Updated December 2022 – see the backsplash pattern we chose at the end of this post!
Choosing a backsplash tile pattern for the kitchen is one of my favorite elements of remodeling. You can dress up builder-basic cabinets, bring in color and pattern, or calm down a bold countertop with neutral design. For our current kitchen, I’m planning to install backsplash tile that is classic, yet also adds some pizzazz to the space. I’m debating a few subway tile patterns for our space and would love to hear your vote.
2023 Update: this is the final kitchen (surprise!) just to show you how visible the kitchen is when you enter the house. The backsplash is on display immediately, so the design makes an impact. I shared more photos at the end of the post.
Common Backsplash Tile Patterns
If you choose a special tile, like a hexagon or other shape, you’ll probably have a clear direction for your backsplash. However, if you go with a subway tile, typically 3 x 6 but also available in other sizes, you might want to investigate pattern options. These are common choices, in addition to the standard horizontal running bond:
We installed 3 x 6 subway tile in a running bond pattern in our previous kitchen, and I loved it. I chose a simple white tile (similar) with white grout for a classic look in the gray and white kitchen.
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Tile for Our Current Kitchen Reno
We’re finally seeing the light at the end of our current DIY kitchen remodel. Our new quartz countertops have been installed, and they are beautiful! I chose Lattice by Pental Quartz and they look gorgeous with the gray cabinets. Backsplash tile and floating shelves are the last two tasks!
Originally, I wanted to tile up to the ceiling on the wall behind the sink, but Wyatt nixed that plan. The last cabinet door won’t be able to open if we add tile to the wall next to it. That’s because we installed full overlay doors and there is no filler creating space next to the cabinet. Instead, we’ll just run the backsplash tile pattern up to the bottom of the cabinets and carry it across the sink wall at that same level. It would be easiest to use a rectangle tile for this part of the installation, so that’s what I picked, a 3 x 12″ white subway tile.
Which Backsplash Tile Pattern Should We Pick?
Please help me choose! I’m debating between three tile patterns that will work with the small spaces where we need backsplash. I love a herringbone layout, but I already chose that for the floor tile. Do you remember that post? Here’s what the floor looks like:
THREE PATTERN CHOICES
These are the tile patterns I’m considering with this 3 x 12″ tile.
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CHOICE 1 – Running Bond
Standard running bond always looks good, in my opinion. Here’s a mockup of what that might look like on the third wall, between the fridge and the hutch (where the microwave lives). It’s hard to see with the white on white, but you can see the lines if you look closely.
And here it is above the sink.
CHOICE 2 – 1/3 Offset
Since this is a 12″ tile, a staggered pattern might look more interesting than basic running bond. Can you even spot the difference? I like this one a lot.
CHOICE 3 – Stacked
I wonder if this stacked layout might be a tad modern for our classic house design. What do you think?
CHOICE 4 – Vertical 1/3 offset
Surprise! I know I said three choices, but I couldn’t resist this vertical 1/3 offset mockup. I love it on the back wall, but not around the sink. What do you think?
Dec 2022 Update: Finished Kitchen!
Here it is! We chose a 1/3 offset running bond for the backsplash in the kitchen. I love the timelessness of the design with a more modern tile. Plus, the wavy texture is beautiful as it catches the light! I highly recommend this tile. I actually ended up putting it in both main-floor bathrooms, too! You can see those rooms in this tour of the house.
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