How Many Square Feet Kitchen Backsplash?

Backsplashes can dramatically transform the look and feel of a kitchen. But how large should your backsplash be? The answer depends on your kitchen size and layout. Read on for tips on determining the ideal backsplash square footage for your space.


Kitchen backsplashes serve both form and function. Beyond just protecting the wall from splatters and spills, they provide a chance to infuse style, color, and visual interest. When designing your backsplash, one of the first considerations is determining what size to make it. Measure the square footage of your countertops and walls to find the sweet spot.

Aim for sufficient coverage without going overboard. Keep reading for more details on optimal backsplash sizing based on your kitchen plans. We’ll also provide creative ideas to highlight your new focal point without breaking the bank. Revamp your cooking space with a practical yet eye-catching backsplash designed just for you.

What is the Standard Size for a Kitchen Backsplash?

While you can customize it in any way you like, the typical backsplash covers a 4-6 inch tall area above countertops and cabinets. This provides adequate protection from splatter while allowing you to make a decor statement. Full height backsplashes occupying the entire wall from counter to ceiling are also popular.

Standard backsplash materials are sold in 4 x 8 or 4 x 10 foot sheets. So in terms of product availability, 32-40 square feet is a common size. However, in most kitchens you likely don’t need to fill the entire wall behind the stove and countertops.

Factors That Determine Backsplash Square Footage

Several things influence ideal backsplash sizing:

Kitchen Shape and Layout

In an L-shaped or U-shaped kitchen, you may want a continuous backsplash wrapping around the perimeter. For islands or peninsulas, concentrate the backsplash behind the range and sink.

Cabinet Design

Look at your cabinetry style as well. Depending on the door height and depth, you might opt for a full backsplash to give a built-in look. If not covering the entire wall, match the backsplash to cabinet shapes.

Backsplash Material

Natural stone, glass, and ceramic tile offer endless possibilities for one-of-a-kind designs. However, they tend to be more expensive per square foot. Limiting the surface area can help cut costs without sacrificing visual appeal.


Speaking of budget, only splurge on as much backsplash as you can reasonably afford. Prioritize key areas and save on labor with DIY installation.

With these factors in mind, read on for backsplash sizing guidelines tailored to different kitchen shapes and styles.

Backsplash Size for Small Kitchen

In a kitchen less than 150 square feet, target a backsplash coverage area between 25-45 square feet. This keeps it proportional without overwhelming the compact space.

Focus on the sink and stove walls first. For a single wall galley kitchen, cover the length of countertop with a strip about 4-6 inches high.

Accent islands or peninsulas with a concentrated backsplash measuring around 4-5 square feet.

Small kitchens benefit from lighter colors to reflect more light. Vivid mosaic tiles or eye-catching glass inserts add style without darkening the room.

Backsplash Size for Medium Kitchen

For mid-sized kitchens of 150-350 square feet, plan for 30-60 square feet of backsplash.

Use it to define workstations in an efficient one or two wall layout. Continue the backsplash around corners for a streamlined look.

Consistent heights between 4-6 inches help maintain open sight lines. Full floor to ceiling backsplashes around a single focal point make dramatic statements.

Medium kitchens handle bolder backsplash colors and busier patterns. But stick to clean lines and fewer materials to prevent clutter amid all your storage and appliances.

Backsplash Size for Large Kitchen

In kitchens over 350 square feet, you can opt for 50 or more square feet of backsplash coverage.

Take advantage of the ample room with statement-making designs. Try a mosaic for the sink wall and modern marble behind the wide stove.

Vary materials and layouts between different work zones. Frame focal points like a stove vent hood with special accents.

Avoid going overboard though, as too much backsplash can overwhelm large kitchens with a mix of cabinetry, islands, and pantries competing for attention.

Backsplash Size According to Layout

Beyond just room size, tailor backsplash square footage to these popular kitchen footprints:

Galley Kitchen Backsplash

Galley kitchens feature cabinets and counters lining two parallel walls. For a narrow galley, stick to just 4-6 inch backsplash strips along the walls with no breaks. Wider galleys can handle some backsplash on the outer sides of stove and sinks as well.

L-Shaped Kitchen Backsplash

In an L-shaped kitchen, extend backsplash coverage around the corner for a continuous look. For a wide open floorplan, finish edges of perimeter counters. Close off an L with a full splashed focal wall for the sink or stove.

U-Shaped Kitchen Backsplash

A U-shaped kitchen backsplash can turn the corner into a decor focal point. Accent it with mosaic tiles, medallions, or mirrors. For closed U’s, a full backsplash on perimeter walls provides a built-in look

Island Kitchen Backsplash

Since islands don’t typically need protection, restraint is key. Limit backsplash to a strip behind the range or cooktop. Finish the edge of counter overhangs but avoid excessive splashing.

Peninsula Kitchen Backsplash

For peninsulas or kitchen pass throughs, concentrate backsplash square footage behind appliances. Add strips along the counters and a focal accent where the peninsula meets an adjoining wall.

Creative Solutions to Maximize Style on a Backsplash Budget

Don’t skimp on backsplash design just because you’re limited on square footage. Use these savvy ideas to make the most of small areas:

  • Vary tile orientation for interest. Stack small tiles vertically or lay large tiles diagonally.
  • Frame focal points. Build out the area behind sinks and stoves with extra trim and accents.
  • Add an insert panel, niche or shelving nook. This allows for more complex designs in a concentrated space.
  • Use special cut mosaic tiles or glass inserts for the focal zone and inexpensive tile for surrounding areas.
  • Consider peel-and-stick backsplash tile. The adhesive backing makes it simple to handle detailed layouts yourself.
  • Install a tile border along the top. It defines the space while leaving room for creativity below.
  • Use accent strips on perimeter counters or islands to add a pop of color.
  • Combine materials like pairing stone slabs on bottom with a glass mosaic border up top.

Full Wall Backsplash or Not?

While full backsplashes create a built-in look, they also limit wall space for decor, cabinets, or windows. Carefully weigh the pros and cons:

Benefits of a Full Backsplash

  • Provides a polished, upscale appearance
  • Makes a smaller kitchen feel bigger
  • Allows for tile or other material to cover entire wall
  • Easier clean-up since splatters can’t reach wall
  • Creates a focal point

Drawbacks of a Full Backsplash

  • More expensive in terms of tile and labor costs
  • Can make room feel dark or closed in
  • Competes with decor for visual attention
  • Leaves little to no wall space for art, shelving, extra cabinets
  • Disrupts sight lines in an open floor plan

For most homeowners, a standard 4-6 inch backsplash provides suitable functionality and style impact while better accommodating the rest of the kitchen design. But if going for a striking contemporary statement, full backsplashes certainly deliver.

Backsplash Design Examples Based on Square Footage

To further illustrate ideal backsplash sizing, here are three different kitchen scenarios:

25 Square Foot Backsplash in 150 Square Foot Kitchen

For this compact U-shaped kitchen, the 4 inch tall backsplash extends across the entire width of the 30 square feet of counter space. To add interest, horizontal planks of accent tile alternate with the main off-white field tile. The backsplash helps make the small kitchen feel more expansive.

45 Square Foot Backsplash in 250 Square Foot Kitchen

This medium-sized L-shaped kitchen uses three different mosaic tiles on the 45 square foot backsplash. The colorful tile wraps two walls, framing the stove hood and sink. Stone mosaic accents provide added texture behind the faucet. The varied tiles complement the cabinetry while giving this family kitchen personality.

60 Square Foot Backsplash in 400 Square Foot Kitchen

The sprawling island and perimeter counters in this large transitional kitchen totals 60 square feet of surface area. Sleek stone slab backsplash covers the wall behind the cooktop. It also extends in a strip along the other counters for a finished look. The minimal approach prevents style overload in the generously sized room.

Answers to Common Backsplash Size Questions

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about backsplash square footage:

How many square feet of tile do I need for a standard backsplash?

For a typical 4-6 inch backsplash height, you’ll need approximately 1 tile square foot for every 1 linear foot of countertop.

How do I calculate square feet for a backsplash?

Measure counter length in inches then multiply by backsplash height in inches. Divide the total by 144 to convert to square feet.

Should I splurge on a large designer backsplash?

Installing an intricate designer backsplash from floor to ceiling can definitely make a statement. But these high-end custom looks also come with a hefty price tag. Carefully consider if it fits your budget and design style before committing.

What size of backsplash looks best with white cabinets?

White cabinets pair beautifully with just about any size, color or style backsplash. Standard 4-6 inch height backsplashes help maintain the clean, open look. For more contrast, take it to the ceiling in a vibrant mosaic or natural stone.

Can I install backsplash tile myself?

Definitely! Peel-and-stick tile in particular makes DIY installation simple. Watch for studs, use a tile cutter for modifications, and thoroughly grout for a professional end result.

Final Thoughts

Determining the ideal backsplash size involves assessing your kitchen layout, cabinetry, budget and style preferences. Resist overdoing it just because you love the look of tile. Focus backsplash square footage purposefully behind appliances prone to splatter. Then creatively use accent tiles, inserts, borders and trim to increase the wow-factor in a smaller space.

With the right backsplash size and design, this hardworking kitchen element truly becomes a focal feature. For a smart balance of form and function, let the tips above guide your planning process. Soon you’ll be enjoying a kitchen backsplash that seamlessly matches your cooking and decorating needs.


The optimal backsplash size depends on your specific kitchen. Measure available wall space, factor in traffic areas and appliances, and make choices based on cabinetry, counters, and overall design style. Focus on covering the necessary splatter zones behind stoves and sinks without going overboard. Creative designs allow small-sized backsplashes to still make big visual impacts. Keep the tips and examples above in mind when determining how many square feet of backsplash to include in your kitchen remodeling plans. With smart planning and execution, you can install a backsplash that both protects your walls and provides a personalized punch of style.