Mid century modern kitchen with small blue circular modwalls tiles against white grout
These Dutch Blue ModDotz are a perfect example of how contrasting grout can show off a pattern. The small circles stand out, softening the straight lines of the counters and cabinets. Photo courtesy of Joyce Reid Troost Architecture

Finding the perfect backsplash is both design bliss and decision overload, especially when you discover that Modwalls, a Mid Century Modern tile company, offers 103 color options. Thankfully Nicole Whitley, president of Modwalls, loves to help clients pair artisanal tile with their kitchen vision. 

Choosing Colors

Even with so many color options, Modwalls’ Kiln Ceramic tile is a useful trailhead. “Figuring out how you want to feel when you walk into a room really is the starting point,” Nicole says. “In my kitchen, I want that pop of color to be really bright and upbeat and cheery, so that would lead me to chartreuses and blues and oranges.”

Colorful red green and blue modwall tiles in a kitchen
The Brio Glass Mosaic encapsulates the vibrancy of Midcentury Modern design. Brio is one of the few glass tiles that can be used nearly everywhere—including floors, pools and fireplaces.

Maybe you crave a warm splash of sunshine, like Nicole, or maybe you want to relax in cool, moonlit tones. It’ll take some mixing and matching to create your ideal ambiance, but you’ll find that perfect pairing. Your instincts are more honed than you think. 

Green mid century modern tiles from modwalls in a kitchen with dark cabinets and light countertops
Swell Tile brings a sense of movement to the kitchen with a subtle rise and fall that mimics ocean surf.

Grout Strategies

With tile shape, size and material to pick, you might feel that grout is inconsequential. You’re not alone; this underestimated design element is often left until the end. It’s just filler, right? But you know that isn’t the whole story. 

Considering grout from the very beginning will save you stress and help punctuate your design. If you want to show off that chevron, hexagon, or wedge, find a contrasting grout color. Nicole says it will “pop the pattern, pop the textural element, and make the geometry stand out.” 

Circular tile from modwalls in a mid century modern bathroom
Artist Rex Ray designed Modwalls’ Rex Rox to bring a splash of retro musicality.

On the flip side, “if you’re trying to emphasize the color of the tile … you’re going to choose a complementary color of grout,” Nicole says. And if you dislike grout lines in general, a 4″ x 12″ subway tile will serve you best because “it covers a lot more of your surface area with glass.” The color feels unified, without interruption or distraction. 

green subway tile from modwalls in a mid century modern kitchen with a window and farmhouse sink
“If you look at a rectangular room in Mid Century Modern style, it’s not just the room that is rectangular,” Nicole says. “If there’s tile, you’ll see that further accenting the shape.”

Sample Modwalls

The Modwalls team encourages homeowners to test their choices, so bring samples of both tile and grout into your kitchen before finalizing an order. “Things look really different on a website, and we can’t control what people’s screens look like,” Nicole says. “We do have a wonderful team and they’re knowledgeable and patient and happy to work with a client for as many rounds as it takes to get them exactly what they want.”

bright blue angular tile from modwalls in a colorful mid century modern kitchen
Teal Agate is one of Modwalls’ 103 colors in their Kiln collection. They also offer custom color combinations, so your kitchen can be as bold or subtle as you want. Photo courtesy of Semi-Handmade.

Check out Modwalls to find something you love or learn about some more great Mid Century Modern tiles. And of course, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest for more Mid Century Modern inspiration!