11 Outdated Backsplash Designs That Will Quickly Date Your Home

11 Outdated Backsplash Designs That Will Quickly Date Your Home

Backsplash designs are the natural focal point in kitchens and bathrooms and, as such, can have a significant impact on a room’s aesthetics. Homeowners frequently use the backsplash to add a touch of style and class by incorporating unique or colorful elements. Unfortunately, these elements can quickly become outdated and do not complement the overall aesthetic of the kitchen or bathroom.

These once-trendy styles frequently clash with the more classic or neutral elements in the design, resulting in a visual disconnect that causes the entire room to appear out of style much sooner than necessary. Updating your backsplash is an essential way to revitalize your kitchen or bathroom, ensuring that it reflects current design sensibilities and maintains overall cohesiveness.

Outdated backsplashes can quickly date your entire kitchen or bathroom, but they do not necessitate a full room renovation. The backsplash is usually a relatively easy design element to change if you are considering updating a room’s appearance.

Tuscan or Mediterranean Themes

Tuscan or Mediterranean Themes
Pacifica Tile Art Studio

Tuscan or Mediterranean-themed backsplashes, with ornate patterns, small mosaics, rich earth tones, and intricate tile work, were once synonymous with elegant and inviting kitchens. These backsplashes now appear artificial and unnatural. They are thought to be too busy for the modern, more streamlined style that characterizes contemporary kitchens.

Small Mosaic Tiles

Small Mosaic TilesSmall Mosaic Tiles
Synergy Design & Construction

Mosaic tiles, with their small, multicolored pieces, were once a popular choice for bringing color and texture into the kitchen. While some mosaics remain popular, the majority are too busy for a modern kitchen, visually overwhelming the design and making it feel cluttered. The tiny tiles break up the design, which contrasts with the modern, minimalist aesthetic. These are also an impractical choice in terms of maintenance; cleaning between all the lines takes time and is difficult to do.

Glass Tiles

Glass TilesGlass Tiles
Bill Fry Construction

Glass tiles were once considered an innovative material for kitchen and bathroom backsplashes, offering a reflective surface that added brightness and a modern look. Now, glass tiles, especially those with iridescent surfaces or bright colors, have fallen out of favor. These bold and vibrant colors look out of place in kitchens with organic and earthy styles. They also contrast with the modern trend of favoring handmade elements, muted colors, and textured surfaces.

High Contrast

High ContrastHigh Contrast
Turnstone Custom Homes

High contrast backsplashes have stark differences between the backsplash and the other kitchen materials. These were once popular for adding dynamism and visual interest to the kitchen or bathroom. However, high contrast backsplashes disrupt the design’s continuity, making it appear fragmented and incohesive. This bold approach now feels too harsh and out of sync with modern color schemes, which are softer and more integrated.

Decorative Themes

Decorative ThemesDecorative Themes
Riverside Homes Custom

Decorative murals or themes with scenes were once a simple way to personalize a kitchen while adding artistic flair. These murals or themes are eye-catching and can quickly take over the space. Decorative themes are not adaptable and easy to combine with new looks and styles. This level of detail and pattern makes it difficult to change the appearance of a design without undergoing a complete overhaul.

Low Profile

Low ProfileLow Profile
Schmidt Custom Homes

Low profile backsplashes are those that only extend a few inches above the counter. These were once common in most kitchens because they were both affordable and functional. Low-height backsplashes now feel incomplete and less sophisticated than taller, more expansive backsplashes. They also do not provide adequate wall protection in busy kitchens.

Busy Patterns

Busy PatternsBusy Patterns
Buckminster Green

Busy patterns, characterized by intricate designs and a multitude of colors, were once favored because they provided a striking visual element and were thought to add dynamism to the kitchen design. As design trends shift toward minimalism and simplicity, these busy patterns have begun to look outdated. The complexity and visual noise that these patterns create can overwhelm and dominate the kitchen or bathroom design. Busy designs clash with the modern trend of creating a cohesive, calm, and subtle design.

Lacquered or Stainless Steel

Lacquered or Stainless SteelLacquered or Stainless Steel
Cary Bernstein Architect

Backsplashes made of stainless steel and lacquered surfaces create an ultra-modern, contemporary aesthetic. These backsplashes were also admired for their seamless appearance and ease of cleaning. To the modern homeowner, these materials feel industrial and cold and don’t convey a warm and welcoming modern vibe. These materials do not effectively showcase the warm, textured decor or organic materials that are so vital in contemporary kitchens.

Glass Slab

Glass SlabGlass Slab
Griffin Enright Architects

Glass slab backsplashes were once a symbol of high-end, contemporary elegance. These backsplashes were also popular because they were simple to maintain and complemented a seamless design. Glass slabs can feel too impersonal and stark in modern kitchens. These glossy surface backsplashes are being phased out in favor of greater visual texture and countertop continuity.

Bright White Tile

Bright White TileBright White Tile
MainStreet Design Build

Bright white tile was a necessary element in the crisp white kitchens of the past. These tiles were the ideal backdrop due to their simple and clean appearance, but this straightforward surface, which was once so prized, now feels too sterile and devoid of nuance. The trend has shifted toward backsplash materials that add subtle texture and depth to the design.


Oakley Home Builders

Highly-textured backsplash materials, such as pebbles or rough stone veneers, were once prized for their ability to complement a rustic or natural kitchen or bathroom design. Their popularity has declined because they easily collect dirt and grime in their crevices and are difficult to clean. The bold textures of these materials also have the potential to visually overpower a design rather than provide a balanced element within the design.

Modern Backsplash Design Trends

Modern Backsplash Design TrendsModern Backsplash Design Trends
Dichotomy Interiors

The most popular backsplash design trends contain similar themes, such as the use of natural materials, subtle colors, handmade design, and sustainable production. Homeowners are opting for natural materials for backsplashes such as marble, slate, quartzite, and soapstone in both tile and slab form. These materials feature natural texture on their surfaces, which gives the kitchen or bathroom design the look of subtle movement and dynamism.

Backsplash tiles in subtle color palettes such as off-white, beige, and earth tones are popular in both contemporary kitchen and bathroom design. They complement, rather than overpower, most designs and provide a timeless, calming aesthetic. These colors are frequently used in handmade backsplash elements such as zellige tiles, which add artistic flair to the overall design.

Sustainability and eco-friendly materials are another popular design trend in the modern era. Some specific examples include using recycled materials or materials sourced from reputable suppliers or craftsmen. This means that backsplashes will not only be visually appealing but will also reflect the homeowner’s dedication to sustainability and craftsmanship.

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