Do You Put Backsplash Behind Fridge?


Adding a backsplash behind your fridge is an important design consideration that can impact the look, functionality, and maintenance of your kitchen. While it may seem like an insignificant detail, there are some key factors to weigh when deciding whether or not to install a backsplash behind the refrigerator.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the pros and cons of adding a backsplash behind a fridge, look at material options, review installation tips, and provide visual examples to help you determine if putting a backsplash behind your refrigerator is the right choice for your kitchen design.

What is a Backsplash?

Before diving into the specifics of installing a backsplash behind a refrigerator, let’s quickly review what a backsplash is.

A backsplash refers to a decorative, protective material that is installed on the wall behind a countertop, stove, or sink. Backsplashes are typically made from tile, metal, glass, or stone.

The primary purposes of a backsplash are to:

  • Protect the wall from water damage, stains, and splashes from the countertop or appliances below.
  • Provide an accent area to tie the countertops and cabinetry together visually.
  • Allow for easy cleaning of spills and messes. The smooth backsplash surface can just be wiped clean.
  • Add personality, color, and visual interest to the kitchen decor.

Backsplashes typically extend 4-6 inches vertically from the countertop up the wall. They run horizontally along any expanses of countertops, islands, stoves, and sinks.

Now that we’ve reviewed the definition and purpose of a backsplash, let’s look specifically at reasons to install one behind a refrigerator.

Pros of Adding a Backsplash Behind a Fridge

There are several benefits to installing a backsplash behind your refrigerator:

Protects the Wall from Damage

One of the prime reasons to add a backsplash behind a fridge is to protect the wall from damage. Refrigerators are heavy appliances that can lead to dents, scrapes, and even holes in drywall over time. The backsplash creates a durable protective barrier.

Guards Against Moisture Damage

Fridges and freezers cause condensation and moisture buildup. Over time, this can seep into drywall and cause ugly water stains or mold growth. A backsplash forms a water-resistant shield to prevent this type of damage.

Easier Cleaning

Food splatters, drips, and spills are inevitable around the fridge. A smooth backsplash is much quicker and simpler to wipe clean than textured drywall.

Adds Visual Interest

The space behind the refrigerator is a blank canvas that can look boring or unfinished. A colorful, patterned, or textured backsplash transforms this area into an eye-catching focal point.

Completes the Look

A backsplash that matches or complements the rest of the kitchen can help tie the whole space together. It makes the kitchen look polished, put-together, and intentionally designed.

Increases Resale Value

High-quality backsplashes are desirable features for home buyers. Adding one behind the refrigerator can make your kitchen look more high-end and help boost resale value.

As you can see, there are plenty of excellent reasons to install a backsplash behind refrigerators. But there are also a few potential drawbacks to consider.

Cons of Adding a Backsplash Behind a Fridge

While backsplashes offer many benefits in kitchens, there are a few downsides associated with installing them behind refrigerators:

Added Cost

Quality backsplash materials like ceramic tile or natural stone can be expensive, especially when factoring in professional installation. This cost may not provide a worthwhile return on investment.

Visual Disruption

If the backsplash detracts from the overall kitchen design, it can disrupt the aesthetic flow rather than enhance it.

Potential Damage During Installation

The process of installing a backsplash could lead to inadvertent damage to the wall behind or surrounding the refrigerator.

Visibility Issues

Many newer counter-depth fridges sit nearly flush with countertops. A backsplash may not even be visible behind the appliance, wasting money and effort.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Backsplashes require periodic cleaning to keep grout lines and textured materials free of grime. Glass, metal or polished stone backsplashes also come with maintenance requirements.

If budget and effort are concerns, these potential downsides may make installing a full backsplash behind the entire length of a fridge seem unnecessary. Fortunately, there are ways to work around these issues.

Material Options for Backsplashes Behind Fridges

If you decide to add a backsplash behind your refrigerator, there are numerous material options to match your kitchen’s style and budget.


Ceramic, porcelain, or natural stone tile make an excellent backsplash choice. Tile comes in endless colors, textures, shapes, and patterns to suit any design aesthetic. It’s a budget-friendly option that is easy to install. Just be aware that the grout lines will require periodic sealing and scrubbing to keep clean.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel makes a modern, sleek statement. It has an ultra-clean look and wipes clean easily. Stainless backsplashes come in prefabricated sheets for simple DIY installation. This material works especially well in contemporary, industrial kitchens.

Glass Tile

Glass tile backsplashes offer brilliant shine and reflectivity. Often accentuated with metallic grout, glass tile injects a glamorous, eye-catching vibe. The smooth tile surface resists grime buildup. Glass tile comes in every color and finish imaginable.


Brass, copper, and other metal backsplashes infuse kitchens with warmth and richness. Metal backsplashes can be purchased in affordable sheets or hand-crafted into ornate designs. Keep in mind that metal requires careful cleaning to avoid discoloration.


Granite, marble, and other stone backsplashes emit elegance and luxury. Each stone slab has a unique natural pattern that becomes a true focal point. Just be prepared for the higher cost and high-maintenance cleaning needs of natural stone.

Laminates & Vinyl Sheets

For a low-cost, low-maintenance option, laminate and vinyl backsplash sheets offer the look of tile or stone without the higher price tag. Laminate and vinyl designs range from solid colors and faux textures to mimics of popular backsplash materials.

Consider your overall kitchen design, lifestyle, and budget when selecting a backsplash material that works for your space.

Should You Install a Full Backsplash or Use an Alternative?

Once you’ve weighed the pros and cons and decided a backsplash is right for your kitchen, the length becomes another important consideration.

Full backsplashes that stretch the entire length of the wall behind the refrigerator provide maximum protection and visual appeal. However, full backsplashes also come with higher costs for materials and installation.

If budget is a concern, here are three alternative options:

Focused Mini Backsplash

Rather than covering the entire wall behind the refrigerator, install a mini backsplash focused just on the section directly behind and surrounding the fridge. This provides backsplash benefits where they are needed most for a fraction of the cost.

Use a Removable Backsplash Panel

Removable backsplash panels fasten securely to the wall without caulking or permanent installation. This allows you to switch out materials or remove it completely. Temporary backsplash panels are easy to install and affordable.

Add a Decorative Accent Strip

Accent strips like beadboard or decorative molding can be applied just to the section behind the refrigerator. This provides a finished, polished look without the cost of a full backsplash installation.

Getting creative with these backsplash alternatives can help cut costs while still allowing you to protect the wall and decorate the space behind your fridge.

Tips for Installing a Backsplash Behind a Fridge

If you opt to add a full backsplash or mini backsplash behind your refrigerator, proper planning and installation technique will ensure the project goes smoothly. Here are some top tips:

  • Carefully measure the wall area to calculate the materials required. Remember to account for uneven walls requiring extra tiles.
  • Consider electrical outlets and water lines located behind the fridge and how these will impact backsplash installation.
  • Remove the refrigerator doors temporarily during installation to allow for easier access behind the appliance.
  • Thoroughly clean and prep the wall surface prior to installation. Fill any holes or imperfections for the best backsplash adhesion.
  • Follow specific manufacturer instructions for application of mortar, grout, and adhesive materials.
  • Use plastic spacers between tiles or panels to ensure even spacing and alignment during installation.
  • For outlets or cutouts, measure and cut materials precisely for a tight fit around these openings.
  • Seal grout lines and wipe away excess adhesive for a tidy, finished appearance.

With proper prep and care taken during installation, your backsplash can be perfectly integrated behind your refrigerator.

Design Inspiration – Backsplashes Behind Refrigerators

To spark backsplash design ideas for the space behind your fridge, here are some stunning kitchen examples featuring backsplashes of various styles and materials:

Vibrant Glass Tile

This kitchen features a joyful glass tile backsplash in cheerful hues of yellow, orange, and pink. The bright backsplash transforms the utilitarian area behind the refrigerator into an energetic focal point.

Glass tile backsplash behind refrigerator in yellow, orange and pink tones


Rustic Brick

The brick backsplash and distressed wood panels behind this stainless steel refrigerator exude cozy, farmhouse charm. Brick adds welcoming texture and complements the wood accents throughout the kitchen.

Rustic brick backsplash behind stainless steel refrigerator


Sophisticated Marble + Gold

Elegant marble subway tile with eye-catching gold accents transforms the backsplash behind this commercial-style refrigerator into a stunning design feature. The marble and gold combo exudes luxurious sophistication.

White marble backsplash with gold accents behind commercial fridge


Rustic Wood Planks

The rich wood planked backsplash provides beautiful contrast and texture behind this black stainless steel fridge. Wood backsplashes infuse warmth and harmony into contemporary kitchens.

Wood plank backsplash behind black stainless steel refrigerator


Natural Stone Column

Floor-to-ceiling slate tile behind the refrigerator mimics a natural stone column. The organic textured stone backsplash adds a striking architectural element in this kitchen.

Full height natural stone tile backsplash column behind refrigerator


This sampling of backsplash ideas shows how tile, brick, stone, wood plank, and other materials can transform the seemingly mundane space behind a refrigerator into a gorgeous design feature. Consider your own kitchen’s aesthetic and let these designs ignite inspiration for your fridge backsplash possibilities.

Frequently Asked Questions About Backsplashes Behind Fridges

Many homeowners have additional questions about installing backsplashes behind refrigerators. Here are answers to some of the most common fridge backsplash FAQs:

Should you put backsplash behind stainless steel fridge?

Yes, adding a backsplash behind a stainless steel refrigerator is recommended. Stainless steel appliances show fingerprints, drips, and splatters quite prominently. A backsplash helps protect the walls and keeps the fridge looking pristine.

What backsplash goes with stainless steel appliances?

Stainless steel appliances pair beautifully with glass, metal, stone, or tile backsplashes in silver, gray, black, white, beige, or neutral tones. Avoid stark white backsplashes, which can look dingy next to gleaming stainless.

Do you need backsplash behind refrigerator?

While not absolutely necessary, backsplashes behind refrigerators are highly recommended for easier cleaning, wall protection, and aesthetic appeal. Consider your budget, style and DIY skills when deciding.

Should backsplash go all the way up behind fridge?

Full backsplashes behind refrigerators provide maximum protection and the most seamless look. But mini backsplashes or accent panels focused just on the section surrounding the fridge also work well at a lower cost.

What height should backsplash be behind fridge?

Standard backsplash height is 4 inches above the countertop. But behind a fridge, extending the backsplash to the full appliance height (typically 30 – 36 inches) gives a built-in look. Size it to fit your specific refrigerator model.

How do you attach backsplash behind fridge?

Use adhesive and grout approved for the backsplash material. Remove fridge doors; carefully prep the wall. Apply adhesive to wall or backsplash pieces, using spacers for even alignment. Follow manufacturer instructions for curing and reinstall fridge.


Installing a backsplash behind your refrigerator is an impactful design choice that comes with many benefits. Backsplashes shield walls, allow for easy cleaning, and bring compelling visual appeal to kitchens. Mini backsplashes focused just behind the fridge offer a cost-effective alternative to full backsplash installations.

Carefully weigh the pros and cons for your specific kitchen space. Measure precisely and use specialty adhesives to ensure proper installation. Consider glass, metal, stone, brick, wood, tile, laminates and other materials to find the right backsplash look for your home.

While leaving the wall bare behind a fridge is certainly an option, a well-chosen backsplash finishes off the look, protects from damage, and keeps the space looking its best. With the right backsplash design, you can transform the formerly mundane area behind your refrigerator into an eye-catching focal feature.

So when designing your dream kitchen, carefully consider – do you put backsplash behind fridge? In most cases, the answer is a resounding yes!