Let’s face it – backsplashes are the jewelry to your kitchen or bathroom! They can make or break a design. Is that way they can be hard to nail down?!

Sometimes, we pick out the backsplash first in a kitchen design since it can really set the stage for the rest of the finishes.

There are so many options out there when it comes to backsplashes. Ceramic, mosaic patterns, natural stone, glass, cement…how to choose? It really depends on your overall design aesthetic and concept.

We’re going to break down the different types of backsplash materials and provide some inspiration on how to use them. Then, we’ll give you our Top 5 tips on how to pick the best backsplash!

Glass Mosaic Backsplash:

First on deck is this beautiful glass mosaic backsplash we used for a recent project:

Designed by Honeycomb Home Design / Lisa Maksoudian Photography

It’s from Sonoma Tile Makers – “Vihara” Swish collection. This was actually our second choice option! We had an initial backsplash selected but due to COVID related delays, we had to re-select at the last minute. After scouring our local stores, I found Sonoma Tile Makers. They have so many beautiful glass mosaic options. This particular colorway reminded us of the ocean. Our client is a biologist, so she really wanted something that had colors you could find in nature. When paired with the countertop, Caesarstone’s Clamshell, it really popped! It also tied in really well with the custom paint color of the island.

Another amazing source for glass mosaics is Artistic Tile. We’ve used them a couple of times for past projects.

One of my favorite applications of this tile is when we used it for this kitchen remodel:

Design by Honeycomb Home Design / Emily Elise Photography

The overall theme of this project was a slight nod to the Art Deco Era. We wanted a backsplash that was going to add some drama to the space, but nothing too over the top.

After deciding that we wanted to do white perimeter cabinetry and an island with a pop of color, we found this Artistic Tile. It is a glass mosaic with a bit of brass detailing in it. It is sooooo beautiful in person too!

You’ll notice the hefty price tag on this one at $95 per square foot. So, we decided to do a feature wall of this tile instead of doing the entire backsplash. This is a great thing to remember when you’re trying to reduce costs. Sometimes we will mix in a less expensive tile as the “field tile” and then a more expensive backsplash behind the cooktop or range as an accent.

If you look closely, you can see that we actually recessed this accent tile 2” so the edges died nicely into the wall instead of having to frame it out with a trim piece. Instead of adding a field backsplash, we opted for a tilt up of the countertop material. This gave the kitchen a very clean and seamless look.

Another one of my favorite glass mosaics is also by Artistic Tile called the Estrella series.

We used it for this Primary bath remodel. Unfortunately, they don’t make this particular colorway anymore, but they do still have 5 color options available. What we loved about this tile is that it looks like a wallpaper! But when you get very close, you can see how beautifully intricate this pattern is. The colorway worked perfectly with the warm walnut tones of the cabinetry and really added a bold statement. Because we opted to do side splashes on this vanity, we decided to carry the tilt up backsplash all the way across and then start the mosaic on top of it. (note – this vanity is 60” with two sinks, so it is best to do side splashes in this instance since you may get water on the return walls).

Honeycomb Home Design – Marcel Alain Photography

Next, let’s take a look at natural stone mosaic backsplash:

These are often a fan favorite. The most common natural stone mosaics that we use are often marble.

This particular backsplash is a mixture of mother-of-pearl and marble. I couldn’t find the link to this exact backsplash (it might have been discontinued) but I did find one very similar here.

We wanted a BOLD statement in this kitchen so we opted to take this graphic pattern throughout the entire backsplash. Because we kept everything else pretty neutral, the backsplash has the space to really shine.

Designed by Honeycomb Home Design – Photography by Emily Elise Photography

This next marble mosaic backsplash is one of my favorites.

It’s from Soho Studio and is filled with different pieces of marble.

Designed by Honeycomb Home Design / Lisa Maksoudian Photography

You can see here we decided to use the accent only above the cooktop. We did this for two reasons: cost and also to make the pattern really stand out. This mosaic is over $130/SF so it can get pretty pricey fast. But also, when paired with a subtle field tile (like this one – one of our FAVS!), the pattern actually has a chance to stand out.

Another fun option is ceramic tile.

Patterned ceramic tiles are having a moment, that is for sure! Like this graphic black and white pattern in this farmhouse kitchen. While we can’t locate the exact backsplash anymore (darn COVID-19), we found this one that is really fun!

Designed by Honeycomb Home Design / Lisa Maksoudian Photography

Ceramic tile comes in many styles and shapes. We used a beautiful crackled ceramic tile from MSI in this kitchen we designed.

Designed by Honeycomb Home Design / Lisa Maksoudian Photography

Here, we opted to go all out and use the same backsplash throughout the kitchen. The arabesque pattern and the soft grey coloring were a perfect mixture for this classic kitchen design.

Recycled Material Backsplash

One of our favorite vendors is Fireclay Tile. They not only have beautiful tiles and patterns, they create these tiles from post consumer recycled glass and porcelain and pre-consumer recycled granite dust.

We used this color for our Shell Beach remodel and loved how it pulled the entire look together for this coastal home.

Designed by Honeycomb Home Design / Pack Design / Lisa Maksoudian Photography

Hand Painted Terracotta:

For those spanish inspired interiors, this hand painted terracotta tile is a must have! We loved using Tabarka for our Santa Ysabel project. Tabarka has some amazing products and they are all truly hand made. We paired this backsplash with a beautiful honed Perla Venata Quartzite. Finding the right paint color was tricky, but Pewter Tankard by Sherwin Williams was the winner! We added a glaze to it for the perfect compliment to the backsplash and countertops.

Designed by Honeycomb Home Design / Emily Elise Photography

Full height countertops:

Lastly, let’s talk about the full height countertop option as a backsplash. We opted for a full height backsplash in this beautiful kitchen because the clients really fell in love with this material and this particular cut of the granite has a special surprise (Can you see it!?)

Designed by Honeycomb Home Design / Pack Design / Lisa Maksoudian Photography

Did you see the dove shape in the backsplash?!

This goes to show you that sometimes less is MORE! There is a lot going on in this kitchen and the backsplash just helps bring a little bit of drama without overtaking the entire look.

Hopefully that gave you a little inspiration behind different backsplash options!

Here are our Top 5 Tips when shopping for backsplashes:

  1. When in doubt, go timeless: You want to make sure your backsplash doesn’t feel out of place with the rest of the kitchen. (i.e. You wouldn’t want to put an arabesque pattern in a Mid Century Modern style kitchen)
  2. Remember the layers of your kitchen: countertops, cabinetry, flooring. You want to make sure your backsplash compliments all of those elements nicely.
  3. Focus in: Doing an accent over the range with a mosaic tile is a great way to add pizazz. You can save cost by doing a less expensive field tile and leave the big budget for the mosaic accent.
  4. Pattern Play: Have fun with patterns! Even if you select a simple subway tile, you can lay it many different ways – herringbone, ⅓ offset, straight stack etc. The more complex the pattern, you’ll pay a little more for labor, but if you pick an inexpensive tile, it might be a wash.
  5. Don’t overthink it! If you’re not in LOVE with it, leave it. You’ll be looking at this backsplash everyday, all day, so make sure it is the ONE.