Staggered Tile Vs. Straight Kitchen For Backsplash: Which Style To Choose?

Deciding on the finishes in your kitchen can be tricky. For example, do you need to plan the backsplash design for your space but don't know whether staggered or straight tiles look better? What do most people choose for their kitchen backsplashes? We've researched these topics and have answers below!

Many people choose to stagger the tiles on their kitchen backsplashes. This looks more classic and allows for variety within the backsplash design. As with flooring, staggered backsplash tile looks more organic than perfectly aligned, straight tiles.

But if you want your kitchen to look uniform, we recommend straight backsplash tiling. Keeping everything in order looks great too.

As we start this article, we will cover kitchen backsplashes and determine whether straight or staggered tiles look better. We've got your back if you're redoing your kitchen, building from the ground up, or need extra help. With that said, let's dive right into this topic!

Staggered Tile Vs. Straight Kitchen For Backsplash Which Style To Choose?

Should A Kitchen Backsplash Have Straight Or Staggered Tiles?

Black and white subway tiled kitchen with numerous plants and framed taxidermy insect art

With kitchen backsplashes, you will mostly see staggered designs. Staggering tile gives your space a more aesthetically pleasing look, although this can depend on the color, shape, and design. Many designers claim that staggered tile is the classic default option for backsplashes.

That's not to say you can't keep the tiles straight. In fact, straight tile in a backsplash has a subway look, which has become increasingly popular over the years. Straight tiling for a backsplash is not as popular as staggered, but this could be the better idea if you prefer the subway aesthetic or want straight lines.

Again, this depends on your preference and the space you have to tile. Some layouts may not work as well with staggered tiles or vice versa.

Is Stacked Or Staggered Tile More Modern?

Between stacked and staggered tile for the backsplash, perfectly straight designs tend to have a more contemporary look. Since staggering backsplash tile has been the go-to choice for home designers, choosing to go straight up the wall is an interesting idea.

Modern spaces utilize perfect lines and shapes, which can be achieved with straight/stacked backsplash tiling. Especially if your tiles are thinner and longer, running in a straight line across the wall could be more interesting.

This will also depend on the design and shape of your tiles. For example, square tiles have a more traditional feeling, so stacking or staggering them won't make a huge difference.

However, using a chevron pattern with rectangular tiling is one way to stagger with a modern twist. The nice thing about backsplashes is that everyone is different.

Some will be more modern and minimalistic, while others will feel warm and traditional. Mixing and matching themes and colors is fine, so don't be afraid to have fun with your layout.

How Do I Choose A Backsplash Pattern?

Kitchen sink detail shot with white cabinets, small black marble subway tile backsplash, and a black faucet.

Choosing a backsplash pattern will come down to how much wall space you have, your desired color scheme, and the price range you're comfortable in.

Since not all tiles are the same, choosing them for a kitchen backsplash can be confusing. Here are some things you want to keep in mind when making a choice:

  • Do you want classic or fashionable tiles?
  • Are your tiles square, rectangular, circular, etc.?
  • Ease of cleaning.
  • Are you installing the tile up to the ceiling?
  • Will the tiles stain easily?

The number one concern with backsplash tiling is how easy it will be to clean and maintain. Suppose you want to have your tiles behind the stove/oven. Since that appliance is where the messiest cooking happens, you also want your backsplash to be durable enough to handle spills, splattering, and moisture.

The dividing space between your tiles can also play a big role. With staggered or straight tile, you depend on the grout to hold everything together. That can be tricky to clean and keep its original color, so it could be worth going darker.

Regardless, make sure your backsplash is easy to install and clean, so you won't have to redo it in a few years.

Should A Backsplash Be Vertical Or Horizontal?

Most backsplashes follow a horizontal design. Since the wall space between your counters and cabinets is limited, most kitchens don't have room for a vertical tile backsplash.

It can also look confusing to line your tiles vertically, as this fits better for the floor. Traditionally, backsplashes throughout the home have been installed horizontally.

However, that doesn't mean you can't switch it up. A vertical backsplash might be perfect if you have plenty of wall space, want to use larger tiles, and don't mind spending more on installation. If you have limited space, installing your backsplash horizontally will look better.

In a kitchen with limited wall space, you won't have enough room for more than a couple of vertical tiles, which will look awkward when it's done.

We also have an article discussing this, which you can read here: Backsplash Design: Horizontal Or Vertical? Which To Choose?

What Is The Current Trend For Kitchen Backsplashes?

New style kitchen with dark worktop, white gas cooker and decorative brick backsplash

Although trends are constantly changing, kitchen backsplashes with a white subway look are popular.

The current trends also point towards ceiling height backsplashes in the kitchen, which works for anyone wanting vertical tiling. Ceramic backsplashes are also very in right now. They fit into the more earthy home design aesthetic that has become popular.

Neutral colors and simple, clean lines are also a top choice for 2023 and beyond. In kitchen planning, many people prefer a seamless, subdued look.

Bright tiles and cabinets aren't as popular right now, so if you want to keep the trends in mind, try sticking to softer hues.

Of course, if your home will be yours for many years to come and you don't plan on reselling, that's when you can get as quirky as you'd like. Trends come and go, so choosing a backsplash that makes you happy and fits your space is a good idea.

What Backsplash Never Goes Out Of Style?

One backsplash style that never falls behind is straight subway tiling. This design has been utilized in public and residential spaces for years.

Subway tiling in the kitchen gives your space a clean look. Especially in the kitchen, creating a clean, open aesthetic is crucial for many home designers.

You don't have to keep your subway tiles white, either. Many new builds have grey, beige, greige, or even colorful subway designs.

It's also worth mentioning that subway backsplashes don't have to be perfectly straight. It's possible to stagger your subway tiles, giving them a bit of variety on the wall.

The main draw of this design is how easy it is to decorate around and keep clean. So, overall, you can't go wrong with subway tiles, whether your house is brand new or centuries old.

Does My Kitchen Need A Backsplash?

Yellow tones kitchen with tile decorated back-plash, kitchen appliances

Your kitchen doesn't necessarily need a backsplash, but having one is useful. A kitchen backsplash keeps the underlying wall protected from moisture and food while adding color to your space.

Since kitchens often tend to be plain, installing a backsplash can make a massive difference in design. When we walk into a kitchen, a backsplash can be one of the first things that attract our attention.

Whether it's classic Italian tile, a glossy white subway design, or a chevron pattern, the backsplash in a kitchen always stands out. Therefore, not having one in your home may cause it to lose that spark.

Color and texture are crucial when planning a home, so we recommend having a backsplash, even if it's neutral and simple because it will protect your walls and give your design a well-thought-out feeling.

Does My Backsplash Have To Be Tile?

No! Your backsplash's primary purpose is adding color, texture, and protection to the walls, so tile isn't your only option.

Even though tile backsplashes are the default choice, you can easily create a backsplash from something else. You can use wallpaper, chalkboard paint, Venetian plaster, metal, or wood.

We recommend using a material that is waterproof, so you don't have to worry about mold or damage occurring down the road.

To Wrap Up

Whether you need to redo your kitchen backsplash or are planning one for a new build, it's always good to have an idea for the pattern. Although staggered and straight tiling are both excellent options for a backsplash, staggered designs tend to be more common.

We recommend following a subway theme if you want to use straight tiling in your space. Either option can work nicely as long as you plan accordingly.

While we have your attention, check out these related posts!

Backsplash Does Not Reach Cabinets: What To Do?

Does Kitchen Backsplash Need Trim Or Edging?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *