How High is the Backsplash on a Countertop?

Typical Backsplash Heights

The most common backsplash height is 4-6 inches. This range allows the backsplash to adequately protect the wall from splashes and spills while cooking and cleaning, without overwhelming the countertop.

Some key heights to consider:

  • 4 inches – This is the minimum recommended height for a standard backsplash. It offers basic splash protection.
  • 6 inches – This is a common backsplash height that offers ample splash protection and allows more design flexibility.
  • 8-10 inches – Backsplashes this tall are considered full-height or tall backsplashes. They make a bolder design statement.
  • 12-16 inches – Extra tall, stove-height backsplashes extend all the way to the underside of wall cabinets. They offer maximum splash protection for busy cooks.

So in summary, the standard backsplash height range is 4-6 inches, with anything over 8 inches considered a full or tall backsplash.

Factors That Impact Backsplash Height

Several factors come into play when determining the optimal backsplash height:

  • Cooktop style – Backsplashes should be sized to suit the cooktop. Standard 30-36 inch range tops look best with 4-6 inch backsplashes. Extra tall, stove-height backsplashes complement professional-style ranges.
  • Cabinet height – The backsplash should fit proportionately between the countertop and cabinet bottom. Standard 18-24 inch tall bottom cabinets pair well with 4-6 inch backsplashes.
  • Countertop depth – Deeper countertops may require slightly taller backsplashes for adequate splash protection and visual balance.
  • Design style – Contemporary kitchens often feature taller backsplashes. More traditional kitchens tend to use shorter backsplashes.
  • Homeowner height – If the main cook is extra tall or short, adjust backsplash height accordingly.
  • Maintenance – Homeowners who want easier cleaning may prefer full-height backsplashes with fewer grout lines.

Key Considerations When Determining Backsplash Height

Keep the following in mind when planning your kitchen backsplash height:

  • Consider the main cook’s height and cooking style. Adapt the backsplash height to suit them.
  • Allow a minimum 2-3 inch gap between the backsplash and cabinet bottom for easy cleaning access.
  • Verify that the backsplash height works with your cooktop model before installing.
  • Include electrical outlets in the design plans to ensure the backsplash doesn’t interfere.
  • For open shelving, make sure the backsplash and shelves align properly.
  • Use tapered heights or a stacked design to add visual interest and define different functional zones.

The Bottom Line

The typical backsplash height is 4-6 inches, but the ideal height for you depends on cooktop style, cabinet height, countertop depth, design tastes, and your specific needs. When in doubt, lean toward taller backsplashes, as they offer more protection and design flexibility. Just be sure to account for proper clearance around electrical and other fixtures. With smart planning, you can customize your backsplash to enhance your kitchen’s unique style and functionality.

Frequently Asked Questions About Backsplash Heights

Here are answers to some common questions about backsplash heights:

How high should a backsplash be behind a range?

For ranges, a full stove-height backsplash of 12-16 inches is recommended. This will protect the wall from grease splatter and food spatters when cooking on the stovetop or oven.

How high should a backsplash be behind a kitchen sink?

The sink area is also prone to frequent splashing, so a height of at least 6 inches is best. For extra protection, opt for a full-height backsplash behind the sink.

Should upper and lower backsplashes match in height?

It’s common to use a taller backsplash behind the cooktop/range, with a shorter one above the countertops. But matching heights can create a streamlined, seamless look. Mixing heights adds character.

What height goes well with subway tile backsplash?

The classic 3 x 6 inch subway tile format pairs well with a standard 4-6 inch backsplash height. Adjust widths for shorter or taller backsplashes.

What backsplash height works with shaker style cabinets?

Standard 4-6 inch backsplash heights complement the clean, simple lines of shaker cabinets. Avoid backsplashes taller than the cabinet face frame.

What is the minimum backsplash height required?

The absolute minimum backsplash height is 2 inches. However, 4 inches is the recommended minimum for a functional backsplash that protects properly.


Determining the ideal backsplash height requires balancing aesthetics, functionality, and your kitchen’s unique characteristics. While the most common height is 4-6 inches, going taller creates a bolder look and provides more splatter protection. Just be sure to account for overhead cabinets, cooktops, outlets and other factors when deciding on the perfect backsplash height for your kitchen.