Backsplash Trends for 2018


Kitchen backsplashes are finally getting the attention they deserve. For decades, the backsplash has been an important part of every kitchen. In addition to protecting the walls above a work area, it complements the countertops. Through time, backsplashes have undergone many changes. Today we have the luxury of installing a variety of materials like natural stone, glass, mirror, metal, brick and wood. Below, are the 2018 trends predicted to gain popularity in backsplash designs.

Goodbye Wall Cabinetry, Hello Ceiling-Height Backsplash

Backsplash tile is commonly used for the space between the countertop and the underside of the wall cabinetry. In the past, if there was no wall cabinetry above the countertop, then the tile would still go straight across in the same location as if there had been wall cabinetry there. The new trend for 2018 is doing away with wall cabinetry to create more open shelves and windows. Ceiling-height backsplashes can give the classic tile a fresh and modern look by highlighting a single area of the kitchen and creating a focal point. Not to mention that tile can create a visual break from the cabinetry, making the kitchen feel more open by adding surface area.

More Than 3” x 6” Subway Tiles

The standard size for Subway tiles is 3” x 6”, which have remained popular for years. With subway tiles still being a hot trend for kitchen backsplashes, it’s no surprise homeowners want to go bigger. The standard large format size is 4″x 8″ or even a 4″x 12″. A large format subway tile backsplash can be especially helpful for a small kitchen where the large tiles create the perception of space.

Mirrored and Metallic Finishes

Buyers are seeking unique but subtle styles for their kitchen and wet bar backsplashes. The mirror finish gives tiles a glossy reflective surface, which is highlighted even more when struck by natural light. With a mirrored subway tile backsplash, use lighting to bring out a dramatic effect. During the day, the reflected light really brightens up the kitchen. At night, position some of your fixtures to take advantage of the glassy backsplash.

Many homeowners choose a metal finish when the glossiness is too much. Tiles are finished with a look and texture that resembles that of real metals. You can choose from different colors, finishes, and treatments. A metal finished backsplash can bring in an industrial feel. You can also use smaller metal-finished tiles for a dramatic accent.

Interesting Patterns and Finishes 

The upcoming tile patterns for backsplashes include chevron, herringbone, Moroccan fish scale and laser cut tile among many others. One of the hottest upcoming trends involves the use of graphic print or large pattern tiles in big, bold colors. Since most of these patterns will be busy you have to be careful not to create an overexciting or over-cluttered kitchen. With this pattern, a plain countertop or even white cabinetry to highlight the beauty of the patterned backsplash is recommended.

These days, there is virtually an endless option of finishes to choose from. If you want a backsplash with a slightly aged appearance, look for tiles with a weathered finish. For a washed-out look, go for tiles with an acid wash finish. A lot of finishes are aimed at mimicking natural appearances for a more authentic look. For instance, you can get tumbled tiles that have been designed to resemble natural stone. The natural stone effect can also be seen in matte or honed finish tiles, which are especially popular in luxury themed kitchens.

Marble Slabs

For years, backsplashes have been made from tile, whether they are ceramic, porcelain or natural stone. Slabs are a different approach. Unlike tile, it is a continuous piece with few breaks. Sizing will depend on the material used, but it probably won’t be much smaller than a 4’ x 8’ sheet. So instead of many individual small tiles making up the backsplash, you have one large slab stretching the entire backsplash area. Mostly what draws buyers is its pure beauty, subtly of color and its unique variation in veining for stunning aesthetic appeal. Being one large slab, any design aspects on the surface focus the attention.

At Boone Homes, we use a local vendor, Massie Tile and Marble, for the backsplashes chosen in our homes. Tile backsplash designs are not a standard feature included in our homes. Buyers can easily upgrade to their choice from Massie Tile and Marble, whether it’s subway tile, travertine, ceramic, and more. View some of the backsplashes in our homes at


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