Creative Alternatives for Your Kitchen Backsplash

by Jennifer Lutz

Tiles. It's usually the first thing that comes to mind when you think about a kitchen backsplash. Tiles are great and they do the job well, but you don't have to be limited to them. If you're planning to update your kitchen, check out these creative materials that will make your kitchen backsplash more eye-catching.


If you're going for a French country vibe, then a bead board backsplash is perfect. Bead boards are affordable, versatile, and durable. Painted in soft colors, they make kitchens feel light and airy. These boards are sold in individual planks, so measure the wall space to determine how many you'll need. Check out Thrifty D├ęcor Chick's bead board backsplash for inspiration.


Stones not only effectively deflect water; they also add warmth and texture to the kitchen. You can use floor pebbles or stone tiles, then caulk them and leave to dry for 24 hours. How to Nest for Less used rectangular stone tiles in a gray and orange color palette that looks amazing whether in natural or artificial light.

Tin Tiles

For a kitchen backsplash that suits any decorating scheme, tin tiles are a great option. Stains don't stick on the surface, so clean-up won't be a problem. Tin tiles are also offered in decorative styles, and can even be the focal point in your kitchen. To set up your own tin tile backsplash, check out this how-to from HGTV.

Mirror backsplash

If you want something fresh and unusual, use mirrors. They're easy to clean, deflect water well, and make the kitchen space look bigger than it really is. A mirror backsplash looks great for the wall behind your stove or sink. You can also use them for the entire area to create a beautiful and functional modern kitchen. This mirror backsplash by Finding My Muchness features mirrored coasters and hand-cut clear beveled tiles as gap filling.

Vinyl Wallpaper

Unlike ordinary wallpaper, vinyl wallpaper repels water and can easily be wiped down to clean off spatters of sauces and oil. They're easy to install and available in different designs. Changing it out takes minimal effort, especially when you want to redecorate your entire kitchen area. This tutorial from Family Handyman lists down the ways to install a vinyl wallpaper backsplash.

Contact paper

Contact paper is an ideal solution if you're looking for a quick backsplash makeover for your kitchen. It has a variety of designs to choose from and an adhesive back that sticks to your wall with no problem. Cleaning is also a breeze and you can just peel it off when you need to change it. This how-to from Remodelaholic shows a step-by-step installation guide.

Glass backsplash

Much like mirrors, a glass backsplash makes your kitchen appear modern and sleek. It looks clean, well put together, and instantly freshens up your space. You can paint the back of the glass to add more color to your kitchen, like this UK-based home featured on Houzz. The emerald green glass backsplash is positively beautiful against the oiled oak counters and stainless steel double sink.

Chalkboard as a backsplash

Chalkboard paint is inexpensive, simple, and easy. It's also a fun way to jot down reminders, recipes, or messages to your family. Convenience is also a plus since you can just wipe the board down to clean.

Pegboard backsplash

Usually used in garages for easy organization, pegboards can also be utilized as a kitchen backsplash. Pegboards serve a dual purpose as they protect your kitchen walls from water and food splashes, but also provide additional storage space. With some hooks and pegs, you can hang up your spices, pots, and spatulas near the stove, or your mugs and dishware by the sink. You can also paint them in any color to complement your kitchen decor. This in-depth tutorial from DIY Network will teach you how to properly install a pegboard backsplash for your kitchen.

Wood pallet backsplash

If you want an easy alternative for your backsplash, a wooden pallet will do the trick. It looks homey, clean, and can complement your cupboards. To give it a beautiful sheen, paint over it or cover it with lacquer. You can also apply a clear, water-based wax finish to protect it from food splatter. Follow this DIY tutorial by Remodelaholic on how to install a wooden pallet backsplash.

Stainless steel backsplash

If you've ever wondered why most restaurant and hotels have stainless steel kitchens, that's because steel is durable, easy to clean, and looks pristine for a long time. It's minimalist and utilitarian, perfect if you want a modern and industrial design for your own kitchen. Check out this feature on Decoist about stainless steel backsplashes.

A final word...

Consider these ideas if you want to remodel your kitchen. Which ones appeal the most to you? Do you have other creative materials in mind? Share your thoughts!