20 Kitchen Wall Tile Ideas – Add Style & Personality To Your Kitchen
Whether you’re embarking on a full kitchen renovation or simply looking to refresh your space, choosing the right kitchen wall tile can make all the difference.
From ceramics and porcelain to glass and natural stone, the options are abundant, and finding the perfect fit for your kitchen can be a journey of discovery.
In this post, I’ll I’m sharing a whole host of kitchen wall tile ideas, styles and options to consider as well as answering some popular questions on the topic.
Let’s get into it!
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Kitchen Wall Tile Ideas
In this section, I’m about to turn up the creativity dial and explore a world of design possibilities for your kitchen walls. From colours and patterns to shapes and layouts, kitchen wall tiles can be a powerful tool to express your unique style.
And it’s not just about aesthetics, as these choices can also affect the functionality and the perceived size and brightness of your space.
Whether you’re a minimalist at heart or someone who loves a retro twist, a trendsetter or a timeless classic lover, I’ve curated a wide variety of kitchen wall tile ideas to inspire your next kitchen project.
1. Floor to ceiling
This approach transforms your kitchen walls into a dramatic feature, extending the tiles from the floor all the way to the ceiling. It provides a seamless look and can make the room appear taller.
2. square tiles
Simple, yet versatile, square tiles can be arranged in various patterns (like grids or diamonds) and come in numerous sizes and colours, fitting perfectly into any kitchen design.
3. patterned layout
Zigzag patterns, also known as herringbone or chevron, bring dynamic energy to your kitchen. They’re perfect for creating visual interest and depth, especially with subway or rectangular tiles.
No longer reserved for your flooring, a herringbone pattern can add a touch of traditional elegance to your wall tiles.
4. Marble Tiles (Marble Effect)
Marble tiles, or those that mimic marble’s distinctive veining, bring luxurious and timeless elegance to your kitchen. Their natural variation can create a striking visual impact.
Imagine a high-end, classic kitchen with a Carrara marble-effect tiled backsplash, its grey veining adding depth and interest, and pairing beautifully with both modern and traditional elements.
5. vertical tiles
Installing tiles vertically can give the illusion of higher ceilings. It’s a fresh, modern twist to the traditional horizontal tile layout. A kitchen with vertically laid, pastel-coloured subway tiles can make a smaller space feel more open and airy.
6. Zellige Tiles
These traditional Moroccan tiles add a handcrafted, artisanal feel to your kitchen. Each tile is unique with subtle colour variations and a glossy finish that can catch the light beautifully.
Imagine a bohemian-style kitchen with a zellige tile backsplash in earthy tones, adding a rich texture and a touch of exotic allure to the space.
7. classic metro/Subway
The classic Metro style (also known as ‘Subway’) tiles, these rectangular tiles offer a timeless charm. Whether installed in the classic offset pattern or with a creative twist, they bring a clean, crisp look to your kitchen.
You’ll often see the most popular subway white tiles, however, you don’t always have to go white. Consider some warmer off-white tones or go for a really bold impactful colour with your subway tile backsplash.
8. shaped tile – hexagon
Hexagonal tiles add a geometric flair to your kitchen, offering a unique alternative to traditional square or rectangular tiles. They’re great for a standout feature wall.
Fluted tiles are really on trend right now. With their unique, ribbed texture, fluted tiles add depth and shadow, making your kitchen wall tactile and visually appealing.
10. Natural Stone Effect Tiles
These tiles capture the beauty of natural stones like granite, slate, or travertine, often at a more affordable price point and with easier maintenance. Their organic textures and colours can create a warm, earthy ambience.
For example, imagine a rustic-style kitchen with slate-effect tiles covering the walls, providing a rugged charm and perfectly complementing wooden cabinetry.
11. patterned tiles
Vintage or traditional patterned tiles can infuse your kitchen with charm and character. They’re excellent for creating a nostalgic or country-style ambience.
From Moroccan tile patterns to classic cottage style, there’s a huge variety of patterned tiles to choose from.
12. bold colourful tiles
Don’t be afraid of colour! Bold, vibrant tiles can bring life to your kitchen, becoming a statement piece and a fantastic focal point in your home.
13. Large tiles
Opting for large tiles can create a sleek and modern aesthetic. They’re also practical as there are fewer grout lines to clean.
Mosaic tiles allow for intricate patterns and designs, adding a unique artistic touch to your kitchen. They can range from tiny glass pieces to multicoloured ceramics.
‘Raku firing’ is a Japanese technique that dates back to the 1550s. These tiles feature a crackled glaze, giving them a beautifully irregular, antique finish.
Raku tiles can add texture and a sense of history to your kitchen. Available in different colours, each tile has varying shades, textures and glazing.
16. Art Deco
Art Deco tiles, with their bold shapes, patterns, and colours, can transport your kitchen back to the Roaring Twenties. They’re perfect for adding a touch of glamour.
Go full Art Deco or add smaller, subtle accents to elevate the look of your kitchen without going too far.
17. Mix it up
Who says you have to stick with one type or colour? Mixing and matching different tiles can create a truly personalized and eclectic kitchen design.
18. Copper Tiles
Copper tiles bring a warm glow and a unique metallic touch to your kitchen. They can be especially striking when paired with natural materials like wood or stone.
Picture a kitchen with a copper tile backsplash, providing a beautiful contrast to white cabinetry, and tying in with copper kitchen accessories for a cohesive, warm, and inviting design.
19. Glass Tiles
Glass tiles are an excellent way to introduce a glossy sheen that can make your kitchen feel brighter and more spacious. They come in various colours, sizes, and finishes, offering countless design possibilities.
For instance, envision a contemporary kitchen featuring a backsplash of iridescent glass tiles, reflecting light and adding a splash of colour, creating a subtle shimmering effect that truly stands out.
20. Terrazzo Tiles
Terrazzo is a versatile and durable material composed of chips of marble, quartz, granite, or glass set in concrete or epoxy resin. These tiles provide a playful, speckled effect that’s both retro and modern.
Consider a mid-century modern kitchen with a terrazzo tile wall – the colourful speckles add a lively pop, creating an eye-catching feature that’s also incredibly easy to maintain.
What Type Of tiles are best for kitchen walls?
Ceramic or porcelain tiles are usually best for kitchen walls.
Several factors come into play when choosing the best tiles for your kitchen walls. Durability, aesthetic appeal, and maintenance are key considerations. Ceramic and porcelain tiles tick most of these boxes.
- Ceramic Tiles: Ceramics are the most common choice for kitchen wall tiles and for good reason. They’re durable, resistant to heat and humidity, easy to clean, and available in a variety of colours, sizes, and designs.
Ceramic tiles come in two types – glazed and unglazed. Glazed ceramics have a shiny finish and are more resistant to stains, while unglazed ceramics have a more natural, rustic look.
- Porcelain Tiles: Porcelain is a type of ceramic tile that’s denser and less porous, making it more resistant to moisture and stains. It’s a fantastic choice for a kitchen environment because it can withstand heavy use and cleaning.
Plus, it’s available in many styles that mimic natural stone, wood, and even fabric.
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What can I put on my kitchen wall instead of tiles?
While tiles have long been the go-to material for kitchen walls, they’re by no means the only option.
There are plenty of alternative materials that can inject style and personality into your kitchen. Some popular kitchen backsplash ideas include:
- Stainless Steel: Offering a sleek, modern aesthetic, stainless steel is commonly used in professional kitchens due to its durability and ease of cleaning. Stainless steel backsplashes can match beautifully with your appliances and give your kitchen a contemporary feel.
- Countertop Material: Many homeowners love the cohesive look of extending their countertop material up onto the walls.
Materials like granite, marble, quartz, or solid surface can be used as a backsplash, providing a seamless transition from the counter to the wall. This creates a sleek and streamlined look that’s also incredibly easy to clean.
- Paint: A simple painted wall can provide a clean, minimalist look. Opt for semi-gloss or gloss paint, as they are easier to clean and more resistant to humidity.
- Wood Panels: Wood panels can be an excellent choice if you’re going for a rustic or farmhouse vibe. Often referred to as shiplap, these can be painted in any colour to match your kitchen’s theme and are surprisingly easy to clean.
- Exposed Brick: For an industrial, chic aesthetic, consider an exposed brick wall. It adds warmth and texture to your kitchen.
- Glass or Acrylic Sheeting: These materials offer a clean, modern look and are easy to install and maintain. They also reflect light, making your kitchen appear larger.
- Wallpaper: With the rise of washable and heat-resistant wallpapers, they’ve become a viable option for kitchens. Available in a myriad of patterns and colours, you can find a design that truly matches your style.
- Mirror or Antique Mirror: An often-overlooked choice, mirrors, whether modern or antique, can add a striking and unique look to your kitchen. A mirror backsplash will reflect light, helping to brighten your kitchen and give the illusion of more space.
An antique mirror, with its patina and unique imperfections, can add a touch of vintage charm and sophistication.
What colour Wall tiles are best for a kitchen?
The ones you love the look of most!
The best colour for kitchen tiles largely depends on your kitchen’s overall design and your personal preference.
Depending on the look you’re going for it may be lighter, neutral-coloured tiles to help make the room feel bigger and give a more timeless feel to the design. Or you might want to go for darker, richer tones and lean into a dark and moody look.
Remember, the colour of your kitchen tiles can significantly impact the ambience of your kitchen, so it’s crucial to consider how the tile colour will work with the rest of your kitchen design.
And as with any colour (or any element to your kitchen) get samples and see how they look and feel in your space and light, and how they work with all the other elements in the room.
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There you have it! Some kitchen wall tile ideas and inspiration as well as common questions answered!
As you can see, your choices are vast and varied, from classic ceramic and porcelain tiles to more contemporary options like copper, glass, and terrazzo.
Remember, the tiles you choose for your kitchen should reflect your personal taste and complement your overall kitchen design.
Whether you’re going for a luxurious marble effect, a warm rustic look, or a vibrant, bold statement, the right kitchen wall tiles can make your space truly yours.
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Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for over 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.