Your Guide to Buying Backsplash Tiles

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Backsplash tiles are a section of tiles that is usually added onto the wall behind a sink or other part of a countertop such as a stove, and they are typically found in the kitchen area. The purpose of these tiles is to provide an easy to clean surface so that messes or splashes like splattered cooking oils will not permanently stain a kitchen’s walls or wallpaper. Not only are backsplash tiles used for protective purposes, but they can also add color and style to a kitchen. Backsplash tiles can range in shape, size, and style, offering a wide array of options to homeowners. After they are installed, they should occupy a large enough area to contain cooking splatters, and they should coordinate with the kitchen’s style. In order to give buyers an idea about which backsplash tiles will best fit their needs, this guide will discuss the various types of backsplash tiles that are available for purchase, and it will give instruction about how and where to buy backsplash tiles at retailers like home improvement stores and online merchants like eBay.

Types of Backsplash Tiles

Tiling is the most common material that is used for a kitchen backsplash. Depending upon the type of tile that a buyer chooses, they can create a number of different looks in their kitchen. Tiles can be made from glass, metal, stone, or natural ceramics that can feature everything from simple geometric patterns to designs such as fruit or flowers.

Mosaic Tile

The term "mosaic" refers to a large picture or design that is comprised of many smaller individual pieces. Mosaic tiles are typically classified by their size, which is usually two inches or smaller. These tiles can be either square or oddly shaped and are made from various materials like glass, ceramics, and porcelain. Mosaic tiles are popularly used for creating elaborate patterns, and their small size makes them perfect for assembling intricate designs and for combining a variety of colors. Traditional mosaic tiles are bright and vibrant, and these tiles can be found in a wide array of colors. Many are also textured or iridescent, and they vary in color when seen in different lights or from different angles. For a more modern kitchen look, buyers can place many mosaic tiles of the same color side by side in a single area.

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tiles are made from ceramic material such as earthenware and porcelain. There are numerous styles of ceramic tiles from which buyers can choose, from terra-cotta roofing tiles to delicate hand-painted porcelain tiles. These tiles vary in shape and in size and can be either thick or thin. Ceramic tiles are aesthetically pleasing and are easy to clean, making them perfect for use as backsplash in the kitchen. Because ceramic tiles can have many intended purposes beyond just kitchen use, buyers should make sure that the tile is treated to withstand water. Ceramic tile also comes in both glazed and unglazed form. Shiny ceramic backsplash tile is perfect for a modern kitchen, but it may look out of place in kitchens that are decorated in a more rustic, old fashioned style.

Porcelain Tile

Porcelain tile is baked at a higher temperature than other types of ceramic tile are, making it a more dense type of tile. Because of this, porcelain tile holds up better in areas of heavy use, making it a popular choice for backsplash tiles. Porcelain ceramic wall tile is also good at resisting both stains and moisture. The color that is used in porcelain tiling is mixed throughout the entire tile, meaning that if the tile is scratched or chipped, the damage will be less noticeable than it would be with other ceramic tiles like glazed and unglazed.

Vitreous Tile

Vitreous tile, also known as frost-resistant tile, is a type of ceramic tile. This tile has a low moisture absorption rate, absorbing less than three percent moisture and making it ideal for kitchen use, where it may come in contact with water, steam, or other elements. Vitreous tiles typically feature a shiny colorful surface area with a soft protective glaze and a ridged underside to help promote adhesion. They are made with durable, non-slip surfaces. Pre-made vitreous tile mosaics are available in sheets that can be directly mounted onto walls.

Glass Tile

Glass tiles are made from both new and recycled glass and offer higher durability than other styles of tile do. These tiles are come in a range of colors, shapes, and sizes. They are not only visually interesting, but they are also environmentally friendly by making use of repurposed glass, thus creating less waste. In addition to traditional clear and shiny glass, a number of finishes for glass tiles are available. Opalescent finishes offer either a reflective backing or an opaque color that is blended into the tile, while opaque (or sandblasted) tiles typically have a rough finish. Glass tiles can be solid in color or they can be patterned in a variety of ways, and they can be cut into an assortment of shapes such as squares, triangles, rectangles, and octagons. Smaller, lightweight glass tiles work well for ornamental applications such as backsplash areas. Since glass tiles are largely translucent, strategic placement of these tiles will allow either natural or artificial light to shine through them, creating an ethereal glow.

Natural Stone Tile

Natural stone tiles are manufactured from stone that has been harvested from the earth. This type of tile is known for its durability and for its unique beauty. Natural stone tiles can be cut to specified sizes and shapes. There are many types of natural stone tiles, with each containing its own attributes and appearance. Among the various types of natural stone tile are granite, marble, slate, and travertine.

Type of Natural Stone Tile



Granite is the second-hardest natural material on Earth, and tile made from granite comes in an array of colors, including those that are multicolored. It has a lustrous finish, making it ideal for backsplash areas.


Marble is a metamorphic rock that is composed of calcite. It comes in a variety of colors and often features striations that run through it. Although less durable than granite, marble is often used as backsplash.


Slate is a metamorphic rock made from volcanic ash or clay. This type of stone is durable and offers a subtle, yet attractive, look. Slate can be gray, red, green, purple, or beige in color. Although used for tiling needs, because slate is slip-proof, it absorbs water slowly.


Travertine is a sedimentary limestone rock. This stone can be cross-cut with the natural grain of the stone, creating an even look and color, or it can be vein-cut through many layers of the rock, giving it a striped look. Travertine comes in neutral shades of ivory, beige, and gold. It is porous, making it more likely to stain. Although it is not ideal for countertop use, travertine is often used for a backsplash.

When used as backsplash tiles, natural stone tiles offer many positive features that help to enhance a kitchen’s appearance.

Buying Backsplash Tiles on eBay

Although backsplash tiles can be found at various brick and mortar home improvement stores, the most common place to shop for tiles is online. When looking at backsplash tiles that are for sale online, be sure to ask about scratches and other defects. Upon starting your search, you should compare competitive market prices of tiles among various retailers by browsing through listings until you get a fair account of what a certain style of backsplash tile should cost.

Purchasing backsplash tiles online is made easy with sites like eBay because eBay offers both security and convenience. To find backsplash tiles on eBay, simply go to the homepage and search for "backsplash tiles" by typing those keywords into the search bar at the top of the page. On the search results page, choose the Home & Garden category and then click through the subcategories Home Improvement and Building & Hardware until you arrive at Tile & Flooring. You can further narrow your search by filtering by material such as ceramic, glass, marble, stone, and travertine.

Before finalizing any purchase on eBay, make sure that you are satisfied with what you are reading in the item description. Be sure to investigate sellers by clicking on the About the Seller tab on their profile pages. Choosing Top Rated sellers on eBay ensures that the seller has a history of customer satisfaction. In addition, you will need to factor shipping charges into the final price, as well as any costs for shipping insurance. Any questions that you might have are likely addressed in the eBay Learning Center.


The process of searching for and purchasing backsplash tiles can provide an outlet for creativity, while also giving a buyer’s kitchen a brand new, made-over look. These tiles not only provide an updated look to any space, but they also serve a functional purpose in a kitchen by helping to create an easy-to-clean surface area. By strategically placing backsplash tile behind the kitchen sink and stove area, homeowners can reduce the number of stains and splatters that would otherwise mar their walls. Many people will find themselves amazed at how the addition of backsplash tiles can transform the appearance of a room, because backsplash tiles come in a wide array of colors, shapes, and styles, each with their unique qualities. To tie together the overall look of a kitchen, buyers can choose a backsplash tile that complements their existing kitchen floors and countertops. With so many different ways to style these tiles into various patterns and color schemes, retailers like brick and mortar home supply stores and eBay can help homeowners adequately prepare themselves for this popular home improvement project.

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