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Backsplash tile trends: chevron mosaic tile

2021 Tile Backsplash Ideas: 30+ Mosaic Tile Trends

The time has come. You’re finally going to remodel your kitchen, and the final piece you need to pull the whole look together is some trendy backsplash tile. 

Choosing a backsplash mosaic is no small task. In fact, it’s one of the most important design choices you’ll make. Just think about it: this is what you’re going to be staring at all the time when you cook and wash dishes. You need to make sure you love how it looks, or you’re in for some serious buyer’s remorse down the road. 

But wait, don’t panic just yet! This style guide to 2021’s biggest backsplash trends can steer you in the right direction. From the most popular shapes and patterns to the trendiest colors, this in-depth guide covers everything you need to know about this year’s hottest looks. 

What Other Experts Are Saying

“Creative use of shapes, texture, and patterns are driving the current trends in tile. Examples include fabric textures, which give a softer, warmer feeling. Encaustic tiles and imitations provide a Victorian feel. Shapes, some traditional like hexagon and diamond, others ranging from fish scales to raindrops to arabesque are very popular as design features. Depth and dimension, either actual high/low surfaces or the illusion of depth are preferred over the flat surface. Finally, subway tile remains popular but in larger formats, not just the traditional 3×6 size.” – Steve Radford, Daltile

“There has been a surge of unconventional tile shapes and layouts for 2021. Designing with different tile cuts in the same space is on the rise, and can make for stunning interiors! With the wide variety of shapes available, like long planks, diamonds, and hexagons; the possibilities are endless. As with any trend, some will have more staying power than others. If you choose to get more creative with your pattern, it’s better to stay with natural or neutral colored materials for the longevity of the design.” – Cynthia Flottmann, Roux Design Studio

Backsplash Tile Types

What are the latest innovations in backsplash tile, and what are the trendiest materials? Find out here.

Peel and Stick Tile Backsplash

Backsplash tile trends: peel and stick wall tile

It’s no secret that people like taking shortcuts. The problem is, those shortcuts can sometimes lead to low-quality results in the long run. That’s not the case with peel and stick backsplash tiles! You truly get the best of both worlds when it comes to ease and quality.

Get this – manufacturers have developed backsplash tiles, made from real stone, that come with a pre-applied adhesive. To install, all you have to do is peel off the backing, stick the tile to the wall, and you’re done. Seriously! 

This is especially helpful since ceiling-height backsplashes are becoming increasingly popular. If you want to show off your tile and take it all the way to the ceiling, that’s a lot of installation. With this easy DIY option, you can keep up with the trends with less effort.

The best part is, since these peel and stick tiles are made from high-quality stone, no one will know how little effort was required to make your kitchen look this good. Unless you brag about it, of course, and I wouldn’t blame you for that.

Will the peel and stick backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

The trend of peel and stick backsplash tile is only going to grow. As more and more people discover that they can have DIY-friendly tile that’s also genuine stone, it’s going to take the world by storm. Whether you’re a house-flipper, or just like DIY projects, you definitely need to consider peel and stick tile as an option.


Related Content >> How to Install Backsplash Tile

Grout-free Tile Backsplash

Backsplash tile trends: grout-free backsplash tile

Here’s another installation innovation that’s making life easier for DIYers. Grout-free backsplash tile cuts an entire step out of the installation process, while still providing professional-looking results. The stylish tile pattern and finish won’t betray the secret that you had to put in a fraction of the effort you would with traditional tile.

Just like with peel and stick tile, these grout-free products are made with real stone. You don’t have to sacrifice the luxury for function. Plus, you get to save some money that you would have otherwise spent hiring a professional to install the tile. You can put that money in your piggy bank instead! Or spend it on another upgrade to your kitchen.

Will the grout-free backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

Without a doubt! You’re going to see more DIY-friendly backsplash tile as manufacturers work hard to make installation easy for you. It only makes sense, if you think about it. The DIY revolution is well underway, and people are constantly looking for projects they can do themselves. 


Related Content >> Backsplash and Mosaic Tile Guide

Porcelain and Ceramic Tile Backsplash

Backsplash tile trends: porcelain and ceramic tile

When you think of a typical tile, porcelain and ceramic are likely the first options to come to mind. It makes sense because these materials have been around for so long that they’re a staple of interior design. Porcelain and ceramic tiles are durable, water-resistant, and some of the most reliable tiles options on the market.

But wait a minute! Aren’t we supposed to be talking about trends? “Staple of interior design” doesn’t sound like a trend to me. 

Don’t worry, you’re still in the right place. If you take a look at what manufacturers have been doing with porcelain and ceramic lately, you’ll see that these classic tiles are still as trendy as it gets. These days, you can find ceramic and porcelain mosaic tiles in endless shapes, colors, and sizes. They can look like anything, and that means they can always keep up with the latest styles.

Will the porcelain and ceramic backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

This trend is sure to last. If you want a backsplash mosaic that can stand the test of time, opt for porcelain or ceramic tile.


Marble Tile Backsplash

Backsplash trends: marble-backsplash tile

The kitchen is one of the best places in the home to pull out all the stops when it comes to renovation because it’s guaranteed to increase home value. If you’re looking for a backsplash that says “high-end luxury,” then I’ve got one word for you: marble.

Both classic and contemporary, marble is worth the price for that iconic stone backsplash. With beautiful swirling patterns, marble offers a one-of-a-kind appearance and the certainty that no other backsplash in the world looks exactly like yours.

Working on a tight budget but still wanting those gorgeous marble looks in your own kitchen? Plenty of marble-look tiles can give you a convincing appearance with a smaller price tag (more on that later).

Will the marble backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

Yes, it will last! Marble is set to become a much larger trend in modern spaces as homeowners move toward more luxury looks. 


Limestone Tile Backsplash

Limestone tile backsplash with modern hexagon desigh

Recently, tile has seen a renaissance of stone-look products that aren’t actually stone, and that’s great! But sometimes, you just want the real thing. With genuine limestone backsplash tile, you can go in a lot of directions when it comes to style. Sometimes you might want the natural beauty of the stone to take center stage, so you’ll keep it simple in terms of shape and pattern.

Other times, though, you want your inner fashionista to shine, and that’s what we’re seeing with limestone recently – natural stone in some less-than-natural patterns. Like hexagons, for example! It’s the best of both worlds, with trendy patterns and traditional materials that combine to make something great.

Will the limestone backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

Limestone backsplash is never really going to go out of style. It’s classic. It’s versatile. Plus, it’s certain to increase the value of your property (I’m looking at you, homeowners). It’s been around for years and years, and that’s not going to change any time soon.


Travertine Tile Backsplash

Travertine tile backsplash in a kitchen

Like limestone, travertine tile is something of an institution. It has been covering and protecting backsplashes (and looking good while doing it), since before peel and stick tile ever existed. With the growing trends of unique, designer shapes in tile, travertine is experiencing a well-deserved refresh.

You can now find the gorgeous, sought-after look of travertine in more modern styles, with cubic tile, metallics, and tons of other fun updates. Think of it as a classy, blank canvas that you can style to fit whatever trend you’re loving right now.

Will the travertine backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

Just like limestone, travertine isn’t going anywhere. Expect to see this natural stone backsplash in homes for many years to come. 


Glass Tile Backsplash

Glass mosaic tile backsplash in a bathroom

If you want a modern kitchen, installing a glass backsplash mosaic is one of the easiest ways to get that look. There’s just something about glass mosaic tile that makes it perfect for contemporary spaces. The high-gloss finish, the translucence, and the colorful accent options all combine to create a backsplash that’s bright and fun.

In the past, a glass mosaic could cost quite a lot, and it was seen as a luxury. These days, with easy to install, pre-assembled sheets, glass backsplash tile is accessible to everyone. Install it with some nice chrome fixtures and some minimalist decor, and your look is complete.

Will the glass backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

Glass mosaics are going to grow in popularity in the next few years. It’s likely that this will become a lasting trend that homeowners will choose as a go-to option for the modern kitchen.


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Backsplash Tile Looks

Now you know what types of tile are popular this year, but what about the looks? Tile is so versatile that it can look like almost anything, from fabric to marble and even brick. Discover the latest looks that everyone is talking about.

Wood-look Backsplash

Tile backsplash trends: wood-look picket tile

Wood-look tile is a huge trend for tile flooring. So huge, that it’s left most of the other trends behind in the dust. It’s a little bit different with mosaic and backsplash tile, though. 

It’s not quite as popular, and when you do see a wood-look backsplash, it could be very subtle. That means wood-look backsplash tile won’t likely be in plank form. In fact, you might see a subtle wood-look pattern with highly modern shapes like pickets. 

With wall tile, there are more ways to get creative with different textures, finishes, and shapes compared to floor tile. Since there are options like glass, 3D tile, and even metallics, it makes sense that wood-looks aren’t quite as big. That doesn’t mean it’s not a trend! It’s just not dominating the field like with floor tile. You’ll still see it around, especially with farmhouse and cottage style bathrooms and kitchens. 

Will the wood-look backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

Wood-look tile probably won’t ever be as popular for backsplashes as it is for floors. That said, because it’s wood-look, it won’t ever truly go out of style either. 


Stone-look Backsplash

Stone-look tile backsplash mosaic in a bathroom setting

Everyone knows why authentic stone is a popular choice for mosaic tiles: the natural patterns and color variations are gorgeous. Stone gives any space a feel of luxury. You already know that marble, limestone, and travertine are trending right now, so what’s stopping you? Maybe the price?

Now, with advanced manufacturing technology, stone-look porcelain or ceramic tiles give you the same convincing appearance with a cheaper price tag. This is perfect for people on a budget who still want really high-end looks in their home.

Will the stone-look backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

As stone-look tile gets better and better at mimicking the real thing, more homeowners will buy into this trend. It makes sense that these sought-after looks would explode into popularity when they become more accessible.


Pebble-Look Backsplash

Backsplash Tile Trends: pebble-look tile backsplash mosaic

Are you the kind of person who sees the beauty in imperfection? Then a pebble mosaic tile backsplash could be for you. Bypassing clean lines and regular shapes, pebble backsplashes offer the raw, rustic beauty of nature.

While lots of trends are looking to the future for inspiration, pebble mosaic tiles call back to the past. It’s a time-honored, historical style. 

This more natural look is sure to be a winner if you want a rustic, farmhouse, or cottagecore kitchen. By the way, if pebble tile appeals to you, and you don’t know about cottagecore interior design, Look it up! It’s adorable.

Will the pebble-look backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

Stacked stone and pebble backsplashes are known to fade in and out of style somewhat regularly. Because this is such a distinct look, it’s best to only install pebble-look tile if you don’t plan to sell your home in the next several years. As beautiful as it looks, the trends might be much different then. 


Marble-look Backsplash

Marble-look kitchen backsplash tile

We covered authentic marble tiles. Now it’s time to talk about tiles that mimic marble. Marble looks are everywhere right now, and for good reason. There’s something so timeless about marble. It can be bold or understated, and it works with contemporary styles just as well as more classical decor. Marble-look backsplash tiles give you all these benefits at a more affordable price. 

In addition to cost, marble-look tile is more low-maintenance than the real thing. With genuine marble, you need to be careful about how you seal and clean it, or you could end up damaging the appearance. That’s less of a worry with marble-look tile.

Will the marble-look backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

Without a doubt, you’re going to see more marble-look mosaics and backsplashes in the future. As manufacturers find ways to make faux marble look increasingly convincing, this trend is only going to grow.


Brick-look Backsplash

Tile backsplash trends: shaw classic brick-look tile

Industrial, farmhouse, shabby-chic – a brick-look backsplash can go with almost any style. Something great about the brick-look style is that it’s so versatile. It can look bright and fresh, or whitewashed, or even a bit weathered and worn down. It’s all about what you want it to bring to your backsplash.

The classic brick backsplash is now available to you without any actual bricklaying required, hurray! Brick-look tiles come in a ton of different colors and finishes for you to get creative with. The best part? No one’s going to know that it’s not the real thing.

Will the brick-look backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

Probably for a little while, but you can expect other trends to dominate for the next few years. Of course, brick is a pretty traditional backsplash, so it won’t vanish. However, the stone-look and designer shaped tiles are going to be more popular for a while.


Metallic-look Backsplash

Metal-look backsplash tile in a kitchen setting

Metallic looks are pretty special in terms of style. Luxury combines with an almost futuristic look to give your kitchen an extra wow factor. You won’t be able to miss it when you walk into the room.

Metallic-look tile pairs perfectly with geometric patterns, industrial and warehouse styles, and even more glitzy, glamorous aesthetics. Deck out your kitchen in gold, stainless steel, or iron.

Love the look of metallic luster tiles, but you worry it might overwhelm your space? Consider using metal-look tiles as an accent in a more neutral backsplash.

Will the metallic-look backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

Metallic-look tiles aren’t going to appeal to everyone, and are more of a trend for younger homeowners. While it looks great now, if you’re planning to sell your home a decade from now, it’s probably a better idea to go with something less edgy and a bit more toned-down.


Fabric-look Backsplash

Backsplash trends: Fabric-look mosaic tile

One thing you can’t get with tile is softness. But, you can make it look soft! Sort of. 

Some of the biggest trends right now involve tile that doesn’t look like tile. Instead, it copies the texture, finish, and shape of other materials. These days, tile can mimic all sorts of materials, including wood, stone, metal, and yes, even fabric. With fabric-look tile, you can bring your favorite patterns and styles of textiles to the backsplash.  

Fabric-look tile adds something unique and cozy to a surface that’s usually all about gloss and shine. Consider this option for shabby-chic and farmhouse styles to add a touch of personality to your space.

Will the fabric-look backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

Maybe it will stick around for a couple of years, but this is a pretty niche trend to begin with. If you’re concerned about selling your home, I recommend you choose a more traditional look and finish.


Encaustic-look Backsplash

Tile backsplash trends: encaustic-look tile

Encaustic tile has a long, rich history, dating back to times when it was made by hand. Now, that same sense of artistry and craftsmanship can be yours, with encaustic-look tile! It’s versatile enough to match any style, and it’s more affordable than the real thing, too.

Encaustic-look tile typically features bold patterns with lots of colors. You can expect intricate, detailed designs, with graphic styles ranging from geometrics to florals, to old-world and Victorian. These gorgeous patterns are so versatile, you can use them anywhere, but they’re especially popular in farmhouse kitchens.

Will the encaustic-look backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

This trend is just starting to grow, so expect it to become even more popular. Because it comes with so many colors and patterns, encaustic-look tile offers a little bit of something for everyone. So, naturally, everyone will want some! Be on the lookout for a flood of encaustic-look tiles taking over the kitchen backsplash in homes everywhere. 


Concrete-look Backsplash

Concrete-look mosaic tile

If you’re a fan of the industrial or warehouse aesthetic, then you’re going to love concrete-look tile. It’s minimalist, contemporary, and oh-so chic.

I know what you’re thinking. “Concrete” sounds like the complete opposite of “chic,” but as with so many design elements, it’s all about how you use it. The latest trend with concrete-look tile is to use modern geometric shapes, like triangles. This creates a neutral yet visually interesting backdrop for color accents and decor.

Will the concrete-look backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

Probably for a little while! Concrete-look tile is neutral enough to work in most homes, so I can see it becoming an easy choice for people who want a backsplash without a lot of noise. But will concrete-look backsplash tiles last for the long haul? That’s more likely with something like a stone-look tile.


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Backsplash Tile Color Trends

Regardless of the style of your backsplash, whether it’s modern or vintage, glass or stone, the color is going to make a huge impact on your space. This is the point where you determine how bold you want to be. Will the backsplash blend in, or will it provide an accent against the rest of the decor? The choice is yours, and here are some tips to help with your decision.


Tile backsplash trends: gray subway backsplash tile

Gray has taken over as the trendiest neutral in all areas of interior design, from carpet to paint, and yes, even tile. It’s cool-toned and contemporary and provides the perfect backdrop for bold accent colors in your kitchen. Think greens and blues for cabinets and kitchenware, with gray tile setting it all off.

Some trendsetters are even starting to blend grays with warmer colors, like beiges and browns, to create “greige” tile. A warmer tone of gray lets you play around with even more accent colors. Maybe you want oranges or reds, and now you can have them. The world of color is yours.

Just want a neutral gray kitchen, with no other pops of color? Of course, you can have that too. Lots of gray tiles come with intricate shapes, patterns, and textures that can make your backsplash the star of the show. 

Will the gray backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

Absolutely! Gray is going to be the ultimate neutral for the foreseeable future. Since it goes with so many other colors and styles, you can install a gray backsplash knowing that you won’t need to tear it out in a few years if you want to change up the look of your kitchen.



Green backsplash tile

I can’t think of a better color than green to make your kitchen feel fresh, clean, and bright. It’s the color of nature, energizing and relaxing at the same time, and it adds the perfect pop of color to the backsplash.

Darker, jade green tiles are especially big right now because they have a vintage, antique look that adds a personal touch to any space. But really, any shade of green is in right now, from deep jewel tones to lighter sage greens. 

Pair that backsplash with some potted herbs or a bowl of fresh fruit, and it’s like you’ve stepped into a kitchen from a magazine. Ready to go green?

Will the green backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

It looks like green is going to be a popular tile trend for a while. People are starting to introduce more color into the kitchen after a few years of more muted looks being the trend. Will it last forever? Probably not. Most bold color trends don’t (just think of all those orange shag carpets in the ‘70s). But if your heart is telling you that your kitchen needs a green backsplash, go for it!



Tile backsplash trends: Light-colored mosaic tile

Cramped kitchen? Transform into a space that’s airy and light with bright neutrals and whites. You’ll find light-colored tiles in all sorts of kitchens, from beachy and bohemian to Scandinavian minimalist.

If this trend is too tame for you, consider using muted tones with highlights of bolder color as a way to make your space feel larger without removing all the personality. Accents aren’t the only way to elevate this look, either.

More homeowners are taking advantage of the trend toward designer tile shapes and using tile patterns to create visual interest while still having lighter tile. Creative shapes like arabesques and hexagons add enough personality to allow more a muted color pallet.

Will the light backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

Light-colored tiles will be growing in popularity. While grays and rich jewel tones are really big right now, a simple light-colored backsplash is always going to remain a classic.



Backsplash tile trends: blue wall tile in a backsplash

Blue is almost like a neutral in how it’s so versatile in design spaces. I mean, it goes with practically everything, and it can be calm and cool, or bright and energetic. It’s all about how you use it. 

For a cool, contemporary kitchen, go for a dark blue or even a gray-blue, which will add drama without being too overwhelming. If you want something funky and modern, a bright electric blue will zap all the attention to the backsplash. Maybe you’re trying to create the Pinterest-perfect farmhouse kitchen. If that’s the case, a muted or powdery blue backsplash tile can complete the look.

When you really think about it, there’s not much that blue can’t do.

Will the blue backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

Yes, blue tile definitely has some lasting power – probably more than green. Especially if you choose a darker blue or a blue-gray, your backsplash should be in-style for several years.



Neutral glass mosaic backsplash

Admittedly, neutrals like beige, tan, and white aren’t the most exciting colors you could choose for a kitchen backsplash, but sometimes you want your kitchen to be a place of calm and serenity. Neutrals are all about that calm.

If you come to your kitchen for some cooking zen, a muted tone for the backsplash can help set the mood. A neutral backsplash can also act as a blank canvas, allowing you to get more creative in other areas of the kitchen. Do you want bright, bold cabinets, or a highly decorative tile floor? You can balance all that personality with some neutral tile.

Will the neutral backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

Neutrals are going to remain popular for the next few years. 2021 style seems to be all about extremes, with both bold colors and muted tones rising in popularity all at once. 


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Trending Backsplash Tile Shapes and Sizes

Here’s where things start to get really fun. Of all the mosaic tile trends, designer shapes are probably the most popular. There are so many shapes to choose from, and so many variations that allow you to personalize the look of your backsplash. Let’s explore those options now!

Subway Tile

Subway backsplash tile mosaic

When you walk into a friend or family member’s kitchen, it’s very likely that you’re going to see some subway tile. This tile has taken over, skyrocketing in popularity and finding its way onto virtually every “dream kitchen” Pinterest board. There’s just something about these little rectangles that people can’t get enough of.

So what’s so great about subway tile? A lot, actually. They offer that sought-after vintage look, which makes sense because they were used in early 20th New York City Subways. At the same time, you can modernize them, choosing from tons of colors beyond the traditional white, and even using them in more contemporary layouts, like herringbone patterns.

Will the subway tile backsplash trend last in 2021 and beyond?

Subway tiles will remain popular, but probably not the most popular tile for backsplashes. While they have been one of the biggest trends in backsplashes for years, people are moving more toward creative designer shapes. It’s definitely not a mistake to install subway tile in the kitchen, but if you want to be a trendsetter, focus more on newer tile shapes.


Square Tile

Backsplash tile trends: encaustic square tile

Here it is: the original backsplash tile. Square backsplash tiles have had a reputation for being, y’know…square. However, with the advent of encaustic-look and other patterned tiles, squares are enjoying a comeback.

If you want to focus more on the appearance or pattern, and less on the shape itself, a square tile can deliver plenty of style in a simplistic package. This has been huge for DIYers who want a complex looking backsplash without the hassle of installing something complicated. With pre-assembled tile patterns and designs on the surface, installing a detailed backsplash can sometimes be as simple as installing square tiles in a grid.

Then again, maybe you’re building a minimalist kitchen, in which case a classic square with white or neutral tones could be the perfect fit for you. The great thing about squares is that they can be pretty versatile, all things considered.

Will the square backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

Square tiles are going to stay in style. This trend may even grow in popularity as more manufacturers come out with shortcuts to complicated designs by adding them to square tiles. So keep your eyes open. You haven’t seen the last of these squares.


Hexagon Tile

Hexagon mosaic tile backsplash

One of the most popular tile shapes of the last few years, hexagons have proved to be incredibly versatile. Beyond the contemporary, geometric look of hexagons, there are options to mix and match finishes, colors, and materials. 

On top of that, random hexagon layouts and non-linear transitions between hexagon tile and other materials have taken this mosaic tile trend to another level. With so many ways to elevate hexagon tile beyond its shape, this has become a great option for futuristic styles. 

Alternatively, you can go in the other direction in terms of style and build a vintage look around hexagon tiles. That old-timey beehive tile look works perfectly as a mosaic border around subway tiles, for example.

Will the hexagon backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

My prediction is that hexagons are going to be popular for years to come. Because you can get so creative with them, it’s going to take a long, long time for people to run out of ideas. So go ahead and add some to your backsplash.


Picket Tile

Picket shaped backsplash tile mosaic

As a close cousin to the hexagon, the picket tile is a great choice for similar applications: modern and contemporary kitchens. Named for the picket fence plank it resembles, the picket mosaic tile is a great candidate for mixing and matching finishes and colors, no need for it to be all white. 

Since it’s more elongated than the beloved hexagon, some designers are calling the picket tile the more creative alternative to subway tiles. So if you like the look of longer tiles, but you also want to try something new, a picket backsplash could be perfect for you.

Will the picket backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

Picket mosaic tiles are definitely up-and-coming right now. As more people discover this trend, it’s going to become a popular alternative to both subways tiles and hexagons.


Arabesque Tile

Backsplash tile shapes: Arabesque mosaic tile

When it comes to intricate tile shapes, the arabesque is a showstopper. It adds flair to your kitchen, whether you go with an all-white look, or mix it up with accent colors and contrasting materials.

All those delicate scrolling lines contribute to an elegant, feminine style that elevates the rest of your kitchen. For a powerful look, use a contrasting grout color to emphasize the shape. You can cover the whole backsplash with an arabesque mosaic if you want, or you can tone it down some by framing an accent section right above the sink or the stovetop.  

Will the arabesque backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

Arabesques have staying power for the next several years, and they could even become a permanent fixture in mosaic tile. This timeless shape isn’t likely to make your kitchen look dated any time soon.


Linear Tile

Waterfall linear backsplash tile mosaic

Linear mosaic tile is especially popular for high-contrast backsplashes. The small tile format offers the perfect opportunity to mix and match color, finish, and material. Designers are using this style to combine glass, stone, and even metal in eye-catching patterns.

Another really popular trend involves arranging the tile into abstract images, like waterfall linear tile backsplashes as well as bamboo tile backsplashes. With the right color combinations, you can create the abstract look of bamboo or water cascading over your backsplash. Now that’s what I call a statement piece.

Will the linear backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

I can see linear mosaics sticking around for a few years, but will they last forever? Probably not. The high contrast and ultra-small format could look dated in a couple of decades.


Fan Tile

Fan backsplash tile mosaic in a kitchen

The fan tile, also known as the fish scale tile or scallop tile, is a favorite on Pinterest boards. It’s right up there with subway tile. The fan mosaic is by far one of the hottest trends in backsplash tile right now, especially in bathrooms, but they’re growing in kitchens as well. 

So why do people love fan mosaics? So. Many. Reasons.

First of all, this look is so unique. It makes a big, lasting impression. It’s modern, but also a bit whimsical. (I can’t be the only person who thinks of mermaids when I see this, right?)

Even better, this stunning shape lets you play with color. You can make it an understated white, or go all-in with bold colors and a contrasting grout to really make the look pop. It’s fun and playful and might be exactly what your kitchen needs to bring some new life into the space.

Will the fan backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

This highly decorative tile is incredibly popular right now, but I don’t think it will last. It’s just too unique, and more popular among younger homeowners. My guess is that fan tile will date your home in a few decades.


Leaf Tile

Leaf-shaped backsplash tile in a bathroom

Similar to arabesques, leaf-patterned mosaic tiles are all about delicate, curving lines. They’re named for their leaf-like appearance, but don’t think this tile pattern is only suitable for rustic, nature-filled kitchens. In fact, it’s more likely you’ll find leaf mosaic tiles in a modern styled kitchen. 

Will the leaf backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

I predict leaf patterns to be popular for a while before fading out of trendiness. It’s a fun geometric look, but it doesn’t have the staying power of something like arabesques.


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Trending Backsplash Tile Layouts and Patterns

If you want a more traditional tile shape like a rectangle or square, you still have the opportunity to get more creative with the tile layout itself. Ready to learn about some of the trendiest tile layouts for this year? 

Herringbone Tile

Herringbone patterned tile in a kitchen backsplash

The herringbone pattern is arguably one of the most popular tile patterns for backsplashes and beyond. It can look more modern or classic, depending on the style of tile you choose. Often the herringbone pattern is paired with subway tile, but it also works with large format tile and small mosaic tile, too.

This is known by some as a zig-zag pattern, but whatever you call it, those v-shaped rows of rectangles really pack a punch when it comes to style. It’s simple yet bold, especially if you go for a contrasting grout color. Just think of your kitchen decked out with a bright white subway tile and a contemporary gray grout. Or, you could experiment with color and install vibrantly-colored subway tiles with crisp white grout to really set them off.

Will the herringbone backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

The herringbone pattern isn’t going out of style anytime soon. It’s practically the gold-standard tile pattern, and while other trends may come and go, this one will stand the test of time.


Chevron Tile

Backsplash tile trends: chevron mosaic tile

Chic, sleek, and modern, the chevron is similar to herringbone in that they both have a v-shaped or arrow-shaped design. However, chevrons are cut at an angle to get a cleaner look. Don’t worry about doing any of the cutting yourself, by the way. These days, the tiles are all set into easily-installed pre-made sheets.

The sharp, clean lines and angles of chevron tiles are trendy and timeless all at once. Plus, chevrons are oh-so-versatile. Not satisfied with the angular awesomeness all on its own? Mix tile colors, textures, and finishes to add even more detail. Contrasting colors easily create a dramatic look. 

Will the chevron backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

You betcha! Chevrons are similar enough to herringbone tiles that you can expect them to stick together through the changing fads and trends. So if herringbone is still around, the chevron is right there, too.


Grid Tile

Grid tile layout in a bathroom backsplash

Simplistic and minimalist, grid tile lets you focus less on the pattern and more of the beauty of the tile itself. Yes, the grid tile pattern may be the most basic, but that doesn’t mean it’s out of style. In fact, there’s some elegance in the simplicity. 

The great thing about a grid is that you can use square or rectangular tiles, and you can orient them either vertically or horizontally. While a horizontal grid is more common, stacking rectangular tiles vertically can emphasize the height of a space and make it feel roomier.

Will the grid backsplash tile trend last in 2021 and beyond?

Because the grid pattern is so simplistic, it’s never going to truly fade out of style. It’s almost like the default setting for backsplash tiles. You’ll be seeing it around for as long as we use tile for the backsplash (so…forever).



Did we miss anything? Leave it in the comments – we’d love to hear your thoughts!

As you can see, there’s a lot going on in the backsplash and wall tile industry right now. There are so many unique options trending that will likely stick around for years to come, which means your possibilities are endless.

If you’re looking to get started with new trendy tile backsplashes, you can start with free samples!


About Chelsi Hewitt

Chelsi Hewitt

Chelsi Hewitt is a Phoenix-area writer with a specialty in flooring. She grew up obsessed with interior design and DIY projects, and that never went away. She joined Flooring Inc. to teach people about flooring and help them find exactly what they want for their home, garage, office, and more.

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