13 Backsplash Materials To Know

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Choosing the perfect backsplash is the finishing touch to your kitchen or bathroom design. It can bring our design vision to life in a newly built or remodeled room or freshen up the style in an existing kitchen or bath without breaking the bank. Blue glass tiles can evoke a coastal vibe, white subway tiles are hallmarks in a modern farmhouse, and a stainless steel or granite backsplash can anchor your industrial-style kitchen.

A backsplash to more than just decorative, though. This wallcovering is typically installed behind stoves or on the wall behind the sink and even along the edges of the countertops. These areas are prone to the splashes and splatters that occur during cooking, so it makes sense to cover the wall with a material that is durable and easy to clean.

Considering the importance of choosing just the right backsplash, you must familiarize yourself with the different types available. We have scoured the internet to create the ultimate guide to backsplash materials, so you have all the knowledge you need at your fingertips!

Dishware and green herbs on kitchen countertop, 13 Backsplash Materials To Know

13 Backsplash Materials That You Should Know

1. Glass

Glass tiles are beautiful when used as a backsplash. It is more delicate than some of the other options on this list, but it the perfect choice if you have a Coastal-themed home. Glass mosaics wall coverings also reflect light, so they can help make your room seem larger and brighter. 

A beautiful combination of blues and grays can be used to add drama to a simple bathroom without being too over the top. It is slightly clear, so brighter, bolder colors can be used to add that extra spark of color.

Click here to see this material on Amazon.

2. Marble

Classic white kitchen with gas range and marble backsplash

In a bright white modern kitchen, extending the marble countertops’ clean lines onto the wall just makes sense. The delicate veining in white marble adds the perfect contrast to all of the white, keeping the look from being too stark. 

Marble is a great option for backsplash, but it needs to be sealed, as it is porous and can stain. It is also a more costly option, especially if you opt for full sheeting instead of marble tiles. It is pretty easy to find, though, and there are many different colors and patterns available. 

3. Brick

Brick is an easy-to-find and very durable material to use as a backsplash, but it can require a professional bricklayer to install. The weight can also require some extra support. If this is outside of your budget or comfort zone, you can always opt for an easier-to-install faux-brick option. Brick is used in many different decorating styles, from Rustic to Industrial, and is a good way to add old-world charm to any kitchen or bath. 

A brick backsplash provides warmth to a simple Industrial-style kitchen.

Dining room with rustic mural of old village and modern kitchen shiny beige cabinets, rustic brick backsplash

If your style leans more to the rustic, a worn red brick paired with aged wood cabinets creates the ambiance of an Italian country home.

Modern kitchen interior with wooden furniture and brick wall

4. Wood

White and green retro kitchen with island, dining table and bench

Shiplap has become a staple when designing a Rustic, Coastal, or Country home. However, it is not the only option when it comes to a backsplash. You can use planks, or if you are creative, you can piece together wooden ’tiles’ to create a specific pattern.

Bare wooden planks hung vertically when used as a backsplash wall are the perfect juxtaposition to the green horizontal planks that flank the kitchen area. Add in pale gray cabinetry and a wall rack of copper pans, and you have a peaceful retreat. Be aware that wood needs to be properly sealed, or any spills or splashes could stain it.

5. Concrete

Modern bathroom with wooden countertop, shower, basin and big mirror

Gray concrete is a subtle backdrop for the warm wooden vanity and white sink basin’s clean lines. Its masculine feel is very modern and sleek. 

Concrete tiles are incredibly durable and can be found in a variety of gray tones. Its practical nature makes it a popular choice, especially when it is an extension of the countertops. Go for a raw concrete smooth wall, or use concrete tiles to create your look.

6. Waterproof Wallpaper

If you are looking for something that is low-cost and do-it-yourself friendly, then waterproof wallpaper may just be just the right thing for you! Available in infinite colors and patterns, waterproof wallpaper is easy to hang and can even be found in peel-and-stick options.

It is designed to be scrubbable, too, which is great if you are a bit of a messy cook! Unlike traditional wallpaper, this kind is usually coated with vinyl or plastic to enhance its durability and moisture resistance. 

Click here to see this material on Amazon.

7. Metal

Copper painted jars for tea with a copper tile backsplash

When you think of metal backsplash, you probably envision a stainless steel sheet (like we will review below). However, there are so many other choices that can be used in a variety of decorating styles. Copper and tin tiles are frequently used in Italian Rustic or Mediterranean decor. They are easy to install and wipe clean, which makes them fantastic for a busy household.

8. Stone

When you start looking at types of stone tiles for your backsplash, you can quickly become overwhelmed. There are so many different types to choose from! The main thing to remember with stone is that it can be heavy, so additional support may have to be added. That being said, using stone for a backsplash can be beautiful, especially for traditional, rustic, or transitional-style homes. Below are some of the most common types:

Quartz

Quartz shows some veining, like marble, but is more cost-effective. There are many shades of gray, ranging from white to dark slate color. Choose traditional tiles, such as the ones below, or you can create a stacked stone effect. 

Click here to see this material on Amazon.

Slate

Tile flooring samples selection in rack in retail store

As you can see in the image below, slate tiles can be found in various color and pattern variations. These tiles are typically more delicate and can break easily during installation but make for a beautiful wall covering once completed. 

Granite

Dishware and green herbs on kitchen countertop

This is a common material used for countertop these days due to the wide variety of colors and patterns available and its easy-to-care-for nature. Granite requires little more than wiping down to clean. Granite needs to be sealed when installed, then once a year or so, depending on how porous your granite is. You can purchase pre-sealed granite, though, which can save you a step.

Onyx

If you are looking for something out of the ordinary, onyx absolutely glows! It is a gemstone, and as such, can give your room a luxurious and elegant feel. You can find these tiles in an array of colors, from a pale golden beige to a warm, almost bricklike red that flickers in the firelight. 

Click here to see this material on Amazon.

Travertine

Traditional kitchen with stone back splash and granite counter top

At the height of its popularity in the early 2000s, travertine has fallen out of favor, but it was popular for a reason! Its warm neutral tones are a wonderful foundation for many different decorating styles, including Italian Rustic and Transitional. If you are not worried about fads and want a natural-looking stone for your backsplash, then look no further!

9. Ceramic

Black and white subway tiled kitchen with numerous plants and framed taxidermy insect art

The most commonly used type of tile for a backsplash is ceramic. You can get them in all shapes and sizes and a rainbow of colors and patterns. They are easy to install, whether as individual tiles or even peel-and-stick sheets. 

Subway tiles one of the most popular tile shapes at the moment. While white is the most common, you can get them in lots of different colors. 

10. Stainless Steel

Kitchen interior with steel backsplash trim

If you have an Industrial-style kitchen, then using stainless steel for your backsplash is a no-brainer. It is easy to clean and super-durable. 

Here stainless has been used for the backsplash against light wood cabinetry to great effect. The metal adds a  modern-day element to a room that has mid-century vibes. 

11. Porcelain

Dishware and green herbs on kitchen countertop, 13 Backsplash Materials To Know

Porcelain is a close second to ceramic when it comes to popularity and affordability. The difference between ceramic and porcelain is the clay it’s made from. Porcelain is also fired at a higher temperature, so it is much more durable.  You can purchase easy to install peel-and-stick sheets or create the pattern of your choice with individual tiles. 

12. Mirror

For extra glamour or to make a small kitchen seem larger, try using mirrored tiles for a backsplash. But beware, they will show smudges more easily than other kinds of tiles and is more susceptible to breaking. Be sure to take appropriate safety measures during installation, so you do not cut yourself on the glass.

13. Thermoplastic

If you want an easy update for your kitchen or bath that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg but don’t love the look of wallpaper, then check these out! Thermoplastic tiles, also known as vinyl, are easy to cut to whatever size you need and are usually peel-and-stick. 

Click here to see this material on Amazon.

Are Backsplashes Necessary?

Whether or not to install a backsplash is a matter of personal preference. They are very useful, as they make it easy to clean up and protect your walls from splashes and splatters from cooking, running water, and any other messes that may occur. They are also a great way to add personality, but they are not a must.  

What Backsplash Material Is Easiest To Install?

The easiest backsplash material to install is washable wallpaper. It does not require any special skills or equipment, just a steady hand and sharp scissors. 

For a walkthrough on how to hang this type of backsplash, check out this video!

In Closing

We hope that this thorough guide has shown you all the options that exist for creating gorgeous backsplashes! And now that you have the complete picture on your backsplash options, check out some of our other posts for more inspiration:

101 Bathroom Backsplash Ideas

What Color Backsplash Goes With White Cabinets in the Kitchen?

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