Design Dilemma: Backsplash

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Hey Whitney!

I have a question for you. We are remodeling our kitchen and are in the process of adding the backsplash. Our island sticks out further than our wall cabinets. Do we go to the end of the countertop or the cabinet or something in between?  Also, on the other side of the cabinets, there is a wall and the wall cabinets go up to it. How are you supposed to finish that side? Do you put any tile on the side wall or does what we do on the island side need to match what we do on this side? i have sent you a picture to show you the tile and what we are confused about. 





Thanks for asking! This seems to be a big question for most DIYers when doing a kitchen remodel! Let’s breakdown your questions.

1. Where to end you backsplash when your wall cabinet and base cabinet are not in line. Unfortunately this happens a lot with basic cabinets because of standard size cabinets and not lining up perfectly. There are several ways to make this design look seamless. 

  • The current “standard” for backsplash is to end it at the end of the wall cabinet. I however do not think that this will look best in your situation. backsplashdilemmawall
  • If you take it to the end of the countertop, it will look lost and unfinished.  If you decide to do this, you can add artwork above the tile to fill in the “dead space”.
  • The last idea is to take the tile to the end of the countertop and add open shelving from the wall cabinet to the edge of the countertop. This will give you a little extra storage for pretties or whatever you need it to be.  Make sure that they are the color of the cabinets to make them look like they were there all along!(This is what I recommend for your kitchen)                                                backsplashdilemmashelves

2. Where to end backsplash when cabinets butt up to a side wall.

  • “Sidesplashes”                                                                                                                                                                                     are somewhat outdated.

The only real reason to have one these days is if your range or sink is within 30″ of the wall.  If you must have one, here are some ways to do a sidesplash.                                             

  • The new “standard” is to not have a sidesplash and just have the backsplash die into the side wall. (This is what I recommend for your kitchen)

  • If you are using something other than tile for a backsplash, there are ways to add unique details to your kitchen.

If you have a Design Dilemma? Email me at with your questions and your answer will be featured on the blog!



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