How to Install Stainless Steel Backsplash in a Commercial Kitchen

Installing a stainless steel backsplash in a commercial kitchen provides an attractive, durable, and easy to clean surface behind stoves, sinks, and other high-use areas. Proper installation is key to creating a seamless backdrop that will stand up to heavy use and regular cleaning in a busy commercial setting. Here is a step-by-step guide to installing a stainless steel backsplash in your commercial kitchen.

Selecting the Right Materials

When choosing a stainless steel backsplash, opt for a heavy-gauge Type 304 stainless steel. This type of steel has a brushed satin finish that camouflages scratches and stands up well to cleaning chemicals. Purchase sheets in standard 4×8 or 4×10 sizes so you can cut them to fit your space.

Other supplies needed include:

  • Stainless steel screws or rivets for attaching the backsplash to the wall
  • Skim coat joint compound for finishing seams
  • Painters tape and silicone caulk for edges and seams
  • Metal shears or snips for cutting the stainless steel

Preparing the Wall

Proper preparation of the wall is crucial for a seamless installation.

  • Remove any existing backsplash and prepare the surface. Scrape off old caulk or adhesive.
  • Fill any holes or imperfections with spackle and let dry completely.
  • Sand any bumps smooth for an even surface. Wipe away dust.
  • Apply painter’s tape along the countertop, edges, and any outlets to protect surfaces.

Measuring and Cutting the Metal

Measure the space carefully to determine the cuts needed for the stainless steel sheets.

  • Mark the measurements on the backside of the sheet with a felt tip pen.
  • Use a straight edge and aviation snips to cut the steel cleanly and accurately.
  • Cut pieces to overlap edges and seams to create a continuous look.
  • Use shears to trim pieces around outlets or other openings.
  • File any rough edges smooth.

Installing the Backsplash

With prep work complete, it’s time to install the stainless steel backsplash.

  • Dry fit all pieces to ensure proper fit before attaching permanently.
  • Apply a bead of silicone caulk along the countertop, edges, and seams on the wall.
  • Carefully press the backsplash pieces into place and hold temporarily with painter’s tape.
  • Drill pilot holes every 4-6 inches along studs and seams.
  • Secure the backsplash with stainless steel screws or rivets placed in the pilot holes.
  • Remove painter’s tape once attached permanently.

Finishing Touches

Adding finishing touches ensures your backsplash will have a flawless look.

  • Apply joint compound along all seams and edges with a putty knife. Let dry.
  • Sand any dried compound smooth and wipe away dust.
  • Run a bead of clear silicone caulk along the countertop/backsplash seam for a watertight seal.
  • Clean the entire surface with stainless steel cleaner and polish for a gleaming finish.

With proper planning, careful installation, and finish work your commercial kitchen will have a durable and attractive stainless steel backsplash that will hold up beautifully for years to come. Maintain its shine by using gentle cleansers and protect it from dings or damage during daily kitchen tasks.

Frequently Asked Questions About Installing a Stainless Steel Backsplash in a Commercial Kitchen

What type of stainless steel should I use for a commercial backsplash?

Opt for type 304 stainless steel with a standard #4 brushed satin finish. It stands up well to heat, water, cleaning chemicals and resists dings and scratches. Choose heavy 18 or 20 gauge steel for durability.

What’s the best way to cut the steel sheets?

Use an electric shear, aviation snips, or a cutoff wheel on an angle grinder to make straight, clean cuts through the steel. A shear allows for the most control. Mark all measurements beforehand.

Should I attach the backsplash with adhesives or mechanical fasteners?

Mechanical fasteners like stainless steel screws or rivets provide the most secure attachment. Use minimal adhesive just to seal seams and edges. This allows removal later if needed.

How do I get a seamless look for the backsplash installation?

Overlap seams slightly and finish with joint compound for a smooth finish. Use caulk along the countertop seam and edges for water protection and a polished look. Take time to sand and buff installed panels.

What’s the best way to clean a stainless backsplash?

Use a specialized stainless steel cleaner and soft cloth. Rub gently with the grain of the brushed finish. Rinse thoroughly and polish dry daily to keep the backsplash gleaming. Avoid abrasive cleaners.

How can I prevent damage to the backsplash over time?

Take care not to nick or dent the surface with cookware or utensils. Tape cutting boards in place to prevent sliding. Install a stainless steel “bumper guard” along the bottom edge for protection.


Installing a commercial stainless steel backsplash requires careful planning, precision cuts, secured attachment, and seamless finish work. The result is a durable, sanitary, and attractive backdrop that will make food preparation easier in your busy kitchen. With proper care and cleaning, your stainless backsplash will maintain its luster and withstand heavy daily use for many years.