I've had homeowners approach me after weeks or months of looking at and collecting samples of materials that they love separately but just don't love together. Some settle on a combination that looks good together, but they don't actually like either material on its own.
Here are 10 examples of stunning and successful countertop and backsplash combinations to help you plan your own mix of kitchen finishes, along with tips to ease your selection process.
If you feel overwhelmed by the countertop and backsplash options, try focusing on countertop selection first. Your countertop is the workhorse in your kitchen and can constitute a good chunk of your budget, so you'll want to get it right. Your budget and the way you use your kitchen will narrow things down. Plus, there are generally fewer color and pattern options for countertop materials, whereas backsplash options are practically unlimited. Countertops will also be installed before the backsplash, so you definitely need to decide on this first if construction has already begun. Browse countertop materials that appeal to you and the compare the pros and cons.
Shown: Soapstone and butcher block counter; linear glass tile mosaic backsplash.
Now, you don't necessarily need to exactly match the color or pattern of your countertop to that of your backsplash, especially if you go for an unusual hue or a countertop material with a lot of movement in it. In these cases a simple and neutral-hued backsplash is a good choice, so that the countertop takes center stage and does not fight with the backsplash for attention.
Shown: Orange quartz counter; Oceanside Glasstile's Tessera mosaic blend in Veil backsplash
Shown: Green quartz counter; mosaic glass tile backsplash
Of course, if you happen to find a backsplash you absolutely love before you've even looked at countertops, I say go for it. Making this selection will absolutely help you narrow down the options for the countertop. If you go for a statement-making backsplash such as the one here, find a quiet, subtler countertop material so it doesn't fight with the backsplash.
Shown: Pietra del Cardoso stone counter; Stone & Pewter Accents mosaic glass tile backsplash
Shown: Caesarstone counter; glass mosaic Waterworks backsplash
Shown: Bianco Romano granite counter; stained glass mosaic tile backsplash
Love your countertop selection and want to keep this process simple? Consider running your countertop material up onto the wall as the backsplash. This is an especially smart option if you are required to purchase entire slabs of your chosen countertop material and you happen to have enough material left over to use the remainder as the backsplash.
Shown: Get the look with a Pietra del Cardoso stone counter and backsplash.
Shown: Get the look with a Carrara marble counter or, for a more durable option, check out Misty Carrera from Caesarstone; Carrara marble subway tile backsplash
Shown: Uba Tuba granite counter; colbalt-blue Daltile subway tile backsplash
Some homeowners just have a difficult time visualizing their finished kitchen, which is why material selection can prove so challenging. And all too often you are asked to make too many decisions in too short a time period. If you know you are prone to analysis paralysis, do yourself a favor and give yourself enough time to weigh your options, but with a firm deadline to make the decision. Engage the assistance of a friend whose taste you admire, or hire a design professional to help guide you or bless your selections.
Shown: Gray and white granite counter; oversize ceramic tile backsplash