7 Can't-Miss Kitchen Backsplash Trends

From retro revivals to low-maintenance designs, here are some of the most popular backsplash ideas.

Backsplashes are hardworking surfaces that not only protect walls but also help set the tone for a kitchen’s aesthetic. Design experts are seeing a mix of classic shapes, finishes, and materials, as well as returning trends that feel contemporary. This variety suggests there’s no single theme uniting today's backsplash choices, but rather a common desire by homeowners to get a look and function that matches their own style. 

kitchen with white and gray cabinets
Jeff Herr

Square Shapes

Thanks in part to the resurgence of midcentury design, square tiles are back in style, according to Becky Leu, CEO of Leu Interiors. “In recent years, square tiles were too reminiscent of the light pink, avocado green, and baby blue midcentury bathrooms (often paired with carpet) that numerous people grew up with,” says Leu. Now, the tiles are not only getting used in midcentury-inspired interiors; they’re also being updated for contemporary looks as well. Leu says creamy neutrals and jewel tones—blues and greens in particular—are replacing retro hues. The shape can be both familiar and fresh, and it's a comfortable departure from traditional rectangular subway tiles. 

blue kitchen marble counters and walls
Dylan Chandler

Slab Backsplashes

A desire for low-maintenance kitchens continues to influence design choices, and backsplashes are no exception. “In an effort to reduce grout lines and make their kitchen as easy to clean as possible, many of my clients are opting for full-height slab backsplashes,” says Leu. “Some will use the same material as their countertops, and some will choose a more bold stone that acts as the focal piece of the space.” Leu notes that slabs are often one of the more expensive backsplash options, but the lack of seams creates a surface with good looks and practical functionality that is worth the investment.


Annie Selke handmade tile from The Tile Shop

The Tile Shop

Handmade Tiles

Handmade and handmade-look tiles are definitely hot right now, according to Kirsty Froelich, director of design at The Tile Shop. “Their variation in color and texture offers a more casual and artisanal feel,” says Froelich. Like natural stone and wood, the irregularity of handmade tiles is key to their character. They also complement any kitchen design. Hand-painted tiles can offer a bespoke quality that matches high-end looks and custom kitchens, while even a single-color backsplash can elevate a basic space by adding depth and interest thanks to the natural variations in color, texture, and even thickness.

white kitchen with teal backsplash
Nicole LaMotte

Coastal Grandmother Style

“Loosely defined by a slow-paced seaside aesthetic, coastal grandmother is all about combining comfort with luxury,” says Morgan Wiseman, merchant of wall tile at The Home Depot. “To achieve this laidback look, select neutrals and nautical-inspired colored tiles. Think blues, beiges, whites, and greens.” Wiseman says backsplashes can take the look even further with subtle seaside nods like fish-scale shapes and tiles that incorporate small shells or pebbles. It’s a subtler take on more overt nautical design styles. The beachy colors and natural elements are also reflective of the popular biophilic design trend, which brings nature-inspired textures into the home.

white farmhouse sink in kitchen
Helen Norman

Classic Marble

“White marble and white marble-look tiles continue to be incredibly popular,” says Froelich. According to Froelich, marble’s colors and patterns, particularly when paired with crisp-lined shapes, have a “clean and sophisticated feel” that keeps homeowners choosing the classic look. But it’s not always all about simplicity with this backsplash material. “We're seeing a lot of our customers incorporate a unique focal point, like a waterjet mosaic, into designs with these tiles for increased personality,” says Froelich.

kitchen with white subway tile white cabinets black fixtures
Edmund Barr

Stacked Bond Layouts

Subway tile running in an offset pattern is a familiar backsplash design, but now those simple lines are getting an update with a stacked installation. “A stacked bond layout is where the corners of a square or rectangular tile align, rather than being offset in a running bond,” says Leu. Although the style skews modern, Leu says it easily complements transitional and traditional spaces, too. And it’s not just for subway tiles. Leu says this trend is popularly paired with the square tile revival, and it’s being used with other rectangular shapes in various materials as well. 

pink kitchen with white cabinets and gold accents
Stacy Goldberg

Light-Reflecting Tiles

Enhancing a kitchen’s lighting with tile is another popular trend. Light colors and glossy finishes on backsplashes can reflect both natural and artificial light. It’s especially impactful when paired with under-cabinet lighting, a powerful combination that Wiseman says creates ambient lighting, adds depth to a space, and brightens preparation areas. For kitchens without under-cabinet lighting, pair glazed ceramic or glass tiles with easy-to-install LED tape lighting. “In addition to providing a beautiful illumination, many homeowners love glossy tile because it’s incredibly easy to clean,” says Wiseman. 

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