This Hot Kitchen Backsplash Trend Is Cooling Off

Courtesy of Alison Pickart

When it comes to kitchen renovations,В our approach tends to beВ somewhat differentВ thanВ when we redecorate ourВ living rooms and bedrooms. Our cooking spaceВ should not onlyВ withstand constant foot traffic from hungry inhabitants, butВ it should also be beautiful and inviting.

ToВ guide us through the kitchen reno process, weВ tappedВ five interior designers toВ weigh in on theВ backsplash tile styles that are cooling off and what to invest in instead. While not everyone agrees on the tile material that's been overdone (hint: it's a classic one), there was a clear consensus thatВ craftsmanship should be the top focus when looking for investment-worthy materials.

Up ahead,В see what interior designers Melanie Burstin, Cathy Bailey of Heath Ceramics, Edyta Czajkowska, Jade Joyner of Metal + Petal, andВ Alison Pickart have to say about the kitchen backsplash tiles we shouldВ invest in and why.

Madeline Tolle ; DESIGN: Melanie Burstin

Ditch: Cement Tiles.

"I think geometric cement tile backsplashes are beginning to feel dated," explains Los Angeles-based interior designer Melanie Burstin. "They came into popularity to provide a fun pop of pattern and boldness, but now they're starting to be repetitive."

Invest in: Handmade and organic materials.

According to Burstin, a "subtle yet exciting" alternative to cement are handmade and organic backsplash tiles. "With handmade tiles there's variation with each piece, therefore creating a depth that's often missing with a more unified look. If the tile looks like it was handmade in the back of a chateau in France, it should work well." However, the minimalist-focused designer isВ "also a firm believer that there is nothing more timeless than a white subway tile. If that feels too safe, an easy solution is to change the tile size to be a little smaller or a little longer than a standard subway. Taking the color from a bright white to a cream or an off-white is another way to slightly adjust this classic backsplash."

Amy Bartlam ; DESIGN: Veneer Design

Ditch: Trendy patterns or colors.

"I would think twice about installing anything that is in a super trendy color or pattern," says Illinois-based interior designer Edyta Czajkowska. "However, if it isВ something you truly, truly love, then I say go for it. After all, our homes are meant to reflect our personal style, not anyone else's."

Invest in: Marble.

"A beautiful marble counter andВ backsplashВ is a classic look that willВ withstand the test of time," suggests Czajkowska. "It lends itself toВ so many different styles rangingВ from ultra-modern to traditional."

Alison Pickart

Ditch: Short backsplashes.

"Standards have always had this itty-bitty splash dimension on the walls above counters,"В says San Francisco-based interior designer Alison Pickart.В This year, it'sВ time to break the rules of the four-inch backsplash, she says.

Invest in: Enough tile toВ reach the ceiling.

"Whatever your material choice is for the backsplash, be it slab or tile, take it all the way to the bottom of your upper cabinets. If no upper cabinets; a minimum of 18 inches of splash should be operating procedure."

If you're feeling spendy, take the backsplash tile all the way to the ceiling. It will look luxurious and make the room feel taller.


What to ditch:В Subway tiles.

"While subway tile is a classic… home design TV shows have worn it out," says Jade Joyner of Metal + Petal. "Stay clear of the typical, the boring, the subtle, and instead choose color, pattern, print, or texture. Don't just go to the nearest hardware store and pick something up."

Invest in:В Unique, artisan-made finds.

Richard Powers ; DESIGN: Catherine Bailey

What to ditch: Subway tiles.

"Subway tiles can create a classic timeless look, but they've become a bit of a commodity,"В says Cathy Bailey, who's the co-owner and creative director of Heath Ceramics.

Invest in: Out-of-the-box shapes and textures.

For her own kitchen, Bailey used a three-inch hex tile in a layered glaze that looks as stunning up close as it does from the next room over. "Like subway tile, hex tiles don't overwhelm the kitchen's design. They create a kitchen backsplash with much more depth, character, and detail than standard subway tile. The glaze quality also expresses the craftsmanship of the installation."

Up next: Now that you've honed in on your favorite backsplash tile style, find out the top kitchen color trends of 2019.