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Penny tile from All Modern

Budget Neutral Kitchen Backsplashes

I recently was contacted about helping someone with a kitchen backsplash project. She said she searched for “kitchen” on The 256 Project and only got hungry thanks to all of the Kreyol Kitchen photos. What she didn’t find, though, was anything related to actual kitchen renovation projects or ideas. Which brings me to this: my first kitchen post! Her kitchen backsplash needs are specific in that she wants to DIY the backsplash on a budget and was looking for something gray. I hope to be able to show you the process of her backsplash project at some point. In the meantime, here’s my brain on budget neutral kitchen backsplashes.*



First of all, I love backsplashes. They aren’t necessary, but they are a fun way to bring in color, texture, pattern and personality into a kitchen. Also, really important, they can make kitchens easier to clean if you go the tile route.

Backsplashes can make a major statement and, for our kitchen renovation that I hope we do this century, we may go bold. (You can get a sneak peek of all the directions I’m thinking of going via my Pinterest board.) But neutral is beautiful too and neutral will never go out of style.

Grays, whites, grayish whites, whites and creams will work in any kitchen no matter style or era. Just because you are going neutral in color doesn’t mean you need to go neutral in pattern, texture or shape. Personally, I prefer tiles that are made of stone, porcelain or ceramic as those are more timeless. No matter what style you are thinking, try and get a sample to make sure the color and size are what you want once you see it in your space.

Subway Tile:

Subway is the most classic of backsplash tiles. You can read more about its history here. Personally, I prefer larger format subway tiles but those are hard to find on a budget as each tile needs to be cut and applied. However, I’m a fan of these budget subway tiles. They are classic and neutral without being boring thanks to marbling, color and texture. Here are examples, from left to right, from Stone Center Online from Amazon, Parvatile from Wayfair and MS International from All Modern.


Penny, Herringbone and Hexagon Tiles:

Penny tile, and tiles laid in a herringbone or hexagon pattern are also true classics. I love the shapes and think they look beautiful and eye-catching whether they are on the floor or wall, bathroom or kitchen. Here are examples of penny tile from All Modern, herringbone from Amazon and hexagon from Wayfair.



Fun Shapes:

Like I said before, neutral does not have to be boring. One way to ensure that neutral isn’t boring is to have fun with the tile shapes. Mosaic patterns and geometric shapes definitely deliver wow factor and can easily be found on a budget. I mean, one of these examples is a rhombus (from Somertile on Overstock). How fun is that?! Other examples of fun shapes that make big impact and are still neutral are this fractal from EliteTile on Wayfair and this porcelain mosaic also from EliteTile on Wayfair.



And then, if you’re like me, you may think that even a bold pattern can be neutral. The trick here is to make sure all the colors in the pattern are neutral and that the pattern matches the style of your kitchen. Coincidentally, all of these examples are from EliteTile and sold on Wayfair, found here, here and here.



What do you think about these budget neutral kitchen backsplash ideas? Would you use any in your home? Sound off in the comments section below! And if there is any topic that I haven’t addressed on this blog yet but you’d like to see, let me know.

*This post is now part of a new category called “Home Design” that details home design ideas and tips that are unrelated to the Jersey House project. Subscribe to this blog to stay up to date on new posts in the Home Design and other categories.

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