Is A Backsplash Required By Code? (Read This First)

By - Hs Saini

Updated -

Backsplashes are an essential feature in kitchen designs. They enhance the overall look of the kitchen and act as protective and preventive measures against elements that can damage the beauty of the kitchen.

There is a wide range of varieties of the backsplash to choose from, and they all work perfectly to achieve the purpose.

However, it may be hard to decide if a backsplash is required by coding.

Code does not require a backsplash, but it is good to use it when tiling around the kitchen sink. It would prevent water from the sink from splashing and seeping into the wall, resulting in mold growth and rotting.

Are Backsplashes Required?

Backsplashes are required to protect the wall behind the sink and stove.

Oil, water, grease, and other things can damage or disfigure the wall, and the backsplash act as a protective cover against these elements.

Therefore, a backsplash should be made of a durable material that can withstand anything, and it should be easy to clean.

Oil and grease could splatter on the wall behind your stove and damage the surface. The backsplash comes in handy in this situation.

That is why it is advisable to use a material that is unable to absorb and easy to clean.

Can You Do a Kitchen Without a Backsplash?

You can do a kitchen without a backsplash, but you need to seal the edges of the countertop to prevent water and grease.

And food from dripping behind the cabinet and counter since there is no backsplash to protect the kitchen wall.

What’s The Purpose of Backsplash?

The primary purpose is to protect your kitchen walls against grease, oil, food, and water splatter, which can damage them, especially around the stove area, the sink, and the countertop.

Apart from protecting the kitchen wall, the backsplash also prevents dripping behind the cabinet and countertop.

Secondly, the backsplash protects the kitchen walls against stains. It can last a long time without damage if appropriately sealed.

The wall gets protection against molds and heat from cooking

Water seeping through the counter and cabinet can lead to mold growth. The backsplash can help to prevent this.

The durability makes it easier to rely on the effective use of backsplash, and it can last for so many years keeping your kitchen look new.

In addition, backsplashes cover the gaps made during the installation of countertops. You can cover these gaps so that water does not seep through them and disfigure the counter.

In addition, the backsplash makes it more appealing and improves the kitchen’s appearance.

Furthermore, the backsplash may also improve the appearance of the kitchen. It adds more beauty and creativity to the kitchen design.

There are no endless methods to improve the kitchen’s outlook since the backsplash is easy to install and uninstall. You can change it if you get bored with the installed one.

Backsplash also reduces the time and cost you spend on cleaning. Tile backsplash, the most commonly used, is easy to wipe clean with a sponge or damp cloth.

Like other materials like stone, glass, and metal, you can always clean them without worrying about fading or wearing them. 

Also, because the backsplash is easy to clean, it would control pests in the kitchen. However, you have to ensure to keep it clean in order not to attract pests.

What Can I Use Instead of a Backsplash?

You can use paint or wallpaper as an alternative to a backsplash. Painting the wall is a cheaper and budget-friendly alternative.

You can use durable paint or a high gloss to create nice patterns. Some painters’ tape and a little pattern would look amazing in the kitchen.

You don’t need any painting skills to create a backsplash effect. 

However, it may sound unique and fun, some disadvantages come with choosing paint over a backsplash. Paint can’t protect the walk from damage like a backsplash.

It would fade over time as grease, water, and food particles splatter. Unlike the backsplash, where you can choose any pattern and design, paint is stuck on only two options.

Either you do a full wall painting or a fake tile pattern.

In addition, it takes extra time to paint the wall, especially if you are adding patterns. You have to wait for each set of lines or patterns to dry properly before proceeding with anything.

You also have to be careful with putting painter’s tape on the painted parts.

On the other hand, wallpaper is easier to install than paint. There is a wide variety of wallpaper styles and patterns to choose from.

Wallpapers are economical and pocket friendly compared to the backsplash. Using bathroom wallpaper in a kitchen is better because it would resist moisture and prevent mold growth.

The disadvantage of the wallpaper is that it has low durability and is difficult to clean.

After constant exposure to moisture, the wallpaper adhesive begins to come loose, and you may need to repair it with epoxy waterproof glue.

Also, using cleaners on wallpaper to get out the stains can cause it to fade and wear. Finally, you may always need to cover your pot while cooking to minimize splattering.

It is recommended to use a backsplash instead to keep the walls protected.

In case you decide to install a backsplash, you can choose from a variety of materials such as,

#1. Glass

Glass backsplashes come in many shapes and sizes, and they blend perfectly with other materials. In addition, these backsplashes are puffy and easy to clean.

#2. Stone

Granite, marble, and quartz are popular types of stone backsplashes. They make the kitchen look classy and upscale.

Note that tiles and sheets are made from marble, sandstone, and limestone stones. You can decide to use any stone fabrication for your backsplash.

#3. Wood

Wooden backsplashes are warmer to touch than tile and stone backsplashes, but they are porous. To avoid water damage, you need to seal up your wooden backsplash properly and treat it with mineral oil.

#4. Stainless Steel

These types of backsplashes are easy to clean and long-lasting. They are easy to install and economical.

They can be set up in any space and make the kitchen look bigger because of their light feature. Acidic foods can create spots on your stainless backsplash, which are cold to touch.

They need to be installed on support because they can’t stand independently.

#5. Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic tiles come in different sizes, colors, and shapes. The tiles are used to create mosaics and motifs to improve their effectiveness.

Ceramic tile is the most popular backsplash because of the beauty they add and flexibility in creating unique shapes and designs.

#6. Thermoplastic

Thermoplastic backsplashes include stamped bronze, brass, or tin. They are an alternative to metal, do not rust like metal, and are flexible and easy to install.

They are cost-effective and come in different patterns. They are called thermoplastic because they have a high resistance to heat.

The most popular use backsplash is ceramic tile. There are several varieties and sizes of ceramic tile to use in your kitchen.

Are Backsplashes Outdated?

Backsplashes are not outdated. They are still very much in vogue. Although there ars new updated versions that are used these days.

A lot of people still prefer using backsplashes in their kitchen. 

However, short-tailed backsplashes are outdated because they do not cover the wall like the full-tailed backsplash.

Full-tiled backsplash runs from the countertop to the cabinet and does a great job protecting the wall, unlike the short-tiled one. Full-tiled is also easier to keep clean and looks very nice.

Another type of backsplash that is becoming popular is the peel and stick tile backsplashes. You can easily install and uninstall them yourself.

They are cost-effective and give a good outlook like stone or set tile backsplashes.


Backsplashes are essential to keep your kitchen tidy and protected. You can always install and reinstall them if you get bored of the one you have.

They require no code, although coding assures the wall gets protected against water damage. If you don’t wish to install a backsplash, you can paint or cover wallpaper.

Sharing is caring! Spread The Love!

Why Trust Our Information

At, we are dedicated to delivering precise and trustworthy information. Our content is meticulously developed and validated by a panel of Expert Contributors, adhering to strict Editorial Guidelines. Our commitment is to ensure that you receive thoroughly researched and expertly crafted information.