When it comes to making upgrades at home, the kitchen is an easy place to start. After all, why not begin your makeover in the heart of the home? Even though there’s no shortage of kitchen inspiration to be found, it can be hard to figure out how to take classic kitchen details and make them your own. The first element we’d advise investing in? Tiles.
Tiles are a great way to build texture balance in any kitchen, playing off modern design features Glossy or matte, light or dark, pattern or solid, tiles can often be that extra missing ingredient that gives a kitchen its unique character. And those of us who love to entertain know that guests will inevitably congregate in the kitchen, so we want to be proud of the personality of the space where we cook, eat, entertain, and indulge in the occasional midnight snack.
Tile is definitely back in style, and we’ve rounded up the best-tiled kitchens to prove it. If you're in need of some inspiration to get you started, consider this your guide.
Play With Pattern
In Nina Dobrev’s kitchen, the tile backsplash is anything but basic. High-contrast, black-and-white geometric tiles create major impact off softer pale-blue cabinets and a white subway tile floor laid in a herringbone pattern. Copper hardware and warm wood accents lend a few curves to round out this geometric kitchen space.
Up Your Farmhouse Game
Subway tile is always a can’t-go-wrong choice, and we love the way this kitchen mixes together different surfaces that are both polished and textured, warm and cool. No need to go against the grain: The combination of glossy white tiles and dark grout makes the backsplash pop among cement countertops and dark wood panels.
Don't Be Afraid of Color
That feeling when your floor is also art: A blue-and-white tiled floor evokes old world European style in this light-filled kitchen. Against bright white walls and cabinets, these patterned tiles make a bold statement while retaining a classic appeal.
Try Something Dark
A dark tile backsplash sets the mood for evening entertaining, particularly when your definition of following a recipe involves mixing a cocktail rather than making a meal. In this kitchen, the chic metallic shelves and bar-top accents are narrowly outshone by the sleek, glossy finish on the black penny tiles.
If you want to add a sense of texture, choose shiny penny tiles.
Focus on the Floor
A tiled floor is a perfect way to add interest to a warm, minimal kitchen. A little pattern goes a long way, with the smaller scale floor repeat giving the space an overall texture from the first glance.
Skip Glossy and Go Matte
This farmhouse kitchen is helping us to brainstorm the kitchen space of our dreams, one tile at a time. Against a whitewashed backdrop, this kitchen is a well-appointed mashup of country and modern.
Consider Something Classic
It doesn’t get more classic than a blue kitchen. So how do you make blue feel new? Take a peek under the hood. A patterned cement-tile backsplash gives this kitchen a unique, energetic boost.
Create Layered Moments
We’ve got three words for what we love about this kitchen tile: texture, texture, texture. No two of these terra-cotta tiles are the same, creating highs and lows and hints of color along the wall that range from white to gray to blush.
Create a Color Story
Forget hardwoods. We’re floored by the tile floor in this blue kitchen. The chic arabesque pattern gives the space instant wow factor while also creating a tight color story with matching gray-blue cabinets.
Keep It Light and Bright
The white kitchen in Lauren Conrad’s Pacific Palisades home proves that a clean, bright kitchen never goes out of style. Floating shelves helps maintain a lighter touch overall, and, of course, we’re not complaining about the white cabinets juxtaposed with a beautiful white backsplash.
Opt for Contrast
If your kitchen tile style airs on the earthy side, a neutral cement tile can create subtle natural levels of color within a patterned design. The gray-and-white tones in this textural backsplash connect the dark and light elements within a monochrome kitchen motif.
Try a Twist on a Classic
For a fresh twist on a classic subway tile, try a different angle. Mixing both horizontal and vertical subway tiles creates a subtle riff on a classic backsplash.
Don't Forget About Graphic Design
Black and white can be a go-to color combination for many rooms, kitchens included. In actress Sasha Alexander’s home, a black-and-white graphic backsplash adds just the right amount of high contrast to the casual neutral textures around the kitchen island.
This charming kitchen reminds us of a dollhouse (for adults). The muted brass hardware, minty green lower cabinets, and abstract tiled backsplash are feminine in all the right ways, and we're here for it.
Add Some Shine
The bright kitchen kept most of the space matte and muted. The exception? The super-shiny glass tiles on the walls. Sometimes a little shine packs a big punch.
Take a Page From the Europeans
Delft tiles are usually blue and white, but every now and then, a few multi-colored ones show up in a beautiful space. Case in point: this chic space by Naked Kitchens, which is giving us serious English countryside vibes.
Go Big in a Small Space
A patterned backsplash may feel like a big commitment, so try it out in a small space. For instance, in this little nook, the pattern is pretty bold, but it feels more demure because the area is so small. Works like a charm.
Double up on Tile
Blue Copper Design lined two areas of this coastal-chic kitchen in beautiful tiles: Pearly vertical tiles on the backsplash and blue-and-white patterned ones along the island. The double tiles make this kitchen feel so warm and welcoming.
Introduce a New Tone
In this spacious kitchen, the palette is made up of cool-toned neutrals (with the exception of the cognac-colored leather stools under the island), which can sometimes make a space feel a tad cold. However, the glossy gray tiles in a super-subtle variety of shades add some warmth in all the right ways.
Shrink the Scale
We've said it once, and we'll say it again: Penny tiles have our heart. They were quite popular in the early 20th century and made a much-welcome comeback with new-and-improved contemporary touches (think palette and texture). Another retro-turned-modern element in this kitchen? The coveted Smeg refrigerator.
Stick to the Classics
In our opinion, there's nothing more classic than a black-and-white tiled floor. It's Parisian without trying too hard to be, which is always a good look. Plus, paired with ocean-blue painted cabinets and rich-toned rattan accents, this kitchen feels cool and fresh.
Break With Tradition
A traditional all-white kitchen with a twist is always a good idea. In this space, the twist comes in the form of a chevron-patterned tile backsplash that's bright aqua. The best part about this kind of design is that you can choose any color you want because white goes with literally every shade.
Look to the Past
As long as there are modern elements (read: appliances), incorporating more retro elements, like a floral tiled backsplash works. The only reason it would make your kitchen look outdated is if the rest of the design is also a few decades old.
The pale gray space feels like the ultimate glamorous kitchen courtesy of gold-toned accents on the hardware, lighting, and stools. The best part? This style is super easy to copy in any space—no matter how small.
Pick a Primary Color
To keep the look clean and streamlined, choosing the primary color is always a good idea. For instance, in this kitchen, robins' egg blue reigns without overpowering. Plus, the unexpected black leather stools and sharp white tiles make this space feel contemporary and chic.
A tall wall clad in dark tiles can feel a bit harsh, so making sure there's some dimension in the tones is always a good move. Even though it's quite dark, it's still easy-on-the-eyes because it's not one stark shade of black.
Remember: No Space Is Too Small
In this tiny kitchen by Arbor & Co., there's no shortage of personality. With the natural elements, an abundance of sunshine, and sea foam green tiles, we'd want to spend all day cooking here.
Buy Vintage Pieces
Tiled backsplashes usually give a kitchen a more contemporary feel. If you want to mix styles from different eras, pair your tiled backsplash with a few vintage pieces, like a set of mid-century dining chairs.
Add Some Drama
The skinny dark blue tiles in this otherwise light and airy kitchen by Tyler Karu add some much-welcome drama. Not only is the shape non-traditional, but the deep shade of the tiles makes this one of our favorite spaces.
Know No Limitations
Your home should know no limits because it's your space to outfit how you see fit. For instance, if you want to clad all of the kitchen's walls in a black-and-white, vintage-inspired tile, go for it. Plus, this kitchen, also by Tyler Karu, is so glamorous and fun with shiny hardware and decorative vases on a fun floating shelf.