Architectural Home Designs & Decorating Ideas

Modernize Your Kitchen With Stunning White Backsplash Tile

5 minute read

Is your kitchen looking drab and dated? Installing a white backsplash tile can give it an instant facelift. Not only does white tile brighten up any kitchen by reflecting light, it also provides a clean and classic backdrop that pairs beautifully with any countertops, cabinets and styles.

We’ll also dive into the most popular white tile materials, key design considerations, creative applications, and professional installation tips to help you take your kitchen to the next level.

Why Choose a White Backsplash?

There are several reasons why white backsplashes are a go-to choice for many kitchen renovations:

Brightens Up Kitchens

The light and neutral tone of white tile reflects light beautifully in kitchens, making the space feel airy and open. White backsplashes create a clean, crisp look and help make darker kitchens feel larger.

white backsplashes for kitchens

White tile backsplashes also provide the perfect neutral backdrop for wall-mounted appliances, shelves or decorative items. The light color allows those items to pop while keeping the overall look cohesive.

Timeless Look

White subway tile and other white backsplash materials have remained popular for decades, with the classic brick-laid pattern of subway tile harkening back to early 20th century design. The versatility of white allows it to work with any kitchen style from modern to traditional.

While many design trends come and go, the clean elegance of a white backsplash remains timeless. This makes white backsplashes a great choice for long-lasting appeal.

Matches Most Decor

Since white is a neutral, it pairs beautifully with any countertop material from granite to marble to butcher block. It also matches any type of cabinetry finish from painted to stained wood to glossy lacquer.

White tile provides the perfect blank canvas look in kitchens. You can switch up accent colors in your decor over time without having to redo the backsplash.

Most Popular White Backsplash Materials

From affordable subway tile to opulent marble, there are many options for white backsplash tile. Let’s explore some of the most popular.

Subway Tile

Classic rectangular subway tiles laid in a brick pattern remain one of the most popular choices for white backsplashes. The tiles are typically 3 by 6 inches, but larger formats are also available.

Subway tile comes in either glossy or matte finishes, with beveled edges for added dimension. The white color hides imperfections well. Subway tile is budget-friendly, easy to install and matches any style.

Marble Tile

For an elegant, high-end look, marble tile is unparalleled. The veining patterns and translucent quality of natural marble convey luxury. The tiles make a statement as a full backsplash or just a focal area.

Since marble is prone to acid etching and stains, sealing it is a must. The high-maintenance factor makes marble costlier than ceramic or porcelain. But its beauty is timeless and well worth it.

Glass Tile

White glass tile adds a shiny, eye-catching element to backsplashes with its high reflectivity. Options like mirrored tile or white penny tile with iridescent glass create visual depth.

Using smaller mosaic glass tiles in varying patterns avoids a monotonous look. The only downside is that glass can crack if subjected to high temperature changes.

Porcelain and Ceramic Tile

For an easy-care option that’s naturally stain and water resistant, porcelain or ceramic tile fits the bill. Both materials are very durable and withstand heavy use.

Matte finishes hide imperfections well. With grout needing periodic sealing to prevent discoloration, porcelain or ceramic tiles make great white backsplash choices.

Key Design Considerations

To maximize the impact of a white backsplash, keep these key design factors in mind:

Backsplash Height

The standard backsplash height is 4 to 6 inches above countertops. Going to the bottom of upper cabinets creates a full backsplash for a built-in look.

For a bold statement, take the backsplash all the way to the ceiling. Just be sure to account for the added cost of materials and labor.

Grout Color

White, light grey and nude grout colors are popular with white backsplash tile. White grout looks seamless and clean but requires vigilant cleaning.

Grey and nude grout adds subtle contrast between the tiles while hiding dirt reasonably well. Dark grout shows grime but can create a dramatic grid pattern.

Patterns and Accent Tiles

To break up an all-white backsplash, consider a mosaic tile pattern or alternating glossy and matte finishes. Or use a few accent tiles in a bold color for a pop of contrast.

Limit colorful or patterned accent tiles to 10-15% of the backsplash area. They work best around the stove, sink, or in a niche.


Glossy white tile highlights the pure color and reflects light beautifully. The downside is that it shows any imperfections. Matte tile needs more frequent sealing but hides flaws.

Combining glossy and matte finishes can provide visual interest. Matte subway tiles laid in a herringbone pattern with glossy accent tiles, for instance.

Installation Tips

Proper tile installation is crucial to getting perfectly even, long-lasting results. Here are pros and cons of DIY vs. hiring a backsplash installer:

Hiring a Professional

Though pricier, using a qualified tile installation company ensures your backsplash is done right. The typical cost is around $50 per square foot including materials and labor.

An experienced backsplash installer has the skills to cut tile neatly, properly space and align the tiles, and grout seamlessly. Well worth it for flawless results.

DIY Installation

Ambitious DIYers can install their own backsplash tile to save on labor costs. But tiling requires skill, knowledge and the right tools to cut tiles cleanly and keep everything even.

Improper prep and installation can lead to cracked, uneven tiles down the road. And tearing out a botched DIY backsplash is no fun.

Creatively Using White Backsplash Tile

While white tile provides a flexible neutral backdrop, there are endless ways to make it uniquely your own:

Starting with a neutral white foundation allows you to get creative with textures, patterns, shelf integration and accent materials. The options are limitless.

Updating your backsplash with white tile is one of the simplest kitchen makeovers that makes a dramatic difference. It brightens up the space, matches any style, and pairs perfectly with your existing cabinetry and counters.

From affordable subway tile to opulent marble, white backsplash tile options suit any budget. And nothing beats the clean, seamless look of a professionally-installed backsplash.

Give your kitchen a fresh and timeless facelift with beautiful white backsplash tile. With numerous materials and patterns to choose from, you can easily create a backsplash that matches your personal taste and brings your kitchen into the modern age.