9 Out-of-the-Box Kitchen Backsplash Ideas We're Loving

Skip the tile and try something totally unexpected in your cookspace.

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I’ve got a problem. I’m addicted to kitchen backsplashes. There, I said it.

I’m not sure where this backsplash obsession came from or whether or not it will ever end, but since we’re being honest, I should further confess that about once a week I like to hop onto Pinterest, type in “kitchen backsplash,” then spend WAY too time scrolling through backsplash porn. 

By far, the most common types of kitchen backsplashes I come across are tile and stone. (And I love me some tile and stone.) But lately, I’ve been venturing into the world of more non-traditional kitchen backsplash ideas. And wowza — there are some good ones out there!

I’ve rounded up 9 of my favorite out-of-the-box backsplashes for those of you who, like me, like to mix things up a bit in your kitchen.


Open Shelving with Chalk Backsplash

Open Shelving with Chalk Backsplash

Chalkboard paint has opened up a whole new world in design and decorating, and it’s now made its way into the kitchen.

This is a fab, inexpensive option for your backsplash that can really add a lot of fun and interest to your space. You can use the chalkboard to keep grocery lists, to-do lists, recipes or even drawing space for the kids.  


Wood Backsplash in Modern Kitchen

Wood Backsplash in Modern Kitchen

Photo by: Kurt Hettle; Design By: Michelle Ruber, Encircle Design and Build

Wood is another fairly inexpensive option for your backsplash. This really brings in a warm, rustic feel to your kitchen. This option would work best in a space that doesn’t already have wood or laminate floors, but you could really get creative with the type of wood as well as the placement of the wood (vertical, horizontal or even a zigzag placement).


Button Kitchen Backsplash

Button Kitchen Backsplash

This idea is definitely a bit quirky, as I’m guessing buttons are likely not already on your backsplash options list. However, for a midcentury modern or more vintage-inspired home, it could be just the right amount of fun you’re looking for.

For a super colorful option like this, a cleaner, more neutral counter and cabinet color would be a great way to go.

Get Inspired: Button Backsplash


Sleek Contemporary Kitchen With Photo Backsplash

Sleek Contemporary Kitchen With Photo Backsplash

This is a fun, creative way to honor your friends and family with a giant photograph as your backsplash. While any photo would work, going with an older black-and-white family photo really adds an element of vintage cool to your space.

If you have several walls in your kitchen, you could do a few different photos, or simply use one large photo to add some continuity.

Wine Corks

Wine Cork Backsplash

Wine Cork Backsplash

Photo by: Chris Campbell; Design By: Luke Perisich, Blue Sky Building Company LLC

If you’re a wine lover through and through, why not try a backsplash made entirely of wine corks? If you happen to have a wine refrigerator or cabinet, you could try this backsplash in the area you store your wine. It’s a fun way to document and keep track of all of your wine adventures by saving and using your corks.

Get Inspired: Wine Cork Backsplash


Modern Kitchen with Graphic Black-and-White Backsplash

Modern Kitchen with Graphic Black-and-White Backsplash

Photo by: Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

While wallpaper can be quite expensive on its own, for a smaller space like a backsplash area, it’s actually a pretty economical choice. 

With all of the wallpaper options these days (regular, temporary, handpainted, vinyl), you really can get creative if you want to go for this look. For a more bold look, have fun and choose a bright, patterned wallpaper. Or if you want to go with a more subdued approach, try a simple striped or polka dot paper. 

Contrasting Paint Color

Loft Kitchen With Blue Wall and Shadow Box Accents

Loft Kitchen With Blue Wall and Shadow Box Accents

Photo by: Lauri Howell ©Scripps Networks

Lauri Howell, Scripps Networks

For a very simple, super economical backsplash option, try using a contrasting paint color. For the most impact, choose a color that will really pop against the palette of the rest of the kitchen. To add an extra element of interest, consider a different paint finish (if you used an eggshell paint on the walls of your kitchen, consider a glossy finish for the backsplash). This will also really help your backsplash pop.


Modern Kitchen With Stenciled Hardwood Floor

Modern Kitchen With Stenciled Hardwood Floor

While this won’t necessarily cover all of your backsplash space, simply using framed art is a great way to create an easy, bold backsplash. You can hang larger pieces of art on the wall. Or a super easy fix, try leaning a series of framed art up against your counter.


Photo by: Erica Reitman

Erica Reitman

This is another fun option that I just tried in my own kitchen: a basket backsplash. My love of baskets meant that I had quite a few extra ones lying around from all my flea market/thrift store shopping. So I decided to choose a fun mix of sizes and styles and simply nail them to the backsplash area of my kitchen wall. (I made sure to leave easy access to outlets/light switches.) If I ever want to switch things up or take it down altogether, these are also easy to remove.

45 Splashy Kitchen Backsplashes

See All Photos

So Many Options

Salvaged Materials: Antique Wood Mosaic

Salvaged Materials: Reclaimed Wood

Paper: Marble + Wallpaper

Photo By: Andrea Schumacher

Paper: Picture Perfect

From: Brian Patrick Flynn

Reflective Finish: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Photo By: Chris Amaral © 2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Reflective Finish: Antique Mirror

Budget Friendly: Coffee Beans

Photo By: Eric Perry ©2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Budget Friendly: Tin Sheets

From: Jill Wolff

Bold Blue

Photo By: Jean-Marc Giboux/Getty Images

Soaring Subway

Embossed Concrete

Textured Tile

Photo By: Antonio Martins

Metallics: Stainless Steel

From: Kim Alexandriuk

Photo By: Photo Credit: Edward Addeo

Metallics: 3-D Finished Bronze

Metallics: Penny Tile

Metallics: Copper Tile

Photo By: Photography by Tami Holsten

Chalkboard Paint

Ceramic + Glass Tile

Ceramic + Glass Tile

Photo By: Photography by Nancy Blandford

Limestone + Glass Tile

Tumbled Stone + Glass Tile

Stone: River Rock

Stone: Quartzite Sandstone

Stone: Translucent Agate

Photo By: Photography by Eurotech Cabinetry, Inc

Stone: Marble Mosaic

Photo By: Photography by Eric Roth

Stone: Marble Mosaic

Stone: Marble Checkerboard

Stone: Honed Marble

Photo By: Photography by Tami Holsten

Stone: Honed Marble

Pattern: Brickwork

From: Drury Design

Pattern: Herringbone

Pattern: Stacked Columns

Unusual Materials: Volcanic Rock

Photo By: Photography by Anice Hoachlander

Unusual Materials: Industrial Steel

Unusual Materials: Indigenous Wood

Unusual Materials: Repurposed Plywood

Unusual Materials: Recycled Glass

Unusual Materials: Modular Panels

Colorful Glass Tile

From: Rise Krag

Glass Tile Mosaic

Etched Glass Tile

Handmade Tile

Photo By: Photography by Vicki Morrow

Handmade Tile

Photo By: Photography by Vicki Morrow

3-D Custom Glass Tile

Photo By: Photography by John Ryba

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