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Cheryl in Lunenburg
Backsplash Challenges & Question

We have a lovely butcher block wood counter and wainscott beadboard backsplash, but we have been worried about water splattering from the faucet and sink onto the counter and beadboard. We added some cove molding, thinking that this would help, but it doesn't seem to have. Now, we are wondering if we should tile behind the sink.

Does anyone have any ideas for how to deal with this area so that both the counter and the backsplash look good and stay free from water damage?

Re: Backsplash Challenges & Question

I personally feel that wood in close proximity to splashing or standing water is a bad idea. The best of varnished surfaces will eventually fail. Beadboard is going to have seasonal movement as the wood expands and contracts.This makes it likely the varnished bead at seams will be breached, allowing moisture a way to enter. The beadboard would be especially vulnerable if the open end grain sits directly on the counter top. Open grain acts as a wick, sucking water up into the wood.

I assume your butcher block is oiled, not varnished.I suppose that if kept oil, it might not fail in the same fashion as a a varnished surface, but would be a continuing maintenance chore.

Were it mine, I would tile the immediate area around the sink, or use other water impermable surfaces such as stainless steel, glass, stone, etc.

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