3 Unexpected Kitchen Backsplash Ideas That Pack Personality

Written by Haley Burress
Updated October 23, 2014
colorful stone tile backsplash
A multi-colored stone tile backsplash creates a focal point in the kitchen. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Jason I. of San Jose, Calif.)

Who says a kitchen backsplash has to be tile? Not us! Discover unique backsplash ideas that will showcase your kitchen's unique style and personality.

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Whether you're completely remodeling your kitchen or just looking for a little face-lift, a new backsplash can give your kitchen a fresh pop of color, a punch of personality and even a dose of function.

Traditional tile backsplashes can be beautiful and durable. But if you're looking for something a little different, consider these non-traditional backsplash options.


A cork backsplash can give your kitchen an earthy look. You could start saving used wine corks, or for a quicker project, you can purchase cork tiles and install them directly on your wall with the appropriate adhesive.

The downside: You may find cork isn't easy to clean and can absorb odors and grease. While not an ideal backsplash above your cooking area or sink, cork can look great in other parts of your kitchen. and it would be especially appropriate for a backsplash in your bar area.

Heavy metal

Tin — This thin metal is an option if you're seeking a backsplash look that's both contemporary and rustic. You can use reclaimed and repurposed tin from an antique store, or hit your local hardware store to discover a variety of faux tin tiles for less than $30 per 2-by-2-foot square. Take a detour from the kitchen aisle to check out the ceiling section, where you might find tin ceiling tiles in a pattern or size that's perfect for your backsplash.

Copper — If tin isn't your style, consider hammered copper. It can add a modern and sleek look to your kitchen, and is easy to clean. Using copper sheets or even copper tiles can add a shiny touch to your kitchen.

Diamondback metal — This lower-cost metal backsplash option is available at your local hardware store in the same aisle as sheet metal. This look is industrial, but if that might fit your style perfectly.

Mirror, mirror

Another backsplash option is to use mirrors or mirrored tiles. Whether you choose contemporary mirrors or an antique finish, this backsplash can open up your kitchen and makes the space seem bigger.

Mirror backsplashes will show smudges and dirt quickly, but these surfaces also clean up easily.


Don't discount this traditional backsplash material. Tile is traditional for a reason, and today's tile is available in a buffet of fun colors, patterns and textures. A tile backsplash can certainly stand the test of time for durability and functionality in your kitchen.

GALLERY: Before and after kitchen remodels

Get it done right

Choosing and installing a backsplash can get tricky, so be sure that you have an experienced kitchen remodeling or tile contractor helping you through the process.

If you can't make a decision about a backsplash material or if you have any questions about the durability or functionality of a material, your contractor is the person to ask to be sure that your kitchen has both style and function.

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