Does Backsplash Go Behind Stove?


Adding a backsplash behind your stove serves both decorative and functional purposes in your kitchen. Not only does a backsplash provide an opportunity to introduce color, texture, and personality through tile or other materials, it also protects the wall from splatters, grease, and other cooking messes. But should a backsplash go behind the entire length of the stove? Here’s what you need to know about proper backsplash placement in relation to your stove.

Where Should the Backsplash Go Behind the Stove?

The backsplash should extend fully from one end of the stove to the other. It should start right at the edge of the stove and reach all the way to the corner or adjacent counter. Having a continuous backsplash across the entire wall behind the stove provides the most protection. It also allows you to carry the design aesthetic across the whole space for a cohesive, polished look.

Full Backsplash vs Partial

Some homeowners opt to only do a partial backsplash behind the stove to save on tile costs. However, this leaves the upper portion of the wall vulnerable. Steaming and spattering from pots on the stove can still soil and stain the drywall or paint above a short backsplash. Splatter and grease spatters can also seep down below a partial backsplash over time. A full backsplash that stretches all the way to the hood vent or upper cabinets provides complete wall protection.

How High Should the Backsplash Extend?

The standard height for a backsplash is 4 inches. However, a good guideline for backsplashes behind a stove is to extend the tile from the countertop to at least 18-24 inches above. This protects the wall from higher boiling pots and aggressive stove activity. For even more protection, some homeowners opt to tile all the way up to the bottom of the hood vent or cabinets. This essentially covers the entire wall behind the stove in a beautifully designed, mess-proof shield.

Should the Backsplash Butt up to the Stove?

For the most seamless appearance, the backsplash tile should butt up flush against the body of the stove. Modern stoves are designed with finished sides that integrate with countertops and backsplashes. Leaving a gap between the backsplash and stove interrupts the flow and allows grease and food debris to accumulate in the crack over time.

However, some older stove models have unfinished sides. In this case, use caulk to seal the seam between the backsplash and the appliance. Choose a caulk that matches the grout color. Be sure to apply a bead of high-temperature silicone caulk rated for 500°F or above. This will prevent cracking under the intense heat.

Accommodating Ranges with High-BTU Burners

Commercial-style ranges with powerful 15,000+ BTU burners can generate extreme heat. The intense temperatures can damage some backsplash materials over time or cause discoloration. When installing a high-output range, avoid flammable backsplash materials like wood or plastic laminate. Tile, metal, glass, and stone backsplashes stand up best to extreme heat.

It’s also smart to leave a little more breathing room behind these commercial stoves. Allow for a 1/8” gap between the stove and backsplash. Use high-heat caulk to seal it. The small space accommodates expansion and prevents cracking.

Cutting Tile Around Stove Exhaust Vents

Slide-in ranges will have vents in the back or top that need accommodation. Measure carefully before cutting any tiles. Use a jigsaw with a tile blade to carefully notch cut-outs where needed for a tight fit. Use caulk rated for high temperatures (500°F+) to seal any gaps around these vents or openings. Take precautions to protect the stove finishes from damage while cutting.

Achieving a Unified Look

A backsplash that wraps continuously behind the entire stove (from countertop to ceiling or vent hood) creates a unified backwall. Matching the backsplash tile above the stove to tile behind the sink and elsewhere in the kitchen gives a seamless, designer look. Using the same tile throughout achieves harmony. But don’t be afraid to get creative! Combining two complementary tiles or mosaic designs can make the stove backsplash a focal point.

Protecting the Wall Behind a Freestanding Stove

Freestanding stoves or ranges that don’t situate directly against the wall still require backsplash protection. The same splatter, steam, and heat issues apply. For a freestanding stove, mount or construct a backsplash lip that extends at least 18 inches beyond the rear of the stove. Make sure it meets the height guidelines as well. The overhang needs to protrude far enough to catch all smoke, grease, and moisture.

Incorporating Other Materials

Tile is the most common backsplash choice because it’s affordable, durable, and comes in endless colors and styles. But don’t shy away from using other materials too! Stainless steel, enamel coated metal, glass tile, mirrored panels, stone slabs, and weather-resistant woods can all make stunning stove backsplashes. Fireproof, heat-safe materials provide the most protection.

Protecting Walls Without a Backsplash

If you aren’t able to install a backsplash, all is not lost. Adhesive vinyl films or acrylic panels provide an affordable, temporary backsplash solution. Magnetic wall panels attach easily for a quick fix too. Also treat the wall with two coats of heat-resistant primer and paint formulated for kitchens. Look for an industrial-grade sheen that makes wiping away grease buildup easier.

Answering Common Backsplash Placement Questions

Q: Should the backsplash tile touch the bottom of upper cabinets?

A: Yes, the tile or backsplash material should extend all the way to the underside of wall cabinets for a seamless look and maximum protection.

Q: Can I use a stainless steel backsplash behind my stove?

A: Stainless steel makes an excellent backsplash choice behind a stove or range. It’s heatproof, easy to clean, and provides a modern look.

Q: What about vinyl tile or laminate? Are those good backsplash ideas?

A: Laminate and vinyl tiles don’t stand up to heat well. Stick with materials made for kitchens like ceramic, stone, metal, or glass.

Q: Is it ok to just paint the wall behind my stove if I don’t want a backsplash?

A: Paint alone won’t protect against splatters and heat. At minimum use a heat-resistant primer and paint formulated for kitchen walls.


Installing a quality backsplash behind your stove should be a kitchen remodeling priority. A full backsplash provides stylish design continuity and total wall protection. Take measurements carefully and cut tile or panels to fit flush against the stove body. Extend the material from countertop to ceiling when possible. Match the rest of the kitchen backsplash for a cohesive look. With some planning and care, the stove backsplash can become a focal feature that ties the whole room together!