When you’re redoing your kitchen, a brand-new tile backsplash should be anywhere but the back of your mind. Sure, backsplashes might, at a functional level, protect your walls from splashes and spills, but the best kitchen backsplashes are also a critical aesthetic element to any kitchen design or bathroom decor. For decades now, tile has been the most common backsplash choice because of its versatility, variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, and range of price points. Let’s take a look at our top ten tile backsplash options!

1) Classic Subway Tiles Right off the bat, backsplashes made of subway tile are one of the most classic, affordable, and trendy backsplash options on the market. Originally used in the New York subway system and the other transportation hubs around the world for its non-porous, easy-to-clean properties, these tiles now come in an enormous range of sizes, glazes, colors, and materials. If you’re into a fresher, more contemporary backsplash idea, try using a stacked bond pattern (where the rows of tiles are stacked on top of each other, rather than aligned to the middle of the tile below) or a contrasting grout color. A little twist on this classic goes a long way!

2) Geometric Tiles Geometric tiles are another easy, timeless tile backsplash choice. The unusual shapes provide visual interest and variety, and pairing with simpler cabinetry and countertops assures the backsplash design won’t be overpowered. Trendy geometric tiled backsplashes are a great and affordable alternative subway tiles or other rectangular or square tiles; I’m a huge fan of them because they’re available in a huge (sometimes even overwhelming!) range of materials, sizes, colors, and finishes, so make sure you have some inspiration images beforehand.

3) Tile Murals I always love a kitchen with its own special something, and if you’re looking for a unique element, an ideal kitchen backsplash material is a tiled mural. Muraled backsplashes made out of tiles can create a focal point in your kitchen, and range in style from traditional, Tuscan-inspired images (think yellow and orange-toned landscapes with rolling hills, stuccoed cottages next to fields of golden wheat) with thick tiled borders to more modern, current versions that blend in seamlessly with typical tile dimensions.

4) Marble Tile Transforming one of the most utilitarian spaces in your home into a glamorous, high-end kitchen is easy when you use marble that’s been cut into tile. Marble tile backsplashes are definitely more affordable than large marble slabs, but they still achieve that luxurious, timeless look for a perfect kitchen backsplash. Another perk? Using marble tiles instead of marble slabs gives you a chance to create patterns with the tiles and mix in other colors and types of marble. However, make sure you choose a less porous stone and that you get the marble sealed as necessary.

5) Patterned Cement Tiles Not sure what those brightly-colored, matte-finished tiles you’re seeing all over are? Patterned encaustic cement tiles are one of the biggest trends in tiled backsplashes right now. These tiles, traditionally produced in the Spanish province of Catalonia and used as brightly-colored but durable flooring in the 1800s, are experiencing a huge resurgence. Their bold impact -- with both traditional floral and Mediterranean-style patterns and more contemporary, geometric motifs -- makes them ideal for an enduring but popular kitchen backsplash. Your best bet? Go with neutrals for the cabinets and countertops if you use a punch of color with your cement tiled backsplash.

6) Mosaic Tile Mosaic tile is another tile with a long history, originating thousands of years ago but also recently experiencing a boom in popularity. The small size of the mosaic tiles make it a great option if you’re trying to tie together a bunch of different colors in a kitchen or just want some subtle tonal variation in your backsplash. Like other classics, kitchen backsplashes made out of mosaic tile are great because of their versatility, easy installation, and availability in a wide range of patterns, sizes, and materials.

7) Glass tile If you think your kitchen needs a pop of color and an enhancement of natural light, glass tile for your backsplash is your best option. The reflective properties of glass tile, whether it is clear, pearlescent, or opaque in transparency, mean that it will brighten up any space. Although it does run on the pricier side, glass tile makes for a top kitchen backsplash because it is easy to clean and scratch resistant.

8) Mixed & Matched Tile If you can’t decide on one tile for your perfect kitchen backsplash, fear not! Mixing and matching different tiles in your kitchen is most certainly an option, and can even save you money if you are able to find tiles on clearance that work together. The look is a more informal, relaxed one, but it is unique and fun. Try sticking with tiles for your ideal kitchen backsplash that are either in the same color family, scale, or size to maintain a sense of cohesion.

9) Metallic Tiles The perfect kitchen backsplash can easily be the statement piece of your kitchen -- if not your whole house -- if you pick out a metallic tile. The richness in color, combined with the shimmer and reflection of the metallic finish, creates a dramatic feel that works in both large and small kitchens. Consider pairing this top kitchen backsplash with a more neutral palette, or go for a pop of color for something exciting and fashion-forward!

10) Textured tiles Textured tiles can provide a strong visual impact for trendy kitchen backsplashes by creating subtle (or not-so-subtle) patterns with light and shadow -- and they do so without bringing in additional colors to your decorating color scheme. Textured tile backsplashes add dimension and depth to any kitchen backsplash, and can even bring a sense of warmth and handcrafted care to your kitchen decor. Be sure that you consider installation methods that might be more complex because of the texture of the tiles, and make sure that the textured part of the tile backsplash has rounded edges for easy cleaning!

Ultimately, while you may think that cabinet colors and countertop finishes are the most important components of your kitchen renovation, make sure you don’t forget a key design opportunity here -- a tiled backsplash. Whether you choose glass or geometric, metallic or mosaic, simple subway or unique muraled tile, your tiled kitchen backsplash has the potential to bring personality, color, texture, and even light and brightness to your space!