8 Inspiring Kitchen Backsplash Ideas to trigger jaw-dropping envy [with photos]

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Are you looking to add a splash of color or design to your kitchen? A new backsplash can can add an instant “wow” factor to your kitchen. Check out this list of 8 kitchen backsplash ideas with examples.

If you are planning on doing a kitchen makeover or kitchen remodel then you should look into the amazing backsplash designs that are sure to catch eyes and drop some jaws.

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What to Consider when Choosing a Backsplash

Before you install a new backsplash or change your existing backsplash there are some things you need to consider.

1) Money

Doesn’t it always come down to money? (It’ll at least play a large role on what you select for your backsplash.)

Some of the expenses will obviously be the materials themselves.

But also labor.

Will you be doing it yourself or paying someone to do it for you?

A DIY option will save you money, but a shoddy job (such as poor tiling) can really set you back and end up costing you more money.

2) DIY or Paying someone to install it?

Are you tackling the project yourself?

If so, don’t bite off more than you can chew.

If you are paying someone to do the job for you there may be ways to help make it less costly.

For instance, is there prep work you can do before you pay the more expensive tilers or installers come in?

3) Time

Another consideration is time.

How much renovation time do you have?

Some of these options listed below such as tiling can require days.

And some of the options will only require hours.

But remember whatever you choose, you should add about 40% more time…because things always take longer than we think they will.

Lets Get into the Kitchen Backsplash Options

1) Tiles

There are so many different styles of tiles!

You can achieve a huge variety of looks with a tile backsplash: from a clean classic look with white subway tiles, to funky and vibrant with small bright tiles.

This is a massively broad category that I’ll lump under “tiles”.

What do the Pros say?

I personally like when the kitchen counter-top has a built-in backsplash (when the countertop comes up the wall slightly), but I know other people don’t like this.

For instance, the contractor and TV host Mike Holmes, says he likes countertops without the backsplash. (Reference is pg. 155 of his book “Make it Right.”)

He prefers when the wall and countertop meet at a 90-degree angle.

And then his suggestion is to have a tile backsplash, but to install it over a concrete board: not just over drywall.

And to prevent moisture damage make sure to use silicone caulking at the bottom of the tile where the tile meets the countertop.

Porcelain tiles vs ceramic tiles

You may be wondering what is the difference between porcelain tiles and ceramic tiles.

A big difference is that porcelain tiles are the same color the whole way through the tile.

So if you chip a porcelain tile the underlying color will be the same as the other tiles.

But with ceramic tiles – where the outer layer is a coating over ceramic – if you chip that outer layer you’ll see the inner earthy brown ceramic color.

Examples of Tile Backsplashes

Check out the beautiful photographic buffet of tile backsplash ideas.

What is interesting about the tile backsplash below is that though it’s subway tile, they are not all stacked horizontally. You’ll see they have created a unique pattern with some tiles vertical.

And if you want some additional variety of subway tile patterns, check out this picture below from Centsational.com

Image from Centasational.com

Video of Installing a Tile Backsplash

Here is a video from Lowe’s about how to tile a subway backsplash. (Seems very cool and authentic for a big corporation…good job.)

2) Glass Tiles

Another style of tiles is glass tiles.

The kitchen below is a great example of a glass tile backsplash.

Glass Tiles Backsplash

3) Peel and Stick Backsplashes

An easier option for a kitchen backsplash – and cheaper compared to real tile – is a ‘peel and stick’ backsplash.

Most retailers and hardware stores including Amazon, Target, and Walmart sell peel and stick tiles.

And your local dollar store may even have them!

Below is an example of a product by Art3d that is available on Amazon.

Photo credit: Art3d

It is hard to get a sense of what the tile actually looks like from that photo above, so here is a photo of the tile itself.

Photo credit: Art3d

Click here to see more details on Amazon.

Want to see what it is like to install peel and stick tiles? Check out this video.

If you’re worried that it’ll come out cheap looking…you may want to rethink that after seeing this photo from the blog “Within the Grove.”

Photo Credit: WithinTheGrove.com

4) Peel and Stick Wallpaper

If you want another inexpensive option, check this out.

I had never seen this before until I came across an article on The Merryweather website.

It has the look of subway tile, but it is a stick-on wallpaper.

Below is a photo from the blog “The Merryweather” where they did a kitchen makeover in a rental apartment.

Photo Credit: The Merryweather

You can find peel and stick wallpaper like this at Target.

5) Panels

You can get an attractive backsplash by installing paneling, beadboard or wainscoting panels.

Home Depot and other hardware stores (like Home Hardware and Rona in Canada) sell wainscoting.

The kitchen below has wainscoting as a backsplash and then painted with semi-gloss paint for easy wiping.

This was my old house. (Sorry it’s not the greatest photo…I came across it in my archives.)

The one downside to this – and partly the reason I like countertops with a built-in backsplash – is that mildew would grow at the seam between the countertop and the wall.

Because the wainscoting is not smooth (there are grooves which give it its distinctive look), the caulking was difficult.

I would do this again, and I might in my new house, but I’d want the countertop to have a built-in backsplash lip.

If you want to learn to install this quick and inexpensive backsplash option, check out this article from DIY Network.

And if you want to see a clever DIY backsplash using V-groove paneling boards, check out the video below by OldWorldHome.

6) Stainless steel sheets

For a durable, easy to wipe wipe surface check out stainless steel.

It is the choice of restaurants and industrial kitchens for a reason.

Many homeowners just go with a stainless steel sheet behind the stove, but you can do more with it

Check out this photo below from Instagram where they utilize a stainless steel backsplash really well.

7) Simple Painted Walls

Does your counter top extend partway up the wall?

If so, you may be able to get away with painting an easily wipe-able paint on your walls.

But there are risks with this if your walls are constantly getting wet while doing dishes or cooking.

In the photo below you see they don’t even have a built-in backsplash. It is just the countertop flush to the wall.

Of course, this isn’t near the sink, but you’d still want to be cautious.

8) Painting your current tiles

If you have tiles that are in good shape – but you don’t like the color – you can paint your existing tiles.

Rust-Oleum makes a tile refinishing kit.

But I’ve read that it can be tricky to work with.

Another option is to just paint your tiles like the Instagram photo below from ‘My Lovely Texas Home.’

I was curious how she did this, so I tracked down her YouTube video where she briefly explains it.

She mentions in the video she uses a chalk paint from Valspar.

And in the comments section she said she needed about 4 coats of a water-based polyurethane to help seal and protect it.

I wonder how it is holding up now?

What style of backsplash do you like?

Have I missed a style of backsplash that needs to be included in this article?

I hope you found some inspiration and information in this list of kitchen backsplash ideas.

Now do you need to organize your kitchen cabinets? Check out this article on kitchen cabinet organizers, and this one on small pantry organization ideas.

Check out our Laundry Room Makeover article where we repurpose old kitchen cabinets to improve our laundry room storage.

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