Tired of Tile? These Backsplash Alternatives Create a Unique Kitchen

Updated: May 07, 2024

Watching the latest design shows, you might believe that tile is the only backsplash option for your kitchen. Here are eight awesome backsplash materials that break the tile mold.

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.
Learn more.

selecting boring backsplash tileIVAN-BALVAN/GETTY IMAGES

Backsplashes are stylish and add character to your kitchen, and they also function to prevent stains and splatters from covering your bare wall. Tile is the most popular backsplash choice, but if you want to give your kitchen a less traditional look, there are plenty of backsplash alternative options to suit both light and dark cabinets.

These kitchen backsplash ideas make a statement while protecting your kitchen, and they come at a fraction of the cost of traditional tiles. What’s not to love?

1 / 8


  • Scratch-Resistant
  • DIY-Friendly
  • Features a horizontal grain pattern
  • Features sustainable material


  • Has a porous surface
  • Additional steps after installation are necessary

Not only is wood durable, environmentally friendly and long lasting, it gives your kitchen a rustic, farmhouse look. All you have to do is mix wood with other materials such as stone to create a modern vibe. So versatile!

To create a wood backsplash, use wood paneling or even bamboo flooring. These Carmel Carbonized Bamboo Planks have a scratch-resistant, aluminum oxide finish and a horizontal grain pattern for a natural look. Plus, bamboo is a sustainable product and buyers noted it’s a great choice for easy DIY installation. Just be sure to have the wood sealed when you’re done installing since it is porous.

2 / 8
Kitchen Utensils Hanging On Wall At Home
Tamari Dundua/Getty Images Tamari Dundua/Getty Images

Brick Backsplash


  • Easy installation
  • Available in 3 colors


  • Sealant needed in order to avoid staining and moisture build-up
  • Difficult to clean

Bring the vintage touch of exposed brick into your kitchen with a brick backsplash. Because brick looks good on its own or painted, it’s adaptable to any kitchen color trend. Choose between purchasing individual bricks, which are inexpensive and customizable to your space, or try a faux brick tile, which is easier to install and comes in several color options. Keep in mind that brick is a porous backsplash alternative, which can be difficult to clean since it has so many crevices. To avoid staining and keep moisture out, use a sealant such as clear polyurethane.

3 / 8
beautiful kitchen in new luxury home with island, pendant lights, and hardwood floors
hikesterson/Getty Images hikesterson/Getty Images

Peel-and-Stick Backsplash


  • Easily replaceable
  • Resistant to heat
  • Can offer a 3-dimensional effect


  • Isn’t suitable for accent tiling
  • Number of tiles in each batch can vary

There are so many great things about peel-and-stick options as a backsplash alternative: they’re inexpensive, come in a variety of colors and styles, are easy to install and you can quickly change them once you grow tired of the look. From wood to metal and glass to stone, there are peel-and-stick backsplash options for every taste and budget. And you can just wipe them down to clean!

For a modern look, try these matte black hexagonal peel-and-stick tiles. They come in a pack of four and have a 3D effect for a genuine tile look. Plus, no grout and no glue means no mess when installing.

4 / 8
chalk board paint as the backsplash in a kitchen
KatarzynaBialasiewicz/Getty Images KatarzynaBialasiewicz/Getty Images

Chalkboard Paint Backsplash


  • Streak resistant
  • Affordable price point


  • Sheds chalk dust onto countertop

For a memorable and custom look that you can easily change every day, consider chalkboard paint as a kitchen backsplash alternative. This option pulls double-duty as a family message center or shopping list tracker, and it’s incredibly affordable—this Krylon chalkboard paint from Amazon only runs you about $25. Just keep in mind that you’re likely to get some chalk dust on your kitchen counters.

5 / 8
Broken tiles mosaic seamless pattern.
phokin/Getty Images phokin/Getty Images

Mosaic Glass Backsplash


  • Available in multiple designs and color patterns
  • Grants the user complete creative control


  • Tedious application process

Looking to get creative? Try mosaic glass as a kitchen backsplash alternative. Once you sort through your mix of glass shapes and colors and decide on a design, use tile adhesive to attach them to your wall and grout the backsplash. Though this option is more time intensive than standardized tiles, it gives you a one-of-a-kind backsplash that brings personality and value to your kitchen. But, if you’re looking to add a pop of color to your existing tiles, you need to get the right kind of paint.

6 / 8
Wall Stencil Seamless on kitchen backsplash
jojotextures/Getty Images jojotextures/Getty Images

Painted Stencil Backsplash


  • Pre-made stencils
  • Affordable price point


  • Only suitable for specific surfaces

If you’re ready to test out your painting skills, consider using a stylish wall stencil to create your backsplash alternative. There are a variety of pre-made stencils in different shapes and styles that are extremely cost effective, and you can even mix and match. For those who love geometric patterns, try this eight-piece herringbone geometric wall stencil, which buyers note are durable, thick and easy to use.

7 / 8
Thermoplastic Backsplash Via Lowes
via merchant via merchant

Thermoplastic Backsplash


  • Easy installation
  • Can be cut or trimmed


  • Does not come with 2-sided tape or polyurethane construction adhesive

Thermoplastic is a budget-friendly backsplash alternative that not only gives the look of more expensive tile, but is easy to clean and comes in a variety of styles. As far as DIY backsplashes go, installation couldn’t be easier—just use a polyurethane adhesive or two-sided tape. These Fasade cross hatch backsplash panels give your alternative backsplash a bespoke vintage look. Plus, you can cut the panels with scissors or a utility knife, making them truly customizable to your space.

8 / 8
Metal Pegboard Backsplash
FeelPic/Getty Images FeelPic/Getty Images

Metal Pegboard Backsplash


  • Doubles up as storage compartment
  • Useful for small kitchens


  • Screws and drill necessary

For an industrial look that also creates more storage in small kitchens, a metal pegboard backsplash is a smart alternative. Plus, it’s durable and easy to clean with just soap and water. Save space in cupboards and drawers by adding hooks to this steel pegboard and hanging your utensils instead. Installation only requires a few screws.