Is 4-inch Backsplash necessary?

essdanaDecember 10, 2011

Have ordered and measured quartz for counter top. The fabricator said that a 4-inch backsplash is standard but a kitchen retailer suggested to eliminate it to save money. At some point I think I might add subway tile but I want the back wall to look good whether it's tiled or just painted. WIll the kitchen look unfinished if counter abuts to painted walls instead of backsplash? My counter top is Cambria Bellingham, the walls are antique white and the cabinets are Ikea Nexus, brown-black. The kitchen is very small, not quite 9 x 9.

Install is this Tuesday, so please help!

Here is a link that might be useful: Countertop stone

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I don't know whether or not it is necessary, but it sounds like some people think it is dated.

Here is a link that might be useful: pic & article

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 7:14PM
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some people have it and some don't. some don't put anything up - just have the painted walls and some tile from counter top up... and some put in the 4" section and tile up from there.

Some do consider it outdated. I plan to have it. I want to be sure there's a sure seal between counter top and wall. I don't want tile on the walls.

do whichever you like best. It'll look fine either way.

There are lots of pics on here of kitchens with it and without it.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 7:48PM
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I agree with desertsteph - do what you like best. No matter what the topic/item some will like it, some won't. Pleasing the ones who cook there is much more important.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 7:59PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

If your walls aren't exactly square, the 4 inch slab will cover the gaps between the counter and the walls. The installation will have to be near perfect if there is no backsplash. Your stone is lovely!

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 8:22PM
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I'm not sure what I like! I'm going for a more contemporary look--slab cabinets, plain white flooring with subtle texture. Does this style lends itself to no backsplash, just paint--you know, less is more?

Also, desertsteph--this is all new to me: what happens if the seal b/t counter top and wall isn't fully sealed?

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 8:25PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

I did a quick search, and found a thread that might help.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 8:30PM
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We tiled straight down to our granite counters--no 4" piece necessary. trailrunner has painted walls and I believe does not have a 4" piece either.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 10:20PM
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Sophie Wheeler

4" is not necessary. 2" would be fine and a more contemporary look. You do need something behind the range for ease of cleaning and behind the sink to keep the wall from becoming water damaged. For the rest, a good quality scrubbable paint would be fine. Be aware that if your wall is not completely flat and straight that they may need to cut into the drywall in order to minimize any gaps between the counter and wall. Therefore the wall paint may need touchup, or you may want some type of tile to immediately hide that seam.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 11:22PM
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Another recent thread on 4" stone backsplashes.

I don't like them in general, and wouldn't do one if you plan to tile above. As mentioned trailrunner is one member without a bs, just paint. Anywhere you don't plan to put tile, even along the side wall if you have one in your kitchen, your installers should caulk any gap to prevent spills from running in. If you go without the 4" strip and are considering just paint above, make sure you tell the templater as they template your counters. They should make notes of that on your template so the stone is cut closer to the walls than it otherwise might.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 4:29AM
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Forgot the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Another recent thread on the topic

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 4:30AM
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Thank you all for the feedback. Spoke with my fabricator this morning; they had already cut the backsplash but would split the cost differential with me if I wanted to go with no backsplash.

Since I want the counter top and not a full backsplash to be the focus of the kitchen, I don't think I would put tile on the wall down to the counter top; anything other than a solid color would compete with the counter top stone and I think stray away from the clean look I'm going for. So, I'm going to stick with the 4-inch. It's going in tomorrow so I'm excited/anxious to see what it will look like!

I am so thankful for this forum community. I appreciate being able to talk it through with people who don't think I am obsessing--or at least are just as obsessive! Can't wait to share pics with you :-)

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 11:42AM
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Nix the 4" BS. When you are ready, tile to the countertop.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 11:54AM
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Circus Peanut

That's a great countertop stone with the dark brown cabinets. Pictures! If you don't want any tile on the back wall, modern paints are definitely more scrubbable than they used to be, but it's all about your comfort level - there's absolutely nothing inherently wrong with a small backsplash and it probably does make it easier to swish along back there instead of hitting painted or wallpapered wall. (Consider a quality vinyl wallpaper as another option that's a bit more hardy than paint.)

Pictures! :-)

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 12:36PM
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maybe it is viewed as dated , but what do you think about this one?

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 4:18PM
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