Backsplash Tile Patterns Can Personalize Your Home

If you think backsplash tile patterns are nearly unlimited, you'd be right. Besides the offerings at the tile store, using our imaginations in how we lay these tiles out is truly limitless. Perhaps you need some inspiration so let's see if any of the suggestions here will help get your creative juices flowing for your bathroom renovation.


Of course a backsplash serves a very functional purpose besides the aesthetic one. It's designed to prevent spills from staining the wall behind your countertop in the kitchen. Because tiles are nearly impervious to grease spills, heat and impact, they're so much more practical than simply paint on the walls.

For the bathroom, the backsplash stops water from leaking behind the wash basin and of course around the tub it's acts like a giant backsplash so the walls don't get soaked when you give your dog a bath...and then he decides to shake and spray everywhere!


Tiles are made in various sizes and of different materials. Ceramic, porcelain, glass and stone are the four most common but even metal tiles are available in stainless steel and copper if you're looking for a really distinctive look. We can mix and match these products to create very unique backsplash tile patterns that reflect the homeowner's tastes. 

TIP: when measuring, add 10% to your calculations for straight set tile and 15% extra for tile set at a diagonal.


How we orient the tiles depends in large part on the shape and size of the tile as well as the room they're going in. Common sense tells us that a horizontal pattern will have the effect of making the space seem longer while a vertical pattern on the other hand will make the backsplash appear taller.

A typical kitchen backsplash can be as simple as a single row of tile or it can cover the entire wall up to the cabinets. The trend these days is to utilize as much of that wall space as possible so that the tiles become one of the major features of the room instead of just an accent.

We should be careful here to point out that it's important to choose backsplash tile patterns and styles that don't clash with the flooring, whether it's lino, wood or tile. The direction of grain in a wood floor can dictate the best layout of your wall tile and of course the colour of the floor is critical.

What you finally end up with will be determined in large part by your ultimate goal for that space, your original tile backsplash ideas and whether it's the kitchen or bathroom. Are you after a subtle look or do you want it to jump out with lots of bling?

Combining multiple colours and different materials can help achieve that dramatic style.


There are essentially two types of patterns: Random and Repetitive

Random is more free style and unorthodox and can be very effective in larger spaces like floors, bathroom walls and shower surrounds but with a relatively small space like a backsplash a random pattern can be too overpowering.

For that reason, our discussion here will focus on repetitive tile patterns and break it down into several styles like those examples below. That in turn can be varied by the direction that we choose to lay the tile whether it's vertically or horizontally.

Subway Tile

One of the easiest tiles to arrange in pleasing backsplash tile patterns is the subway tile. Most commonly measuring 3”x6”, it's a simple rectangle that lends itself well to being laid on end or on its side.

The grout pattern can look like bricks that are offset which is known as a running bond or they can be stacked in line so that the grout is also a continuous line up and across. Either way looks great and its really just a personal choice. Because subways are fairly plain, they can be spruced up with a simple border tile that captures the eye.

Mosaic Tile

Very often made of stone and/or glass, mosaics come attached to mesh backing so you're actually handling a large piece and isn't as difficult as you might think.

It's vitally important though to spread your mastic or mortar very thinly using a 1/8” v-notched trowel because you don't want it oozing out between the tiles. If it does you've got a real mess to clean up and it will prevent the grout from embedding.

Mosaic tile achieves what at first glance looks to be a random pattern but is in fact repetitive because of how the meshes interlock.

Two-Tone Tile

Combining two different shades or tones of tile can be very effective in older, classic homes. It was a very common practice at the turn of the 20th century when kitchens were even then a major focal point in the home.

The best looking way to arrange them is behind the stove with a darker border tile that appears to “picture frame” the field tile.

Murals made up of several tiles arranged in a specified pattern are another option behind the stove because its a large enough space where the results are easily viewed.

Need Help?

Yes indeed that's a lot of information to digest on backsplash tile patterns but should you decide you need an expert eye and hand to assist, Toolbox Renovations can highly recommend several local Kamloops tile layers.

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