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8 Top Tile Types for Your Kitchen Backsplash

The backsplash could be considered the most important part of your kitchen's design. No matter what material you choose, it's a focal point. Tile tends to be the most popular choice — for its flexibility in style, budget and application. Whether your backsplash goes up to the bottom of the upper cabinets, reaches all the way up to the ceiling or falls somewhere in between, using one of these inspiring and intriguing tiles can add to your kitchen's unique look.
Laser-cut tile. These tiles are intricately cut with lasers to produce elaborate designs that are pieced together like a puzzle, as shown here.

Beware of the price tag on these tiles, as many of them are made of precious materials like quartz and marble, or handmade gold- or silver-backed glass.
Mirror tile. Tiny mirrored tiles all assembled into one design create a mirrored backsplash with texture. Something like this is perfect for that area in your kitchen that requires an extra-special touch — like a buffet area, serving station or butler's pantry.
Diagonal tile. Give ordinary tile a spin by placing it on the diagonal. Keep in mind that a diagonal layout means you'll need to order about 10 percent more tiles to complete your backsplash. Diagonal tile layouts also tend to be more labor intensive — more cuts are required at the top and the bottom — so the installer may up the price a bit.
Large-pattern tile. Big, bold patterns are in vogue right now — try placing one on your kitchen walls. Many companies produce overscale patterns that can be customized to repeat, much like wallpaper.

With a large-patterned tile, it's very important to lay out your wall space thoughtfully, so that your design ends up looking even throughout the installation.
Subway tile. One of the most beloved tile designs to date is the timeless and classic subway tile — so named because this type of tile is often used in subway stations worldwide.

Tile all the way to the ceiling to give this classic tile a fresh and more modern look.
Herringbone tile. Add loads of texture to your kitchen with tile in a herringbone pattern. Many tiles in the herringbone pattern can be purchased on a mesh backing (usually a 12- by 12-inch backing material on the underside of the tile that holds several pieces together), which means you won't have to lay out each and every individual piece.
Specialty-shaped tile. Don't limit yourself to a square. Many manufactures take pride in offering unique shapes and colors. You should have no problem finding a manufacturer near you to get the color and shape you need.


The oval shape in this kitchen has a great retro feel.
Custom mosaic tile. If you have the budget for it, consider going with a design that is all your own. The design here was created with mosaic tiles, expertly trimmed piece by piece to create a stunning custom design.

Some designs can be purchased directly from a tile manufacturer, and others can be designed and installed by an artist who specializes in custom mosaic tile design. It all depends on the look you're going for.

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