Modern kitchen backsplash ideas

Protect your walls while adding a splash of personality to your kitchen design

Looking for some cool, modern and stylish kitchen backsplash ideas? When it comes to deciding on the look and feel of your new kitchen, one design element not to be overlooked is the backsplash. No longer considered a purely practical feature, a kitchen backsplash is a great opportunity to enhance your overall scheme and bring your personality into the mix.

As a surface that sits behind your sink and hob, a backsplash helps protect the walls from water and grease. And while it is often one of the last pieces to be installed, it is a good idea to decide on a style at the same time as your cabinetry and worktop finishes. ‘The size of the room is important to consider too,’ says Emma Britton, Decorative Glass Designer. ‘In a large room you need something that works from far away and close up,’ she adds.

Whether you want to create a focal point in your kitchen, or prefer a more cohesive look, there is a huge choice of materials and finishes to choose from. Check out these kitchen backsplash ideas for inspiration…

1. KEEP IT SIMPLE

One of the most straight-forward kitchen backsplash ideas is to create an extension of your worktop. This creates the appearance of a seamless design, and being the same hard-wearing material as your chosen worktop makes it a very practical option for busy kitchens, too. Granite, quartz or made-to-measure engineered worktops such as Corian would work well.

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2. ON THE TILES

Tiles are a popular and relatively affordable choice for a kitchen backsplash, thanks to the wide variety of designs available. Just make sure your chosen tiles can withstand high heats if they are to sit behind a hob, and are appropriately sealed to prevent stains.

3. PLAY WITH PATTERN

While you may not want to commit to too much colour or pattern in your kitchen, a backsplash can be a great opportunity to experiment. Take note of the colours and materials on display elsewhere in the space – such as your stand mixer or utensils – and try to incorporate these into your backsplash to bring your scheme together.

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4. CLIMB THE WALLS

It’s important to protect the space directly behind your kitchen sink and hob to prevent splashes of water or grease from damaging it. To create a modern look, how about tiling the entire wall? It may be a bigger task to install initially, but will be easy to wipe the whole wall clean so could be worth it in the long run.

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5. MIRROR MIRROR

Mirrored surfaces help to reflect light around a room and make the space feel bigger, which can be particularly useful in a small kitchen. If you want to ensure a mirrored backsplash blends in with your kitchen, opt for a tinted finish that will complement your worktops and cabinetry.

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6. AGAINST THE GRAIN

‘A unique placement of your tiles can really draw the eye and make a statement,’ says Amanda Telford, Marketing Manager at CTD Tiles. Indeed, spend time playing around with different formations and it’s surprising how many different looks you can create with the same tile. ‘From vertical to herringbone, you can be really creative with rectangular tiles in a way that’ll really create a beautiful focal point in your kitchen.’ she adds.

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7. THE LUXE LOOK

Marble undoubtedly adds a sense of luxury and sophistication to a kitchen. Take this contemporary design – here the homeowners specified ‘a contemporary black scheme with a marble backsplash.’ To achieve this look practically, a Glacier White Corian worktop was paired with Statuario marble and graphite cabinets, drawing the eye to this impressive zone.

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8. WORK OF ART

As with the rest of your kitchen design, a backsplash will last a long time, so it is important to make sure your scheme is versatile. ‘If you opt for a backsplash with multiple colours or shades in it, you can change the look of the room later by matching accessories to one of the shades for a refresh,’ advises Emma Britton, Decorative Glass Designer. ‘Think about the backsplash as part of the interior scheme with all the colours working together. If there’s one colour or tone dominant in the room, it will draw the eye to that shade in the backsplash too.’

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9. BRIGHTEN UP

Larger kitchen spaces can benefit from being zoned visually, to avoid the room from feeling too open and bare. The simple way to do this? Add a splash of colour or pattern within a cooking or washing up area in order to create a defined area.

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10. CHEFS KITCHEN

Keen cooks will want to ensure their kitchen is fit for purpose. In restaurants, hardwearing stainless steel is an ideal option behind a hob in your kitchen and can work well in an industrial chic scheme. But if you still want to create more of a statement, take a look at vitreous enamel as a durable alternative. It can be made with a patterned design, and is both hygienic and magnetic.

11. EYE FOR DETAIL

Real stone can tick all the boxes for a kitchen – it’s resistant to heat, stains and scratches. Here you can see Lundhs Emerald real stone worktops alongside complementary backsplash cut into hexagon tiles for added interest.

(Image credit: Lundhs / Morten Rakke)

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12. BOLD AS BRASS

Metallics have become a popular choice in kitchen design, and they won’t be going away any time soon. While one of the more unusual kitchen backsplash ideas, pure brass and copper surfaces hold antimicrobial properties, which make them a great choice for a working kitchen. Note however, they will require polishing and develop a natural patina over time.

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