A backsplash behind a stove serves both decorative and functional purposes in a kitchen. Not only does it protect the wall from grease splatters and food stains, but it also adds visual interest and ties together your kitchen’s design. With some planning and the right materials, installing a backsplash behind your stove is a relatively easy DIY project.
Choosing a Backsplash Material
When selecting a material for your backsplash, consider the following:
Ease of Cleaning
The area behind a stove tends to get dirty quickly, so choose a backsplash material that is easy to wipe down and clean. Glass, metal, ceramic tile, and stone tiles are good choices.
Since the backsplash will be located right behind the stove burners, it should be able to withstand heat. Tile, metal, stone, and heat-resistant paints are good options.
Choose a backsplash material and style that fits your kitchen’s overall design and color scheme. Glass, ceramic, stone tile, metal tiles, and aluminum panels come in a wide range of colors, textures, and patterns.
Popular choices like subway tile, herringbone tile, and mosaic tile can give a backsplash personality.
Preparing the Wall for Installation
Proper preparation of the wall is crucial for a long-lasting backsplash installation. Here are the key steps:
- Clean the wall thoroughly – Remove any dust, grease or existing paint to help the backsplash adhere properly.
- Repair any damage – Fill holes, fix cracks and level uneven surfaces. The wall should be as smooth as possible.
- Apply primer – Prime the wall with a product meant for tile or stone to improve adhesion.
- Mark stud locations – Find wall studs using a stud finder and mark their locations with masking tape. Some backsplash materials will need to be screwed into the studs.
- Install backerboard – For sturdy material like tile or stone, attach cement backerboard to the wall as an underlayment using screw or adhesive.
How to Install a Tile Backsplash
Tile is one of the most popular backsplash choices because of its durability, elegance, and ease of maintenance. Follow these steps for a stunning tile backsplash:
Step 1: Measure and Cut the Tiles
- Measure the space and decide on your tile layout. A basic grid pattern is commonly used.
- Leave room for complicating elements like outlets and switches.
- Use a tile cutter to cut tiles to fit irregular spaces.
Step 2: Apply the Tile Adhesive
- Spread a layer of tile adhesive on the backerboard using a notched trowel.
- Only apply adhesive to areas you can set tiles into within 10-15 minutes.
Step 3: Set and Grout the Tiles
- Press tiles into the adhesive firmly. Use spacers between tiles for consistent spacing.
- Once dry, mix up grout and apply it into tile joints, wiping away excess. Allow grout to cure fully.
- Apply grout sealer to protect from stains.
Step 4: Finish the Edges
- For a clean finish, install matching edge tiles or aluminum trim strips along the perimeter.
- Caulk between the tile edges and countertops or walls.
How to Install a Stone Backsplash
Natural stone like granite, marble, or slate can create a high-end, durable backsplash. Though natural stone is harder to install than ceramic or porcelain, proper technique will lead to a stunning result.
Step 1: Cut the Stone Pieces
- Measure the space and mark cutting lines on the stone using a square and pencil.
- Cut using a wet saw or circular saw with a diamond blade. Make precise cuts so pieces fit tightly.
Step 2: Fasten a Support Board
- Since stone is heavy, first attach a support board like cement backerboard to the wall.
- Screw it into the wall studs for a secure base to install the stone to.
Step 3: Apply Mortar and Set the Stone
- Spread a layer of thinset mortar on the support board using a notched trowel.
- Set the stone pieces into the mortar, wiggling them slightly to ensure good adhesion.
Step 4: Apply Grout and Sealant
- After the thinset dries, apply grout between the stone pieces to create a watertight seal.
- Once cured, apply a natural stone sealer to protect the porous stone from stains.
How to Install a Metal Backsplash
For a contemporary, industrial vibe, a metal backsplash is a bold choice. Stainless steel and aluminum are common options. Here’s how to install it:
Step 1: Measure and Cut the Metal
- Take detailed measurements and use tin snips to cut sheets of metal to size.
- File any rough edges. Be extremely precise with cuts to ensure tight seams.
Step 2: Create Support Strips
- Cut support strips from wood or aluminium. Attach them horizontally to the wall as backing for the metal sheets.
Step 3: Attach the Metal Sheets
- Place metal pieces against the support strips and drill pilot holes every 4-6 inches.
- Attach with self-tapping metal screws, keeping seams tightly together.
Step 4: Seal the Seams
- For water resistance, apply clear silicone caulk along all seams and joints.
- Let it dry fully before using the backsplash.
Common Questions about Backsplashes Behind Stoves
How far should a backsplash extend behind a stove?
The backsplash should extend at least 4-6 inches past the outer edges of the stove top to properly protect the wall from splatters. For a built-in stove with no gaps at the sides, the backsplash typically reaches all the way to the adjacent cabinets or countertops.
What is the standard height for a stove backsplash?
The typical height for a stove backsplash is 18-24 inches. However, you can install it higher (up to 30 inches) if you want more dramatic visual impact. The minimum height should be the level of the highest point on the stove.
Should a backsplash go around a stove window?
For a seamless and clean look, the backsplash material should wrap around the sides of a stove window or vent hood. Cut the tiles or panels to fit snugly on all sides. The top of the backsplash should be level, even with an arched window.
Can you use floor tile for a kitchen backsplash?
Floor tile tends to be thicker and more durable than wall tile, so it is possible to use it for a backsplash. Be sure to use tiles with a glazed surface that will withstand stains. The thickness of floor tile may require adjustments to outlets.
What about using reclaimed wood for a stove backsplash?
Many homeowners use reclaimed barn wood or salvaged wood planks to create rustic, charming backsplashes. Be sure to properly seal the wood against heat, steam, and moisture. An aluminum flashing along the top prevents splatters from getting behind the wood.
The area behind a kitchen stove tends to take a beating. By installing a durable, heat-resistant backsplash, you can keep your walls protected in style. With the right materials and proper technique, you can create a backsplash you’ll love cooking against for years to come. Use this guide to help you choose and master the perfect backsplash project for your cooking space.