We aren’t here to shame anyone for their specific tastes; what works for one home might not work for another. But if you’re someone who is over the all-white kitchen with a white subway backsplash, you’ve come to the right place. Here we’ll discuss how to avoid a dull backsplash tile design and share some of our favorite unique tiles.
Before starting any project, we recommend creating a Pinterest board or a Houzz folder where you can save all the photos that inspire you. Then, take a few days to scroll through the endless project photos and save each one that strikes something within you. Even if you aren’t exactly sure what it is about the image that you like, it can help a designer to understand your style. This is an enjoyable part of a home remodel process!
Hammer Out Your Aesthetic
After you’ve spent some time scrolling, you’ll eventually have a collection of photos that you can now look through and see everything you like about each kitchen. You might start to see some trends, color pallets, and design elements that the photos have in common. This will help you define your aesthetic and communicate it to your designer.
Subtle or Standout?
Should your backsplash tile stand out against the rest of your kitchen design, or should it be a subtle backdrop that allows other elements within the design to shine? For example, maybe you’ve invested in a luxury stove, and you’d like that to be the focal point in your kitchen, so your backsplash needs to be simple. Or, you could want the backsplash to be the focal point, and you’d love to have a unique tile design. A backsplash is versatile and can suit either of these needs, but you’ll have to determine which route you want to take.
Consider Clean Up
Remember that backsplash is not just a pretty tile wall; it serves a purpose! Those lovely stone tiles are a fantastic addition to a kitchen, but it won’t be easy to clean tomato sauce off them when the inevitable accident happens. Perhaps consider an easier-to-clean tile behind the stove, and a complimentary stone tile can shine throughout the rest of the kitchen. Another way to keep clean-up easy is to use larger slabs of stone or one large stone slab as a backsplash. This creates a seamless design and eliminates grout lines.
Speaking of which, grout can easily stain and is notoriously hard to clean. So be sure to inquire about which grout will hide your messy (but tasty) cooking adventures.
How Far Should the Tile Reach?
This is an age-old question and one that many designers can talk about for days! While each designer has their preferred method and rules, there is no hard rule about where a kitchen backsplash should start and stop. Typically the backsplash begins and ends with the countertops or cabinets. However, how tall it should go is another story. Should it stop at the height of the upper cabinets? Or should it reach to the ceiling where there aren’t any cabinets to stop it? This design aspect can only be answered on a case-by-case basis. It will also be more expensive to tile a whole wall, so keep that in mind.
Angles for Interest
There’s no need to spend half your kitchen remodel budget on intricately cut tiles. Instead, take a simple rectangle tile and put it at an angle. There are many ways to do this, and it’s a fantastic way to create a more exciting and luxurious-looking design with a simple and affordable tile. It will, of course, be harder to install and might bump up installation prices.
Some of Our Favorite
If you’re looking for more inspiration, here are some of our favorite unique tiles you might love for your project.
Spanish Style Tile
This Etsy creator makes these ceramic tiles that would be stunning as a focal point above a cooktop or an accent border tile. Handcrafted and handpainted, these tiles are unique and will bring a luxurious feeling to your kitchen. If you love these tiles but are interested in other designs, check out more of their tiles here.
Botanical Ceramic Tiles
These leafy tiles are a vibe! If you’re a plant lover, these might speak to you on a deep level. The tiles are handmade in Spain and would bring a lovely sense of earth and life into your kitchen design.
Green Porcelain Tiles
After years of all-white kitchens, it’s nice to see color coming back into kitchen designs. These green porcelain tiles are an excellent option for those looking for a pop of color without the business that comes with tiles like the botanical ones above. These are colorful and come in a fun shape as well!
Handpainted Antique Tiles
Not every kitchen could pull off these blue handpainted tiles, but the cottage-style kitchen could! Pair these with simple blue or white tiles, and you have yourself an adorable cottage aesthetic. This creator on Etsy also has other styles and designs to choose from, so if you love the idea but not these specific tiles, you can check out their shop here.
Copper Backsplash Scene
If tiles don’t fulfill your aesthetic, this copper backsplash mural may be precisely what you’re looking for. It’s unique, handmade, one of a kind, and comes in 13 colors to suit almost any pallet. So while this mountain scene might not be for you, check out the rest of this creator’s art on their shop here.
Backsplash tile design can be intimidating! There’s a lot at stake, and getting it right could make or break the success of your kitchen remodel. We suggest getting a designer by your side to ensure you get it right. Our in-house designers can help you through the process and make the experience enjoyable!