find this useful when it comes to your own kitchen renovation project.


A Bit about Backsplash

Essentially a backsplash is exactly what it sounds like; it’s a material that is added to the back of a wall – usually behind the countertop. The purpose of backsplash was to originally keep things from damaging the drywall by splashing or splattering of food up against the wall.

It’s much easier to clean backsplash tiles than it is to clean a wall or wallpaper, especially when it comes to food and oil, as well as residues.

Originally, the backsplash only showed up in kitchens, but nowadays you can pretty much install them just about any place including the bathroom. In a kitchen, backsplashes can create cohesiveness for example if you extend the backsplash to the roof and this can be done usually where there is a gap between the cabinets it makes the backsplash feel much integrated component of the kitchen.

They are one of the most value-friendly additions to a home, and yet the least expensive as well. When adding a backsplash to the kitchen it’s a good idea to maintain the style of your home by using certain materials and colors. For example, a modern kitchen could have something like shiny or mirrored glass backsplash tiles while a rustic kitchen can have ledgestone backsplash.


Porcelain Backsplash


Backsplash Tile Comes in Variety of Material

This is definitely going to be an important section because there are many different types of material backsplash tiles are made with. You really want to make sure that you not only pick the right style, color, but also the right material. For example, if you cook a lot, you would want a material that can withstand anything! On the other hand, if you don’t cook a lot and are only looking for aesthetics, you can select a less porous option. Without further ado, here are some of the materials available for the backsplash tiles:

Marble: Real marble backsplash has a look of class and sophistication. The biggest pro to this material is the simple fact that it’s incredibly attractive. However, it’s also expensive, can cost around $8 to $15 per square foot, and they require higher maintenance such as sealing the marble occasionally to ensure it does not stain. It may also fade over time and for some people that maybe okay because as they say, like wood, it adds charm.

Glass: Glass is really a good choice because of the available selections. This is a manmade product, and therefore there are infinite colors to choose from. We all know that glass reflects light, so these backsplashes can make the room seem bigger; this is one of the reasons why a lot of people use this material as a backsplash in smaller kitchens. Glass tile backsplash is also hygienic since they are very easy to clean and there is no on-going maintenance required. First and foremost even though its glass it CAN be expensive. Depending on the type of glass backsplash you could be looking to pay upwards to $5 to $10 per square foot.

Porcelain: Porcelain is essentially similar to ceramic, but it’s fired at a much higher temperature which in turn makes it stronger than ceramic. It is a really good option for floors, countertops and yes a backsplash wall tile because it’s easy to clean and maintain. Porcelain backsplash can cost around $3 to $7 per square foot which makes it pretty darn inexpensive and budget friendly for a small to medium backsplash.

Wood: You can find quite a few options for wood tiles including; salvaged wood, antique wood, reclaimed wood, hardwood, and softwood. They all have their own color distinction and staining, as well as grains. This is a fantastic option for modern yet contemporary kitchens, these can cost anywhere between $3 and $20 per square foot. Quite the price range, but then again that’s because of the types of woods involved. Make sure that you seal them after installation so that they can withstand any water being splashed.

Reflective Mirror Finish: A mirror finish is going to give you even more of a reflection than something like glass. This is also a really good option for a modern kitchen, mostly because they usually come in a sort of silvery tone. As you probably know silvery tones including stainless steel are very modern! A reflective mirror finish will cost anywhere between $4 and $12 per square foot.

Coffee Beans: This is actually real! This one was custom made, so if they can do it so can you. Rather than placing these coffee beans (with an acrylic coating over them) right behind the sink, it’s placed off to the side where you can create a sort of coffee corner. This just goes to show that if you think outside the box, you can find some really creative ideas and objects to use; this will cost you just the price of Coffee Beans.


Coffee_bean_backsplash 2



Tin Sheets: What is it about these tin sheets that are so attractive? Primarily used in farmhouses as the roofing material for the ceiling, these have become a somewhat popular option for a backsplash. They are quite cheap – cost around $1.50 to $6 per square foot, they are really lovely and pretty with their shimmery shine and etched designs, and they go really well in just about any style of kitchen. They also go really well with colors like yellow, white, blue, green and even red.



Concrete Embossed: Also referred to ass concrete, this costs around $9 to $17 per square foot. Pretty crazy right? It’s just concrete!!! However, it’s not really the material per se that makes it so expensive, it’s the design options. Embossed cement is where the cost comes from. This material is incredibly durable, but you will need to have some sort of a coating over it so that it won’t stain. If you don’t seal them or install them properly they can get damaged by oil, residues, and even dish washing detergent.

3D Finished Bronze: These are really neat because they “bend” at the middle which means they aren’t just 3d Backsplash tiles you slap on the wall. These actually have a lot of character and they would look really good in a home that is traditional, rustic style and especially if you have other bronze or metal materials in your kitchen. They also go really well with black accents! But, because it is bronze, you could be looking at a cost upwards to $4 to $12 per square foot.

Penny Tile: Penny tile primarily comes in sheets. They are not single bricked or tiles like many of the other options here. Penny tile is very small tiles, usually octagon in shape that is placed on a sheet and then you install the entire square sheet on the wall. Penny tiles come in different shapes, colors and more. They cost anywhere between $3.50 and $15 per sheet. Yes, this can get expensive but if you really like the look it might be worth it!


penny tile


Copper Tile: Copper tile might be a new type of backsplash but it’s not a new material by any means. Copper has been used for farmers sinks, ceiling tiles and more. Copper goes really well with wood. It’s a living material so over time it will patina, but some people say this is why they love it so much, it adds charm, character, and personality. Make sure that when you use copper backsplashes that you don’t clean it with a regular old cleanser and instead, use a PH balanced cleanser. You will also need to coat this type of tile.

River Rock: River rocks are literal rocks. This isn’t a stone material tile like the natural stone travertine below. But, rather they have all the curves and bumps that a river rock would have. Not every kitchen can pull this off, but if you are looking for an English tea garden style or you live by the beach or you want a rustic look, this could very well work for you. River rock can cost anywhere between $4 to $12. The stones are usually cut in half using a tile saw so that they can be placed flush against the wall.

Travertine: Much like Marble backsplash, travertine backsplash is a really pretty material. It’s made with natural stone like that of marble, limestone or granite. They come in a variety of different colors, sizes and shapes. If you are after a classic shape for travertine then get subway tiles which are basically travertine natural stone cut in 4 in by 6 in size and to create a sheet of 1 sqft they are simply glued on a plastic mesh of ease of installation. Just like marble, you will need to seal these tiles regularly. The travertine stone backsplash is going to cost anywhere between $6 and $15 per square foot. Stone comes in an array of colors and pigments, but since it’s a natural stone, you can’t be guaranteed that all of your backsplash tiles are going to be the same color. For some people this is good – it adds charm and character, for others, they would rather it be all the same color.


Colors: Why are they important

As you begin to upgrade your kitchen it’s important that you design it such that it’s not only aesthetically appealing but also provides you the calmness or spikiness you may require. Decorators and designers alike, as well as researchers and scientist, have noted that the colors we choose in our home or specific spaces in our homes can evoke certain emotions and feelings. So when it comes to tiles like porcelain, ceramic, glass, mirror finishes and more, here is a little insight on psychological properties of colors.

The psychology of color deals with mental as well as emotion effects that a color has on your mood. Surprisingly enough this doesn’t just have to do with homes and colors, but it also has a lot to do with branding in businesses, and advertisements and businesses using certain colors in their commercials to make us FEEL or THINK a certain way. It’s actually quite ingenious! For example:


White tends to mean purity and innocence, it’s also a neutral color and it screams cleanliness and plainness. It’s one of the reasons why most apartments have white walls. It’s not that they are trying to BE plain and boring, but they want to invoke a sense of creativity inside of you so that you can easily picture your things in the spaces of the apartment. The white walls also make the place seem spacious and empty which makes the apartment seem bigger than it really is!


When it comes to black, it usually invokes feelings and thoughts of strength, power, authority, and as most women know, black can be a slimming color. Black can also be dark which is why a lot of people chose to use it in a kitchen only as an accent point for their backsplashes as a frame or for use as a checkerboard pattern.


Red invokes feelings and thoughts of love, sex, romance, comfort, intensity and excitement as well as energy. You would think because of the love, sex and comfort that the bedroom would be a great place for this color. But, actually, you need to consider those other emotions as well; intensity, excitement, and energy. The last thing you want is to be sleeping in bed staring up at your red ceiling, feeling a frenetic energy coming over you when you are supposed to be sleeping. This is why if you use it in the bedroom, its best to use it in small doses. Any other part of the house, like the kitchen, it can be added in larger doses because it also invokes an appetite!


Instead of using red in the bedroom which can make you energized you can use green. You can also use green in a library, sun room, or a kitchen because green invokes a sense of health and tranquility. It’s also a super calming color which means it works really well in the kitchen.

green backsplash tile


Blue also invokes calmness and serenity as well as peace. However, it shouldn’t be used in the kitchen because it curves the appetite. This might not seem like too bad of a thing in the kitchen if you want to lose weight, but instead of making you want to eat less all it really does that it makes you not want to eat at all!


These are just a few of the colors on the spectrum, but definitely some of the most important ones. However, if you really like blue and you want it in your kitchen there are two things you can do. 1) Add it as an accent in very small doses. 2) You can also try out different shades of blue. Perhaps a darker selection won’t give you the same feelings as a lighter shade or hue!

Hopefully, this guide will help you in making your choices for your backsplash for your next project. So go ahead and get your kitchen remodeling with backsplash ideas mentioned above.


About the author

Faiza is Home Improvement Enthusiast, loves to write about latest products and services to help people make the right decision for their home.