How to Choose the Perfect Backsplash

silver metallic backsplash detail in this modern kitchen remodel in Denver

Selecting the Perfect Backsplash

The devil is in the details. That certainly is true of selecting a kitchen backsplash – there are almost an unlimited number of factors to consider. Below, we highlighted how to use nontraditional materials for a backsplash providing guidance to help assure you select the right materials for your backsplash to achieve the look and feel you want in your kitchen.

Color Scheme

The color scheme of the kitchen is a major factor in determining the type that will be best for you. The color should complement the other design aspects of the kitchen. For some projects, a dash of bold color helps the backsplash become a focal point in the kitchen. Other clients that want a calmer feeling for their kitchens may opt for a white or light gray color scheme.

Backsplash Material

The material is as important as color. Backsplashes can be used to make a dramatic personal design statement with mixed materials, wood, brick, tile, stone or almost anything that the imagination desires.

Type of Cooking

A third consideration is the amount and type of cooking that will take place in your kitchen. For our clients who are avid cooks, we suggest a stainless steel or painted glass backsplash because they are easy to clean, plus glass and stainless steel can help round out the design of other components of the kitchen.


The height of the backsplash is another factor that most do-it-yourselfers and non-professionals often don’t account for. Cabinet placement typically dictates the height of the backsplash. Some clients prefer having the backsplash end at the bottom of cabinets. Others like the backsplash material to come to the first shelf in an open or glass front cabinet. Some of our clients have extended the backsplash to the ceiling in areas where there are no cabinets to make the backsplash a focal point in the kitchen.

The shape and patterns of materials used for the backsplash are additional considerations. If you plan to stay in your home for a long time period, we suggest that the shapes, colors, and materials complement the other kitchen components, and also the other décor in your home. However, if your time in your home is relatively short, you may want to make sure that the material and design are timeless that will serve as an asset in the future sale of your home. Subway tile is one example of a timeless material and design.

Coordinate Colors & Materials

Backsplashes should also complement and coordinate with countertop materials and colors. If you desire a patterned granite countertop, the backsplash that generally works best is one with a neutral color scheme. If you opt for a solid color quartz countertop, the backsplash can be more colorful.


How much should you budget for your backsplash? The cost depends on the amount and type of materials that you want. Subway tile is a cost-effective material but may not achieve the look of a stone backsplash or intricate tile. Custom colors are more costly than traditional off-the-shelf products. Mixing and matching materials is an effective way to stretch budget dollars.

Which backsplash shape, material, design, and color will make your kitchen the envy of your friends and neighbors?

At JM Kitchen and Bath we use tile and stone for backsplashes in a number of the kitchens that we design. However, backsplash creativity has been ramped up several notches. Our clients are often thrilled when we help them make distinctive design statements with nontraditional backsplash materials.

Here are a few unique options for you to consider:

Chalkboard: It’s relatively cost-effective and can add a lot of fun to your space. Imagine how easy it would be to follow a recipe if it was written on the backsplash in front of your stove or cooktop. You can also write down your grocery list, reminders to family members and to-do lists.

Wood: Wood is another cost-effective backsplash material. It exudes an aura of warmth and a rustic feel to any kitchen. We typically will recommend wood for clients who have not opted for a wood or laminate floor. Wood offers a blank canvas. It can be placed horizontally, vertically or in a zigzag pattern depending on the look and feel our clients want to achieve.

Buttons: This is a really way out of the box option but can work in certain kitchens. Buttons are most appropriate for a mid-century modern or a vintage type of home. Using buttons as a backsplash certainly is a conversation starter and allows you to play with multiple colors. We would recommend neutral colored cabinets and countertops for those opting for a button backsplash.

Photographs: Want a fun and creative way to honor friends and family? Use their pictures as your kitchen’s backsplash. If you want to create a vintage look, consider black and white photos. If backsplash will be used on several walls, you can use different photos or one large photo for continuity.

Wine corks: Oenophiles consider using wine corks as your backsplash. Using wine corks as the backsplash behind a wine refrigerator in your kitchen just shouts cool.

Wallpaper: Many of our clients don’t think of wallpaper as a backsplash material, but it can really set a kitchen apart. Our clients that want to make a bold statement in their kitchen often opt for a bright patterned wall paper. We would recommend a simple stripe or polka dot paper for clients looking for a more subtle look.

Paint: Using a contrasting paint color as a backsplash is simple and extremely cost-effective. When we specify paint, we typically will suggest a bold bright color that pops against the look and feel of the rest of the kitchen. We also play with different finishes, specifying glossy for the backsplash contrasted by a matte on the walls ceiling

Artwork: Artwork won’t cover all of the backslash space, using framed pictures is a creative, easy and cost-effective way to make a distinctive design statement.

These creative options help our clients consider alternatives to traditional tile and stone, which remain very popular backsplash materials because they work so well. Let us know if you would like us to help you explore different backsplashes for your new kitchen. Call or visit either of our kitchen and bath showrooms in Metro Denver for a free consultation to talk about unique ideas for the backsplash in your new kitchen or bathroom.

call JM Kitchen and Bath in Denver or Castle Rock Colorado