Best Backsplash For Gray Cabinets: My Ideas

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Last updated: August 19, 2023

What is the best backsplash for gray cabinets?

Straight off the bat, here are some tips to get you started:

  • Gray backsplash with gray cabinets is an acceptable kitchen design choice, but choose different tile shapes for more charm and personality.
  • Combine dark gray cabinets with lighter gray backsplash and vice versa for contrast.
  • White subway tile is a classic and popular choice for gray cabinets.
  • Use square, round, or chevron tiles instead of subway tiles for more personality.
  • A pop of color like red, green, brown, purple, yellow, pink, or blue can make gray cabinets shine.
  • Metal-colored backsplashes like stainless steel and chrome can bring gray cabinets to the forefront.
  • Glass tiles or mirror tiles can add interest and vibrancy to a gray kitchen.
  • Marble, granite, and natural stone are all great choices for gray cabinets.

What does a gray color represent in the kitchen? Gray haters see dullness, cold-hearted, boredom, and depression.

Gray lovers see seriousness, serenity, relaxation, and charm. 

However, gray’s neutral tone makes it a polarizing shade.

Like all neutrals, gray stays in the background so other items can be the focal point.

The difference is gray is too invisible, making it less attractive than white, black, and brown neutrals.

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Fortunately, the color exists because it is the best of the lightest and darkest colors on the wheel, white and black.

The versatile color embraces any kitchen color scheme you can imagine because it can highlight certain parts of itself to radiate or ground clashing colors.

It’s a superb color for maintenance because it hides dust, dirt, and grime.

So, if you want to make gray lively, I have the best backsplash ideas for gray kitchen cabinets. 

Choosing The Best Backsplash For Gray Cabinets

I want to stress that there are light gray and dark grey shades.

A darker shade is better at propping up bright backsplashes and accessories, with a few exceptions.

A lighter shade does a better job of illuminating dark backsplashes and accessories.

Gray combinations with blue, green, yellow, brown, or beige shades also exist.

Those shades can affect how the backsplash looks against the cabinets and the countertop.

Overall, gray (or grey) is a classic color that will last long after the hype fades. 

I would also keep the light-dark balance in mind. A dark kitchen is depressing and scary, and a bright kitchen is distracting and chaotic.

A balanced kitchen uses light and dark colors for pleasant and striking results.

As you consider those options, here are some kitchen backsplash ideas you will love.

The first thing I would do is bookmark this page for inspiration.

There are interior designer-worthy ideas here for a kitchen remodel or DIY project.

There are also many places to buy backsplashes like Home Depot, Wayfair and for more even amazing examples, head over to Etsy.

All gray everything

It’s ok to choose the obvious and select a gray backsplash with gray cabinets.

It is an acceptable kitchen design choice, but gray tiles with a similar shade can be too unified.

Choose grey tile shapes like chevron, round, or hexagon tiles over subway tile backsplashes to give the kitchen charm and personality.

Combining dark gray kitchen cabinets with a lighter grey backsplash for contrast is a good idea.

It’s the same for light grey kitchen cabinets with a darker grey backsplash.

Gray-on-gray monochrome is magnificent with wood accents, metallic finishes, stainless steel appliances, or white kitchen features.

Let there be white

A white subway tile backsplash is a crisp and clean look for grey shaker cabinets and other gray cabinetry.

The bright neutral gives gray cabinetry an upscale and sophisticated vibe.

It’s a popular choice that looks fabulous with white, black, and grey grout color and meshes well with every kitchen theme imaginable.

To give white tiles personality, choose square, round, or chevron instead of subway.

The difference between subway and square tiles is square tiles are more pronounced and noticeable than rectangular-shaped subway tiles.

Turning the squares 45 degrees turns them into a diamond shape, and making a diamond white backsplash has a pillowed appearance that elevates gray cabinetry significantly.

The curvy lines of round tiles contrast the kitchen’s straight lines.

The curves soften the rigid lines on kitchen walls, cabinets, countertops, islands, and peninsulas.

It also adds elegance to traditional and modern design. 

The chevron tile takes the standard straight line and turns it into diagonal artwork.

The results are eye-catching and marvelous, making gray cabinetry anything but dull.

White is the perfect backsplash color to help grey cabinetry bounce artificial and natural light throughout the area. 

A pop of color

White and grey are the top color choices for gray cabinetry, but they are not the only ones.

A red, green, brown, purple, yellow, pink, or blue backsplash are colors that make gray cabinetry shine.

Picking subway tile in those colors is a great way to add an accent wall to your stylish kitchen.

Blue, purple, and green backsplashes channel a cool and calming vibe.

Red, brown, pink, and yellow add a warm and inviting vibe to gray’s cold ambiance.

Blue, green, and brown also channel an earthy vibe since they are earth-tone colors.

Pedal to the metal

Only gray cabinetry has the light-dark combination to balance out its shiny, reflective material with breathtaking results.

Metal-colored backsplashes bring gray cabinetry to the forefront and give it pizzazz.

Stainless steel and chrome are the most common metal backsplashes, and it is the perfect match for open shelving. 

Meanwhile, copper may be too risky for gray cabinetry because of its reddish-brown shine.

Darker gray shades or a gray-green shade are a better match to cool off the loud, reflective luminance than light shades.

Copper tends to compete with lighter gray shades rather than mesh, and copper wins, which defeats its purpose.

Should you go for gold metallic, the backsplash color will add a kick of color that rivals copper in loud brilliance.

As gold takes over as the centerpiece, gray’s dark tones keep the bold color grounded so it doesn’t outshine Studio McGee kitchen decor.

Specifically, dark shades have a better chance of blending with gold than light shades.

Glass half full

The default color is clear glass, which only works on cabinet glass doors where color is not essential.

I prefer colorful glass tiles or a pattern to add something interesting to the wall over bland subway tile.

Maintaining their transparency, the variety of glass tile colors and patterns accessible surprised me.

The most popular glass design is the herringbone pattern.

The stunning design gives wood, gray, and white cabinets, and countertops character, vibrancy, and movement that is missing in the stoic neutral.

Nonetheless, the material brings a modern look to the kitchen.

An alternative is mirror tiles. It does a decent job of reflecting natural and artificial light.

However, mirrors need to be in low-maintenance spaces like wet bars and nooks because they are not moisture-resistant.

Modern Kitchen Backsplash For Gray Cabinets: Solid As A Rock


Did you know black or white marble countertops can be beautiful kitchen backsplashes?

Marble is impressive near gray countertops and cabinetry because most slabs have a shade of grey.

That detail connects the marble to the kitchen beautifully. 

A kitchen with grey cabinetry, a marble countertop, and a marble backsplash is divine. It fits a traditional, contemporary, and modern kitchen with ease.

Popular marble colors are black, white, and gray; they shine alongside gray cabinetry. 

A backsplash in white marble radiates the area while giving an eye-catching, glamorous, and classic look.

A backsplash in grey marble is cohesive between the upper and lower cabinets.

However, it breaks away from the convergence through its colorful veins on the slab. 

A backsplash in black marble adds a bold and striking ambiance to the gray and white kitchen cabinets. Black marble is one of the few countertops that bring gray cabinetry to the forefront.

Extend white, gray, or black backsplashes to the countertop for a luxurious and seamless look.


Black marble is not the only way to get that striking appeal. A black granite backsplash can make gray cabinetry lovely too.

The difference is the granite is darker because there are no colorful veins; the saving grace is gray has enough brightness to balance its dark material.

Natural stone

Stone is a natural countertop material for strenuous tasks.

Take the same stone material and turn it into a backsplash.

It adds warmth and serenity next to light, dark, and warm gray cabinets.

Light stone colors help brighten gray-colored cabinetry.

Dark-colored stones add balance to light-gray-colored cabinetry and drama to dark-gray-colored cabinetry.

White walls would balance out the darkness of dark gray and dark stone backsplashes.

Some types of stone available are charcoal, limestone, slate, travertine, and engineered stone. 


While not a stone per se, brick backsplashes have a rough texture that clashes nicely with the smooth paint colors in the kitchen.

Against gray cabinetry, it brings an urban style, a hip vibe, and historic charm.

Brick comes in red, but I was shocked to find brick in gray, beige, and brown shades. 

Gray Backsplash Ideas: Turning The Tile Vertical

A fascinating way to decorate a backsplash is to turn the tile vertically instead of horizontally.

This approach lengthens the backsplash area to make the ceiling height taller.

Be sure the tiles are narrow to help sell the optical illusion.

Vertical backsplash tile comes in many colors, materials, patterns, and sizes.

It forces your eyes to notice lower and upper cabinets, floating shelves, countertops, and the kitchen island.

It’s an accent piece that adds personality and visual eye candy to a stoic kitchen.

An alternate backsplash material is bead board.

That is a great option for coastal, beach, nautical, farmhouse, rustic, cottage, and country themes.

You can use gray paint to let the texture break up the monochrome theme or choose another color to spice up the room.

Backsplash With Gray Cabinets: Wood For The Win

Wood-colored tile is not something to try unless your cabinets are light gray.

Dark gray cabinetry competes with wood instead of balancing it.

It can be boring as subway tile but interesting as a herringbone or chevron pattern. 

After figuring out the kinks, wood is beneficial in channeling gray’s calming personality, warmth, and rustic charm into the space.

The earth material has texture and identity through its wood grain.

Choose faux wood in ceramic or porcelain tile instead of genuine wood because it is durable and moisture-resistant.

The wood’s brown color has an excellent glow under pendant lights, natural sunlight, or other artificial light fixtures in the kitchen.

Wood can mold itself into several kitchen themes, including a modern, rustic, farmhouse, and traditional kitchen.

Gray Kitchen Cabinet Backsplash Ideas: Decorate To Your Heart’s Content

One of the boldest grey kitchen cabinet ideas is using the backsplash as a decorative pattern.

Mosaic detail, wallpaper, black and white varieties, and decorative artwork are vivid and outstanding.

Adding a decorative backsplash will give your cabinets charisma and charm, raising your cabinet game to the next level.

The best backsplashes stay grounded through gray cabinetry. If the gray cabinetry cannot contain its wild attitude, it may be too distracting for the kitchen.

Meanwhile, a wallpaper backsplash brings a vintage style to gray cabinetry. 

A mosaic backsplash mixes different shades to create an interesting visual for the eyes. Varying colors are not the only mosaic; they can be any decorative design.

You can also mix materials like porcelain, glass, or ceramic tile.

A white and black checkerboard backsplash is dazzling against gray cabinetry.

Stripe, print, triangle, and diamond black and white patterns are also great ideas. 

Another way to incorporate black and white with gray cabinetry is by mixing and matching the countertop and backsplash. Choose between white mosaic tile with black countertops or black mosaic with white countertops.

Decorative tile patterns say more about your personal preference than the kitchen. Combining the right backsplash colors and print design is essential.

The tile choice can be calming and inviting or too distracting to focus.

Gray Cabinets Backsplash: My Closing Thoughts

Here are some additional tips for choosing a backsplash for a gray kitchen:

  • Think about the style of your kitchen. If you have a traditional kitchen, you might want to choose a classic backsplash material like subway tile or marble. For a more modern kitchen, you could try something more contemporary, like glass or metal.
  • Consider the size of your kitchen. If you have a small kitchen, you’ll want to choose a backsplash that doesn’t overwhelm the space. A light-colored backsplash with a simple pattern is a good option.
  • Think about the budget. Backsplashes can range in price from very affordable to quite expensive. It’s important to set a budget before you start shopping so you don’t overspend.

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