Easy to clean backsplash for cooktop area

boone_2009July 2, 2013

Has anyone used any of the newer solid surface materials ( Corian for example) as a backsplash behind the cooktop/range?

I don't want to use tile ( been there, done that, hated the endless cleaning and the grout ); stainless steel leaves fingerprints and scratches and would look too commercial for my kitchen since all our appliances are ss.

We have a large area above our brick-alcoved cooktop and need to cover three wall areas plus the ceiling above ( which houses the exhaust fan and lighting).

We're doing quartz countertops ( Silestone Lagoon) and I did think of extending it all the way up but feel it would look too "blah" ( plus will be expensive).

Any suggestions for a pretty yet easily maintained backsplash material from which grease can be easily wiped away?


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Corian can be scorched. It's just plastic. It's also as expensive as your quartz. Or more so.

You've pretty much ruled out all of the easy to take care of materials. My pick would have been the stainless sheet. Or, an alcove just cries out for tile. If you use epoxy grout, it's easy to keep clean. If you've got a pro style range there, the surface has to be clad with something non combustible. There are only so many fire resistant materials that are suitable to use behind a range.

You could have a sheet of metal custom cut to the profile of the alcove and have it powder coated with high heat powder coating. That will be easy to wipe clean with no joints and you can do a color as well.

You could do corrugated tin roofing for a rustic touch, but I don't think it would be that easy to clean.

There are now very large sized porcelain tiles making it to the market now, so you could do one of the 24"x36" tile in the main surface, and then smaller tiles to surround. That would minimize the grout.

That's about all that I can come up with at the moment that will satisfy the inflammable requirements.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 7:52AM
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Boone - you could do a stainless steel sheet that is quilted. The quilted pattern on stainless is what you often see in diners behind the hamburger grill. Because I associate it with old-style diners, to me it has a homey look. Stainless is practical and not too expensive, and the quilting hides fingerprints and scratches. There's been a couple of threads if you do a search on Gardenweb. I'll link one.

Quilted SS backsplash pic

Kitchens Forum Thread about Quilted SS Backsplash

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 8:38AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

You can do solid glass...

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 8:44AM
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We did stainless steal tile behind our cooktop and 3 years later it still looks new and is easy to clean.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 9:44AM
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Thank you all so much for your help! I am attaching a pic of the alcove in question. The current white tile will be demolished but the brick surround will remain.
Our countertop will be Silestone Lagoon which is a light grey and goes with the grey in the brick; appliances are ss.

GreenDesigns: I am intrigued by your idea of using powder-coated metal sheet - especially since I can choose to have it colored. No joints - my two favorite words when it comes to backsplashes! However, I don't know if the sheet would go with the style/material of the alcove.
Using large tiles and smaller ones surrounding them - yes, I did have that in mind already. With the epoxy grout, I won't have to do as much cleaning.
FYI: We will have a Thermador cooktop, not a range. The current cooktop and grill will be removed.

Shannonplus2: Thank you so much for all those links. I love the quilted backsplash and pored over pics of the same on Houzz; my worry was that the ss would look overwhelming in the large space within the alcove. Then I saw Bahacca's ss tile in the GW link and I think that might work. Any thoughts?

Anniedeighnaugh: The glass is gorgeous but again, don't you think it may clash with the brick look?
I will have ceramic tiles for other backsplash areas in my kitchen - since they are all away from the cooktop and separated from it by the brick alcove, they won't get dirty. I have the same white tile on them now, and cleaning is a breeze in those areas.

Theanimala: Your backsplash is divine! It looks like it was just installed, so it's good to know you find it's easy to clean. Do you think I could get away with doing ss tiles in my alcove area??

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 2:59PM
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Boone, I agree that the glass backsplash would not fit with your brick, although I do love the glass. Personally I do think the mini-brick tiles would look very sharp. All of our appliances are also stainless steel but we do not feel that it is overwhelming. The picture I attached is actually from 3 years ago but it seriously looks the same today. We did seal the grout when we first installed it and haven't done anything except for using a stainless steel cleaner every few months.

Whatever you choose please remember to post follow-up pics!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 10:18PM
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theanimala: Thank you for your feedback. I've been looking at ss tile pictures for inspiration ever since I last posted, lol.

Could you tell me where you got your mini-brick ss tiles from? I live in Southern California. Also, what kind of grout did you use?

Yes, I will definitely post pics when all is done. I shy away from contributing my own ideas on this forum because I am pretty clueless compared to most of you, when it comes to kitchen renos ( this is our first); but I am so very grateful to everyone who has responded to my questions over the last year and a half or so ( we thought we could do the kitchen in 2012 but we had to postpone the project until now). So the least I can do by way of thanks is to post pics of the finished kitchen ( hopefully by or before mid-August).

We just got a call today that our cabinets have arrived - so the actual work will soon begin. I confess I am in panic mode now, as I haven't even *started* to look at tile; plus I'm imagining worst case scenarios involving things like dry rot lurking behind the scenes, installation problems, sink not being flush with countertop, bad seams on the countertop, etc ( you can tell I am *such* an optimistic Jane).

Do you (or anyone else reading this) know of any program that will enable me to 'paste' tiles that I like on the picture of my alcove, so I can visualize what it might look like? I'm not too computer-savvy but "drag and drop" is doable :-).

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 11:13PM
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Photoshop works great - I just bought it but haven't installed it yet.
If OldBat is hanging out, she has been known to post PS pictures of tiles for others.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 7:20AM
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Thanks, a2gemini, I'll try it.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 1:06PM
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We are using a quartz backsplash in a different color than our quartz counter (organic white BS with Lagos Blue counters). That might be an option for you. I personally don't like the same color for counter and BS, but 2 complimentary colors I think will look great. I've seen pics on Houzz, but I just don't have them handy.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 1:42PM
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michele0901: Thanks for your response. I did think of using quartz for the backsplash and I like your idea of using complementary colors.
However, with all my messy cooking, I am worried that the quartz behind the cooktop may get scorched from the spatters.
I'll check out Houzz...thanks!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 4:52PM
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I think a glass backsplash would look nice in there, perhaps in a grey color similar to the countertop. (In my area the companies doing glass backsplashes will paint the back of the glass any color you want. I think they offer multiple textures too: smooth, frosted, etc.)

I may be biased, because that's what I'm leaning toward in my own kitchen. :-)


    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 6:49AM
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Ann Sacks has a website with metal tiles and glass tiles. They also list the prices, sizes and colors. I believe they will send you a sample if you don't have a store in your area. I hope this might help.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 9:02AM
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Thank you, lwerner and robinle.

Laura, I like glass too, but since we live in earthquake country I am always imagining the aftermath ...glass pieces all over! I know it is tempered but Nature doesn't care! I do like your suggestion of a grey color.

Robinle, I'm going to look up Ann Sacks's website later tonight ( after the fireworks ;-)). Thank you!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 8:17PM
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Oh, I live in earthquake country too, maybe twenty miles from the San Andreas fault. I really like natural light, though, so I may have lots of glass to replace when the Big One hits. The backsplash won't add much, percentage-wise. :-)

It may not be as bad as all that, though. My current house is about sixty years old and has lots of huge panes of glass (it's similar to an Eichler design). Most of the glass is original as far as I can tell (it has no tempered glass stamps on it) so it must have come through the '89 Loma Prieta quake just fine. But the south bay got off easy in that one.

I'm not evangelizing glass, though, just throwing it out as a possibility. Do whatever you think will look nicest. :-)


    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 9:24PM
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I am also interested in an easy-to-clean backsplash, which is only going to be behind the cooktop.
A GW member used a ceramic tile beadboard, which I loved, and will be just the touch of beadboard that I wanted in my vintagey kitchen.
To reduce the number of grout lines, I'm using one that is intended for wainscoting, it is 32" tall, 8" wide.

Here is a link that might be useful: Grazia Tile - Boiserie Wall Tile

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 2:39PM
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One more idea: I was down at a stone and tile yard recently and saw some huge porcelain tiles. Like 5 by 10 feet huge. They sell slabs of this stuff for doing shower surrounds and the like, but it would make a nice backsplash too. The ones I saw had a marble look (a fairly nice one I think), but I bet they have other styles. That would give you the benefits of tiles but no grout lines.

Here's an example of a marble-like style from their web site that comes in 5' x 10' pieces.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 7:10PM
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lwerner and iroll: Please accept my sincere apologies for responding only now to your posts above. I didn't even know you two had posted because I don't have any notification system for replies :-(.
I had luckily bookmarked this thread when I first posted and today, I hunted through my Favorites folder so I could read it again - and that's how I saw the two last posts. So, so sorry, and thank you both for your kind help.Forgive me the long delay.

Laura: You are a brave woman, having all that glass despite living so close to the SA fault :-). Could you please tell me what kind of companies do glass backsplashes? ( Glass, metal, tile shops etc.).
I really like your idea of the huge tiles - pretty and practical, too. Thank you!!

Iroll: I love beadboard but never knew they came in ceramic!! Thank you for that link; I tried opening it but couldn't - maybe my firewall is blocking it. I'll try again. Have you installed your backsplash yet? If so, could you post a pic, please??

Our kitchen was demolished yesterday and everything went fine - no mold or rot lurking behind anything, woohoo! Now I'm really fired up ( all that talk of glass....) to search for the right backsplash :-).

Thanks again and sorry again.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 2:39PM
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Actually, no I haven't installed it yet, I haven't even bought it yet! Other expenses kept cropping up that had to come first. Maybe by the end of the year.

The original link was to the website of Artwalk Tile, maybe you could Google your way to it.

Here's another vendor:

Here is a link that might be useful: Grazia Boiserie 8x31.5 Tile

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 3:55PM
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And here's the Gardenweb posting that inspired me:

Here is a link that might be useful: Ceramic Beadboard Backpslash - Done

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 4:01PM
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An interior designer recommended I get the glass backsplash from a place called Soda Glass up in the East Bay. There's some great stuff in the gallery on their web site.

But it turns out that the local glass shop that my contractor uses for shower surrounds and custom windows also does glass backsplashes. I decided to go with them, since I was really impressed by the work they did on the corner windows in my dining area. I haven't gotten a bid back from them yet, but their bids for the shower glass were reasonable.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 11:29PM
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Thank you, iroll and lwerner. I am so glad both of you got the chance to read my apology :-)
Iroll: I know full well how other expenses just seem to come at ya! We are apprehensive already about how every little thing is adding up so fast - and that's just the kitchen.
Thanks for the 2 links. I'm glad I read the GW beadboard thread because we will have horizontal seams for sure, if we use it. Sigh. It's lovely, though.

Laura - thank you for your links, too. Gorgeous glass. Do post pics of your backsplash when it's done!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 11:53PM
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I think I should explain that while the GWer who inspired me used 8" x 20" ceramic beadboard, I wanted to avoid the horizontal seams myself, so my link is for 8" x 32" pieces, well, 31.5" anyway.
I will actually have to cut down the length slightly, and then no horizontal seams!
For now, though, no backsplash! Unless you count the foil covered cardboard that's protecting the cooktop wall at the moment.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 5:15PM
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Aha! Foil-covered cardboard - what a great idea! Thanks, iroll! I fear I will be without a bs for my cooktop area for a while after the rest of the kitchen is done - because I just can't seem to decide.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 8:53PM
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