How to Pair Countertops and Backsplash

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It’s an age old dilemma when remodeling a kitchen: how does one properly pair a backsplash and countertop material? Like most things in design, there are no hard and fast rules, and if there are, many of them are meant to be broken, but here are some of my favorite combos that will be winners every time.

Butcher Block

Butcher Block
Images: (Left) Butcher Block & Wainscot, (Right) Butcher Block & White Ceramic Tile

Butcher block counters add more warmth to a kitchen than most stone-type surfaces, which is why I think a wainscot style of beadboard backsplash is perfect for butcher block counters. It continues the woodworking theme and the beadboard option doesn’t have quite the same classic country affect with any other counter top option.

Butcher block in any color also looks great with a white ceramic tile backsplash. Using different shapes such as 4 x 4 squares, subway tiles, or hexagons will add more or less interest to this simple, but classic pairing. This is a great option for anyone looking for something simple without being boring.

Quartz

Caesarstone eclectic and modern
Images: (Left) Caesarestone with Moroccan tile, (Right) Caesarstone with glass tile

I love quartz for its versatility. It has the beauty of stone, but comes in a variety of colors to fit my needs depending on the backsplash that I choose. Because it is more consistent in pattern and movement than other stones, it fits equally well into traditional, modern, or eclectic homes, which then allow the ultimate style of the space to be determined by the backsplash selection. My favorite combinations are Caesarstone quartz paired with Moroccan tile (photo at left, above) for a more eclectic and colorful vibe, and Caesarstone paired with glass tile (photo at right, above) which takes it in a more sleek and modern direction.

Marble

Marbles
Images: (Left) Marble with marble, (Right) Marble with marble

Because of the busyness of its veining, one of my most favorite pairings is marble with marble. I often find that is easier and makes more of a statement to just take the marble up to the backsplash instead of trying to find an alternative backsplash tile that might compete with the veining, especially if you want something more impactful than a white square or subway tile.

Black Countertops

Black Counter

Granite, soapstone and marble are just a few countertops that are available in black. Black counters will give your kitchen a punch of contrast, especially when used with white cabinets. Backsplashes in the gray family are some of my favorites to use with black countertops. You can go darker gray with a ceramic or glass tile, or use lighter tones with a stone backsplash that shows various shades of gray. Either way you’ll balance the dramatic tone of the black counters while still letting them shine.

Colorful Options

Green Apple Martini
Image: Caesarstone’s Apple Martini counters

Colorful countertops paired with the right backsplash tile can be such a fun element in a funky kitchen or child’s playroom or bath. Brightly colored counters combined with brightly colored backsplash tile can get a little crazy for my taste, but you can keep the look fun and classy by pairing your brightly colored counter with a contrasting backsplash in a different tone. The kitchen above used Caesarstone’s Apple Martini for the countertops, but balanced it out with a mosaic tile in darker neutrals and soft blues.

Did I miss any of your much loved countertop-backsplash combos? Comment below and let us know which pairing is your favorite!

1 Comment

  1. I have a beige vinyl tile look kitchen floor, there is some colorful modern wallpaper above the drop down cabinets. The walls are are vanilla wafer which is really a beigy yellow which matches the background of the wallpaper. The cabinets are a maple stain. I cannot decide on a backsplash color nor counter top. There is a pattern that is kind of busy in the floor and it has grey grout lines. The wallpaper has lots of colors. What would you use for colors and patterns for

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Brittany is an interior designer and stylist constantly searching for creativity and inspiration in the world around her. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California where she finds plenty of both. Her interior design studio services a variety of clients throughout California seeking her simple and collected aesthetic. Brittany believes that a house becomes a home when it is beautiful, comfortable and, most importantly, reflects the personality of the people who live inside.