Backsplash Dilemma

July 12, 2019

Should I stop my tile at the end of the cabinets or the end of the countertop? I lean toward ending it at the end of the cabinets. Otherwise, I feel like there would be random tile just hanging out in the middle of nowhere. I also feel like if I extend the tile out, it’s going to look like I’m missing an upper cabinet. Thoughts?

Comments (18)

  • PRO
    Zapata Design, LLC

    Since your countertop looks like it extends to a breakfast bar type of function, I think it would work to end the backsplash at the end of the cabinets, IF you placed a tall vase or sculpture in that “open area” there so it adds to the fact that there is a bar space there, and it takes care of the perceived “hole”. Usually my clients go to the end of the countertop, but either way would work here - since the countertop has a dual
    Purpose (overhangs for a seated area).

  • cherylbirth

    i also think it looks strange when the backsplash extends past the cabinets. I would stop it there.

  • daisychain01

    It is almost always correct to end at upper cabs.

  • Kathi Steele

    End of the cabinets, IMHO.

  • Mo

    Mine covers a wider area and goes to the end of the countertop. I like having it there.

  • Claire Larece

    What is your choice of tile? Run it at end of counter and up the wall.

  • Kate

    Backsplash usually goes with counter length. If your tile has nice trim pieces I would do to the end of counter and trim it out, if not just go to the end of cabinet.

  • chloebud

    I would go with Zapata Design's suggestion in this case.

  • PRO
    Skippack Tile & Stone

    The backsplash belongs to the counter, not the wall cabinets; wouldn't look like you ran out of tile to stop short on the counter top?

  • artistsharonva

    The main goal of a backsplash is to protect walls from splash on back wall or side wall.

    So, when not near a water or cooking source stop below wall cabinets it depends on the look preferred.

    In that scenario I would stop under the wall cabinets.


    I would avoid the backsplash to no where look ( examples below)

    I also would not do the side wall if it's far enough away from something that would splash, like water or cooking.

  • cpartist

    100% at the end of the cabinet.

  • chocolatebunny123

    Our old backsplash extended to the end of the countertops (a few inches past the cabinets) and when we had it redone a few months ago, the tiler ended it at the cabinets. I think it's a much cleaner look now.

  • sunflowerhue

    Thank you so much for all the input- I really appreciate it!!

  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    there's no hard set rule. it's a personal choice. However, since you have less than foot after the cabinets, to me it would look like you ran out of tile. It's only a little bit more, so I'd do it.

    If you had a wider gap, like this one, you could stop it

    Yours is more like this one, and this is how it will look:

    like you ran out of tile.

    visually this one looks ok because of the beam (acts as a border along w/the cabs) and they've hung the cup holder to eat up the open space. It's also a much larger swath of countertop than you have.

    all the way out. looks better.

    (tile is there for protection from splashing while working on countertop. it has nothing to do w/your cabinets. so, just because they end doesn't mean the tile has to. again, personal choice)

    more examples.

    stopping this tile w/the uppers would have looked ridiculous.

  • zinnia

    I think if the tile is unique, you could tile up the wall past the cab run. But it seems like the most appealing way to go would be to end the tile with the cabs and add some other form of visual interest as shown in the pics artistsharonva posted.

  • zellenpat

    The back splash is a component of the counter top to protect the wall. Even if you had no upper cabinets you would have a back splash. It should end were the counter top ends. But always do what feels right to you. Maybe mount the tile with double stick tape and see which way you like.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    you could also add on some open shelving like they've done here and continue the tile

  • felizlady

    Stop the backsplash at the end of the counter, and use narrow trim pieces to finish the raw edges of the tiles, exposed tops and sides.

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