If you fell for a gorgeous slab, pair it with a backsplash material that will show it at its best.

You’ve chosen granite countertop for their beauty and durability. Are you still stumped about what to use for your backsplash? We have accumulated a few popular choices made by various designers, home-owners and builders.

Granite is tricky. There are so many different color and pattern choices. Some are very busy with wither movements or tones, while others are subtle. Some are dark, others are light. Some have large natural blotches (which some of us just love it for being “natural”) while others are dotty or splattered.

Each granite or marble slab is unique, so it’s impossible to make sweeping generalities about what will work with every color of granite. But if you look at why and how these pairings are pleasing and important, you’ll get some good ideas for a material to pair with the particular stone you’ve fallen for.

1) The same granite or marble, all the way up:

Full high backsplash are pretty common. Not only you get to see the beauty of the stone vertically (and match veining horizontally) to create a book match, it also makes it easier to clean and maintain. Just a regular swipe with soap water does the magic. When you are considering a full-high backsplash (as they call it) choose the part of the slab (whilst selecting) that you would like to highlight. It could be a particular section of colors or a dramatic mica or a pretty consistent movement. Think of it as an art painting on a kitchen wall.

2) The “standard” 4-inch backsplash in the same countertop:

This is usually called the “standard” as most fabricators provides these with the countertop to hide the gap between the countertop and the wall. This helps them complete the transition. If you prefer the white wall or just paint the wall to your color theme instead this is the way to go. You can always add glass mosaics or subway tiles later when you are ready.

3) Large rectangular tile:

Large subway tiles are in fashion now. 4×12, 4×16 even 6×12 or 6×24 planks. They make the room look larger. Coordinate these subway tiles and mosaics in travertine, porcelain and ceramic or even glass to create the kitchen backsplash that’s minimalist and warm.

4) Subway tiles:

The evergreen 3×6, 4×4 or 6×6 subway tiles comes in travertine, slate, glass, porcelain and ceramic and takes you back in time when they were first used in New York subway system. You could pick a color from your granite or marble countertop or the color which is dominant to choose the shade of your subway tile.

5) Glass tile:

The gloss finish of glass tile complements many granite and marble countertops. Consider a neutral tone that’s a close match for the main color field in the granite.

6) Interlocking mosaic tile:

It is a beautiful combination of glass and stone or glass and stainless steel mosaic tiles. Not only they are newer and modern they help you create or carry on the theme into another room. Match it with your living room fireplace or bar in the next room. The changes in tone in each of these handmade mosaic tiles are quiet and lovely. It’s easier to cut and install mosaics with meshed backing. The interlocking mosaics locks in place for the next piece for a smooth grout line finish.

7) Brick mosaic tile:

This one may seem counter-intuitive (no pun intended), but the 2×4 or 1×3, and other sized brick mosaic tile in are elegant mosaics which plays nicely with your color combination. It might seem like they would be two busy patterns, but the material and coloring of the backsplash is a calming counterpoint (pun intended).

8) Metal inserts and listello accents:

Plain subway tile might have been too plain here, but the dotting in the eclectic tile pattern plucked from the range mosaic adds a playful touch. Use chair rails and pencil liners to complete the project in style. Using metal inserts with natural stone backsplash such as travertine mosaics and marble tiles gives the look for richness. If you’re looking at a palette that has a lively travertine pattern but feels like simple white or cream blocks of tile then you should consider livening things up over the range. Creating a frame within the backsplash (behind cook-top) using chair rails or pencil moldings gets oomph effect.

9) Tumbled marble tile:

Tumbled subway tiles comes in marble, travertine and slate mosaics. The uneven edges creates that mid-century look on your backsplash. With wide grout lines they have no competition. When choosing your backsplash tiles, you’ll have a few places to pick up the right hues. Look to the range of colors in your countertop pattern to find the right darker tones. Look to your cabinet color as well. Tie the cabinets to the countertops with these tumbled subway tiles.

Now that you have seen some designers’ ideas, you can start to play with the colors, sizes, shapes, scales, materials, finishes and patterns of your backsplash-countertop combination until you get it right. Remember to pay attention to the colors and materials of the cabinets and walls too.