Kitchen Backsplash Ideas

Kitchen backsplash ideas should be functional and practical protecting the walls from stains, spills and splashes. And at the same time they should add to the visual interest by contributing to the desired look for the kitchen that you want.

A backsplash being the area between the countertop and bottom of overhead kitchen storage cabinets, is most prone to spills and splashes and hence should be strong, easy-to-clean and practical. Above and near the cooking area, it should be heat proof too.

When finalizing kitchen backsplash ideas, along with the functionality, you need to ensure that it will complement with other elements like kitchen colors, textures and materials on walls, countertops, appliances etc.

There are various types and designs of kitchen backsplashes available now-a-days in different materials. You can choose from one or more of the following types for your kitchen -


It is the ideal material for kitchen splash backs. It is sturdy, long-lasting and easy to clean. It can withstand any amount of water and grease splashes and still look new after a quick wipe down with warm and soapy water.

There are various types of backsplash tiles to choose from such as -

  • Ceramic Tiles - Most commonly used since these are easy to install, not very expensive and most practical. But these can stain quickly depending on porosity of the tiles. To prevent that you need to clean them quickly on any spills.
  • Mosaic Tiles - These come in a variety of materials like ceramic, metal, stone, glass etc.
  • Hand Painted and Decorative Tiles - These will give a customized look to your kitchen
  • Glass Tiles - Expensive but will give a look of grace and luxury


Stone is a heavy material. If you plan to use it in the backsplash area, make sure that the units below can support it. They will also need to be sealed properly to protect them from any splashes and spills.

Stone should be sealed before grouting to avoid any staining during the installation. Cleaning is easy in stone splash backs and can be done with warm water and non-abrasive solution.

Stone looks well in all types of kitchen design ideas - modern as well as traditional and goes well with different materials such as wood, steel and glass.

Various stones that can be used as splash backs are - granite, marble, limestone and sandstone.


Although a little expensive but stainless steel is a very popular material to be used for kitchen backsplash ideas. It is available in both sheet and tile form. It works particularly well in the cooking area near the hob as it is heat proof. It is also quite easy to maintain and clean.

Steel is a tough and durable material. It will not be easily damaged when it comes in contact with hot liquids, pots and pans etc.

The downside to using stainless steel as one of the kitchen backsplash ideas is that there is a tendency for stains to show on the surface. Quilted or brushed finishes will keep these to the minimum.

Aluminum can also be good splash back material. It is very lightweight and ideal for the walls which are not strong enough.

If you want more kitchen colors and patterns while still keeping a metal look copper, brass, zinc and tin are good options available. These are also, similar to stainless steel, well resistant to heat and not easily damaged. However, unlike steel, these will require regular polishing to maintain the original look and shine.

A word of caution though - avoid having too large surfaces on which metal cladding is done, more so if you have small kitchen designs. It can make your kitchen look commercial or industrial.


This is the most inexpensive option when finalizing kitchen backsplash ideas. And it is quite easy to apply too. You should use water-resistant paint for this purpose.

You need to cover up the painted splash back area with a panel of glass or perspex to protect from splashes, specially near the sink and above the kitchen sink cabinet.


Wooden splash backs look quite elegant. But these require very high maintenance. These must be oiled regularly and cleaned with warm water and non-abrasive cleaning agent to protect from moisture damage.

If wood veneer is used in place of solid wood, it will not require oiling. But must be cleaned quickly to prevent any staining.


Glass has many properties which make it an effective materials for splash backs. It is hard-wearing, sturdy, hygienic, stain-proof and easy to clean and maintain. Normally panels of clear glass are used in the kitchen splash backs.

You can use colored glass to give a funky look to the kitchen. Or have a plain glass installed to highlight the colors of the walls behind.

Unlike tiles, there are no grout lines in glass. So there are no chances of dirt and dust settling anywhere.


Synthetic splash backs, although expensive, can be very effective, being tough, durable, non-porous, heat and scratch resistant. These will also be easy to clean and maintain. The examples of these materials are synthetic stone, corian etc.

With so many options available, you can have some great kitchen backsplash ideas to spruce up your kitchen making it cleaner, hygienic and more beautiful.

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Sushil Wadhwa

Sushil Wadhwa
Architect, Interior Designer, creator of Homes and Interiors... more.