Design

/ Backsplashes

Why do some European kitchens use tile on the entire wall, not just the backsplash?

Red Kitchen Wall Tile
Photo Courtesy of Tiles of Spain

This modern kitchen eschews wall paint for a mix of cherry red and white wall tiles.

David Portales, Spanish Tile Association: Greatly influenced by this European design, ceramic tile is typically installed on floors and all walls to ceiling height prior to cabinet installation. The reasons are practical: ceramic tile is the most hygienic surface; it is a natural fire retardant; it doesn't absorb odors; is easily cleaned and sanitized and is a permanent aesthetic finish with no introduction of VOC's from glues, paints etc.

Verdict: If you're looking for an alternative to painted kitchen walls, wall tile can provide a European look as well as hygienic surface.