SouthernLiving.com has photos and design ideas for backsplashes made with ceramic tile, rectangular subway tile, luminous glass tile, mosaic tile and metal tile. HGTV.com recommends the classic elegance of penny tiles offset by a dark grout to invoke a vintage look and feel.
Subway tile is a popular choice for commercial and home backsplashes. The typically white or light-colored rectangular tiles surrounded by a light grout color provide a neutral, understated design that pairs well with many different room designs. Mosaic tiles add more visual complexity to the backsplash when using tiles made from ceramic, stone, granite, glass or vintage pottery and china shards. Glass or mirrored tiles create a bright design that reflect light into the room, while natural materials, such as stone or granite, offer a softer, more muted matte feel. They are usually the more expensive material choice.
Mosaic design patterns can be free-form and diverse or literal and portrait-like. The tiles can be stuck to an adhesive mesh backing and then mounted on the wall, doing away with tile cutting and grouting. Homeowners can create a custom look by mixing different or unexpected materials together on the backsplash, such as combining tile and metal for a contemporary look. HGTV.com suggests painting existing tiles if they cannot be replaced.