When most of us think about kitchen backsplash tiles, we tend to think about big, bold designs. Backsplashes are the perfect opportunity to indulge that pesky urge to put form over function, that desire for uninhibited decorative expression.
Like every other surface in our kitchens, backsplashes do have a practical function to fulfill, to protect your wall. With proper installation, a good sealer (if applicable), and careful maintenance, almost any material will do! Marble tiles, glass tiles, mosaic tiles, or any other wall tile, you name it.
Express Yourself with Backsplash Tiles
This frees us to really express ourselves and to do so, many people turn to beautiful heritage tiles with deep cultural meaning.
And so should you, if that’s your vision for your living space! We at Country Floors love these tiles as much as anyone. But a backsplash should first and foremost be about expressing yourself. To be honest, not all of us see ourselves in these highly ornate designs.
Some of us, instead, see our personality reflected in subtlety, simplicity, and understated designs. Here, we’ll be learning about twelve offerings from Country Floors that tap into just that.
1. Blanc Blue Crackled Royal Makkum Delft Tile
The first few options we’ll be going over are our present ways to tap into the allure of heritage tile while maintaining relative design simplicity. Delft tiles are absolutely famous. For good reason too — these often droll, always artful designs have captured attention for over four centuries.
For some people, though, these fun and imaginative designs just don’t seem to fit into their vision for their home. Luckily, options like the Blanc Blue Crackled Royal Makkum Delft tile exist.
It preserves some of what is most loved about Delft tile — the signature details in the corners, the antique-looking crackling — but with no center design, the effect is far more understated than is typical for Delft tile. The backsplash of these beautiful tiles showcases a sophisticated blend of minimalism and an appreciation of the history and culture of ceramics.
2. Garden Blanc Glazed Miradouro Classic Ceramic
Traveling southeast from the Netherlands and the tradition of delftware takes us to another country with an old, rich tile culture, Portugal. Traditional Iberian decorative ceramic tiles are called azulejos, and while they often (but not always) share the famous blue and white color scheme of the Delft tiles farther north, their show-stopping organic/geometric designs set them apart and likely come from the historical North African influence on Portuguese and Spanish design.
Just as with the Delft tiles, though, far more subtle variants exist, versions that preserve the best parts of the tradition. They are clear, strong, organic patterning. And they offer a toned-down version. Big, bold azulejos can steal the show, and we think you should let them do just that if you love them as much as we do, but we also love these simple, elegant Garden Blanc Glazed Miradouro ceramic tiles from the same cultural tradition.
3. Baba Chic Bizerte Honed Limestone Mozaic
If the North African influence on azulejos captures your interest, why not go straight to the source? Our Baba Chic collection includes the very finest contemporary expressions of traditional Tunisian craftsmanship. The lovely, unique organic forms of the Bizerte-honed limestone mosaic are sure to be eye-catching at the same time that the neutral tones of the limestone quietly keep the design of your kitchen in simple harmony.
4. Baba Chic Tasnim Honed Limestone Mosaic
From the same collection as the Bizerte mosaic, the Tasnim limestone mosaic shows off the richness of limestone’s color spectrum and the beauty of Tunisian design tradition while remaining sensibly understated, making these tiles a great backsplash option to keep your kitchen design subtle and dialed in while indulging in a little bit of flare.
5. Neutral Weave Glossy Fishnet Galore Ceramic Tiles
Tapping into an old design tradition is by no means to only way to have fun with an otherwise subtle kitchen backsplash material. These starkly contemporary Neutral Weave Glossy Fishnet Galore ceramic tiles make the very best of the textural differences that ceramics allow. Neutral colors keep a backsplash constructed with these tiles versatile, able to fit into almost any kitchen design yet one of a kind up close.
6. Marsala Bianco Glossy Ceramic Tiles
Sometimes, nothing’s bolder or more elegant than simplicity to the max. Marsala Bianco glossy ceramic tiles (background in the image above) radiate confidence. They’re no-nonsense and sleek. If you’re drawn to a minimalist aesthetic, this may be the backsplash tile for you.
7. Bosphorus Honed Limestone Tiles
As we’ve already seen from the Baba Chic collection, natural stone, and limestone specifically, offer a great blend of subtlety and richness. This 12 in. by 24 in. Bosphorus honed limestone tiles especially have the makings of a truly great backsplash.
Two feet long, their unbroken natural look is nothing short of commanding.
8. Avenza Honed Marble Tiles
What discussion of natural stone could be complete without the mention of marble? In fact, marble might be the quintessential example of a material that aligns easily with the goals of this blog post.
The fact that it manages to be stunning and exciting at the exact same time that it is refined and understated is exactly the source of its millennia-long fame. Luckily, stone can be cut in many different ways, amplifying our backsplash tiles. More straightforward honed tiles are available, but the cut of the subway tiles (pictured above) adds another layer of interest.
9. Black Polished Hexagon Marble Mosaics
If white marble is iconic, so to is its counterpart, black marble. Let’s face it, as beautiful as white marble is, white doesn’t go with every design scheme.
Black marble might do the job where white marble can’t. Just as minimalist and elegant, these black polished marble hexagons would draw attention in any kitchen. More conventional tile cuts are also available.
10. Ming Green Polished Marble Mosaics
We saw how the large Bosphorus limestone tiles were effective exactly because of the striking unity of a single piece of beautiful stone. With mosaics of small natural stone tiles, the exact opposite is the source of beauty.
Natural stone always displays a great variety of individual pieces. With small tiles, then, this subtle but remarkable variation creates a delightful play of intermingling tones in your backsplash. These Ming green polished marble mosaics are muted in color, to be sure, but their impressive diversity proves that muted is by no means the same as dull.
11. Avalon Rock Face Marble Mosaics
We’ve already seen just how beautiful and iconic white marble is when incorporated into your backsplash. We’ve also already seen how different textures can keep your backsplash expressive and interesting above and beyond what the color or material alone brings to the table. These Avalon rock face marble mosaics combine these two ideas by letting natural stone be just that — natural. Neither honed nor polished, these natural mineral textures have all of the elegance of marble. They also celebrate the just-for-looks fun of a great backsplash.
12. Dimensions Waterjet Designs
When I said natural stone can be cut in many different ways, I really meant it. Now, with modern waterjet technology, precisely cut forms can create enticing interlocking textures in your backsplash or on your wall. The forms of these waterjet decos can be almost decadent, but the understated tones of natural marble and limestone balance that decadence. Restraint and excess all in one, are the perfect ingredients for a tasteful and lively backsplash.