Many homes have a standard 4 inch tall backsplash in their kitchen and bathrooms.

Even if you are lucky enough to have a full height backsplash in your kitchen, your builder may have put a standard 4 inch tall backsplash in your bathroom.

Why is this backsplash so common?

It is very common because it uses so little material that makes it cheap, and it covers the edge between the countertop and wall to disguise a wall that is not straight and/or granite that was not cut perfectly.

There is technically nothing wrong with a 4 inch backsplash, however it tends to be common place in mass produced mid to lower end homes, thus making homes that have them look less high end.

Fortunately, there are many other backsplash options that cost the same or only a little bit more, but give your kitchen or bathroom a custom and high end look.

A better alternative to a 4 inch backsplash

Backsplash to the Bottom of Upper Cabinets or to the Ceiling
A better alternative to a standard 4 inch tall backsplash is to continue your backsplash all the way up to the ceiling, or the bottom of your upper cabinets, in order to give your kitchen or bathroom a more high end custom look.

The countertop below is possibly 6 foot wide and the ceiling is maybe 8 foot tall.  This full height backsplash uses approximately 30 square feet of tile, which is quite a minimal amount of materials and cost in order to attain a much higher end look than using a 4 inch tall backsplash. 

Taller Than 4 Inches
If you do not want to run your backsplash to the ceiling, you can use a backsplash that is taller than 4 inches.

The taller backsplash will not cost much more money, but definitely show that you put extra thought into the design.

Shorter Than 4 Inches
If you like having a short backsplash, consider using a 1 inch, 2 inch, or 3 inch backsplash instead of the standard 4 inch.

The shorter backsplash will make the backsplash nearly disappear yet still protect the wall at the back side of the countertop.

Chair Rail Height
If you are using a chair rail throughout your bathroom, you can install your backsplash at the same height as the chair rail to make the height look intentional.


General Tips
1)  Do not put a partial backsplash on a side wall in a kitchen or bathroom because there is not a good place to stop it and it ends up looking weird.  You do not need a "sidesplash", just a backsplash.

Do not backsplash here


2)  Instead of the traditional tile or stone backsplash, consider using more unconventional materials.

Many of these materials are very budget friendly, so using them as a full height backsplash will not blow the budget.
You can use shiplap, wood plank, cement board, beadboard, reclaimed wood, glass, mirror, brick, or any other non-absorbant material.
Photo by Norwell Design Build - More bathroom ideas


3)  For a custom touch, add a detailed edge to your backsplash to make it extra special.

better than standard 4 inch backsplash4)  If you have a countertop that has a bold pattern to it, use a mostly solid colored backsplash else the two patterns will be too overpowering.
5)  If you decide to tile from your countertop to your ceiling or the bottom of your upper cabinets, make sure to remove the 4 inch backsplash first before installing the backsplash tile, else the distance between your countertop and upper cabinets will look out of proportion.
6) Make sure to talk to your countertop installer about your backsplash preference before the order is placed because they often assume that you will want the 4 inch backsplash and might automatically install it.
If you would like for Fletcher Design Consultants to help you with a backsplash in your home, or have any other interior design need, please contact us.  We would love to help!

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