The New Kitchen’s Back Splash

So far I have had two really good and productive meetings with our kitchen planner.  You might have seen this post about my plans to have a navy blue island.  Well, that plan has been changed.  There will be an island and quite a large one, at that, but it will not be navy.  However, there will be a navy cabinet in the room, but I am not going to tell you right now where or what it will be.  I’ll leave that for another day because today I want to talk about something else – the new kitchen’s back splash.


I’m not sure which materials or pattern to select for the back splash.  Rather than having a natural Carrara marble counter top in the new kitchen, I am going to go with something man-made.  Don’t get me wrong.  I have loved the look of the honed marble in our current kitchen, but it has been more high maintenance than I  want.  I wrote in this post about how I want to not be as careful in our new place.  I want to know that I can put down a glass, slice a tomato, spill some orange juice, drop some red wine, and it will not cause imperfections which are called etching in the marble world.   That’s why I’m going with a quartz or similar product in our new place.  That decision is made, but I am not sure about the back splash material or pattern.

Screen shot from Stonecroft Homes


If I use subway tiles they will be hung in a pattern.  I like the look of subway tile and feel that it is truly timeless.  After all, it has been in subways for many, many decades, and Jordan reminded me that it was in the kitchen in the movie, Rosemary’s Baby.  It definitely has staying power, but it has been used a lot. I like this herringbone pattern, but has it been overused?

Screen shot from Anna Standish Interiors


That’s my hesitation?  Is it trendy?  It that trend here to stay?  One of the advantages of using subway tile is that there are so many ways to hang it like this offset joint pattern.

Screen shot from Centsational Girl


Here’s another style, but for some reason, I think it looks contemporary.  It’s called vertical straight set.

Screen Shot from Lowe's Creative Ideas


This is pattern is called the cross hatch.  See why this it’s so hard to decide?   It’s similar to the herringbone pattern, but it’s still different.

Screen shot from The Hunted Interior


Not only are the tile types and patterns part of the decision equation, but the color of the grout also comes into play.  I really don’t want to over think this decision, but since we will be living with it for several years, it needs to be right.  And remember that subway tile isn’t the only show in town.

Screen shot from Maison Pax



There’s also marble tile…..

Screen shot from South Shore Decorating



slabs that can be cut and pressed onto the wall in one piece…..

Screen shot from Blessed Mom to Baby Girls



Screen shot from Decorpad



Screen shot from DIY Design and Decor


penny tile and so many more.  Just search kitchen back splashes on Pinterest to see tons of options.  That’s why this decision is a tough one.

Take care.


  1. kharolds says

    I just did Marble tile backsplash bought at Lowes and a white quartz counter Instagram kharolds
    go check it out. We love it

  2. Laurie says

    You’ll love quartz. I just replaced my original laminate kitchen counter with a quartz one made to look like marble with a white subway backsplash. I love it. I doesn’t stain and all you need to do is wipe it with soap and water or a cleaning wipe to maintain it. And it looks great. I almost went with granite but after putting granite in the master bathroom and seeing how water spots darkened it near where the soap dish is (even though I sealed it with sealer made for granite), I decided even granite was too much hassle to maintain in a busy kitchen.

    I loved your old townhouse so I look forward to seeing what your new one looks like after the reno.

  3. Laurie says

    BTW, I did a running bond pattern with my subway tile (I like herringbone, but thought it might be too busy looking in my u-shaped kitchen. I had the installer color match the grout to the tile because I wanted the tile to more on view, not the grout lines.

  4. Donnamae says

    I’ve heard great things about quartz…I’m sure you are going to love it. Personally….I really like the penny round marble….or the hexagonal. Subway is classic…but also trending lately. I went against the advice of my kitchen designer 17 years ago with my backsplash….and I don’t regret it one bit. My advice…choose what you like…and it is going to be lovely! 😉

  5. Kath says

    So much fun to choose, well, it’s fun after the choosing to see it all come together. FYI and I hope this will be helpful: There is a great trend now to hang cabinets high, its very HGTV and pictured everywhere as in some of the above pics. A family member recently purchased a flipped house in a large and expensive Texas city. It looked great! They are both very tall people so they can actually use the first and second cabinet shelves. The cabinets are hung very high in this picturesque kitchen. I am 5’5″, and can only comfortably reach the 1st shelf. (I use a wooden spoon handle to scoot stuff to the edge of the 2nd shelf and then catch it as it comes off the shelf) They keep a folding stool under the sink to access the 3rd level shelves. I encourage you to think and be present when they install your cabinets/tell your architect now you want easy access to more than the bottom level shelf. I’ve had several friends spend $$$$$ on amazing kitchen remodels and now regret they didn’t thing about actually reaching things in the cabinets. I had a great architect and he actually measured my reach. It’s so discouraging to be moving into your new kitchen and realize you can’t reach any shelf except the lowest one. Who wants to pull out a footstool every day? Best wishes on your project:)

    • says

      Kath,that’s great advice. Our new ceilings are 10 feet tall in the kitchen, and my designer already said the cabinets won’t be hung that high. Come to think of it, I do have to use a stool here to reach the top shelf.

  6. Elizabeth says

    I think your decision on quartz is really smart. From what I’ve read and also heard from my sister who’s been a realtor for 45 years, that is the way to go. Personally, I am tired of seeing subway tile everywhere; I don’t care what pattern is used. I like the stone slabs for the backsplash. Who wants her kitchen to look like everyone else’s? Do your own thing.

  7. Hallie says

    My opinion, as far as white subway tile goes, is that it is timeless when set in the running bond pattern. I think I will never tire of this look.

  8. Beth says

    You know how much I love my Caesarstone countertops. I opted for mable in the bar and bathrooms, which do require more care and do stain. I do have plans for for a backsplash, but I will know more next winter.

  9. Iris says

    Have you considered glass subway tiles? My sister-in-law just had them installed in her kitchen and they look beautiful with her shaker cabinets. They are a modern material with a traditional style which is still easy to care for. I think the varied colored small glass tiles featured on HGTV and other design sites are something that I would get tired of.

  10. Lesley says

    Please, please resist the subway tile – every American kitchen seems to have it and scrubbing grout is no fun (there is a place for it and that is in subways LOL). Try coloured glass – a simple wipe clean – alternatively the marble you pictured above looks excellent.

    The other thing I’ve noticed with many US kitchens is that cupboard doors and drawers sit on top of the frames – they never seem to wear very well and eventually everything looks unaligned. Here in the UK wooden doors are usually set into the frame and look smarter for longer. Soft closing doors and drawers are a must.