Where to End Kitchen Backsplash Tiles

Posted by Mike Belk on Jan 17, 2019

The question:  Where to end kitchen backsplash tiles?

Isn’t it annoying to see backsplash tiles extended outside the edge of a kitchen cabinet and ending in midspace on the wall? That is a big rule violation for the seasoned interior designer. It destroys the aesthetics of a functional living space. But many home builders have it because most contractors don’t know where to end kitchen backsplash tile installations. There must be a good reason for putting those tiles there.

A basic principle in architecture says that form follows function. Every element of a design has a purpose. A side backsplash remains useless unless it sits near the sink where drenching usually takes place. There is no reason for putting a backsplash on dry areas in the kitchen. After all, water is the main reason a backsplash exists. It protects the wall from water damage.

Sometimes, contractors make a mistake when cutting countertops. It creates a huge gap between the counter and the wall. Filling the breach with a sealant doesn’t help solve the problem, so they decide to put a side backsplash to cover the crack. Some homeowners may overlook the error but interior designers cannot accept this excuse. A good contractor can always trim the countertop to fit tightly to the wall avoiding the unwanted gap.

The question of ending a side backsplash remains but there is also room for compromise. Just make sure the unwanted backlash on the side of the counter doesn’t call attention to itself in the room. Use a tile color that matches with the color of the wall. Use a rounded edge tumbled tile or have a contractor bullnose the edges to give it a finished look.

Is there a proper stopping point for kitchen backsplash tiles?

There is no standard solution to ending a kitchen backsplash. Every situation is different. It all depends on the layout of the kitchen. Some like to end it where the upper cabinet ends. Others like to stop at the edge the counter. And still, others want to take it to the end of the wall. Whichever looks best for the kitchen is the best place to end the backsplash.

Where to end kitchen backsplash tile design

Where to end kitchen backsplash tile on the side of a kitchen counter carries a major concern for many homeowners. It usually ends up hanging in midspace which makes the kitchen look awkward and unfinished. That is why experts don’t recommend having side backsplashes unless they are needed.

Backsplashes exist for two reasons. First, it protects the wall from damage caused by splattering liquid that comes either from a water source or the cooking range. Second, it creates an accent to a lame kitchen wall. When carefully selected to match the color of the countertops, it makes the kitchen look stunning.

The first reason for putting backsplash tiles determines how high the tiles should rise. Backsplashes placed near the cooking range typically go all the way up to the bottom end of the overhead cabinets. Backsplashes near the sink can be made short. Having this on the side wall of the kitchen counter may not always cause an aesthetic problem to the overall look-and-feel of the kitchen. It’s easy to overlook this flaw.

Will it look odd stopping the tile after the cabinets?

The second reason helps find the answer to the question of ending kitchen backsplash tiles that hang in midspace on the side of the kitchen counter. Make the tiles run up the entire side wall and go all the way to the ceiling. It becomes an attractive accent wall especially if the tiles have colors that contrast the colors of the countertops and kitchen cabinets. Contrast is another basic principle of design in architecture.

There are two basic design principles to remember when deciding where to end kitchen backsplashes. First is form. The shape of the item always follows its purpose. It determines the height of the backsplash. Knowing how high the backsplash goes tells you where to end it.

The second principle is contrast. In the case of the annoying side backsplash, the principle of contrast comes in useful to finding a solution to this aesthetic problem.

ending spot for kitchen backsplash tile design

Side backsplashes usually becomes irritating if the tiles have colors that contrast the colors of the countertops. Replacing these tiles can be cumbersome. Why not leave those tiles in place and continue the pattern all the way up to ceiling? It gives the wall a finished look and the annoying backsplash tile becomes an attractive accent wall.

Did I make right choice on where to end backsplash tiles?

In the problem of where to end kitchen backsplash tiles, creativity is key that unlocks the door. Just use your imagination and follow these two basic principles of design.