Adding a backsplash to your kitchen can completely transform the look and feel of the space. But how much backsplash should you add? Here are some tips on determining the right amount of backsplash for your kitchen remodel or renovation.
A kitchen backsplash serves both form and function. Not only does it protect the walls from splashes and stains, but it also adds visual interest and ties the whole kitchen together aesthetically. When planning a kitchen remodel or renovation, one of the key considerations is how much backsplash to add. This depends on your budget, kitchen layout, personal style preferences, and the look you want to achieve. Follow the guidelines below to determine the ideal backsplash height and coverage for your kitchen.
How High to Go With the Backsplash
One of the first decisions to make is how high up the wall to take the backsplash. Here are some common backsplash height options:
4-6 inches high
A 4-6 inch backsplash is common behind a kitchen sink or stove. It protects the wall from minor splashing. This works well if you have a tight budget or want a minimalist look. However, it may look fragmented and not tie the kitchen together very cohesively.
Partially up the wall
Taking the backsplash partially up the wall is popular, extending it 1-2 feet above countertops or appliances. This protects the most vulnerable wall space from splatters and connects the countertop to wall visually. It’s a good balance between protection and cost.
All the way to ceiling
Installing the backsplash to the ceiling creates a bold, dramatic look. It offers maximum splash protection and has a powerful visual impact. However, it’s also the most expensive option. Not everyone likes the busy look of a full wall of backsplash either.
Just below upper cabinets
If you have upper cabinets, a common approach is to take the backsplash all the way up to their bottom edge. This zones the backsplash to the main kitchen work area for a polished look. It keeps costs down versus going all the way to the ceiling too.
Above range or cooktop area
Concentrate the backsplash above the stove or cooktop zone. This targets the highest splatter area. For a range, extend the backsplash at least 4-6 inches above and on either side of the range.
Amount of Coverage
In addition to backsplash height, you’ll need to determine how much wall surface to cover:
Only behind appliances/sink
Just do small backsplash sections behind appliances like the stove, sink and dishwasher. This is inexpensive, but can look choppy and disjointed.
Along one kitchen wall
Cover a single wall, like behind a sink, stove and countertops. This defines one kitchen zone.
Cover two adjoining walls, like behind the sink, stove and along a counter area. This ties major appliances and work zones together.
Cover three walls, such as along sink, stove and counter areas. This surrounds the main workstation for a cohesive finished look.
Full Wall Coverage
Cover all four kitchen walls for a bold backsplash statement. Be aware this can be overpowering depending on the color/material choices.
Other Factors to Consider
Here are a few other things to keep in mind when determining how much backsplash to add:
- Kitchen size and layout – More backsplash usually makes sense for larger, open floor plans.
- Colors and patterns – Busy backsplashes may suit smaller kitchens better to avoid an overwhelming look.
- Budget – Backsplash material and installation costs should align with your overall budget.
- Focal points – Use special-shaped backsplashes or accent tiles to highlight or frame focal points like ranges or sinks.
- Personal style – Do you prefer sleek and simple or bold and dramatic? Match the backsplash style to your own tastes.
Average Costs of Different Backsplash Amounts
Here are some typical price ranges for kitchen backsplash projects of different sizes, although costs can vary dramatically based on material choices:
- 4 inch partial backsplash – $0.50-3 per square foot installed
- Partially up wall (1-2 feet) – $3-5 per square foot installed
- Full wall behind sink/stove – $5-10 per square foot installed
- L or U shaped coverage – $8-15 per square foot installed
- Full 4-wall coverage – $15-30+ per square foot installed
How Much to Add Backsplash to Kitchen – In Conclusion
When planning a kitchen backsplash, consider the overall look you want, the zones that need splash protection, your available budget, and how much prep work may be required. While full wall backsplashes make the biggest decorative impact, partial backsplashes can also look stylish when well designed. Focus on covering the areas prone to spills and moisture, especially behind appliances like stoves, sinks, and dishwashers. Extend the backsplash at least 4-6 inches beyond these appliances for safety. For a cohesive look, carry the backsplash up to the bottom of upper cabinets or 2 feet above countertops. Then match the backsplash size and installation cost to your overall kitchen remodeling budget. With smart planning, you can achieve the perfect backsplash installation that both safeguards your kitchen and makes it look fantastic.
Frequently Asked Questions About How Much to Add Backsplash to Kitchen
How high should a kitchen backsplash be?
The most common backsplash heights are 4-6 inches behind appliances, 1-2 feet above countertops, all the way to upper cabinets, or a full wall to the ceiling. Choose based on your budget, style, and desired splash protection.
How far should a backsplash extend from the stove?
Extend the backsplash at least 4-6 inches beyond the sides and top of the stove/range. For a wide stove, carry the backsplash 6-12 inches beyond the stove edges.
What’s the best backsplash for a small kitchen?
For small kitchens, consider a 4-6 inch partial backsplash, concentrate the backsplash over appliances, or keep it simple with tile only partway up one wall. Avoid overwhelming small spaces with full wall backsplashes.
Should you have a backsplash if you have granite countertops?
Yes, backsplashes work well with granite countertops. Choose a backsplash color/material that complements the granite. Contrasting tones can really make them pop.
Can I install a backsplash myself?
With some DIY experience, you may be able to install a backsplash yourself. Use self-adhesive tiles or panels for easiest application. Most customized materials like glass or mosaic tiles require professional installation.
Determining the right amount of backsplash for your kitchen remodel involves balancing decorative impact, splash protection, budget, and your personal taste. Focus first on covering high splatter areas behind appliances thoroughly. Then decide whether to extend up to cabinets, partially up walls, or full ceiling height based on the look you want and your budget. With planning, you can achieve a backsplash installation that puts the perfect finishing touch on your kitchen.