9 Creative Backsplash Ideas That Aren't Just for Your Kitchen

These surprising backsplashes will have you rethinking how you can protect your walls while adding stylish details.

There are many places that benefit from protective wall coverings, whether it's your mudroom, a coffee station, your bar cart, or a bathroom. Backsplashes are a fun way to add pattern, color, and personality, but they're also hardworking, defending walls from splashes and spills. A smart use of materials and a thoughtful approach can create stylish backsplashes in every room of your home.

small laundry room
Werner Straube

Add Peel-and-Stick Tiles

Protect your walls from dripping detergent and drying laundry with peel-and-stick tiles. This backsplash solution is a quick weekend update and easier to install around existing cabinets and appliances than grouting and setting real tiles. Available in a variety of styles like classic subway tile and rustic wood planks, there's likely to be something to match your home decor or provide the perfect opportunity to try a new look.

Wooden panel built-in home stocked bar
Werner Straube

Sneak in Hidden Details

Dedicated bar areas have the potential for troublesome spills, including red wine, juice, and sticky syrups. These usually compact areas let you make use of less common or more expensive backsplash materials. In a small space, a backsplash can really pack a style punch. This clever wet bar boasts a stone countertop and backsplash that protects the entire sink area. It's an unexpected luxury, as the bar area is usually hidden in a living room cabinet.

Corner of room with floral wallpaper
David Tsay

Install Scrubbable Wallpaper

Try wallpaper for a budget-friendly backsplash that cleans up easily. It also lets you get creative with non-traditional shapes and profiles, which is much harder to do with traditional tile. Make sure to search for scrubbable versions, which are resistant to moisture. Plus, today's temporary wallpapers (like Better Homes & Gardens Peel & Stick Wallpaper, $35, Walmart) make it easy to update your backsplash when you want a change.

white mudroom bench with pillows shoe storage below
Kim Cornelison

Add a Beaded-Board Backsplash

The entryway is a hardworking introduction to your home. As the first place guests see, you want it to look good, but it also needs to stand up to daily use. A paneled backsplash in a similar shade as the foyer walls offers extra protection where shoes, bags, and coats are dropped. Alternatively, an extra-tall baseboard is an incognito backsplash that protects walls from splatters at the shoe drop.

built-in desk office space white cabinets teal colored chair
Adam Albright

Boost Function in a Desk Area

Home offices and workstations are seeing more activity than ever before, and the walls behind our desks are prone to pen marks, coffee splashes, lunch spills, and more. But they're also valuable real estate for inspiration and planning. A bulletin board backsplash protects the wall and makes it useful. Dress it up with paper that can be changed when you fancy a new look. A chalkboard offers similar functionality; a dramatic desk-to-ceiling installation gets a finished look from a wood frame. Or try a modular approach that mixes multiple hardworking materials like chalkboard, pegboard, cork, whiteboard, or papered surfaces. Use clear desktop organizers or wire baskets (try Better Homes & Gardens Metal Medium Kitchen Pantry Organization Basket, $9, Walmart) to keep things organized without distracting from the stylish backsplash.

kitchen stove range with city map wallpaper backsplash
John Bessler

Personalize a Kitchen Backsplash

Highlight your personal interests with a show-stopping custom kitchen backsplash. An image applied to the wall behind a sheet of glass lets you dedicate significant wallspace to something you love. It adds all the color and pattern of tile without the grout lines.

kitchen breakfast nook green table and bench yellow flowers in teal vase
John Granen

Install Wainscoting

When designing a breakfast nook or banquette, consider easy-to-clean backsplash ideas. Running tile or beadboard up the walls behind seated dinners can help save them from accidental splatters. Wainscoting provides similar protection with a more traditional look. Alternatively, raise the backs of banquette seating and use durable, washable fabrics that can easily be wiped down.

white kitchen tile backsplash decorate throw pillows
Jim Franco

Choose Colorful Grout

Colorful or contrasting grout is a simple way to make a backsplash stand out, no matter the material or application. The unexpected use of color adds bright personality, and regrouting can change the look of existing tiling. If your style is more traditional, make an interesting backsplash tile arrangement the center of attention with contrasting grout, such as this white herringbone backsplash finished with black grout.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles