Open shelving is one of the hottest storage trends, allowing you to show off your books, collections, beautiful dishes, canister sets, plants, and more. And, when paired with your favorite backsplash tile design, open shelving can make an even greater design impact.
If the idea of ceramic tile with open shelving intrigues you, you’ve come to the right place. We’re exploring options for open shelving tile backsplashes and tile walls, from shelf choices to tile designs to fun add-ons.
Open Shelving Options for Tile Backsplashes and Tile Walls
Let’s start with the shelves themselves.
Natural Wood Open Shelves
A popular pairing for open shelving is ceramic tile with natural wood shelves. For a more clean-cut look, choose a straight-edge wood as in in the first photo. Live edge wood (as in the second photo) is a great option for a more rustic look.
You have several wood types and stains to choose from to best fit your existing kitchen decor. For extra durability and a wider range of colors and textures, choose wood-look ceramic tile to create your shelves.
[Related: Tile Trend Ideas: Refined Natural Wood Looks]
Open Shelving Colors
If you don’t want to go the wood look route, white and black are popular colors for open shelving. However, any color is possible! One idea, such as this, is to match your open shelving to your kitchen cabinets or to match/coordinate with your backsplash tile.
[Related: Black and White Tile Designs for Every Space]
Hardware vs. No Hardware
You can support your shelving with hardware such as shelving brackets that work with your design. Shelf hardware can help create an industrial look in your kitchen, whereas floating shelves without hardware are more minimalistic.
[Related: Tile Trend Ideas: Industrial Chic Tile]
Best Backsplash Tile Options for Open Shelving
The other part of the equation is the backsplash tile itself. A kitchen backsplash can be defined as the area behind the stove or sink. Ceramic tile provides moisture, heat, and stain resistance — a protective measure to safeguard the wall. You may see a backsplash that covers the vertical wall area between the countertop and the cabinets above. Floating shelves allow the tile to extend (even a full wall of tile), while still achieving easy-access storage that pulls double duty as a decor element. Your tile design options are truly limitless. Here are a handful of options to help guide you in your selection.
White Subway Tile Backsplash With Open Shelving
What better place to start than the most popular backsplash tile option? White subway tile is a timeless look that works in any kitchen and with any shelving.
For a twist on the classic subway tile pattern, consider choosing a different dimension for the rectangle tiles (bigger, smaller, more square, etc), or choose a marble-look tile rather than white. You can also set your tiles vertically or horizontally stacked for a contemporary look or alter the offset of the pattern for a unique touch.
More White Backsplash Tile Ideas With Open Shelving
Subway tile isn’t the only white tile design that pairs well with open shelving. In fact, white tile is the favored tile color for open shelving because of the clean design it creates as a backdrop for your essentials.
Colorful Backsplash Tile With Open Shelving
Ceramic tile is available in such a wide range of colors and styles that you have a seemingly endless array of options. Consider how the color of your tile can set the tone for your space and impact your mood. Open shelving gives you the opportunity to add decorative storage without hiding your beautiful tile (or Grandma’s dishes).
The neutral cabinetry, countertop, and flooring allow the pink backsplash to take a cheery (also, cherry!) center stage in this kitchen. We love how the gray open shelving matches the pink tile’s gray grout.
Another blue backsplash with open shelving, but a completely different look. Dark blue herringbone tile pairs with warm light brown open shelving and indoor plants to create a classic Hygge environment. Wall-to-wall shelving gives you ultimate versatility but limits wall space for artwork. Resting art on the shelves lends variety to these packed shelves.
A black tile backsplash with open shelving? Yes, please!
This black herringbone tile mosaic and contrasting white grout create a bold backdrop, while the natural wood open shelving softens the look.
Patterned Backsplash Tile With Open Shelving
A little pattern never hurt anyone. These two patterned tile backsplashes with open shelving show you the breadth of your options, ranging from geometric patterns to hand-painted designs. Use patterns for a specific feature wall or in a small area for maximum impact without visually overwhelming the space.
Textured Tile Backsplash With Open Shelving
Open shelving already adds a three-dimensional element to your tile backsplash, so why not take it one step further? Textured tile is a great choice to add even more personality to your kitchen backsplash.
Uniquely Shaped Backsplash Tile With Open Shelving
Say so long to squares and rectangles — ceramic tile comes in just about any shape you can imagine, and they all look great with open shelving. This bubblegum pink eight-pointed star and X-shaped tile is just one of your many options.
Different shapes can strategically combine to create a unique pattern, such as this natural stone-look tile backsplash with open shelving.
We’re seeing cubes, and it’s thanks to the specific layout of these turquoise diamond tiles. They provide the perfect contrast to the deep brown open shelving (which also matches the kitchen island).
[Related: Tile Trend Ideas: Think Outside the Box]
Staggered Backsplash Tile With Open Shelving
Staggered tile transitions are a trending design choice for backsplash and wall tile and look great with open shelving, as these two examples show. Which do you prefer, the staggered multicolor hexagon tile, or the staggered patterned square tile?
[Related: Get Creative With Staggered Tile Transitions]
Here are a couple more design elements to consider to make your backsplash tile with open shelving extra unique.
You’ll likely be displaying some of your favorite pieces on your open shelving, so why not really show them off? Installing light fixtures above your open shelving can add effective accent lighting to your kitchen while also making it easier to admire the items on display.
Under-the-Counter Open Shelving
Another option is to install open shelving below your counter instead of above it. This works best with full-wall tile and may be more achievable in bathrooms, but we’d love to see a creative incorporation in a kitchen. Specifically these lower open shelves are helpful to achieve universal design (UD) advantages in any room for full accessibility.
The Best Backsplash Tile With Open Shelving for You
As we’ve illustrated with these examples, the ideal ceramic tile backsplash or wall with open shelving combination is fun to achieve with options that fit your space and taste! Explore even more ideas on our Pinterest boards!