What Are the Best Tiles for Kitchen Walls?

What Are the Best Tiles for Kitchen Walls?

When picking out tiles for your kitchen walls, which is more important: practicality or aesthetics? Should you choose tiles that enhance your decor or ones that are durable and easy to clean?

There's no need to settle for one over the other. The best tiles for kitchen walls are both beautiful and long-lasting. This guide to kitchen wall tiles will provide the inspiration you need for your next remodeling project.

Subway Tiles

Uniform rectangular tiles are one of the most popular options for kitchen walls. Often arranged in a staggered pattern, standard subway tiles serve as a dependable foundation for many kitchen looks.

Subway tiles may be made of ceramic, porcelain or natural stone. All three of these materials can be reliable choices for kitchen walls. Ceramic and porcelain are sturdy, and glazed varieties are easy to wipe down when the inevitable kitchen messes occur. Natural stone is unrivaled in beauty and luxury.

Subway tiles are available in nearly any color. For a classic design, choose white tiles, as in the kitchen below:

For a slight twist on the basic subway design, use a pattern with a small border around each rectangle. Mere from the Blanch collection is a good example:

Square Tiles

The square is another geometric shape that plays a prominent role in kitchen design. Square tiles may be just 1 inch wide, or they can measure 6 inches or more. 3- and 4-inch tiles are some of the most common for kitchen walls.

Like rectangular tiles, this popular shape is available in many kitchen-friendly materials. They include ceramic, porcelain and various varieties of natural stone, such as travertine. You can even find square tiles made of metal, resin and other unique materials.

Square tiles don't always have to be used in straight lines. The kitchen below includes many straight rows of tiles as well as squares that are turned at a 45-degree angle:

Mosaic Tiles

If you love patterns, then express that by outfitting your kitchen walls with bold tile mosaics.

Water jet cutting allows tile artisans to precisely cut intricate mosaic details so the pieces fit together just right, resulting in a smooth surface. That's handy for kitchen walls, which seem to attract messes and often needed to be wiped down.

This kitchen features the Dimas pattern from the Curv line:

Glass Tiles

To make the most of your kitchen's natural light, incorporate glass tiles into your kitchen design. Glass reflects light, which can lend a bright, open feel to your room.

In addition, glass won't absorb moisture. That makes it a good choice for kitchen backsplashes.

Imagine how accenting your kitchen with the Munna pattern from the La Perla collection would brighten up the room:

Marble Tiles

Many people automatically equate marble with luxury. Its beauty comes at a price, though. Marble countertops need a good deal of care. Choosing marble as an accent on your walls allows you to enjoy this elegant material with less worry.

It's always a good idea to seal marble tiles that are used in the kitchen. A coat of sealant will help protect the marble from cooking splashes and sink sprays.

How much marble you choose to incorporate may depend on your budget. For a starting point, install a marble backsplash. If you can spend more, continue the marble design in a border that runs the length of the room.

The checkerboard patterns in the Chex line pair two different marbles together. This one uses Calacatta and Bardiglio:

You can watch the marble-tile installation process in this time-lapse video:

Colorful Tiles

In a world of white kitchens, bold tiles make an undeniable statement.

Some homeowners opt for a full rainbow of tiles for their kitchen walls. If you choose to go that route, it's usually best to confine the tiles to a limited area of the room. In the kitchen below, jewel-tone walls complement the vibrant backsplash:

Colorful kitchens come in all styles, so don't feel that you have to saturate your room with every color of the rainbow. For a more restrained look, choose just a few key colors to highlight in your design. A kitchen wall tiled with Riverdale from the Suji collection would outfit your room with a range of soothing blues and greens:

Hand-painted Tiles

Your kitchen walls can serve as a canvas for beautiful artwork. This look begins with stone tiles in a neutral shade. A skilled artisan then paints a detailed mural on the tiles.

You'll want to display this artwork in a prominent spot. The stove backsplash is a popular location.

This piece of art is Merrit from the Baquette line. Its fruit theme is just right for the kitchen:

Exotic Tiles

If your kitchen is often filled with flavors from around the world, then you may want your decor to reflect that idea. Tile mosaics can help transport you to foreign lands.

The Tunisian collection includes stone mosaic borders with an exotic feel. The colors and the designs are reminiscent of patterns you'd see in northern Africa or the Mediterranean world.

The Colonus design is geometric in style, and Castor relies on a floral motif:

The best tiles for kitchen walls are ones that offer both strength and beauty. Not only do they enhance your decor, but they do it while standing up to the many spills and splatters of kitchen life.

Whether you've decided that your kitchen needs clean geometric lines, a detailed mosaic or a hand-painted design, Artsaics can help you select the best tiles for the job.

About the Author

Nelson Londono founded Artsaics in 1998 after learning the ins and outs of designing custom artistic tiles and stone mosaics. The New York-based surfacing company specializes in producing stunning artistic tiles & stone designs with fine natural stone from around the world. Nelson and his team's passion lies in working with their hands, heads and hearts to make each and every space a unique reflection of self expression. You can learn more about Artsaics here.