Top 3 Rules To Pick The Best Backsplash Tile For Your Kitchen

Whether you are designing a new kitchen or remodeling your existing one, picking your backsplash is one of the most important choices to give the room the style you desire. I am going to help you easily narrow in on tile choices that will help you complete your kitchen project.

If you are trying to decide whether WHITE OR WOOD CABINETS are the best choice for your kitchen, I can help you with my guide on that, too.


  1. GO BIG.
  3. GO LIGHT.
Here are some of my favorite choices for backsplash tile for your kitchen. And, they are all from Amazon! CLICK HERE TO CHECK THEM OUT.

Let’s get into the details about these 3 rules:


Pick A Larger Sized Tile For Your Backsplash

One of the most common mistakes I see people make when picking a backsplash tile for their kitchen is that they pick a very small tile pattern. Often people pick up a sheet of tile and like the look of the shape and design, but they are only looking at a very small area.

You must consider scale when picking a tile. What looks good in a 12×12 sheet of tile, is not going to have the same effect when looking at entire kitchen with that design.

Small tiles in a large space create a busy and cluttered look very easily. That is the last thing you want to do in your kitchen. We want to create a clean and uncluttered look with the design of the room. That way when you have ‘real life’ and actually have things on the counters it does not look so cluttered and unsightly.

Most of us actually live in our homes and are going to have ‘stuff’ on the counters. Some might be decor, but other things will find their way onto the counters. Starting our design simple and clean will help the room to maintain a pleasing look to the eye even when there may be more things on our counters than we would prefer. And, if you have kids….probably a lot more, right?!

Below is my kitchen with a 3×12 vanilla tile with pencil trim. The larger size adds to the simplification of the look. Less tile edges = less grout lines = less visually distracting. To see how we updated our kitchen and kept our honey oak cabinets, CLICK HERE.

3×12 Subway Tile with pencil trim


Pick A Uniform Color Tile With A Simple Shape For Your Backsplash

Clean and unclutterered. Two words most of us would love to see our homes look like. Your choice in backsplash tile for your kitchen will have the biggest impact on your kitchen in helping to create this desired look. But, when people start shopping for tile choices, they often get off track here and pick a tile that may be pretty, but don’t consider the effect it will have when done on an entire room.

Again, it is so important to consider scale when shopping for tile. Don’t think of the tile sample in front of you, imagine that tile repeated throughout your kitchen. And, think of what you will have on the counters in front of the tile. How much will be on your counters? The more you need to have on your counters, the more simple you should go with your tile choice.

Along the lines of picking simple, that also ties in with picking classic. Most of us are not redoing our kitchens as the trends change every few years. So, when it comes to tile, I say stay away from trends.

You can still be ‘on trend’ without being overly trendy. You don’t want to be tired of your kitchen tile in a year or two….or more, frankly. So, focus on trends more with décor, than with tile.

Below, check out the before and after from Amanda at Come Stay Awhile. Although this update was one she did with paint and not retiling, it demonstrates the rule perfectly. SIMPLE WINS!! The before is just so busy with a mosaic of small tiles with too many different colors going on. It is what draws your eye and just makes anything on the counter, whether it is décor or stuff look like clutter. And, that is not what we want. The after looks clean, simple and much brighter.

SOURCE: Come Stay Awhile
SOURCE: Come Stay Awhile


Pick A Light Colored Tile For Your Backsplash

It is almost universally appealing to have a light and bright kitchen. This does not mean having everything in your kitchen be white. (I am actually a fan of wood cabinets over white cabinets.)

One of the most impactful places to bring light to your room is the backsplash. It is always right in your eyeline when anyone is in the kitchen. Keeping it light will keep your room as light and airy as it can be.

Consider what you will have on the counters in front of the tile. Whether it’s décor or ‘stuff’, it will look more pleasing to the eye with a light and bright backdrop.

If your room is not full of natural light, having a light backsplash tile in your kitchen will help to increase the light and airy look to it. It also helps give a clean and fresh look to the room, which is certainly very desirable.

Kristen at Life Made Simple Blog updated her backsplash beautifully to lighten her kitchen. She kept her wood cabinets but brightened the backsplash and the result is dramatic! Sometimes people pick out tile trying to match it to something else in the room, like the tone of the flooring or color of the cabinets. And, that is what you do NOT want to do.

SOURCE: Life Made Simple
SOURCE: Life Made Simple

For more beautiful inspiration kitchens from some of my favorite bloggers to help you pick a backsplash and to help you pick out and coordinate the 4 major elements for your kitchen, click here to read my post on How To Pick A Backsplash.

For more alternatives to subway tile, check out my post on BEST ALTERNATIVES TO SUBWAY TILE FROM AMAZON.


Tara Foster

Hi! I'm Tara, half of the Growit Buildit duo. I am a frugal DIY enthusiast!! My professional background is in education and counseling, but have spent the last few years as a stay at home mom, which has given me the opportunity to explore my passions that have been put aside for so long. I gravitate towards what I'd consider modern farmhouse style, with a little boho mixed in. I have planned remodels for larger projects, like our kitchen, as well as many smaller DIY projects around our house. In addition, I create a lot of smaller craft projects. I am currently a maker for a local retail boutique in our area called 6ix North. I hope my posts provide you with some useful information for your DIY projects.

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