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Our Favorite Backsplashes

Updated: Sep 21, 2022

...And what you need to know about them

Photographer: Karen Palmer Photography

So maybe you're just looking for a light refresh in the kitchen or you're planning out your entire kitchen overhaul. There are so many different factors when it comes to designing a kitchen both aesthetically and functionally, and it is so important to have a good understand of the selection you choose to put into this space. So take a look at our round up of our top 4 different backsplashes

#1 - Zellige Tile

Zellige is such a great tile and so its no wonder why its in this list. It comes in so many different colors, shapes, and finishes that its bound to fit almost any aesthetic. The most popular zellige distributors that I run into are, and and each one has beautiful colors and shapes to fit your needs.

Reasons why I love Zellige:

  • Durability - Zellige tile has been around for hundreds of years. Thats for a reason

  • Uniqueness - Each tile is handmade and therefore unique. There is a lot of variation in both color and size

  • Clean-ability - Because of the glaze used to finish these tiles it makes these tiles non porous and easy to wipe down

  • Texture - If you know me, then you know I love texture. Its so important to incorporate texture into a space and you get that with Zellige

  • Heat - Its heat resistant, so its great to use for the application behind a range.

Things to know before you buy:

  • You really have to make sure to have an installer that is familiar with this type of tile. It is not easy to install

  • This tile will never align exactly, so if you like precision this isnt for you.

  • My preferred way to finish the edges of this tile is to use a mitered edge. However you can use a Schluter if you are not familiar with installing this kind of tile. But just know that if you have a lot of edges you will need to figure out how to finish them.

  • The cost of this material is quite high depending on where you purchase from, and the labor to install is usually a bit higher as well.

#2 - Solid Material

Using a solid slab material like what you are using on your countertops is a great way to add some character and set your space apart. One of the things I love is that you can really bring in some natural beauty with marbles and quartzites.

Reasons why I love Solid Slabs:

  • No Grout! - They are easy to wipe down and you dont have to worry about those pesky grout lines getting dingy

  • You can create an integrated floating shelf. I always love this look

  • I always love a natural stone statement

Things to know before you buy:

  • Material matters - not all quartz are made the same and you have to choose a material that can stand the heat if you are putting it behind a range

  • marble and quartzite can etch and stain - so you have to be careful to wipe up spills immediately

  • You have to get it in a thin slab. Not all materials come in thin slabs so keep this in mind

  • Depending on the material and design, you may need some extra bracing when framing out the wall

#3 - Glass Tiles

I will be really honest that I am not a fan of a lot of glass tiles that I see. Most are outdated and give off a builder grade feel. But that doesnt mean that I dont still install glass tile in general. I just tend to be very picky when it comes to the style. One of my favorites is the Astoria Bergamont Silk by Sanoma Tilemakers

It gives a clean transitional look and is a great substitute for your traditional white subway but with a bit of flare.

If you want to go with a more adventurous backsplash, there are tons of beautiful glass 3d tiles like this one from Tilebar that I used in a laundry room.

Reasons why I love Glass Tile:

  • Easy to Clean! - Glass tile is not porous and therefore one of the easiest to wipe down

  • You can still get a solid color but have it be a bit more unique than your standard subway tile

Things to know before you buy:

  • You always have to use an un-sanded grout

  • Grout can easily leave a haze when installing, so always make sure to do a final wipe down 24 hours after install is complete

#4 - Tongue and Groove Board

Reasons why I love Tongue and Groove :

  • Its a classic! We have seen varying versions of tongue and groove throughout the years from bead board to ship lap. It comes in different sizes and finishes.

  • Its budget friendly. If you are wanting to add a backsplash but dont have the budget for a fancy tile, tongue and groove is a great choice

Things to know before you buy:

  • Paint or finish in at least a satin sheen to make cleaning easier

  • Depending on the type of range you have, do not put it behind a heat source.

Overall Design

Regardless of what you are choosing to use for your backsplash, you need to narrow in on the overall feel and aesthetic that you are wanting to achieve. This will help you to decide on what type of backsplash you install. Luckily all of these come in various, shapes, sizes, colors and finishes so the possibilities are endless!

Leave a comment and let me know what is your favorite out of these 4?

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