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  • Stephanie Donnelly

How to Choose the Best Backsplash Tile for Your Home - Part 2

Updated: Nov 19, 2021

Now that you have a deeper understanding on the types of backsplash materials that can be used to create your dream kitchen and bathrooms, let's take a closer look at the details that should be considered when selecting the best tile for you.

Plain vs Pattern Tiles

There are both advantages as well as disadvantages in regards to just about anything, and backsplash tiles are no different. Size, scale, and repeatability are important factors in both plan and pattern tiles, so which is the best option for you?

Why choose plain tiles?

Plain tiles can provide a sophisticated and minimalistic accent to a room without distracting from the rest of your room's design. Plain, light colored tiles are also able to make the room seem bigger.


Versatile and works well with the overall theme of the room.

Plain tile provides a timeless option that does not go out of style.

Can be used to make a room appear larger.


Lighter shades will show up marks easily.

Stains are more visible on light shades.

Plain tile done incorrectly can be dull and boring.

Why choose patterned tiles?

Patterned tiles can transform a boring room into a new, modern design by being the focal point of the room.


Dark and light patterned styles can help hide stains due to their contrasting colors.

Can be used as a stand out feature for plain and neutral rooms.

Higher quality patterns and styles provide a luxurious finish.


Depending on the tile pattern, it could overpower the overall design of a room.

Patterned tiles can limit additional patterned elements in overall design.

Layout Pattern & accents

There are many different types of layout patterns to choose from when it comes to putting up your backsplash tile. Options range from elaborate patterns to the tiniest of accents. It all depends on the look you want and matching it to the perfect style for you.


Mosaic accents can be done in many ways. They can have matching or contrasting material as well as anything from the most simplistic to elaborate patterning.


Listellos are border tiles that can be used to accent your space and add flair to your walls or floor. Due to their installation, location placement, and wide range of sizing, listellos are a fantastic way to add an individual design element to your space without overwhelming it.


The simplest way to install backsplash tile is in a straight set design. Square or rectangular tiles are set horizontally, square to the wall in parallel rows. This gives a room a much more simplistic and minimalistic feel.

Brick & Offset

Brick/offset is the classic layout for a tile design. With this kind of a pattern, each row of tiles is typically offset by half a tile width. This look can be used virtually in any space and results in long, horizontal lines that can subtly widen a room.


Herringbone is a tile pattern that is made up of rectangular tile pieces that meet at perfect straight edges to form a “zigzag” pattern. This design is used to add flair to any room in your home including kitchens and bathrooms alike.


At first glance, one might thing that chevron and herringbone patterns are the same. Although they seem similar, chevron is completely different due to its inverted V pattern. Each side of tile meets at the point without interruption. This results in a seamless zig-zag pattern that is popular for both kitchen as well as bathroom backsplash tiling.

Finishing Edges

When planning your tile project, it is imperative to remember this crucial detail! Leaving your tile edges bare causes them to be prone to chipping and cracks, and causes your design to look seemingly unfinished. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to finish your tile for a polished, professional look.


Many types of backsplash offer a bullnose tile as a trim option. A square field tile edge can be easily chipped or damaged, whereas a rounded bullnose edge can better deflect impacts and is glazed to match the face of the tile.


Pencil Liners are thin and rounded. They come in a wide variety of colors and materials to match your tiling design and home décor.


Schulter strips are modern, clean lined, transition strips that are used to create decorative borders and finishing edges. With a variety of shapes, sizes, finishes and colors ranging anywhere from brushed nickel, antique bronze, black, white, grey, or beige, there's a Schluter profile for every installation!


The ability to clean your brand new backsplash tiling is such an important factor when it comes to choosing a finish for your kitchen or bathroom.


Glossy tiles are easier to wipe clean, though dirt and imperfections can show up more clearly on shiny surfaces.


Matte tiles can hide dirt a lot more easily and are better for giving a more natural or rustic finish to your backsplash. However, matte tiles are not as easy to clean.


Brick, textured or rough surfaces, are textures you may typically want to avoid since they are naturally harder to clean. Lifestyle and how often you cook are important factors to account for when making a decision on selecting the backsplash tiling that is best suited for you and your home.

How to clean

When cleaning your tile, be sure to spray the surfaces with a stone-safe, pH-neutral cleaner and allow plenty of time for it to dry. Do not use soap, windex, or vinegar as these substances can damage the finish of your tile.

Next Steps

Now that you have an understanding of the wide selection of tile patterns along with the finishes you can choose from, you're ready to start the design process on your kitchen or bathroom.

Need help from an expert? Contact us by clicking here and book your FREE consultation call with one of our design experts who specialize in interior design services for kitchens today! For more inspiration, visit our portfolio page!

~This blog was brought to you by S. Donnelly Interiors. Learn more about the interior design project process by following Stephanie Donnelly and her interior design services in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and the surrounding areas!


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