7 Backsplash Alternatives to Subway Tile

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Congratulations! If you've come this far you probably fall into a large majority of people who can't stand the thought of seeing another subway tile in your home (or any home for that matter!).

It might be the fact that subway tiles have been in and out of trend for the last century.

Or perhaps you've grown tired of seeing it in EVERY new kitchen in America and there's nothing unique about it anymore; try finding a home improvement magazine without a subway tiled kitchen, I dare ya! ;)

Now just to be clear I'm pretty neutral about this trend. 

While I love to see unique backsplashes, I can also see the appeal of subway tiles.

But if your dying to try something new, here's my top 7 backsplash alternatives to kick your kitchen up a notch!

(1) The Mini-Brick

If you like the shape of subway tiles but want to scale it down in size this may be the perfect alternative for you!

This style comes in many different materials including shell, porcelain, and my personal favorite, onyx or marble. They typically come in sheets with a variety of different types of materials.

For ease of cleaning, we recommend going the polished route.

Trust me, the last thing you want is splattered grease or food from your last cooking adventure to seep into all those tiny little pores in your tile!

Speaking of polished...

(2) The Polished Marble Slab

Can't stop drooling over slabs of marble? Why not have a solid piece for your backsplash!

This sleek and contemporary design is gaining popularity for its beautiful display of veins and cleaning properties.

Say goodbye to cleaning grout lines!

Of course, all of that glamour comes with a hefty price tag and the need for installation on a reinforced wall. If you thought countertop slabs were heavy try hanging them up vertically!

(3) The Glass Sheet

The cousin of the marble slab, this backsplash has all the same properties but with a cheaper price tag and a little lesser-known secret.

Because glass is typically manufactured with digitally printed color on the back you can incorporate any color on the color spectrum.

If you want to be a little more daring you can even print a pattern onto it.

Or protect your favorite wallpaper like this kitchen below.

And the best part? Its reflective properties bring in more light. Take that dark kitchen!

(4) The "Shiplap" Look

Don't let the name fool you. Although this type of backsplash looks like shiplap it is indeed not wood.

Instead with a little creative ingenuity (and a good contractor!), you can mimic this look by using the smooth side of HardiePlank siding.

You know, the stuff you see on the side of houses?

Because HardiePlank is composed of brick, cement and other similar materials, it is naturally fire-resistant and non-combustible.

So while it may not be your typical backsplash it definitely gives you the chance to throw in some Joanna Gaines vibes into your home.

(5) The Hexagon Tile

If you're looking for a unique, contemporary tile then look no further! This unusual shape mimics a honeycomb when laid out which makes for an interesting look.

This style comes in many materials including marble, ceramic, even glass.



You can also have a little fun mixing and matching different shades.

And then we find ourselves looking at another beautifully shaped tile like this beauty...

(6) The Arabesque Tile

Inspired by the rhythmic linear patterns in the Islamic world, these babies are sure to grab the attention of any bystander!

And just like the hexagon tile they can be mixed and matched to create cool variations.

If your lucky, you may even be able to find patterned reliefs.



From glass to marble, and even ceramic they can come in a wide variety of materials to suite your fancy.

And lastly, my personal favorite!

(7) Water Jet Mosaics

If you want a completely unique and custom pattern this is the one for you!

These bad boys come in any material, shape, or pattern you could possibly imagine with very thin grout lines

Pretty much anything you can draw can be replicated with this type of process with a little bit of $$$.

And because grout lines are barely visible it is common to see wide contrasts of gradients or colors to really make the pattern shine.

What backsplash can you not wait to try out yourself? Or what do you think should be added to the list? I'd love to hear your thoughts!