Is a Backsplash Necessary?

Is a Backsplash Necessary?

Jun 5, 2013
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Welcome to Wilsonart Wednesday! We've teamed up with the kitchen experts at Wilsonart to answer our readers' questions about kitchen renovation. We'll be posting the answers on Wilsonart Wednesdays all summer long, so ask your questions here and check back in for the answers!

Q: You know how many countertops have a lip along the back edge that extends a few inches up the wall? Is that necessary? Does it serve some practical purpose?

- Cassandra W.

A: What is a backsplash in the first place? We like to think about it as the entire space between the top of your counter and the bottom of your upper cabinets or shelves. It's a blank slate of opportunity to apply a little artistic license, or some extra spice racks and spoon hooks. Lots of people think about the short – usually 4-inch – return on the backside of a laminate or stone countertop. For decades that's been used to block spills and crumbs from getting behind the counter or cabinet, and to disguise the (often) uneven walls behind your cabinets. Today's great sealants make it possible to do without that return, which can date a countertop. On the other hand, it's great insurance and you can bring it up to date with a little creative thinking - top it with some pretty tiles or decorative molding pieces; use it as a ledge for pictures? Wilsonart® Color Matched Caulk is a high quality sealant that is formulated to color match Wilsonart® Laminate and other high pressure laminate products. It can be found at most home centers.

Q: I have chosen a white quartz with gray veining for my countertop. I would like to forgo the 4-inch stone backsplash and run tile right down to the countertop. Is this a bad idea that I will regret later? Or is it fine? 

- Kari H.

A: We think that's a great idea. Why let all that space go without a little creative expression. If you're worried about getting tired of it, try painting a mural or creating a custom treatment by putting your childrens' pictures on a piece of Wilsonart Custom Laminate

(Image: Wilsonart)
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