Home » Should Kitchen Backsplash End at Cabinet or Countertop? [Ultimate Guide]

Should Kitchen Backsplash End at Cabinet or Countertop? [Ultimate Guide]

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Kitchen backsplash not only protects from spillage but effectively alter the look of your cooking place. My ultimate guide will answer all your questions.

Should Kitchen Backsplash End at Cabinet or Countertop?

Should Kitchen Backsplash End at Cabinet od Countertop? If you Install kitchen backsplash in areas where it isn’t needed violates the aesthetics of functional living space. The same rule applies to all design styles. Backsplash should be placed through the whole location of your Kitchen Countertop area.

There are some important features like its height to consider when designing it. Find everything you need to know about backsplashes in my ultimate guide.

Ending Backsplash at the cabinet or countertop?

Many homes have a weird kitchen outlook simply because most contractors are ignorant of where to end its installation.

If you are designing a house from the beginning, make sure you keep in mind about overall kitchen design before assigning your contractors where to put your backsplash.

You shoul consider what type of backsplash you will use before starting renovation

Some backsplashes are installed before ordering your kitchen. Ask at the store, where you plan to buy it. Simple mosaic tile or subway Tile backsplashes should be attached after Countertop is installed.

Installing tiles in areas where they aren’t needed violates the aesthetics of functional living space. In short: I will look ugly. Keep in mind:

Backsplash should be placed threw whole location of your Countertop.

A simple rule of architecture states that  form goes after function. So every element of a design should have a particular purpose.

Why you should have backsplash in your kitchen

I listed 5 reasons why you should have backsplash in your kitchen:

  • A kitchen backsplash safeguards your wallpaper and painted walls from stains done by cooking on daily basis. These stains can be quite difficult to remove if you don’t have it present.
  • If your backsplash is installed through the whole Countertop area it forms a clean and modern look.
  • Your kitchen will look so more elegant. It forms a look that is complete without the person thinking something is missing.
  • Having backsplash overall price of your kitchen is dramatically raised compared nit having it.
  • It is an ideal way to conceal small holes that are visible when the counter-top isn’t aligned correctly with your walls.

Does it have to go all the way up to cabinets?

Backsplash height should be all the way from the Countertop to the bottom of upper cabinets. I strongly suggest designing it like this, otherwise, it will look outdated like on the bottom image. Also, it protects water spillage much better if it is made all the way up to upper cabinets.

Does kitchen backsplash have to go all the way up to cabinets?

I Just took this image on my holiday with my family in apartment me rented. It looks really strange. What do you think?

Should backsplash go on side walls

I would strongly recommend not to put it on side walls if your upper cabinets are not over it. You will kill overall design instantly. This example picture explains everything.

Source: Pinterest

In a worse scenario when you have a sink next to the sidewall, think about covering it with latex based pain to prevent water and stain damage.

What is Kitchen Backsplash?

Kitchen backsplash refers to the material ( stone, tile, metal, etc.. ) which we use to protect the area of the wall between the kitchen countertop and upper cabinets.

The backsplash is placed through the whole length of the Countertop. It protects the wall from splashes and stains.

It should be very resistant and be able to resist all substances that could come in contact with it and maintain its elegant appearance at the same time.

Different Types of backsplashes

Backsplashes exist in different styles, materials, price points, and colors. With several options to pick from, how do you the right one for your kitchen?

Let’s see kost popular ones:

Ceramic Tile

This material is regarded as the most popular backsplash on the market. Ceramic Tiles can create a stunning perspective in any kitchen.

They exist in different geometric designs and colors . Ceramic is inexpensive and very easy to maintain. Excellent lustre is one of key features.

Ceramic tile Kitchen backsplash

Where should the backsplash tile end?

Same as with other types of backsplashes, I would end my tile backsplash at the end of the countertop and its height would be all the way to upper kitchen cabinets. It will look so much cleaner.

Natural Stone

Natural stone will bring elegance to your kitchen. You can find a wide variety of natural stones like travertine, marble, limestone, and granite.

Natural stone kitchen backsplash
Kitchen backsplash with natural stone

Most Natural stone (link to Amazon) backsplashes are very durable so they can be used for many years if maintained properly.

When selecting this material for your kitchen, make a good research about the type of maintenance you’ll require to prevent it from degenerating. 


This backsplash is universal and can fit in any style of kitchen, ranging from the modern to the traditional. Glass tiles will provide your kitchen with a lustrous appearance make it more classy.

You can order it in a variety of colors. All are very easy to maintain.

glass kitchen backsplash

The glass type of tiles can be obtained in the subway or mosaic sheets and can cover an extensive area. It depends on what type of glass tile you choose, but they can be quite expensive. Installing them would require the services of an expert as well.


This type is quite unique and it may not be for everyone.  With concrete backsplash, you will bring into your kitchen an impressive modern hue.

Minimalistic kitchen with concrete backsplash

Similar to ceramic tile, concrete backsplashes are available in an extensive variety of colors, and they are quite easy to maintain.

They can be cast to suit an existing concrete countertop, in order to provide it with a more united appearance.

If you don’t have money or the Possibility to invest in concrete backsplash but you like the visual look, there may be some cheaper alternatives. We can get the concrete look with:

  • PVC wall stickers (link on Amazon) in concrete color. They are waterproof and oil-proof. You can cover any flaw with them and they are super easy to install and remove. It can be a great backsplash alternative because it is flame-resistant as well.
ROSEROSA Peel and Stick PVC Faux Concrete Decorative Instant Self-Adhesive Wallpaper Covering Countertop Backsplash Gray (DM223 : 2.00 Feet X 6.56 Feet)
  • Concrete father finishes like Ardex from Amazon. It is ideal to cover countertops and backsplashes and give them an extra layer of protection. It is much cheaper than making a real concrete Countertop or made it from Quartz.
Ardex Feather Finish Grey/Gray/Gris Self-Drying Cement Based Bag 10 Lbs

Stainless steel

With stainless steel backsplash, you will bring inside the visual attraction and elegant perspective to your room. They exist in several design options like sheets, tiles, and textures.

Stainless steel backsplash is quite easy to clean and maintain. Their great feature is durability and resistance to heat. This is why they are the most popular material in professional kitchens.

Like other types of materials, stainless steel isn’t easy to damage, but it can scratch or dent. Also, acidic liquids such as juice or coffee can result in discoloration if not quickly cleaned up.

If cost turns out to be a factor you must be aware that this type of backsplashes can be quite costly, depending on your preference of sheets or tiles.

Stainless steel backsplash
Stainless steel backsplash

How to Choose Right Type for your kitchen

There exist several considerations you’ll have to make prior to selecting the right type for your kitchen. Below are a few of these considerations;

Consider the style and mood of your home

What is your overall design style planned for your house? Is your home designed with a Moroccan vibe? Are you maybe a fan of minimalism? Etc…

Morocco style backsplash. Check similar cheaper waterproof sticker alternative on Amazon here.

You need to ask yourself these questions. Some contemporary-minded person would probably not consider backsplash like in the above picture. Right?

After you consider and decide about your design, lets move to second consideration.

Consider the material

Some backsplash materials can be really expensive so we need to ask ourselves if we are prepared to pay for it there is some kind of cheaper alternative.

Stone backsplashes made out of marble can look really great on classical kitchen layout but the price can be quite high. In this can, you should consider buying a great-looking tile or glass backsplash to get the still amazing but less expensive outcome.

KEEP IN MIND:  Ceramic and glass backsplashes don't really require much upkeep. On the other hand clay or cement tiles are quite porous and will require that you seal them frequently.

Color or neutrals

I am a fan of neutral ground earth colors in combination with White and Black tones as well. You don’t need to have a backsplash colored the same way as the kitchen. In most cases, they aren’t.

Feel free to experiment but don’t go to far away with colors compared to overall look of your space. I would use 2-3 color max in one single room.

Think twice choosing bold color as your desired choice. You don’t want to kill your kitchen overall look. There is thin line between make or brake your design

If you are redesigning your kitchen as well, read my article about painting or refacing kitchen cabinets.

Should kitchen backsplash match the floor?

It depends what style or overall look are you aiming for but I believe it is not nessesary to that backsplash should match the floor. At the same time it should not become focal point and eyesore of particular space. Backsplash should complement, kitchen cabinets, countertop and overall design. Don’t get to dramatic.

Is glass tile backsplash too trendy?

Glass tile backsplash is mostly considered as great modern and contemporary choice of material. If we look from wider angles glass backsplash is so universal material I can look amazing on classical kitchen design as well.


Choosing the right backsplashes for your kitchen depends mainly on your current style, budget, and willingness to put the effort into maintenance. Learn more about different styles by reading about Vintage and retro, transitional or minimalistic interior design. Find which suits you best.