3 Ways To Use Tiles To Style A Kitchen Splashback

This is a comprehensive guide on how to choose and get the most out of kitchen splashback tiles! In a world where we are surrounded by more choice then we can possibly look at, we have put this guide together to show you the most popular tile trends for kitchens in 2019, how to get the most out of your tiles, and the most important things to consider.

Tiles have been used for decades as an effective kitchen splashback choice and originally this was solely because of the practicalities that tiles had to offer; they are hard-wearing, long lasting, easy to clean and cost effective. All of this is still the case. However, now it's more than just practicalities, it's what looks good and how to get the most out of your interiors. Some people consider kitchen wall tiles to be the most important aspect of the room as they are the first step in the decoration for new and old kitchens alike.

Kitchen Wall tiles also offer far superior protection to other wall coverings such as paint. This can peel or discolour with steam caused by everyday cooking. The same goes for wallpaper, which is why tiles are the only logical choice when decorating your kitchen.

At the moment, we are seeing a mixed movement in tile choice for kitchens and 3 of the most popular choices are outlined below:

Metro Tiles

The metro tile is by far the most popular kitchen wall tile, and this has been the case for over 5 years. This tile is a popular choice due to its simple design, cost and ability to work in all homes and kitchens. Lately, we are seeing the introduction of many variations of the classic 20 x 10 metro to include crackle glazed metros, encaustic effect metro tiles and geometric metro tiles to name but a few.

The classic metro seen below has been a firm favourite within the home, typically the best priced tile and the easiest tile to accessories with kitchen fittings; it's the easy choice for those looking to modernise their wall tiles.


Above: Bevelled Victorian Blue Mini Metro Tiles 15cm x 7.5cm

As well as the classic metro, we have newer additions to the metro family, such as crackle glazed metros. These offer a more complex structure with the appearance of a shattered surface, adding character to the tile and in turn reflecting this in your home, We find that our range of crackle glazed metros are most suited to those with a period home, cottage or barn conversion due to its rustic and imperfect finish.


Above: Beige Smooth Crackle Glaze Metro Tile

We also have the premium extended metros, which are best suited for the larger kitchen. Very similar to the classic metro, these tiles are manufactured and retailed in both a smooth face and a bevelled face design to suit the taste of the home owner. The modern size of this tile is ideal for those looking to achieve a minimalistic or contemporary finish to their home.


Above: Premium Flat Crushed Green Metro Tile 30cm x 10cm

Lastly, we have the combination of the two latest trends, which includes a mix of the metro tile with geometric/encaustic patterns. These tiles can work in any setting, whether your home is a new build or been standing for 100 years. They offer a unique and captivating finish to the home which we love, and offers up a practical way to create a stunning feature within the home without breaking the bank.


Above: Colourful Patchwork Encaustic Metro Tile

The beauty of metro tiles is their versatility in pattern within the kitchen. There is no right or wrong way in how to lay these tiles and what pattern you wish to achieve. Because of their brick shape, most people tend to lean towards the brick effect design so off-setting the tile slightly to create a brick bond pattern is the most popular pattern, and one of the more easier patterns to achieve for the DIY enthusiast within.

For a more adventurous but rewarding finish, we would advise the herringbone pattern, this pattern just adds a little extra to the beautiful tile you have purchased. With this pattern, its important to consider whether you're confident enough to do this yourself. We would always advise hiring a professional as this pattern is quiet intricate and involves a lot of planning to get right!


The last things to consider when using metro tiles within the kitchen is the colour. We personally think this should be based on personality alone, but there are some fundamental tips to choosing the right colour for the room. To create a clean and minimalistic design, stick to white. You can't go wrong with white, and it will work with any kitchen colour, wall colour and floor colour and offers a crisp finish.

Above: Premium Flat White Metro Tiles

To create a modern, urban feel, we would recommend darker shades, like our dark grey metro tiles, or even go as dark as black. Darker colours are heavily in demand by interior designers and architects at the moment, due to the trend of bringing the outside in with the use of concrete and natural products. So, a darker tile will help to achieve that industrial feel.


Above: Bevelled Metallic Mini Metro Tiles 15cm x 7.5cm

For a feature wall, be elaborate and choose colour. There is a large range of colours when it comes to metros, just look through our collection and choose the colour the best suits you. You don't have to be bold, there is now a huge range of pastel colours within our metro range for those who want a feature but not a tile that is 'in your face'.

Colourful Metro Tiles

Above: Bevelled Bold Blue Mini Metro Tiles 15cm x 7.5cm

The last little detail is grout. On all of our metro tiles, we recommend the best grout colour, although feel welcome to experiment and choose a colour that suits you best. The other thing to consider is the thickness of your grout line. A lot of older generation tilers will stick to wide grout joins, but take our advice! Less is more; we believe a 1-2mm grout line looks best with metro tiles due to their size. 

Brick Effect Tiles And Brick Slips

A speciality of Applebys-Tiles is our exclusive and extensive range of brick effect kitchen tiles. Brick effect tiles can be used anywhere within or outside the home.  But, for this guide, we are going to discuss the use of brick effect tiles in the kitchen area exclusively. Brick effect tiles offer all of the benefits of using a ceramic metro tile but with the benefit of having a more natural and urban finish to your interiors.

As well as the above, with the use of brick effect tiles, you can transition from wall to floor and kitchen wall to garden wall in the same tile, which is another great reason our customers choose brick effect tiles for their kitchen splashbacks.

There are many different styles of brick effect tiles, but we will cover the main two used for kitchen wall areas.

Brick Slips

Brick slips are ideal to be used in a kitchen area, specifically the area between the work top and wall units (known as the kitchen splash back). This is because the tiles size is usually 250mm x 65mm, which is a great size to work with when you have to consider cutting around sockets and intricate areas. Any larger than this and it can become difficult to cut the sockets out of the tile. 

Brick Slips are also the most realistic brick effect tile you can use. That's because these are genuinely real bricks. They are bricks that have been cut into slimmer sections (15mm-20mm thick) to be laid on your wall like a tile but look identical to a real brick. 

Check out some of the great example below: 


 Above: Antique White Brick Slips

manor-house-brick-slips-for kitchens

Above: Rustic Manor House Brick Slips

Brick Effect Tiles

These are a great cost effective alternative to brick slips, with modern technology allowing tile manufacturer to replicate both the look and feel of bricks with the use of ceramic and porcelain.

We are seeing more and more brick effect tiles being used on kitchen walls over brick slips because of their cost difference. Brick effect tiles tend to cost almost half of that of brick slips and involve half the amount of labour. Brick effect tiles come in two designs; the single brick effect tile (similar to a brick slip but made from ceramic or porcelain) and brick effect tile panels. These are usually a larger tile that has brick impressions within it and interlock, these allow for a super quick install and remove the dreaded task of grouting or pointing.


Above: Painted Red Brick Effect Tiles


Above: New York Painted Brick Effect Tile

Using brick tiles for a kitchen splashback offers a non-restrictive option. There is no wrong or right colour when choosing the right brick effect tile for your kitchen walls. However, we think a unique choice would be to match up your kitchen wall tiles to the same brick as your house bricks or an exposed brick wall within the home; this will keep it looking natural whilst still being a feature within the room.

With grouting, we would recommend a 10mm gap between brick slips. This is to make them look natural (exactly as you would find a real brick wall), and it's important to remember these need pointing rather then grouting so always consult with a professional tiler before trying it yourself.

With brick effect tiles, if they're singular, you can use any grout thickness from 3mm up depending on the finish you want to go for. Brick effect tiles usually don't require spacing as they will usually come interlocking.

Mosaic Tiles

When most people think of mosaic tiles, they think of little blue squares usually found in a swimming pool. But today, mosaics are completely different, now offering everything from stone, copper and even steel. At the moment, the most notable trends in mosaics include stone effect mosaics and hexagon mosaic tiles. 

Mosaics are a superb kitchen wall tile thanks to their intricate and delicate design. It can give the illusion of a much larger space than what is, and allow you to be imaginative in mixing and matching mosaics to create your very own unique design.

Although there are thousands of options when it comes to mosaic tiles, a lot of mosaics have now fallen out of fashion, but hexagon mosaics are very much on the rise and it's easy to see why!


Above: Gloss Black Hexagon Mosaic Tiles

The most relevant tile shape of 2019 is the Hexagon; it's an intricate and unique shape that is very new to the tile industry and we have welcomed them with open arms. Mosaic variations of the hexagon tile are the latest design and are manufactured with a mesh backing, which makes them incredibly malleable, perfect for those tricky areas within the kitchen.

White-Hexagon-mosaic-Kitchen-TileAbove: Matt White Hexagon Tiles


Above: Rose Gold Hexagon Mosaics

If you have any questions regarding our tiles or choosing the best tiles for your kitchen walls, then feel free to get in contact with our incredible customer service team who would be more then happy to offer you advice and point you in the right direction!