9 Non-Traditional Kitchen Backsplashes That Are Show-Stoppers

You'll be in awe after seeing how these kitchen backsplashes stole the show. 

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A full-scale kitchen renovation — I'm talking new appliances, cabinetry, the whole nine yards — isn't in the budget for most of us. But a mini-refresh? That's totally within reach. That's why updating those bare kitchen walls with a fun backsplash is the perfect solution. Here are nine kitchens that use unexpected materials and traditional tile in creative ways. 


When it comes to that rustic-meets-industrial vibe, Fixer Upper’s Chip and Joanna are the experts. They used vintage pavers with gray grout for the backsplash. The brickwork adds a rustic warmth to the space and pairs nicely with the white cabinetry and appliances. Thank you again Joanna for making our hearts swoon over another kitchen!

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, Detail

Joanna used antique pavers from Chicago for the kitchen backsplash and walls. The natural variation in the bricks and dark gray grout are nice touches that augment the kitchen's rustic theme.

From: Fixer Upper

Photo by: Rachel Whyte

Rachel Whyte

Graphic Wallpaper

Wallpaper is one of the easier (and cheaper, yay!) ways to give your kitchen some glamour. Designer Hugh Jefferson took a dynamic black-and-white wallpaper to add visual interest to this clean, contemporary kitchen. Worried about smudging the pattern? Cover it up with easy-to-clean glass or plexiglass panels. 

Modern Kitchen with Graphic Black-and-White Backsplash

Modern Kitchen with Graphic Black-and-White Backsplash

This kitchen is a study in contrast, with large corner windows, structural steel columns and a dynamic wallpaper behind a glass backsplash.

Photo by: Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

Tin Tiles

Interior designer Jill Wolff can rock some tin tiling. She used ornate tin squares to give this clean space some visual appeal. If you have a free weekend coming up, this is a great DIY and budget-friendly way to add texture to your kitchen walls.

Traditional Kitchen Features Budget Friendly Tin Backsplash

Traditional Kitchen Features Budget Friendly Tin Backsplash

The tin backsplash in this white kitchen is budget friendly and adds visual interest. White cabinets and countertops keep the small space feeling light and open.

From: Jill Wolff

Photo by: Jill Wolff

Jill Wolff


This one is for all you artsy folk out there. If you are looking for a creative way to frequently change up your kitchen, chalkboard backsplash is your answer. The application process is easy and it’s a breath of fresh air from more traditional options.

Chalkboard Kitchen Backsplash

Chalkboard Kitchen Backsplash

Add custom artwork, or just a to-do list, to your kitchen by including a chalkboard backsplash. This kitchen even features the chalkboard behind open shelving, perfect for labeling where all the dishes go.

Traditional Tile With a Twist

Subway tile has made its way to the design scene and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Hop on the tile train and see how this transitional kitchen uses subway tile as an accent wall. The tile extends up to the ceiling and adds a subtle textural interest to the space.

Black and White Modern Kitchen

Black and White Modern Kitchen

This black and white modern kitchen features white subway tile backsplash and black marble counter-tops as seen on DIY Network's Bryk At A Time.

From: A Bryk at a Time

I love this kitchen by Rebecca Zajac because she breaks the traditional repeated pattern that using tile can create, and establishes a fun and graphic backsplash. The blue-and-white tile brings in a pop of color and visual interest.

Custom Kitchen Backsplash

Custom Kitchen Backsplash

Rebecca Zajac custom-designed the backsplash by placing white tiles in the original pattern to give it an organic feel and break up the repeating pattern.

Photo by: Rebecca Zajac

Rebecca Zajac

Using oversized tile strays away from the more conventional backsplash commonly seen in kitchens. The large colorful tiles featured in this kitchen become the focal piece of the space and heighten the ceilings as they extend up the walls.

Modern-Meets-Traditional Kitchen With Oversize Tile Backsplash

Modern-Meets-Traditional Kitchen With Oversize Tile Backsplash

Get kitchen design ideas from this space featured in HGTV Magazine that blends modern and traditional styles. Hand-poured cement tiles from Architectural Ceramics satisfied Jennie’s desire for craftsmanship and color. Matt, hesitant at first about having huge yellow and blue diamonds spanning the entire wall, now loves how the tiles make the kitchen feel energetic and lively.

Photo by: Trevor Dixon (styled by Karin Olsen)

Trevor Dixon (styled by Karin Olsen)

Instead of glass tile, this kitchen by Kapito Muller Interiors used marble as the backsplash. The individual tiles break up the pattern seen throughout the marble and add a sophisticated and subtle charm to this chic kitchen. 

Kitchen Sink With Gold Faucet and White Counters

Kitchen Sink With Gold Faucet and White Counters

A gold faucet and drawer and cabinet pulls make all the design difference in this sleek kitchen, luxe-ing up the white cabinets and counters.

This bold kitchen by Sarah Barber-Bazail establishes a color palette through the backsplash. A vibrant blue tile dresses the walls up to the ceilings, making quite a statement and drawing in all the attention. 

Bright Blue Backsplash in 1940s Vintage Glam Kitchen

Bright Blue Backsplash in 1940s Vintage Glam Kitchen

The kitchen of this home needed to have character like the rest of this vintage home so designers added bright, bold colors and mixed shiny, smooth textures with vintage favorites. The bright blue backsplash was one of the flashy, glamorous pieces and by mixing that with more traditional cabinets, the space gets a touch of the old world and the new.

Photo by: Francisco Aguila

Francisco Aguila

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Give It Some Shimmer

To create a sharp contrast against her modern white-lacquer cabinetry and Calcutta countertops, design blogger Nicole Cohen chose miniature stainless steel tiles for her kitchen backsplash. The metal tiles add an industrial edge and luminescent backdrop to the crisp white surroundings. Stainless steel backsplashes are eco-friendly, easy to keep clean and look especially gorgeous in contemporary settings like this.

Go Up the Wall

Nothing is more eye-catching than a sparkling mosaic backsplash. Designer Linda Woodrum created this kitchen's focal point by combining reclaimed stained-glass tiles in gray, white and yellow to create a stunning, detailed backsplash against the entire back wall. The colorful glass tiles complement the dark wood cabinetry and the kitchen's overall urban edge, while also integrating a bold dose of color to match the golden-yellow work island.

Make It an Illusion

To add some visual eye candy to her brand-new kitchen, HGTV fan cc_insidearch used gold glassed-curved tile to create a basket weave-patterned backsplash in the cut-out of her back wall cabinet unit. With bright backlighting and a reflective granite countertop, the glass tiles' iridescent finish appears especially sleek and shiny.

Photo By: HGTV fan ccinsidearch

Use an Artist's Touch

To prevent this Mediterranean kitchen from feeling ancient Old World, designer Sarah Barnard used a modern backsplash technique, embossed concrete, to add a contemporary edge. A wide range of imprinting tools and embossing skins can be used to stain, stamp or add texture to concrete, creating a variety of classic appearances. This particular patterned backsplash suits the rich wood cabinetry surrounding it, and it also blends well with the other hues and materials within the room.

Create a Focal Point

The first thing you notice upon entering HGTV Dream Home 2010's kitchen is the dramatic floor-to-ceiling backsplash in soothing hues of aqua and turquoise. Designer Linda Woodrum wanted to ensure that the backsplash was the star of the kitchen by keeping the cabinetry low and by using soft, subtle neutrals in the surrounding decor. Inlaid in recycled aluminum, the sleek glass tiles coordinate well with the contemporary stainless steel furnishings, while also lending a colorful and artistic element to the space.

Give It a Uniform

To create a rich and natural look in this country-style kitchen, designer Joel Snayd used Carrera marble with a stunning pattern for the backsplash and countertops. The veins in the marble prevent the kitchen's all-white elements from appearing washed out. Considered a "living surface," marble can easily chip, crack and will acquire a patina over time, so proper care is essential to keep it looking beautiful.

Soften the Edges

The look of this industrial modern kitchen is softened by designer Randy Weinstein with an ivory subway-tiled backsplash and contrasting rich wooden cabinetry around it. Four open shelves allow the backsplash more function by providing visible storage space, while adding a decorative quality with eclectic dishware and accessories.

Warm It Up

To add visual warmth to this urban kitchen, designer Tina Muller used tumbled natural stone along the walls for the backsplash. When paired with stainless steel appliances, white fusion granite countertops and dark-chocolate maple cabinetry, the backsplash instantly appears clean and contemporary.

From: Drury Design

Unify Your Design

In this contemporary kitchen, designer Erinn Valencich takes the glossy blue-gray backsplash all around the room to create a unified design with elegant and romantic appeal. The mosaic glass border, with hues of brown and blue, provides a sufficient dose of color and pulls in the scheme from the adjacent dining room for a consistent look that appears subtle yet captivating.

From: Erinn Valencich

Photo By: Erinn Valencich

Share Color Schemes

This stunning gray backsplash makes a colorful statement against crisp white-lacquer cabinets and countertops. "The backsplash is so highly reflective that it looks wet and reflects so much light around the room," says designer Samantha Pynn. To further play up the backsplash, she coordinated the gray tiles with gray living room decor, such as the sofa and other accessories, for an open and cohesive look.

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