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Is a backsplash necessary?

I am planning a kitchen redo in a mid-20th century house with brick-hard plaster walls. I would like the clean look of counters butted up to the wall with no backsplash. Can anyone forsee problems with this? Thanks.

Re: Is a backsplash necessary?

One of the purposes of a back splash is to prevent liquids spilled on the counter top from running down behind the counter top, however a properly installed counter top can minimize the problem.


Re: Is a backsplash necessary?

Another function of a backsplash is to cover the gap between the counter and the wall. Without a BS, your counter installers will need to scribe the counter to the wall for a very tight fit.

I'd also like to see a 1/8" steady gap along the back to allow room for a very thin bead of 100% silicone caulk to allow for expansion and contraction.

Re: Is a backsplash necessary?

A backsplash is not required, but it's certainly necessary, for the reasons mentioned above and also for the kitchen counter finish look.

If you show a kitchen without a backsplash to 100 prospective home buyers, I bet you that the majority of them will say that the kitchen is unfinished.

Re: Is a backsplash necessary?

This is an opinion . . .
(1) I assume you'll have a backsplash around the sink area, presumably with a window over the sink. Otherwise, you'll wear out the wall finish keeping it clean.
With a mid-century mod, I also assume you have or the the re-model will have clean lines, and as such, IMO the lack of a BS all over the counters won't look out of place.

Interestingly, I live in area of many traditional houses, and buyers look at mod houses as "operating room" like, and those houses sell for less compared to functionally similar houses. It's a matter of taste, but to me, I live in the 21st century and like the 21st century sensibilities as reflected in tech product designs.

(2) I (my wife actually) also decided leave off the low back around the counter material (Eursostone). Measurements were taken, but the result was a 1/8 - 3/8" gap between the counter & wall at places when installed. My wife refused a caulk finish even when color matched.
Was it bad measurement, error by the fabricator or bowing drywall ?? No one took responsibility . . . so I spent $300 on a handman to cut out the drywall above the counter and below the cabinets, and shimmed that piece. I did the repainting.

So, if the result isn't right, you need a plan to fix it (and you have plaster) or a way to not have any problems.

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