Where Does Backsplash Start and End?

Backsplash is an important design element in any kitchen. It refers to the section of wall between the countertops and upper cabinets. Backsplash serves both aesthetic and functional purposes. Properly installed backsplash can enhance the visual appeal of the kitchen while also protecting the walls from splashes and spills. Knowing where backsplash should start and end is key to getting the look and utility you want.

Where Should Backsplash Start?

Backsplash should start at the point where the countertop meets the wall. It should begin right at the edge of the countertop and extend upwards from there. The standard height for backsplash is 4 inches. However, the current design trend favors extending the backsplash to the bottom of the upper cabinets. A full height backsplash has a more seamless, built-in look. It also provides more protection for the walls.

If you opt for a partial backsplash, make sure it starts at the same level all the way around the kitchen. Having it start higher behind the stove, for example, would look uneven and awkward. Measure up from the countertop an equal distance at each starting point. Use a level to mark a perfectly horizontal line to follow when installing the backsplash.

Where Should Backsplash End?

Backsplash should end at either the 4 inch standard height or at the bottom of the upper cabinets if doing a full height installation. Ending the backsplash short of the cabinets can leave an unfinished look with the wall material exposed. Ending it above the cabinet bottom also looks awkward and disjointed.

If doing a partial backsplash, use the 4 inch height as a guide. Run a level line at the desired end point and install up to that mark. With full height, go all the way down to meet the top of the base cabinets or any other horizontal surface bordering the bottom of the uppers. Use caulk or coordinate wall end caps to transition neatly between the backsplash and wall or cabinets.

Take care to end the backsplash properly on inside corners as well. Cut pieces to fit exactly rather than leaving gaps between the end of the backsplash and the adjoining wall. Use caulk to seal for a clean look.

Other Considerations for Backsplash Length

  • For very tall walls, backsplash can end at a comfortable height without having to go all the way up. Use a height that complements the overall kitchen design.
  • Island spaces often do not have backsplash since there is no wall space. But a small backsplash can be added if desired.
  • Backsplash should end at the edges of any windows or other wall openings. Do not try to go around or over these. Simply stop the backsplash at the edge of the windows.
  • Backsplash height does not have to be uniform. Partial height can be used in some areas while doing full height behind the stove or sink. Mix and match heights as desired.
  • Make sure backsplash meets neatly with any other adjacent surfaces like peninsulas, side splashes, or accent tile. Caulk the seams for smooth transitions.

Backsplash Start and End Examples

Here are some examples of proper backsplash start and end points:

  • 4 inch backsplash starting at the countertop edge and ending neatly at 4 inches height.
  • Full height backsplash starting at the countertop and ending precisely at the base of the upper cabinets.
  • Mixed height backsplash with 4 inch height on perimeter and full height behind the stove.
  • Full height backsplash on side wall ending cleanly at inside corner with no gaps.
  • Backsplash ending at standard height just beside the edges of a window opening.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where should backsplash start on a peninsula?

Backsplash on a kitchen peninsula should start at the outer corners and extend inward along any seating areas or workspaces that need splatter protection.

Can backsplash end halfway up the wall?

Yes, backsplash does not have to go all the way to the ceiling. Partial height is common, usually ending at the standard 4 inch height or sometimes extending up to 12-15 inches.

Should backsplash go around windows?

It is recommended to end backsplash at the edges of windows rather than trying to install it around them. Stop at the window trim for the cleanest look.

What about behind the stove?

Behind the stove is a prime area to opt for full height backsplash. This will protect the wall from grease splatters. Stop at bottom of cabinets or hood vent.

How is backsplash finished inside corners?

Inside corners should have backsplash pieces cut to fit and caulked for a seamless transition. Don’t leave gaps between the end pieces and adjoining walls.


Properly determining backsplash start and end points is an important part of the design process. Backsplash should start right at the countertop edge and extend to either the standard 4 inch height or all the way down to the cabinets for full height. Take care to end backsplash neatly at corners, windows, and transitions. Consistent start and end points will give your backsplash a polished, built-in look. With some planning and careful installation, you can get the backsplash layout and size that perfectly suits your kitchen design.