The Best Material for a Metal Backsplash

stovetop and counter with copper metal backsplash
  • Intermediate

Adding a metal backsplash to your kitchen can create a wonderful focal point, and make cleaning easy. There are several options available for metal backsplashes, each has its benefits and drawbacks. Here is a quick look so you can decide which material is the best for your metal backsplash design.


Copper looks great in many kitchen designs. It can be used in a retro kitchen, and look great in a kitchen appointed with old-world style. Copper can also be molded and textured easily because it is a softer metal.

One of the nice things about copper is it's simple to install in tiles, and lightweight enough to be an easy DIY job if you want to install a single sheet. Copper is easy to clean but is prone to discoloration. It can also tarnish or corrode fairly easily, so this is not a good material for those who aren't wanting to put some maintenance into the upkeep.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is popular in kitchens for good reason. It's simple to clean, is resistant to heat, and won't rust. Stainless steel can be found in different shades for those who want to create an artistic backsplash with tiles.

Steel can also be installed in a single sheet for the modern kitchen. The stainless steel backsplash will protect the wall from grease when used behind a stove and will protect the area behind the sink from water spots.


Tin is another popular option for backsplashes. Like stainless steel, it is simple to clean. It's also quite affordable, another reason for its popularity. Tin can be treated with powder coating to make it look like other materials.

If you want to incorporate elements of pewter, brass or gold, but don't want to spend a fortune, tin may be the answer. Tin can be cleaned with standard household cleaners, and it won't easily rust.


Brass is used mostly for decorative purposes. It is difficult to keep clean and is prone to tarnishing and spotting. Even still, it remains a popular metal for a backsplash. It lends a classic charm that many other materials won't offer.

Brass can be textured, printed, stamped, and left dull, or given a sharp sheen. To protect the brass from discoloration you should expect to need to polish it frequently.

Installation Considerations

Most metal materials can be easily installed when purchased in tiles. Tiles are available in a variety of sizes, and patterns can be created easily while using tile. No special preparation has to be done before installing metal tile.

Full panels can be custom ordered for those who want a seamless backsplash. This will usually require some prep work before it can be installed. Even so, it's simple.

The wall needs to be treated with a construction adhesive first, and two people will need to handle the panel to get the proper placement. For extremely large or bulky backsplashes it is recommended to seek the help of a professional.