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Different Types of Backsplash

The most trivial of details can make the world of a difference when it comes to pulling a space together. Sometimes changing the shape of a handle, the grout color, adding an accent wall, moving a bookshelf, can make your space feel entirely refreshed and new. One very important, and often under-acknowledged , detail is the backsplash. 

Backsplash can completely alter the mood, aesthetic, and focal point of the kitchen with a simple differentiation in shape or hue. In order to know what backsplash would best enhance the designs and style you’re implementing in your kitchen, it’s important to know the difference between each one. 

Below we have acquired for you a list of the most popular types of backsplash and how to best integrate them into your home space.


Backsplashes are available in a wide variety of materials. Because they were initially used to protect the walls from food or liquids, most are very durable and easy to maintain. Now, however, they have become a decorative asset and some may be more high maintenance than others. Keep this in mind when you’re selecting your own backsplash!


Tile is the most popular choice due to its affordability, durability, cleanability, and diversity. Tile comes in a variety of shapes and materials, such as subway, mosaic, ceramic, glass, and the list goes on. Tile can be very affordable depending on the material, and whether or not its a peel sheet or has to be installed individually. The most popular choices for tile backsplashes are ceramic tile, glass tile, and stone tile. 

Ceramic Tile – affordable, lightweight, easy to install. 

Glass Tile – Slightly more expensive and trickier to install than ceramic, but can add a beautiful design element to any space. Due to its translucent appearance, glass offers the opportunity to go for bolder colors without being overwhelming. It is also very easy to clean and maintain. 

Stone/Marble Tile – Stone or marble can add a very elegant touch to your kitchen, but can be a bit pricier than the other options. While it is simple to clean, it requires frequent sealing to maintain its appearance and can stain, chip, or crack easily.


Stone is another popular option for backsplash. Depending on the type of stone you choose – granite, quartz, marble – it can be a bit more pricey. Often times, homeowners will choose to match their backsplash to their countertops. For an especially high-end look, using a stone slab all the way up the wall can looks very classy and clean. Using a stone backsplash slightly above the counter can create an interesting contrast as well. Depending on the stone, many options are more prone to staining from liquids or grease, can easily chip, and are very delicate to cleaners.


With the right sealant, wood can be a nice homey touch to any kitchen. Typically integrated into a more rustic or industrial style home, but wood can easily warm up kitchens with more washed out tones. Wood can be a great way to add texture or interesting patterns, it is also easy to do yourself with plywood and paint. It can, however, be difficult to clean and prone to warping if not properly upkept. 

Other Materials:

Keep in mind that you don’t have to use a traditional backsplash! Wallpaper, metallics, chalkboard, or simply just a painted wall can make for a great visual experience. Backsplash can be a great way to incorporate your personality into your space so do whatever fits you best. However, if you intend on selling your home in the future, it may be smart to consider a more popular tile. 


Picking the right shape for your kitchen can easily make or break your design. There are an array of shapes to choose from – square, rectangle, penny round, hexagon, and even specialty patterns – but keep in mind your overall aesthetic when making this selection. For a very modern or contemporary home, subway or rectangular shapes may be a more complimentary choice than penny round. For a more retro look, penny round may be an interesting choice. Play around with your design elements to find what works best for your taste.


When it comes to installing backsplash, there are an array of patterns that can be laid with your tiles. If you want to incorporate an eye-catching design pattern, designs such as chevron, herringbone, diamond, or your classic straight-stack can really make a difference. Keep in mind that there may be a higher installation fee for more complex pattern layouts as opposed to a standard straight-stack.


Backsplash comes in a technicolor wheel of options. From blues, greens, creams, marble, or mosaic patterns, the possibilities are endless. Once you’ve established the material you’re going to use, it may be easier to select a color given some materials are more translucent or natural than others. If you intend on selling or maybe even staying a long time, I recommend picking a classic and timeless neutral as opposed to a trendy or seasonal color. However, backsplash can also be a great focal point for an accent if you choose to integrate a fun pattern or design.


Another important decision is the grout. Selecting a color similar to the tile creates a more unified look and emphasizes more on the tiles. Opt for neutral hues that fade away, disguise stains, and let the tiles speak for themselves. However, there are instances where dramatic grout may be very complimentary of your design. For example, in a modern kitchen, black grout often looks great with white subway tiles or marble, but white looks much cleaner. If you want a low maintenance option, light-gray pairs well with white while sandy-beige’s pair well with browns and neutral tones.


When budgeting for your backsplash keep in mind the price of installation. While some tiles may be cheaper to lay (such as press and stick) other may be more expensive (such as single tiles). The material may also impact your installation price. It is recommended to get a quote from a contractor before making any decisions. 

If you’re looking for someone to assist in your selection or installation in the amarillo area, check out New Life Homes and we would be happy to help.

While backsplash may seem like a small decision looking at the big picture, there are lots of details to consider before your installation. Although, it can be well worth your time and money to invest in a backsplash that enhances the quality and mood of your kitchen. Even just this small change can spruce up an old kitchen or completely pull together a new one.