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Kitchen Backsplash Height: How High Should Backsplash Go?

Nowadays kitchen backsplash is very common in every kitchen. It potentially works as a protector of the wall by sealing it from moisture and stains behind the sink. It prevents water damage and hinders mold or mildew growth in the kitchen. 

However, it is a major concern for many homeowners what the height of the backsplash should be.

How high should kitchen backsplash go?

Typically the height of the kitchen backsplash can reach to the midspace the counter, lower cabinet, or up to the cabinet or even to the ceiling as there’s no standard rules. However, the standard height of kitchen backsplash is 10.16 – 15.24 cm from the kitchen sink countertop to the wall above it.

The design of the kitchen area and the amount of space available in between the cabinets are two elements that will determine how high the kitchen backsplash will be. 

Typically, kitchen backsplash height can extend up to or over the higher shelf or cabinet, or up to the lower bottom of the upper cabinet or shelves. It’s up to the homeowners how they want it. Some people prefer to go up to the upper cabinets from the lower ones. 

When installing the kitchen backsplash, there should typically be a space of 38 to 45 cm between the bottom and top shelves or cabinets.

If your kitchen has a window system above, you can place the backsplash near the window. However, some people choose to tile above the window frame, which gives their kitchen a more traditional appearance. 

If a large kitchen has a space between the upper border of the upper cabinet and the ceiling, placing a backsplash there can result in an additional cost, but it will improve the kitchen’s appearance. 

The kitchen backsplash should not extend beyond the lower border of the upper cabinet in cozy kitchens like the peninsula u-shaped kitchen that lacks much space and the space between the cabinets. 

As this will make the room look cozier if the space between the cabinets is more than 15 inches. Some people choose to attach the backsplash from the sink’s countertop to the lower bottom of the upper cabinet. 

If desired, the height of the kitchen backsplash can extend below the sink’s countertop.

What is the standard height of a kitchen backsplash?

The backsplash in a kitchen typically ranges in height from 10.16 to 15.24 cm. This measurement is made from the kitchen sink countertop to the wall above it, but it is rather antiquated and not always done. 

Nevertheless, depending on the size and design of the kitchen, it could occasionally vary between 10.16 and 38 cm. In a big kitchen space, a typical backsplash might reach a height of 45 cm. 

However, installing a kitchen backsplash of 38.1 cm to 45 cm between the lower and upper cabinets is advised if cost is not a concern. For classical appearances, instead of the usual four to six inches, individuals these days opt to install the kitchen backsplash above the upper cabinet. 

The standard height was intended for ordinary kitchen spaces, but since there are now so many different types of kitchens, people frequently go up to high cabinets in the kitchen instead of maintaining the conventional height.

Should backsplash go above kitchen cabinets? 

Depending on the layout of the kitchen, the backsplash height is usually decided. The minimum height is 4 inches high from the countertop and the end can be decided according to the preference. Some prefer to end up at the edge of the counter or  midspace on the wall. 

Others may want top height till the upper cabinet or ceiling.

But before deciding the height above the kitchen cabinet, consider the room size, the homeowner’s height and also look for the budget. If the kitchen area is not much bigger, the backsplash height above kitchen cabinets will not be appealing. 

The area will look more dense and awkward. The wise decision is to decide according to the homeowner’s height. If she is short, then kitchen backsplash above the cabinet will be a waste of money.

Should a kitchen backsplash go to the ceiling?

It depends on the size of the kitchen and costs, but there are equal advantages and disadvantages to deciding whether the kitchen backsplash should extend to the ceiling or not. 

If you have a small kitchen, you shouldn’t allow the backsplash to extend all the way up to the ceiling because that will make the space look smaller and cozier. The backsplash of the small kitchen is typically 10.16 cm from the countertop. 

However, if there is enough room and someone wants to give their kitchen a more upscale, attractive appearance, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to adding a backsplash that extends up to the ceiling. 

Additionally, anyone who wants a classic appearance and has no financial constraints can put the backsplash all the way up to the ceiling. However, if the backsplash extends to the ceiling, cleaning it might be a challenge. 

Nevertheless, for homeowners who prefer stylish kitchen designs and want to make their space appear larger, this might be a good option.

What is the backsplash height without upper cabinets?

The backsplash should be 45 to 50 cm high when there is no overhead cabinet. The backsplash can be full height, which can be between 18 and 20 inches, if there is no cabinet above it. The standard height from the cabinet to the ceiling is between 10 and 15 cm. 

These days, it’s common to see kitchen backsplash installations without top cabinets. When upper cabinets are not desired, a full-height backsplash is always employed to give the impression of a larger kitchen.

 If cost is not a concern, a kitchen backsplash of between 45 and 50 cm can be employed. Even if somebody has a kitchen with more space, the backsplash height shouldn’t exceed 20 inches. 

However, someone with a tiny kitchen could find that a full-height backsplash is not the best option; in that case, the height should be between eight and ten inches.

Where should the kitchen backsplash tile end? 

The usual range of kitchen backsplash height is from 10.16 to 15.24 cm from the kitchen sink countertop to the wall above it

However, it depends on many factors. From the budget to the size of the kitchen or the preference of the homeowner, the kitchen backsplash measurement should be done. 

So, usually for the smaller kitchen 10 cm high is sufficient and for the bigger kitchen it can increase more than 40 cm.

The kitchen backsplash tile starts with some space between the countertop and the end is decided according to the desire. Nowadays, homeowners mostly prefer up to high backsplash that reach up to the cabinets or the ceiling. 

If you want the minimum height from the countertop to the wall above it, 12-16 cm is sufficient. Or, for up to the lower bottom of the upper cabinet, the height can reach 36-40 cm.

3 factors that determine kitchen backsplash height:

The factors are briefly discussing that determine the kitchen backsplash height:

The purpose: 

A kitchen backsplash has the potential ability to protect the wall behind the stove, utensils from water from dripping down and also prevent dirt and grease. You can easily gain this benefit by keeping the backsplash height 16 cm or till the cabinet height. 

But if your main target is to make a drastic change all over the look of the kitchen and make it a focal point, its height can be increased to upper the cabinet or to the ceiling according to your desire.

Height of the homeowner: 

Determining the height of kitchen backsplash according to the height of the homeowner, displaying things, storing things, is highly required for the homeowner’s accommodations. 

If the homeowner is not much tall, it’s better to shorten the height considering the countertop appliance height. 

If it’s the opposite, then increase the height. However, if there are two homeowners, one is tall and another is short, the height should be given in a way so that both homeowners can experience the height efficiently. 

Or the area can be divided with both lower backsplash and higher backsplash. For older’s the height should be low.


Budget can be a great concern for selecting the height, backsplash tile and choosing the design. If the budget is tight, then 4-inch-high backsplash from the countertop with classic white field tile would be appealing. The rest of the wall can be sealed with water resistant paint. 

If you’ve clear budget set, then you can increase the height from 8-inch to 24-inch-high.

Final Thoughts 

There’s no rules of how high the kitchen backsplash should be but it depends on the preference of the homeowner. The height occasionally varies between 10.16 and 38 cm depending on the size of the kitchen area. In a big kitchen space, a typical backsplash can even reach a height of 45 cm.