Stylish Backsplash Pairings

Find out how to combine a new kitchen backsplash with complementary countertops and cabinetry. With these clever combinations, it's easy to create a stylish and inviting cooking area.

Renee Freemon Mulvihill

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Tile, granite
Clean-Lined Contemporary

    A mix of warm woods and nature-inspired materials gives this kitchen an inviting, contemporary vibe. On the backsplash, bamboo-look tile adds an eye-catching texture and emphasizes the kitchen's streamlined design. The horizontal lines of the tile stand out from the more random pattern of the granite countertops, although similar colors unify the two materials. Custom walnut cabinets sport a dark stain for crisp contrast and sleek drama.

Timeless Style

    With classic materials and a subdued color scheme, this kitchen perfectly suits the 1927 Dutch Colonial home in which it resides. A crackled subway tile on the backsplash adds instant vintage appeal. The simple backsplash complements the traditional detailing found on the pale gray Shaker-style cabinetry and the timeless appeal of the gray-green honed-granite countertops.

Distinctive Textures

    This sophisticated cooking zone gets its upscale look from a unique mix of textures and patterns. A highly patterned limestone backsplash offers an elegant backdrop that stands out against the subtle pattern of the honed quartz countertop. The earthy-hued surfaces complement the streamlined beauty of the eucalyptus cabinetry. To give the cabinetry a more contemporary look, the wood's vertical grain was run horizontally.

Vintage Charm

    White backsplash tile with tiny blue insets brings a classic color palette to this kitchen. The small accent tiles repeat the light blue color of the cabinetry, while a dark soapstone countertop offers refreshing contrast. Leaded-glass cabinet doors enhance the room's vintage character.

Aged Character

    A brick backsplash in this kitchen sets a rustic tone, adding instant age and character to the newly remodeled and expanded space. The traditional material complements the timeless Absolute Black granite countertops as well as the custom cabinetry that shows off a gently distressed finish. The warm tones in the brick-and-wood island countertop contrast beautifully with cabinets painted a seaside-inspired blue.

Natural Drama

    This kitchen's sleek glass backsplash reflects welcome light and views, opening up the space and making the small galley kitchen feel larger than its actual footprint. The streamlined backsplash complements the room's modern kitchen cabinetry, created from custom cabinets finished with a budget-friendly faux zebrawood laminate. A concrete countertop matches the kitchen's warm, earthy mood.

Balancing Act

    The eye-catching glass backsplash in this kitchen adds a chic sparkle that softens the masculine look of the dark wood cabinetry. The 5/8x2-inch mosaic tiles were installed in a stacked pattern for a more contemporary look. Light granite countertops offer a contrasting texture and stand out against the dark cabinetry.

Perfect Cottage Style

    For a quick and easy cottage update, consider installing a beaded-board backsplash. In this kitchen, the classic wall treatment perfectly complements the traditional painted cabinetry and open shelving installed around the apron-front sink. Warm oak countertops, enhanced by a custom stain, fit the kitchen's vintage theme.

Welcome Contrast

    Eco-friendly materials lessen this kitchen's carbon footprint. A recycled paper-based backsplash dramatically stands out from the surrounding white cabinets, which were salvaged from the original kitchen and repainted. Recycled-glass countertops in cobalt blue bring fun color to the room's perimeter, while a neutral white countertop subdues the red-painted island.

Warm and Traditional

    Warm wood kitchen cabinetry sets a cozy and inviting mood in this remodeled kitchen. The 2x6-inch green glass subway tile along the backsplash adds a touch of color and suits the cabinetry's traditional warmth. Creamy white granite countertops add a contrasting hue yet continue the room's palette of classic materials.

Reflective Materials

    This small kitchen now feels open and airy, thanks to a materials palette that reflects light and celebrates soothing, neutral hues. A custom resin backsplash, embedded with real twigs and dried leaves, brings the beauty of nature right into the kitchen. Laminate cabinets with frosted-glass doors lighten the look and feature a streamlined modern design, while engineered quartz countertops show off complementary color and boast everyday durability.

Understated Elegance

    Classic materials, including a tumbled marble tile backsplash with pewter accents, create a warm and traditional kitchen. Most of the tiles are installed at a diagonal, but a rope border tile sets off a row of vertical tiles along the countertop, forming a design that plays with pattern without becoming too flashy. The backsplash treatment complements traditional white kitchen cabinetry for a classic look; dark granite countertops add a touch of drama. A hand-painted tile mural serves as a focal point above the range.

Playing with Pattern

    Paisley wallpaper on this kitchen backsplash brings an artistic touch to the cooking area. Tempered-glass panels protect the wallpaper and make cleanup easier. The busy pattern on the backsplash works well here, because it's paired with simple white frameless cabinets and a neutral quartz-surfacecountertop.

High Contrast

    The red bricks of an existing chimney were painted black to create an edgy backsplash for this traditional kitchen. The black paint repeats the dark hues found in the granite countertops but pops against the room's white-painted cabinetry. Despite the contemporary black paint, the rustic texture of the bricks works well in a room defined by traditional details, such as recessed-panel cabinet doors and deep crown moldings.

Custom Accents

    Hand-painted blue and white ceramic tiles suit this kitchen's traditional European character, as well as the mid-1800s heritage of the home. For a distinctive focal point above the range, the homeowners mixed tiles bearing their family crests in with plain tiles. Painted cabinets with custom details, such as corbels and a mantel-style range hood, also provide a refined look. Ivory-brown granite countertops blend well with the color scheme and sophisticated mood, and bring a bit of welcome texture to the cooking zone.

Simple Charms

    Proving that traditional design doesn't need to be fussy, this kitchen blends classic materials and clean lines for a seamless blend of old and new. White subway tile introduces vintage charm, and it's versatile enough to blend well with the marble countertop as well as the stainless-steel sink surround and appliances. Traditional white-painted wood cabinets suit the classic tile and countertop choices, but they show off stainless-steel hardware for an updated look.

Warm Contemporary

    Backsplash tile with a bark-texture pattern merges the sleek look of the range hood with the natural warmth of this kitchen's wood cabinetry. A ribbon of eggplant-hue glass tile adds a decorative touch for enhanced visual interest. The rust-color Bordeaux granite countertops blend with the wood cabinetry and include black striations that allude to the dark tones of the backsplash accent tile.

Smart Mix of Materials

    Budget was an important consideration in this kitchen remodel, so the homeowner limited costly tile work to the area behind the range (where a protective surface was most needed). In the rest of the backsplash, she installed washable vinyl wallpaper with a crocodile texture. The wallpaper's hue blends with the room's beige cabinets, while new laminate countertops show off a lighter tone that complements the white cabinets also used in the room.

Natural Textures

    This remodeled kitchen feels comfortable and welcoming, thanks to a warm palette of natural materials. A mosaic backsplash created from tumbled marble and porcelain tile adds discreet pattern to the walls and blends nicely with the honey-tone maple cabinets. Richly mottled concrete countertops add a bit of contrast as well as practical durability.


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