5 Clever Tile Backsplash Designs

HGTV Magazine asked five pros to put their stamp on a backsplash. Take a look at the creative tile designs they put together.

Photo By: Alison Gootee

Photo By: Alison Gootee

Photo By: Scripps Networks

Photo By: Alison Gootee

Photo By: Alison Gootee

Photo By: Alison Gootee

Photo By: Alison Gootee

The HGTV Star Backsplash Challenge

Got a backsplash that’s dull as dishwater? Give it pizzazz with these inventive and fun tile designs from some familiar HGTV faces.

Yellow and White Ceramic Subway Tiles, Tiffany Brooks

“Subway tiles have gone way beyond standard white,” says Tiffany. “In bright, grab-the-sunglasses yellow, they’ll instantly happy up a kitchen. Setting them on an angle gives them even more energy.” Tiles: 3" x 6" glossy subway tiles in yellow, $1 each, store.missionstonetile.com; American Olean Starting Line 3" x 6" gloss ceramic wall tiles in white, $0.50 each, lowes.com

Quick Tip

Stockpile some extra tiles in case you need to do repairs later on—otherwise the colors may not match.

Blue-and-White Cement Tiles, Emily Henderson

“These richly colored cement tiles have beautiful, subtle variations,” says Emily. “Have them laid as close together as possible so the overall pattern looks seamless. I love how the exotic motif gives any kitchen a casual, I'm-on-vacation vibe.” Tiles: Fez 8" x 8" tiles in blue and white, $7 each, granadatile.com

Quick Tip

Make sure your installer pretreats cement tiles with acrylic sealer — otherwise they’ll absorb grout and stain.

Black and White Ceramic Tiles, Jillian Harris

“To update a classic combo, I mixed extra-large white subway tiles with skinny black accent tiles,” says Jillian. “Some of the black tiles are installed horizontally right above the counter, and the others are trimmed and installed vertically. I love how the braided rope detail on them juts out from the wall a bit—the 3-D effect is so fresh.” Tiles: Daltile Modern Dimensions 4 1/4" x 12" gloss ceramic tiles in arctic white, $110 for a set of 28, and Daltile 1/2" x 6" semigloss ceramic rope accent tiles in black, $1 each, both homedepot.com

Quick Tip

Get creative when you're shopping: These white tiles are meant for a baseboard but we love them on a backsplash.

Green, White, and Blue Porcelain Penny Tiles, David Bromstad

“For a backsplash with attitude, make your own pattern with mesh-backed penny tiles,” David says. “Here I cut a sheet of green penny tiles and a sheet of multicolored penny tiles into strips of two different widths, then alternated them. The final result? A totally one-of-a-kind creation.” Tiles: ModDotz porcelain round penny tiles in key lime and Pacifica, $13 for each sheet of 224, modwalls.com

Quick Tip

You can cut mesh-backed penny tiles with household scissors — no special equipment required.

White Porcelain Tiles With Tangerine Grout, Sabrina Soto

“I wanted to highlight the curves of these lantern-shape tiles, but they were barely noticeable against white grout,” says Sabrina. “With an orange-tinted grout sealer? Gorgeous! Ask your installer to space the tiles an eighth of an inch apart, about double the standard width, to show it off.” Tiles: SomerTile Morocco Provenzale 8" x 8" porcelain floor and wall tiles in white, $77 for a set of 16, overstock.com Grout sealer: Color seal kit in sedona by Hydroment, $30 for 8 ounces, groutshields.com

Quick Tip

Grouts and sealers come in a range of stock colors, but specialty companies can customize a shade to match a paint, wallpaper, or fabric.