How to Pick a Backsplash For Your Kitchen

Follow these guidelines for selecting the right backsplash for your space
Jan 8, 2022

The backsplash isn’t the largest or the most prominent feature in your kitchen. However, it plays a major role both in keeping your kitchen clean and in enhancing the decor. The backsplash is there because it’s a lot easier to clean if something splashes on it while you’re cooking than the wall would be. It’s also another opportunity to show off your own unique design choices within your kitchen.

Select a Material

Backsplashes can come in a variety of different materials, each with its own pros and cons:

Special backsplash above stove


Ceramic tiles are versatile and come in a range of different colors and patterns. On top of that, they’re easy to install, durable, and typically inexpensive. However, they don’t have quite the same look as natural stone would. Plus, the smaller they are, the more difficult ceramic tiles are to keep clean because there will be more grout.

Natural Stone

Natural stone can look fantastic in a kitchen. Stone is durable, resistant to staining, and brings a very pleasant aesthetic to your kitchen. They can be difficult to clean because stone can be rougher than other types of tile. Towels and rags used to clean can snag on the tile more easily.


Glass tiles are a great way to add extra light to the kitchen because they are see-through and can reflect light. This can also make the kitchen space look bigger. While they are typically easy to clean, they’re not easy to install. On top of that, any flaws in the tiles or the installation will be clearly visible.

Determine Your Style

Backsplashes come in a variety of different styles. The material used plays into that, but there are also color and pattern choices to consider. You’ll want to make sure that you choose a style that fits you but also one that fits in with how your kitchen looks so that the look is seamless and cohesive.

Pick a Design Accent for Above the Stove (Optional)

Depending on your kitchen, the backsplash may wrap around the entire wall above the countertops. If this is how your backsplash is designed, you may want to consider an accent color or design for above the stove so part of the backsplash can stand out.

Choose a Grout Color

The backsplash isn’t just made up of the tile. Grout also plays a major role, and not just in keeping the tile in place on the wall. Grout is visible in between the tiles and so also contributes to the aesthetic of the backsplash. White is typical, but you can choose a color that contrasts with the tile itself so that it stands out better.

Figure Out Installation Logistics

Installing a backsplash can take up to two days, depending on how much time you can devote to it each day and how large the tiling area will be. There are also quite a few steps:

  • Measuring the wall
  • Prepping the workspace
  • Preparing the wall
  • Pre-laying the tile
  • Preparing the mortar
  • Applying the mortar
  • Laying the tile
  • Pre-sealing the tile
  • Preparing the grout
  • Grouting the tile
  • Cleaning the tile
  • Sealing the tile

It’s a good idea to consider hiring a professional to install the backsplash for you. That way, you know the job will be done right the first time and the professional’s expertise can cut down on the amount of time and effort spent on the backsplash.

Frequently Asked Questions About Backsplash

Ready to pick backsplash for your kitchen? Ask yourself the following questions before making a final decision:

Brown backsplash in kitchen with chocolate cabinets

How Much Should a Backsplash Cost?

Before you get started choosing the design, color, and materials for your backsplash, you should decide what your budget is. Tile can range between $8 and $20. Sturdier materials can get more expensive. You’ll need to decide how much you’re willing to spend and then choose materials that will both fit your budget and meet your cooking needs.

How High Should a Backsplash Go?

If possible, your backsplash should go all the way up to the ceiling. If it can’t reach the ceiling, then as high as possible is the best option. This is because cooking can get messy and you never know where a splash of soup or sauce may end up. The higher the backsplash goes, the more coverage you get from it. Plus, it can also play a larger role in the design of your kitchen. If you don’t cook a lot of foods that splatter, then you may be able to save money by having a shorter backsplash. Often, backsplash will travel up to where the cabinets attach to the wall or where the range to the stove begins.

What Color Should the Backsplash Be?

If you’re adding a backsplash to an already completed kitchen, then the most important factor to consider is whether the color of the backsplash matches the countertops. If your countertops are a neutral color, then you’ll have more freedom to play around with different patterns and brighter colors in your backsplash.

Should Backsplash Be Lighter or Darker Than Countertops?

The backsplash can be either lighter or darker than the countertops, depending on the color of the countertops. If your countertops are darker, then a lighter color can provide a nice contrast. If your countertops are lighter, then a darker color will provide that contrast. It’s better to have the backsplash complement the countertops rather than compete with it by being the same color and shade.

Should the Backsplash Be the Focal Point?

If the colors in your kitchen are otherwise neutral, then the backsplash can be a great opportunity to create a focal point by adding color to the kitchen. However, if your kitchen already has a focal point built into its design, then it’s best to either coordinate the backsplash with the existing focal point or make the backsplash a more muted design so as not to distract from the kitchen’s main focus.

Should Your Kitchen Backsplash Match Your Countertops?

The color of the backsplash doesn’t need to match that of the countertops. However, it’s important to keep the color of the countertops in mind when you’re choosing the backsplash color because the two do need to complement each other. You can use installing the backsplash as an opportunity to add more color or style to your kitchen, but just make sure to choose a color that coordinates with what is already in your kitchen.

What Material Should the Backsplash Be?

What material you choose for your backsplash should be influenced by how you cook. If you cook a lot of greasy meals, then a more durable backsplash material may be recommended. Ceramic, stainless steel, and stone are all excellent durable options. However, there are also many tile options, including mosaic tile, that can work well and will look great.

What Is the Most Popular Material for Backsplash in the Kitchen

Ceramic tile is the most popular tile material choice for a backsplash. This is because ceramic is incredibly versatile. You can choose from a multitude of different colors and patterns.

What Is the Easiest Kitchen Backsplash to Install?

The easiest kitchen backsplashes to install are those with peel-and-stick options. Some may come in rolls that you can just unroll onto the wall. However, these options may not look as nice as actual tile and may be limited in color, pattern, and style. For the easiest possible installation, hire a professional. A handyman’s expertise can make any backsplash project a lot quicker and easier.

Let Us Help You Transform Your Kitchen

If you’re ready to start the project of transforming your kitchen, it may be beneficial to hire help. A handyman can ensure the project is done professionally, thoroughly, and quickly. Contact us for a quote on your next home renovation project.