Whether you’re building a new kitchen or renovating an old one, you will enhance any kitchen design with your choice of backsplash.

With kitchens earning upward of 70%-80% of ROI when selling a home, making sure your next kitchen renovation is a splash is a real must! That’s “splash” as in backsplash. Although you’ll spend much of your money on cabinets, appliances, and countertops, all too often the backsplash ends up being an afterthought.

Although backsplashes protect the walls from grease, water, and other damaging liquids, they also offer an opportunity for you to customize your kitchen. Today’s backsplashes come in bold colors, creative shapes and sizes, and exciting finishes. They provide a focal point and can even change the feel of the kitchen’s size when you choose a lighter color with a glossy finish. Some backsplashes are even works of art, acting as conversation starters.

Types of Styles

Gone are the days of plain, uninteresting solid tiles. Here are just a few of the options when it comes to backsplash styles in 2024.

Natural Stone: Taken straight from Mother Earth, natural stone gives any kitchen a natural and earthy look. This style backsplash connects any home to its natural surroundings, a look you can’t go wrong with. Still, there are a couple of caveats you must be aware of if you select a natural stone backsplash. They need to be sealed a number of times to protect them from grease splashes. They also require a good soft bristle brush for cleaning out the crevices of the stones.

Patterned: Finding their way to the backsplash scene in 2024 are exciting patterns! Herringbones, angular, asymmetrical, and geometric patterns can add to a great kitchen design when they are used in homes suited for those designs. Most of these patterns work well in modern homes, although patterns such as herringbone are a good choice for more traditional homes. Keep in mind that a patterned backsplash will add busy-ness, so it balances a kitchen design that is less demanding.

Subway Tiles: This timeless look can work in both a farmhouse kitchen design and a modern kitchen design. Today, homeowners and rehabbers have more than just white tiles to choose from. Subway tiles are now available in every color of the rainbow, opening the doors for some interesting kitchen designs. Subway tiles are timeless and easy to care for, making them a great choice for an investment home.

Glass Tiles: For a trendier, up to date look try using glass tiles on the kitchen backsplash. Glass tiles will give any kitchen a flashier feel. With many colors to choose from, they will add a pop to any kitchen design. They look slick and are more reflective, giving a kitchen a bigger feel. Glass tiles are easy to maintain and clean; however, they are more likely to show spotting from soils and splashes, so they need to be wiped down more frequently.

Marble Slabs: Elegant, expensive, regal and sleek, solid marble slabs make a statement. This look will make any kitchen design stand out. Marble slabs work in a number of home styles. The determining factor for the design comes down to the color of the slabs. When most people think of marble, the first color that comes to mind is white. Yet marble can be found in many colors, including beige, black, blue, brown, gold, green, gray, purple, and red too! Keep in mind that marble is difficult to maintain. Marble is a soft stone and can absorb wine, juice, and oils that can discolor lighter marbles. Yes, there are sealants for marble, but these sealants will not seal the marble 100%; therefore, the marble is still at risk of staining.

Mosaic Tile: If you’re going for a trendier look, mosaic tiles are your answer. Mosaic tiles come in all colors under the sun and in just about every shape and size. They can be used as accent pieces with other tiles or as the focal point of a kitchen. Mosaic tiles can be made of ceramic, glass, and even stone. Because they are available in different materials, maintenance requirements vary. One maintenance tool that is a must is a soft bristle brush for grout upkeep.

Grout Options

Speaking of grout, grout color selection is important. Grout not only keeps dirt and debris from collecting between the tiles but also adds flexibility and strength to your backsplash. It also acts as a sealant by preventing moisture from seeping into the walls behind the backsplash.

The color you select has a big impact on the overall look you’re going after with your backsplash. Grout can transform the whole look of the backsplash and the kitchen. The good news is grout comes in just about every color. Grouts in natural colors work well with any color tile and is always be a safe choice. Grout colors such as white, gray, and black are timeless choices. Greens, blues, tans, and browns also help create a standout kitchen design.

Grout color influences the power of the tile design. Choosing a grout color that’s in the same family as the tile helps soften the edges and creates a more seamless look for the backsplash, especially when you’re trying to achieve a more modern or contemporary feel. Keep in mind, too, that this application works best with straight and square lines. Grout color that closely matches the tile color gives the illusion of a solid surface.

If you’re looking to create more of an impact with the backsplash, choosing a contrasting color is the way to go. It makes the tile stand out more, creating a more dramatic look. Using a darker grout gives the tile in your backsplash more defined edges, and a lighter grout highlights darker tiles to create a much bolder look.

If you’re not confident about the direction to go with your grout color, take a look at the display backsplashes at your local store to help you envision how you want your backsplash to turn out. Reviewing online design websites and magazines are other great resources that can inspire you.

Although there is much involved in designing any kitchen, don’t overlook the details. They will inevitably make or break the finished look. Choosing a backsplash that pulls the kitchen’s overall design together helps to make an eye-catching statement.


  • Michele Van der Veen

    Michele Van Der Veen, host of Good Day segments including Flip It, Decorate Like A Designer and Stage To Sell, started her career in real estate investing over 30 years ago. A published author herself, she has also been recognized and featured in international magazines for her unique approach to interior design. Acquiring a formal education from the Interior Designers Institute of California, Michele’s experience stems from building custom homes to flipping over 100 homes and working in commercial real estate development alongside her father at a young age. Not afraid to push the limit on her own designs/investments, she will often be heard reassuring her team about her decisions by saying “Don’t worry we are the comps!” For more on Michele’s work or to contact her go to iHeartHomescorp.com.

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