Standard Vs. Full Kitchen Backsplash. Which is Better?

Over the years, the aesthetics and functionality of kitchens have evolved drastically, and the kitchen backsplash stands out. Not just as a decorative feature but also as a vital functional component. 

Today, we will be discussing why people are undecided about a standard vs. full kitchen backsplash.

A standard kitchen backsplash typically covers the wall space between the countertop and the upper cabinets, acting as a shield against spills and splatters. In contrast, a full kitchen backsplash extends from the countertop all the way to the ceiling, providing a more extensive and cohesive design element in the kitchen.

In this guide, we will delve into the distinct characteristics, benefits, and considerations of standard versus full kitchen backsplashes, aiding homeowners in making an informed decision tailored to their preferences, needs, lifestyles, and even the type of kitchen remodel company to use.

Standard vs. Full Kitchen Backsplash

A kitchen backsplash's primary purpose is to protect the wall from unintended spills and splashes. But, did you ever stop to ponder the difference between a standard and a full backsplash?

standard and full kitchen

Defining Standard Backsplashes

Typically, a standard backsplash stands around 4 inches tall and is often an extension of the countertop material. 

It’s the classic choice for those who love simplicity with a dash of elegance.

Defining Full Backsplash

The full backsplash, on the other hand, stretches from the countertop all the way to the upper cabinets or even the ceiling.

It's a bold statement, enveloping the kitchen in a cocoon of design and functionality.

full vs standard kitchen

Advantages of Standard Backsplashes

The old saying, "less is more," perfectly encapsulates standard backsplashes.

  • Cost-effectiveness: One of the primary reasons homeowners opt for the standard backsplash is its affordability.

  • Easier Installation: With less material and wall space to cover, installation becomes a breeze.

  • Versatility in Design Choices: With a smaller area, you can experiment with premium tiles or designs without breaking the bank.

Advantages of Full Backsplashes

  • Enhanced Protection: Full backsplashes offer wall-to-wall protection against splashes, ensuring cleanliness and reducing wall damage.

  • Luxurious Appearance: A full backsplash exudes luxury, turning a simple kitchen into an opulent space.

  • Increased Home Value: Investing in a full backsplash can bump up your home's resale value, appealing to potential buyers.

standard vs full kitchen

Comparing Lifespan and Durability

Whether you choose standard or full, the material plays a pivotal role in the backsplash's lifespan.

  • Materials Used: Common materials like ceramic tiles are durable, while natural stones like marble need more care.

  • Maintenance and Longevity: Regular cleaning and occasional resealing can ensure your backsplash stands the test of time.

standard vs full kitchen difference

Cost Breakdown: Standard vs. Full

Breaking down costs can offer clarity when making a decision.

  • Material Costs: As expected, full backsplashes consume more material, leading to higher costs.

  • Labor Charges: With more ground to cover, labor charges for full backsplashes can be steeper.

kitchen standard vs full

Tips for choosing the right option between standard and full backsplash

Choosing between a standard and a full kitchen backsplash depends on various factors, including budget, design preferences, maintenance considerations, and the overall aesthetic you want to achieve in your kitchen. Here are some tips to help you make the right decision:

1. Consider Your Budget:

  • Full backsplashes require more material and labor, making them more expensive than standard backsplashes. Evaluate your budget to determine which option is more feasible.

2. Assess the kitchen’s design and style:

  • A full backsplash can create a bold statement and enhance the overall design of your kitchen, especially if you are using high-end materials or unique patterns.

  • A standard backsplash may be more suitable for a minimalist or budget-friendly design.

3. Think About Maintenance:

  • Full backsplashes provide more coverage, which can protect your walls from spills and splatters, especially behind the stove and sink areas. However, they also have more surface area to clean.

  • Standard backsplashes have less surface area to clean, but they offer less wall protection.

4. Evaluate the space and layout:

  • Consider the size and layout of your kitchen. A full backsplash can make a small kitchen appear larger and more cohesive.

  • In larger kitchens, a full backsplash can act as a focal point, especially if it features a unique pattern or color.

5. Choose materials wisely:

  • The type of material can influence the decision. Some materials may look better extending all the way up the wall, while others might be better suited for a standard backsplash.

6. Consider Resale Value:

  • A full backsplash might add to the resale value of your home, as it is often considered a luxury feature.

7. Look at longevity and trends:

  • Consider whether the design and material you choose are timeless or may appear dated in a few years. A full backsplash of a very trendy material or color might not stand the test of time as well as a more neutral, standard backsplash.

8. Think About the Installation Process:

  • A full backsplash might require more intricate installation, especially around cabinets and range hoods. Make sure your installer has the expertise for this type of work.

9. Sample in Your Space:

  • Before making a final decision, try to get samples of your chosen material and place them in your kitchen to see how they look with your cabinets, countertops, and lighting.

10. Consult with a professional:

  • If you’re unsure, it might be worthwhile to consult with a kitchen designer or contractor. They can provide valuable advice based on your specific kitchen layout, style, and budget.
full and standard kitchen

FAQs On Standard Vs. Full Kitchen Backsplash

What's the primary purpose of a backsplash? 

Protecting walls from spills and splashes while adding aesthetic value.

Which is more cost-effective, a standard or full backsplash? 

Standard backsplashes are generally more budget-friendly.

How often should I clean and maintain my backsplash?

Regular cleaning with occasional resealing ensures longevity.

Can I install a standard backsplash by myself?

With the right tools and skills, it's a feasible DIY project.

Does a full backsplash increase home value?

Yes, it often adds to the home's aesthetic and resale value.

Which materials are best for a long-lasting backsplash?  

Ceramic tiles and natural stones like granite are durable choices.

Final Thoughts

Choosing between a standard and full kitchen backsplash boils down to personal preferences, budget, and the kitchen's overall look. 

Both options have their merits, and with the right choice, your kitchen can be transformed from a mundane space into a culinary masterpiece.

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About the author

Hi my name is Jeremy Maher. My wife, 2 kids and I went through Contractor Nightmares for 3 years straight.

Ben, Mark, and I teamed up to start Phoenix Home Remodeling to help homeowners remodel without the common contractor nightmares.

Learn more about Jeremy's expertise and topics he likes to write about on his author page.