Backsplash Patterns

Explore ideas for kitchen backsplash patterns, and prepare to install an eye-catching and efficient backsplash in your kitchen.


HGTV's Design Star Winner and host Meg Caswell show the Homeowners Karen & Wayne their new kitchen and living room after the kitchen remodel as seen on HGTV's Great Rooms.

Photo by: Jean-Marc Giboux

Jean-Marc Giboux

By: Sean McEvoy

When it's time to update a kitchen backsplash or install a new one, one of your first tasks will be to explore the wide range of kitchen backsplash patterns available.

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Whether you're creating an elaborate, eye-catching design that will wow guests with its artistic execution or installing an understated and soothing backsplash to complement your kitchen, picking the right pattern is an essential step in the kitchen backsplash design process.

Deciding on the right pattern for your kitchen backsplash starts with considering whether you want to match the overall design of your kitchen or use the backsplash as an opportunity to take a slight or radical turn from the design and add some visual distinction. Backsplash pattern designs provide an excellent opportunity to express your style and add aesthetic appeal.

Before you decide on a pattern for your kitchen backsplash, you'll first want to consider what material to use. Ceramic tile is the most common, but glass, stone and other natural materials are also popular. Once you've chosen the material, you can delve into the different styles available. Homeowners often choose mosaic, penny and subway styles because of their visual appeal, wide availability and easy-to-clean efficiency.

When you've settled on a style, it's time to start thinking about the pattern you'll feature. Some of your decision-making when it comes to pattern may be driven by the style of backsplash tile or material you've chosen. For example, if you decided to feature subway tile for your kitchen backsplash, you'll have almost unlimited opportunities to experiment with patterns. The simple, standard rectangular shape of the subway tiles can be arranged however you like, horizontally or vertically, staggered or stacked, or in intricate patterns and designs like herringbone or chevron. Other square or rectangular tiles will offer the same amount of flexibility when it comes to pattern choices, so if your desire is to experiment until you find the right pattern for you, subway or other square or rectangular shaped tile may be the way to go.

If you're considering a tile pattern featuring small squares, circles or ovals—as often featured in mosaic or penny style tiles—your pattern choices will mainly be related to the interplay of differently colored tiles in the backsplash. Many mosaics feature this array of colored tiles as their primary aesthetic design, while penny tiles often feature a more uniform pattern. There's no requirement to use an eclectic design for mosaic tiles or a uniform one for penny tiles, though, and ultimately your choice will likely be driven by the design that best suits your kitchen and your style personality.

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