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12 Great Kitchen Backsplash Ideas

Update your cooking space with quick, easy, and decorative surfaces.
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Update your cooking space with quick, easy, and decorative surfaces.

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photography by ANNIE SCHLECHTER

classic wood-grain formica laminate
For a retro-mod kitchen, try a wood-grain Formica laminate for both the countertop and backsplash. Aluminum T-nose edging completes the diner-esque look.

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photography by ANNIE SCHLECHTER

classic homey butcher block
Homey butcher block against painted nail-in tin has a lived-in country look.
What you need to know about butcher block: It requires regular disinfecting and wiping with mineral oil to prevent brittleness.

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photography by ANNIE SCHLECHTER

classic subway tile
Old-standby subway tile feels refreshingly new in a light blue tint and paired with an ebony work counter surface.
What you need to know about tile: Affordable and heat- and scratch-resistant. Grout, however, requires cleaning and regular sealing to protect from stains, and ceramic tiles can chip.

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photography by LAURA RESEN

carrera marble
In this ultrasophisticated combo, the shimmering steel countertop echoes the intricate veining of Carrera marble.
What you need to know about marble: More porous than other stones (like granite), so it stains readily. Seal it every six months.

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photography by ANNIE SCHLECHTER

modern laminate tiles
Two basic materials--4" x 4" tiles and an inexpensive laminate--that add up to the happiest kitchen ever.
What you need to know about laminate: Cheap, stain-resistant and easy to clean, but doesn't hold up to scratches or heat.

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photography by ALEXANDRA ROWLEY

modern hand-painted moroccan tiles
Laying the same tiles on counter and backsplash creates a seamless field (and we love the surprise of exotic, hand-painted Moroccan tiles in an all-white country kitchen).

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photography by ANNIE SCHLECHTER

graphic wallpaper
Let an exciting print do the talking. Overlay with glass to protect the wallpaper.

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photography by ANNIE SCHLECHTER

moorish-style cement tiles
These handmade Moorish-style cement tiles look great with a natural material like butcher block or marble.

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photography by ANNIE SCHLECHTER

natural glass mosaic tiles
The mottled greens and yellows of a glass mosaic tile play off the sleekness of stainless steel.

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photography by ANNIE SCHLECHTER

natural "repose" tiles in clarity
A sky blue paired with a dusty brown below--it's like a Western landscape.

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photography by ANNIE SCHLECHTER

"kenga" tiles
Sinuous, oversize helices with a glossy white counter would be even more dramatic accompanied by dark cabinets.

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photography by ANNIE SCHLECHTER

ceiling laminate
This wood-grain laminate is meant for ceilings but also makes a beautiful backsplash (you can paint it any color).