The kitchen backsplash is one of the most personal areas of the kitchen design. Easy to install and easy to remove, the kitchen backsplash tile often has no impact on a home's resale value. For this reason, many homeowners may feel more comfortable adding color to their backsplash, rather than to other areas of the kitchen.

A colorful backsplash does not have to overwhelm the space, or be complicated in its design. Sometimes a simple backsplash full of color can be just what the kitchen needs.

Selecting Colors
One of the most difficult things for some homeowners in bringing color into their home is the selection process. Which colors? Which hues and saturations? How to coordinate varying colors and tones? These questions may be what drives some homeowners to simply choose one, neutral color and use it everywhere.

Selecting colors to use in the kitchen design does not have to be difficult. The kitchen and adjacent rooms are frequently full of accent colors that can be picked up in the backsplash. When choosing colors, look for inspiration in:

The kitchen counter
Window treatments and drapes
Throw rugs and pillows in adjacent rooms
Pottery, china and kitchen collectibles
Wall art hung in the kitchen and adjacent rooms

Using Multiple Colors

Once a general pallet of colors has been selected to work from, the next step is mixing multiple colors together within the backsplash. This can be as simple as using one color as a background and a second as an accent or multiple colors can be blended together in one shape and size of tile to create a patchwork effect.

When using an accent color that is meant to be set off by the surrounding colors, choose a very light or neutral background. An example of this would be to use a neutral tumbled marble such as Crema Marfil, and every grouping of 4 tiles, cut a 2" square of a bold stone such as Rosso Laguna into the corners. The bold color will pop against its background, focusing the eye.


When mixing multiple colors together, be sure to keep the saturation of colors or hues the same. For example, if mixing blue, green, yellow and red the four colors should all be rich, deep hues, or they should all be light, pastel hues. Placing a light hued color next to a deep hued color will cause the eye to vibrate when looking between them, meaning there is no place for the eye to rest on the backsplash. Keeping all the colors to one saturation will provide a cohesive design that will not appear out of place, even if the rest of the kitchen design is neutral or light on color.

Selecting Materials

Tile manufacturers today are beginning to produce ceramic tiles, glass tiles and porcelain tiles in a variety of rich colors and hues. Choose materials that will complement the rest of the kitchen design, and let the color follow.

For example, if the desired effect is a warm, Tuscan kitchen with a bold, colorful backsplash, consider the use of handmade tiles. These tiles will have variation in surface texture and size that will enhance the design. Modern kitchens can use glass tiles, or machine-made ceramic tiles with clean lines and smooth surfaces.

When making the final decision for a kitchen backsplash, be sure to bring home a few sample tiles and place them in the kitchen for a few days. Look at them in all lights, at all times of day to see how the lighting of the room will affect the colors. The lighting in a tile showroom may be markedly different than the lighting in a home, so before installing the tiles, be sure they are the right ones.

Create a colorful kitchen design by installing colorful tiles in the backsplash, and give the kitchen depth, warmth and design that will enhance any style.