/ Backsplashes

What size and shape tiles are particularly popular right now?

Vertical Tile Backsplash
Courtesy of Walker Zanger

Long and thin tiles arranged vertically are a recent trend in backsplash configuration.

Lori Carroll, Interior Designer: I use a lot of 1-inch x 1-inch, 4-inch x 8-inch or 6-inch x 6-inch tiles for backsplashes; however, combining random shapes, colors and sizes, brings a fresh approach to kitchen and bath design. I will also vary the depths of materials within the backsplash for an even more dramatic effect. If a certain material-Kashmir slate, for example-has distinct detailing already, I will use larger, 12-inch x 12-inch tiles.


Lisa Elkins, Architect: What I'm starting to see now is that vertical is the new horizontal. People who want a more cutting-edge look use the vertical patterns. I'm seeing a little more of the staggering vertical (waterfall effect) pattern. We're starting to see really long tiles, like 1-inch x 6-inch, which look like bars.


Anna Marie Fanelli, Showroom Owner: The most popular sizes are 4-inch x 12-inch, 1-inch x 3-inch stacked mosaics, 2-inch x 4-inch, and 2-inch x 12-inch.


David Portales, Spanish Tile Representative: Larger format ceramic tile has replaced smaller formats. Modular programs especially in rectangular shapes can effectively reinforce the strong architectural, horizontal lines found in kitchens. Emphasis of the horizontal is seen in the line of the counter-top, in the industrial styled cabinet hardware can be further heightened with a ceramic pattern incorporating two formats of the same ceramic tile-for instance, integrating several rows of 2-inch x 16-inch tile in an installation of 8-inch x 16-inch format field tile.


Verdict: Most rectangular and square shapes are in style and work well in backsplash arrangements. But there has been a recent trend in using either small or large tiles instead of using medium-size square and rectangular tiles.