Backsplash ideas that make a splash

Kitchen backsplashes no longer simply protect walls from spills and splatters, a wide array of eye-catching materials like glass, wood, metals and stone make the backsplash the focal point of today’s kitchens.

So Many Options. From traditional tile to trendy glass — and shiny metal to rustic wood — there is seemingly no end of choices for kitchen backsplashes today. “Tile is still the most popular backsplash material, with natural stone a fast-growing second,” says John Morgan, 2013 National President of the National Kitchen and Bath Association. “But with the right installer, you can make just about any material work.”

Salvaged Materials: Antique Wood Mosaic. A foil to shimmering stainless steel, this mosaic tile backsplash from the HGTV Dream Home 2014 kitchen is fashioned from antique boat wood. Impervious to moisture, it requires neither grout nor sealant.

Salvaged Materials: Reclaimed Wood. Who says hardwood is only meant for floors? The standout feature of this open-concept kitchen is the reclaimed wood backsplash that warms up the stainless steel appliances and concrete floor.

Simple style of a wallpaper accent with a classic granite brings character and style that warms up the traditional look.

Reflective Finish: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall. This mirrored backsplash might be the fairest of them all. A small kitchen space immediately feels larger with this mirrored surface and bright white marble countertops.

Reflective Finish: Antique Mirror. The antiqued mirror backsplash in this 19th Century Japanese kitchen has just enough reflective qualities to brighten the small space without being too distracting. The mirror’s vintage finish pairs well with custom wood cabinetry.

Budget Friendly: Coffee Beans. Featured in Blog Cabin 2014, a coffee and tea bar became the inspiration for this cozy coffeehouse design. Cast in epoxy, this coffee bean backsplash creates an eye-catching focal point and gives texture to the wall.

Budget Friendly: Tin Sheets. Once a traditional ceiling adornment, tin is now making its way into the kitchen backsplash arena. The tin backsplash in this white kitchen is a budget-friendly fix that also adds visual interest. White cabinets and countertops keep the small space feeling light and open.

Bold Blue. Any chef would feel right at home in this colorful cottage kitchen with its bold and energetic backsplash. The custom blue cabinets in this kitchen form the perfect background for the unique green, blue and white tile.

Soaring Subway. Want to make a statement with a classic white subway tile? Take it all the way up to the ceiling for a super clean finish like this kitchen from the HGTV Urban Oasis 2015.

Embossed Concrete. Intricate but hardworking, an embossed concrete tile backsplash in an interlocking hexagonal pattern creates a sense of formality in the kitchen when paired with traditional cabinetry.

Textured Tile. This neutral kitchen is anything but vanilla where a sculptural limestone backsplash adds texture and depth to a space filled with smooth light wood cabinets and white quartz countertops.

Metallics: 3-D Finished Bronze. This hip geometric design is a perfect complement for a contemporary kitchen. The white bronze tiles are finished with a light patina and extend out into the space for visual interest.

Ceramic + Glass Tile. Can’t decide between ceramic and glass? This ‘Island Star Mosaic’ from Porcelanosa’s Victorian Collection is a combination of matte porcelain and iridescent glass, which creates subtle changes when it reflects light.

Ceramic + Glass Tile. “The kitchen is a warm, transitional style,” says designer Nancy Blandford, CMKBD, ASID, “with an eclectic mix of traditional materials. The blacksplash serves as the perfect way to tie together distinct elements, including glass doors, an unusually-shaped island top and the range hood.”