Five Trendy Backsplash Tile Solutions

By Ceramics of Italy

With a near endless selection of tile options available in the market, a kitchen backsplash can be made to serve a greater purpose than its primary function as a barrier from grease and messes. It’s the perfect space for creative expression, calling for bright colors, bold patterns and unconventional shapes and formats.

While large-format tiles are on-trend in today’s kitchens, even when other materials, such as quartz, granite or solid surface are used, tile remains a popular option for backsplashes. And, mixing materials in the kitchen also continues to be popular.

Here are five trendy tile solutions for livening up a kitchen with a beautiful, yet functional backsplash design.

1. Seamless Surfaces

Total-look spaces are trending in the design industry, and kitchen design is no exception!

Whether for economical or creative purposes, designers are opting for single tile collections that can be used for a wide variety of surface applications. Manufacturers are responding to this increased demand for product versatility with ceramic tile collections that offer a full range of formats and thicknesses, and can therefore be used to create matching backsplashes and countertops. The result is a seamless-looking, almost fluid transition from one surface to the next.

Some collections that execute this all-over design aesthetic offer coordinated tiles that extend even into the kitchen sink and cabinet veneers (see Lead-in Photo). One added benefit of the seamless tile look is that it minimizes grout lines, making these large-format tiles easy to maintain and stand up against greasy messes.

2. The New Subway

Since their introduction with the first New York City subway stations back in 1904, subwaytiles have grown to become a popular feature in kitchens and bathrooms around the world. Of course, the standard 3- by 6-in. format will never go out of style, but the industry is finding new and interesting ways to re-imagine this timeless look. The new subway tile has emerged as an alternative design solution for kitchen backsplashes with elongated formats, funky shapes, textured surfaces and creative installation patterns.

Typically laid in the traditional brick pattern, subway tiles have a very characteristic appearance. However, new layouts are challenging this mold with vertical designs, textured tiles and other trendy variations such as chevron and herringbone.

Subway tiles are also straying from the standard glossy look, with 3-D structures, matte or satin finishes, and textured surfaces. Each of these variations, whether subtle or dramatic, offers a fresh take on this timeless iconic look.

3. Mixed Mosaics

Another staple of kitchen design, mosaic backsplashes are here to stay. In particular, mixed mosaics are a great option for adding visual interest with a varied assortment of colors, effects and configurations in the form of one easy-to-install sheet.

This technique can be especially helpful for adding detail to larger spaces. A mosaic can effectively break up oversized backsplashes with a random mix of stone-effect shades ranging from light to dark.

Another way to mix it up with a backsplash installation is to select a mosaic sheet that features individual pieces in alternating directions. Some collections have smaller chips varied in shading and in their layout patterns.

Any way you cut it, mixed-up mosaics offer an easy way to create a trendy, intricate backsplash design.

4. Playful Formats

Standard square tiles rely on patterns and bright colors to make a bold design statement. But when paired with otherwise sleek and simple kitchen surfaces, a tile installation with intriguing shapes and striking formats can become the focal point of a space. Typically limited to a compact area behind the kitchen countertop, a backsplash presents the perfect opportunity to experiment with playful tile formats. An entire room of bold diamond mosaic might be overwhelming, but the same tiles can speak volumes when executed on a smaller scale.

Some kitchens call for more than just a standard backsplash, and with the many shapes and sizes available today – including triangles, diamonds, hexagons, scallops, and even intricate geometric mosaics– designers can finally pursue more playful tile installations.

5. Geometric Patchwork

Traditional patchwork tiles have undergone a modern makeover, and it’s taking over kitchen design. The colorful, ornate patterns typical of this classic style are replaced with simple geometric shapes and muted color palettes for a stripped-down, contemporary look. Popular geometric patchwork tile interpretations for backsplashes include simplified patterns, with standard shape iterations in monochromatic shades, or randomized geometric shapes to add visual interest.

This updated geometric patchwork trend is a stylish way to create a fresh, modern design with vintage roots.

About the Author

Ceramics of Italy is the trademark for more than 100 Italian manufacturers of ceramic tiles, sanitaryware and tableware that are members of Confindustria Ceramica. For more information visit or follow Ceramics of Italy on Facebook (@CeramicsOfItalyNA), YouTube (@LaCeramicaItaliana), or Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram (@CeramicsOfItaly).