Does anyone NOT have a backsplash?

anitaladyroseJuly 19, 2014

Has anyone decided not to have a backsplash? It is not in the budget for the kitchen when we build, so I had planned to install one later. I have looked at many photos on Houzz and GW and elsewhere, and have not seen one that I love.

I have not selected the exact cabinets and countertop for the room yet, but I do have an idea of what I want. The problem is that I really don't like the busyness of backsplashes. Even the plain tile seems busy to me. Am I the only one on this forum that feels this way?

Perhaps after I choose my cabinets and countertops and live with them for awhile I will find something that I like, but for now, I'm thinking of not having a backsplash at all.


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10 years ago I moved into a new home and just painted the walls right to the counter with thoughts that a backsplash would latter be put in. Fast forward to today and it was turned into a rental. I haven't had an issue with water or such without a back splash. I would definitely want the paint to be a very durable high gloss for easy cleaning.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 5:00PM
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I did not for probably 15 years in the last house..5 of those were after we remodeled.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 5:02PM
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I don't, and I probably never will. My kitchen is small, for some reason I don't seem to have all that much wall space behind the stove and a backsplash would feel crowded I think. I thought about various tiles installations, from a full counter to cabinet splash to a minimal edging over the junction of counter and wall; bought and returned a stainless steel backsplash and various tile samples -- but just never found anything that I like better than the plain painted wall in this space.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 5:25PM
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I'm just getting ready to have a backsplash installed, but not entirely by choice.

14 years ago we bought a spec home that included black granite counters with a 6" granite backsplash. The rest of the wall we painted with a nice durable paint that tied into the rest of the kitchen/DR/LR open concept.

When we remodeled and pulled out the old granite, the removal of that 6" strip tore up not only the wall, but the sides of the cabinet where the builder had affixed the same 6" granite. why oh why?

Good news is I know we are going to be very happy with the tile we are having installed, but I would have been more than happy to stick with the paint.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 5:31PM
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I don't want one but I have one. I just don't like them. Even in my case where the back splash and counter are the same tile, to me, it is still too busy.I want a plain wall.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 6:24PM
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We only have a 4 inch strip of granite - not a full backsplash.

I've never seen the point of a full bs. Sure, there are occasionally small splatters, but I am a tidy cook, so not many. And the upper cabinets get splattered a bit on their undersides. A full bs wouldn't protect them.

Our cabinets and house are busy and unique enough. The last thing we need is more bling. So no full bs for us.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 6:32PM
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If my range were like raee's, I would not have a backsplash. When we did our remodel, I had them do a 3" high granite bs with paint above it, knowing I would eventually decide on a bs only behind the cooktop. About 3 years later, I finally found something I liked, and the tile design is 36" wide and goes up to the hood.

With all of the choppiness created by the outlets, switches, windows, & doorways, I like the paint better. Also, my kitchen is not a focal point from most rooms in the house. As you come in from the garage, you see the tile behind the cooktop, and when in the eating area, the focal point is the triple window.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 7:25PM
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I remodeled my kitchen about 10 years ago (with LOTS of help from this site) and have a 3" partial backsplash in our granite. We had planned to put tile behind the cooktop but never found anything we liked. Now I'm kind of glad as what I would have picked then would have dated our kitchen by now, and I find the painted wall easy enough to wipe clean as needed. Now we are considering selling our house and I'll repaint, and I do think it's about time to it regardless. We used the benjamin moore kitchen and bath paint and it has held up very well.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 7:45PM
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I like backsplashes. But even while liking them in reveals, could not stare at something too small and segmented (such as the multi-colored strips or high grout/tile contrasting) for very long in my own kitchen. I don't have one yet, but need one. This is a family of messy cooking; Italian sausage grease and a thick spaghetti sauce, that is referred to as the lava pit for record-setting spitting ability through a just-cracked lid. It all gets cleaned up, but a slick backsplash would speed up that task. My dream backsplash would be solid glass--smooth with no lines. Unfortunately, it is way outta my budget.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 8:19PM
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I love backsplashes but haven't had one for 10 years because I bought a spec house. Kept meaning to put one in and never did. I'm now buying another spec home that will have a white subway tile backsplash, and I'm happy but worried that the subway tile is going to scream, "Twenty-tens!" Honestly, other than missing the look, I've had no trouble without one in the current house. It's got glossy paint so it's easy enough to clean, and my sink is positioned in a corner so water splashing has never been an issue. If you're not fond of them, you should be fine without.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 8:26PM
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I don't have a back splash.

When we started our remodel, I knew what color I wanted the cabinets to be (a deep rosewood stain) then found a granite that went well with it (Napoli or giallo napoleon) and figured I would pick a back splash later to go with it.

So far I still haven't found a bs that I think will go well with how busy my granite is and I'm not a fan of plain subway tiles.

I've gotten used to the paint and now I'm not even sure I want a bs. I like the way my kitchen looks without it.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 8:50PM
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I'm not having a backsplash in our house. We're building now, so I haven't lived with it yet. I will have a whitewashed shiplap wall behind my cooktop, and just paint behind my sink. I posted a picture at the end your other thread regarding having few upper cabinets. I like some backslashes, but most just seem too busy for my taste, and I just can't bring myself to do subway tile.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 9:58PM
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I dont have one. I didnt put one in when I did the kitchen a couple years ago because I couldnt decide. I also have flat paint on the walls. The only reason I get food on the walls is when my parrot gets into something and shakes his head. The food sprays all over. It usually cleans right off the walls. I did recently clean the wall and touch it up with paint, which took maybe 10 mins. Most of this was from bike tire and shoe marks hitting the wall next to the cabinets, which a backsplash wouldnt have helped with anyway. It was really easy to touch up the walls though. My cooktop is not near a wall either, though.

I still will probably add one later, and I'll probably seek help from this forum on deciding what to do. For some reason, I am inept on choosing tile and paint color. But for now, I'm happy with it as is.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:58PM
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I don't have one - exactly. My cabinet maker was behind by a week, and I had too much time on my hands, staring at blank walls. I stenciled a backsplash while I waited for cabinet install. A branch behind the range, and falling leaves acattered around the kitchen.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 11:18PM
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This is encouraging me to put a backsplash only behind the cooktop. Would this look weird - going all the way up to the vent? We are in the process of updating, but right now I have ivory formica behind all my countertops and it has been easy to clean, and easy to live with. Why would I want to go from that to grout?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 2:16AM
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I dont like tile backsplashes. Mine are painted and will also be painted in the new house we bought.
1. I like modern and clean.
2. I would get bored with a tile backsplash in 3, 5 or 10 years.
3 Why would you clean grout and tiles when you could go swish over a painted surface. You will get the same amount of splashes and stains. Backsplashes dont prevent cooking messes. They just make it harder to clean up.
4.Tile backsplashes are not easy to change or remove. My dil and I spent many hours, the better part of 3 months after work, removing her old 1970's mosaic tile and putting the walls back into paintable condition.
5. I think they look cluttered.
6 Far from timeless, in my opinion.
Paint, sheet metal or glass can look good to me.

However, if Mick DiGiulio makes a backsplash, then 99% I will love it.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 5:05AM
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Paint is fine for me.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 5:46AM
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I grew up with a tile backsplash and didn't mind the grout- stiil wiped fine; but I like paint. It is so much more versatile- when I tire of one color, or it looks shabby- I repaint! I have very little space in the kitchen now for a backsplash and even less after the remodel. I'm thinking it would get too visually cluttered- I am thinking about something behind the stove though....I am really interested in the glass bad boy in an earlier thread @;^)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 11:20AM
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I crack myself up sometimes in my passion for backsplash materials, yet even I can see that some kitchens don't need the visual (rocky i love your space as is). But perhaps because I am doing the demo and much of the reconstruction in my space, I can assure you that even tiny amounts of water between your counter and wall will destroy your kitchen, your cabinets, your mildew-resistant drywall, and your plywood subfloor.

The damage won't be evident immediately (if ever, to the naked eye) but slowly and surely it will be there. If you have ants in your kitchen, water damage will be the culprit. If you have a slight odor develop in your cabinets, maybe only when your dw is running, water will be the reason. If your floors start to give a little or your grout starts to crack, well, you get the picture. I have replaced drywall and subfloors, and this was the kitchen I grew up in, no major disasters, very well cared for, and we had a 4" tile bs, just didn't keep up the integrity of the caulk at the counter/tile junction.

Lots of people have chosen not to do a bs, and many of them are happy with the aesthetic. But they can't see what's going on behind their cabinets and under their floors. Honestly, I would never go to all of this expense and effort without protecting my materials.

That having been said, you shouldn't buy bs material unless you love, love, love it.

Could you possibly live with a 2" bs made of your counter material? This is breezygirl's kitchen.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 4:05PM
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Sure some back splashes seem to make the kitchen, but I do not want one. I think they tend to date a kitchen.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 5:17PM
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I would not mind a small 2" to 4" backsplash made from the same material as the countertop, I think that would be fine. And that is a very good point about the water problems that may occur. Thank you for pointing that out.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 6:42PM
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Our tile person suggested we wait, first get cabinets / countertops / lighting in and look at tile samples with items in kitchen like people do with paint samples.

Until GW, I wasnt even aware kitchens had BSs,
Dont and havent had but painted or wallpapered walls.

I was initially curious / excited about getting a BS and despite it having to be simple due to kitchen, at this point Im overwhelmed. Like yourself, looked at so many to still not pick one and I have to get one - island style back of range requires non combustable behind it.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 8:52PM
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Jaynes123 "Until GW, I wasnt even aware kitchens had BSs,"

Same here. The only backsplashes I saw in newly remodeled kitchens were the same granite as that on the counters.

Then I see all the posts about backsplashes here in GW and folks asking again and again what kind of backsplash should I get, or does this or that look good for a backsplash.

I asked my wife, "What the heck is going on in GardenWeb and all this "Backsplash thing".

She says "Some tile sales folks are hanging around and all they gotta do is convince a person or two and the rest follow. That was probably close to 10 years ago now.

We see it over and over again, first White kitchens, Now gray.

Now everybody must have an Island~~~~and on and On it goes~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I guess if you are a "Follower Type", all is well and good.

But I've always done my own thing and will continue to do so.

I will say that one place GW was a lotta help and Yea I did follow, was with Induction, Luv it!!!!~~~the other "Stuff", not so much ~~but ~~~~~that's just this old guys opinion, not necessarily right or wrong!


    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 10:21PM
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No backsplash here, total kitchen remodel a couple of years ago, tore out a thirty year old z brick backsplash, loving the painted wall against the new cambria buckingham quartz countertops.

annkh - love your painted branches and leaves!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 10:21PM
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I am not sure I will do a backsplash, but if I do, I want it to be not busy and not clash. I love the backsplashes that I have been seeing on GW!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 1:06AM
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As of now - demo has yet to begin :( I am not planning to have a backsplash. That's not to say I don't love them in others' kitchens. But for our open concept space I prefer the look of breezygirl's shown above. Someone else posted pics of her kitchen w/out BS - I think she had White River granite- earlier in the spring and I find I'm drawn to that look.

I've had granite & soapstone edging that matches the countertops w/ painted walls above in both my kitchens and found no issues with cleaning or maintenance.

My range will be set in a corner and I may do tiles behind just that area.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 8:31AM
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Thanks for all the info on back splash pros and cons.
I'm like Anita, not sure what to do.
We will finally be doing granite counters after living with faux granite over Formica for 5 years. I'm not sure that I want even a 4 inch strip of granite back splash as I think it tends to look choppy and there is only 15 inches between the counter top and the bottom of the cabinets. I have wallpaper to the counter.
One granite installer recommends the 4 inch granite bs because walls are never square and there would be unsightly grout at the wall and granite gap but I think it would cut into my wallpaper too much, plus would leave just a sliver of wall below a kitchen window which would be difficult to keep clean or wallpaper/paint in the future. I don't want tiles either since some of our cabinets don't end at a doorway or wall.
Is the bs necessary for protection from water leakage?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 9:44AM
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"Is the bs necessary for protection from water leakage?"

It seems to me that if you use water-resistant or waterproof wallboard and your counter fits very close to the wall (scribed to the wall before cutting), AND you use a high quality caulk, then no.

A backsplash often serves to cover a gap between the wall and counter. If you have perfectly flat walls with perfect 90 degree angles in the corners, you do not have to worry about gaps. But if your walls wave a little and the corners aren't perfect, and you don't want any gaps, then scribe the counters to fit the wall exactly.

Also, a tiled backsplash or even a 4" high backsplash still has to be completely caulked where it meets the counter.

Maybe a tiled or metal or glass backsplash was necessary in the old days before there were highly scrubbable paints or waterproof backerboard and caulk that lasted more than a few years, but today---not so much.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 10:10AM
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Nope..I wanted to be able to change the look of my kitchen by painting and not have to ever second guess the tile. Also I didn't care for the busyness of tile. I wanted the food and the pots etc to be the showcase. I used BM matte and it is scrubbable. After7 1/2 yrs it still looks the same even behind our gas cooktop and the built in deep fat fryer. I am SO glad I never added a backsplash . Likely you will be also . c

DH at center stage!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 2:52PM
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Thanks, Trailrunner. What did you use to fill the gap or didn't you have one? The granite installer is recommending a 4 inch high granite backsplash because of the possibility of the walls not being square which I know that they aren't. They are making a template so it seems that there shouldn't be much of a gap if they're cutting the counter top to fit. I just don't like the looks of it and prefer that the wall paper or paint meets the counter top. My neighbor has a 4 inch granite bs with painted walls. I need to look at her counter again to see how distracting it looks. She doesn't have a window though like I do so doesn't have to worry about the sliver of space between the window trim and the granite.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 5:04PM
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we are at the end of our kitchen remodel and have perseverated over a BS but to no avail!! ;) Sooo, we decided to be safe and use beadboard as our BS. We are painting it to add some color. We are also adding molding to the top of the beadboard. This way IF we find the perfect BS in the future this material is MUCH easier to take down and replace or even repaint if we change our minds. Hope this helps! :) good luck! (below is a link for a pic that inspired us)

Here is a link that might be useful: beadboard BS

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 6:40PM
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I bought a 2x4 marble tile backsplash, but am not sure i will use it, now. I am going to paint then decide.

raee, your kitchen looks scarily like mine wil!!! Right down to the blue paint, although your layout is like what mine looked like before modifications.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 6:52PM
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