Kaitlyn McInnis is a lifestyle expert and writer specializing in global interior design trends and styles which she is able to experience first-hand through her extensive travels. Her work has appeared in Travel + Leisure, Forbes, Homes & Gardens, and Real Homes. Kaitlyn also worked for AskMen.com, where she managed an international team of writers and experts.
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Updated on 06/10/22
White kitchens are well-loved for a reason: they’re bright and airy, making even the smallest galley-style kitchen feel more open. The monochromatic approach is a great way to foster a sense of cohesion—but adding a stand-out backsplash might offer a bit more visual interest.
Whether you’re hoping to stick with a calming, understated backsplash or you want to do something a little more bold to offer color and interest to your kitchen, we’ve rounded up some of the best expert-approved white kitchen backsplash ideas, from classic subway tiles to more adventurous DIY pursuits.
The Best Peel and Stick Tiles for Easy Renovations
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Opt for Bright and Colorful
“One of the easiest and most dramatic ways to change the look of your kitchen is to add a colorful backsplash,” Whether you choose something bright and bold or something more subtle, a backsplash can add personality and visual interest to any space,” says Karen Gutierrez, Interior Designer at Mackenzie Collier Interiors.
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Accentuate your home with the perfect pastel tile to match a calm, inviting and fresh environment. “Pastel tones are making a comeback in interior design, with their return being attributed to the calming effect that these colors can provide when you're feeling stressed out or overwhelmed and the kitchen being a place where you most often pass your time is an easy option to go with,” says Gutierrez. “It is also a great way to bring in a gentle and subtle detail to the whole white composition.”
Continue to 3 of 18 below.(Video) 18 Kitchen Backsplash Designs - Remodel Ideas
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Go for Light Blue and Copper
If you choose to go with a bright tone, Gutierrez says light blues are a great complement to brass or copper metal finishes for hardware. Combining both hardware and backsplash can make for a dramatic but cohesive effect.
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Classic Subway Tiles
Classic subway tiles are popular for a reason—they’re a classic look that doesn’t go out of style. “Long and textured subway tile with dark grout is one of the best treatments you can do in an all-white kitchen,” explains Beth Halpern Brown, founder of Beth Brown Interiors.
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Try Moroccan Zellige Tiles
According to Brown, Moroccan Zellige tiles are another great option to add visual interest to an otherwise all-white kitchen space. These tiles typically add a glossy sheen to the space that adds impact without being too busy.
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Go for Stones
“My favorite backsplash to work into a white kitchen is adding a stone or brick finish,” explains Brown. This can be either faux stone tile or slightly more time consuming (and pricey) authentic stonework.
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Contrast With Classic Marble
A safe way to create a beautiful overlay in the kitchen and avoid flatness is not just color and finishes but also textures and accentuating metal details. “Marble details as a backsplash and countertop will keep the sophisticated and sleek look to make the kitchen feel elegant,” explains Gutierrez.
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Warm Up With Neutrals
Midcentury modern kitchens are super stylish right now. If you're considering a kitchen renovation, now is the time to go all in and give your home a stylish update. “Midcentury modern kitchens combine minimalist designs with functionality, making them perfect for family homes,” explains Gutierrez. “This idea of mixing white cabinets with woods and earthy tile, is a great way to keep the whole vibe warm, timeless and clean.”
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Don’t Forego Texture
If you’re working with all white cabinets, Gutierrez suggests mixing different textures—like a type of white material and cement. “Cement can be used to create countertops, backsplashes, and flooring that will give your kitchen a contemporary look,” she explains. “On the other hand, gray marble is a popular choice; the cool, neutral tone is a great backdrop for any color scheme and it adds a touch of elegance to any kitchen.”
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Wood, White, and Warm
There's something about the warm, natural tones of wood that just screams home. Mix this with a white kitchen and you are guaranteed to have a kitchen that will always look so fresh and clean. “Consider installing a glossy white backsplash to help bring in shadows and create a more unique and fun approach to the striking white color,” says Gutierrez. A touch of wood in the accents will help bring the space together.
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Add Pops of Personality
“Kitchens have become so much more than a place to cook meals,” says Gutierrez. “They have now become a space where you can showcase your unique personal style and if all white is not a convincing design for you, try mixing with materials that add contrast such as an artistic tile or wood.”
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Back to Black
Black metals can provide a sleek and modern look to your kitchen, while also providing durability and function, says Gutierrez. There are a variety of black metals that can be used as accents in your kitchen backsplash, including wrought iron, steel, and aluminum. “By using black metals as accents in your kitchen design, you can create that balance from having all white with a more intentional approach and still keep the kitchen cozy.”
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Stick With Monochrome
“Keep it monochromatic, whether it is all white or a color, the point of a white kitchen is simplicity so keep that going on the backsplash,” suggests Mark Cutler and Nichole Schulze, co-founders of cutlerschulze, an interior design firm based in Los Angeles. “That said, you might want to consider switching to a tile to bring in some texture so the overall effect is not bland.”
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Continue With the Countertop
“For a more modern streamlined look continue the stone slab from the countertop up onto the backsplash to give a more pared down and contemporary vibe,” suggests Cutler.
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“Herringbone tiles can add some nice texture to a white kitchen,” says Priscilla Moiseoff, lead stylist at Walker Edison Furniture. “For something simpler you can go with narrow stacked tiles.”
Continue to 16 of 18 below.(Video) Backsplash Ideas For White Kitchen Cabinets
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Try Muted Colors
“If you’re wanting a splash of color, opt for soft muted tones like a mint green,” says Moiseoff. “Gray is also a color that always pairs nicely with a white kitchen.”
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Consider a Mosaic
“The all-white kitchen is a classic that never goes out of fashion, but it is great to add some personal touches, and the mosaic kitchen backsplash is a perfect choice if you want to add some extra layers to your kitchen design,” says Chady Tawil, CEO at Mozaico. “Compared to regular kitchen tiles, natural stone mosaics offer more artistic possibilities since all patterns are assembled by hand from small cuts of natural mosaic stones, which gives it a richer texture, as compared to patterns being printed on flat tiles.”
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Match the Backsplash to Accessories
“When working with a white kitchen, we bring color into the space and design with hardware and plumbing finish selections,” explains Nadia Watts, Denver-based interior designer. This can also look like accessories on the counter top, counter stools and furniture in the adjacent rooms that match the backsplash colorway.
Why put up a backsplash in the kitchen?
A backsplash adds a splash of color or flair to the kitchen, but more importantly, it helps protect the wall from water or grease.
What backsplash tiles are easiest to keep clean?
Ceramic, porcelain, and glass tiles are some of the easier backsplash tiles to keep clean. Simply use warm water, mild dish soap, and a cloth, then wipe down again with a clean wet cloth.
Does installing a backsplash add value to your home?
A backsplash adds resale value to your house when selling it as it adds a finishing touch to the kitchen.