Ceramic Tile, Mosaic Tile, and Murals: Inspiring Kitchen Backsplash Design

Welcome to a shameless display of my affection for kitchen backsplash design. A kitchen backsplash isn’t just useful, or just pretty, or even pretty useful. It’s a solid investment to protect your kitchen walls and the good humor of your kitchen slave. They can make a big design statement or fit into any decor, and the examples I found run the whole style spectrum from French Country to hip contemporary. Many of these kitchens feature ceramic and porcelain tile or mosaic tile, the most popular materials, but a few are also glass tiles, metals, and murals in the mix.

Glimmery Mosaic Kitchen Backsplash

All that glitters...also protects your kitchen

Small stone tiles with color variation add a glamorous look without being showy. At least until you get close enough to see all the colors clearly.

Impressive Backsplash

A ceramic tile centerpiece can't help but be a focal point

For a kitchen with a clear focal point like this hood, or for a room sorely lacking one, choose a neutral base tile for most of the wall and a fancier pattern in the center. This example brings in traditional diamonds with smaller contemporary tiles to leave the room open for any kind of redecorating.

Oldfashioned Backsplash

Yet another way to update old-fashioned

A patterned tile can do all the work of planning a central focal point or filling in your architecture. This neutral palette has attitude without being overbearing.

Dappled Backsplash

Subtle but stunning neutral kitchen backsplash

If you have dark cupboards and a good space, the kitchen backsplash can be really subtle. The contrast in colors and textures will make up for shy tile.

Neutral Kitchen Backsplash

Clean lines, cool colors

Not that light-colored tile doesn’t pack a design punch. The contrast can come from the grouting, the texture, or the shape of the tiles instead of color. Here, the bright white grout (a common move for this reason) pops and the thin, square tiles echo the shapes of the cabinets and appliances.

Beautiful Kitchen Backsplash

Contemporary geometric pattern. Jeffrey Court Fire and Ice Brick Tile

Look how even a spice rack can be inspiration for an inspiration room! And make it look great when they’re together. Don’t underestimate the power of accessories.

Diamond Backsplash

Subtle French Country pattern

This diamond pattern in creamy, textured stone is so sophisticated and rural that its best  accessories are scones and wine.

More Diamond Backsplashes

Color pattern for variety

The perspective on this shot might be a bit much, but it shows how well it can work to bring out the color of your countertops as an accent in your kitchen backsplash design.

One Diamond Tiles

More diamonds, but in one central design

Blend, blend, blend. If you like the idea of a traditional diamond pattern but also a central focal point, figure out how to blend the two.

Stainless Steel Backsplash

Stainlessly good looking

Ah, stainless steel. Where have you been all this post? Blending traditional patterns with contemporary materials is another fun hybrid.

Pattern Tile

Textured metal is subtler and more traditional

Just make sure you think about which direction your backsplash will date your kitchen in. Shiny metal that’s so 2000s or imprints that are more like 1800s?

Full Kitchen Backsplash

Impressed metal pattern

Somehow old-fashioned and modern, simultaneously.

Shimmery Kitchen Backsplash

Mother of Pearl it's shiny!

Mosaic tile can take on as many colors and finishes as things you can fit into a mosaic.

Translucent Tile Backsplash

Clear as the sea and makes the room look as big!

A much cleaner look is a solid sheet of translucent glass tile. Especially in this light color, it really reflects light, soothes the eye, and opens up the room.

Retro Vintage Tiles

More bright sea colors

One of the most unique backsplashes. Boldly vintage.

Retro Little Circle Tiles

Vintage little dots

Such great texture! Almost looks like cork.

Pebble Tile Backsplash

Pebble tile? Don't mind if I do.

I like to pretend pebble tile is really pebbles glued to the wall. Bring nature in.

Ceramic Kitchen Backsplash by Natalie Blake

Painted mural

And, finally, murals! That’s how to really bring nature in.

Decorative Mosaic Tile

Beautiful mosaic

Or combine murals and mosaics for an abstract pattern.

Lake Sink Mural

Textured Lake Sink mural, for the lake house

This is the last idea before I go make up my mind, I promise! It’s a mural by Designer Glass Mosaics, and I want to run my fingers all along it.

Hope you enjoyed these-very different- inspiration rooms and didn’t end up too muddled. It’s probably better for you if you don’t covet them all, like I do. (There are only so many sinks in a house to surround with backsplashes, after all.) The next step: if you’re serious or the curious type, see yesterday’s post. It will give you all to info on the best kitchen backsplash materials. Let our experience help you when there are decisions to make and problems to solve- no problem in the kitchen is a good problem!

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