4 Best Types Of Tile Materials For Your Kitchen Backsplash

Kitchen backsplashes are meant to protect walls from cooking related messes but also creates an aesthetic statement. Backsplash design is an integral part of any kitchen makeover. From our experience at SAVU LLC they are often one of the last segments during kitchen remodeling. In this post you can learn about the best types of backsplash tile materials to choose from, including the pros and cons.

1. Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tiles are made of clay or other inorganic materials, hardened by oven firing and coated with different types of glaze. Ceramic tile is one of the most popular options for a kitchen backsplash. They are known to be versatile, coming in many shapes, sizes and colors.

The price per tile can vary widely depending on the size, thickness and manufacturing process of the tile. The most common type, glossy glazed ceramic tile, is one of the least expensive tile. On the contrary, hand made fireclay ceramic tile can be as expensive as marble.


  • Wide variety to choose from
  • Can be low cost
  • Low maintenance


  • Hand made ones can be costly
  • Can vary in size and color from lot to lot, especially the hand made ones
  • Can crack easily during the shipping process


2. Porcelain Tile

Porcelain tiles are actually a subtype of ceramic tile. While ceramic tile is made by firing and glazing wet clay, porcelain tile are produced from compressing very fine clay dust fired at high temperatures. Porcelain clays are denser and thus less porous than ceramic clays. 

The high density and low porosity of the porcelain makes it less absorbent.

But porcelain’s low porosity means it requires a special compound for setting that is different than the one used for regular ceramic tile.

Being a harder material, porcelain tiles are stronger and more durable, and chips are less likely to occur.

Porcelain tile is generally more expensive than ceramic, as well as a higher installation cost.


  • Durability
  • Can look like a more expensive material (marble)
  • Excellent resistance to water infiltration
  • Doesn’t crack or chip easily


  • Less variety in shape, size, color and pattern
  • More expensive than ceramic
  • Requires modified setting material to anchor it to substrate

3. Marble Tile

Marble is a metamorphic rock found in mountainous regions. It forms when a sedimentary stone, such as limestone, is transformed under heat and pressure into a harder stone.

Marble is an elegant and luxurious option for your kitchen backsplash.

However, this material is expensive and comes with higher maintenance. Marble has higher porosity than ceramic or porcelain so it can stain and scratch easily. To prevent stains, marble requires regular sealing (first time around installation, then once every year).

Because marble is a natural stone, every lot of marble tiles have slightly different coloring and veining. If you choose marble for your backsplash installation, make sure all your tiles come from the same original batch.


  • Elegant, upscale appearance
  • Timeless look
  • Adds real estate value


  • Expensive
  • High maintenance, requires regular sealing
  • Scratches and stains easily
  • High variation in coloring and veining from one batch to another

4. Glass Tile

A glass tile backsplash can add sparkle and brightness to a kitchen. They more “green” than other materials since most of them are made from recycled glass. It usually takes half the energy to make glass tile as compared to a ceramic tile of similar size.

Glass tile are easy to clean but shiny glass tiles are more prone to showing fingerprints and smudges. They are also mold and mildew resistant since they don’t absorb water.

Because glass tile need special adhesive and they are more difficult to cut and install, their professional installation is one of the most expensive.


  • Expands the space through their reflectivity
  • Easy to clean
  • Eco-friendly


  • Expensive professional installation
  • Can easily show fingerprints and smudges
  • Being fragile, it can break during the shipping process

In conclusion all types of backsplash tile material: ceramic, porcelain, marble and glass have their pros and cons.

In the end it is your choice based on your preference and personal budget.

At SAVU LLC our tile installers can help you with any backsplash project. You can contact us for a free remote estimate, we would love to hear about your choice!

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