Backsplash Height: What Are Your Options?

Written by Kyle Murray on September 18, 2019 REVIEWED BY Samantha Peterson

Table of Contents

Last updated on October 05, 2021

When remodeling your kitchen, one way to increase the impact of new countertops is to install a new backsplash. Backsplashes serve both aesthetic and functional purposes, which makes choosing the right one for your space important. One of the elements you will have to consider is backsplash height. In general, you will have two options for backsplash height: Standard or Full. This guide will inform you of what each option is and what you must consider before buying. 


What is a Standard Height Backsplash? 

A standard height backsplash measures 4 inches from the surface of the countertop. In most cases, this will be a 4-inch high piece of stone from the slab you used for your countertop. You can also opt for a tile backsplash that suits your countertop well. 

What is a Full Backsplash? 

A full backsplash is one that extends from the surface of your countertop to either the bottom of your upper cabinets or to the ceiling. This will either be tile or a slab of stone, which creates an amazing visual impact. 

What Are the Benefits of a Standard Height Backsplash? 

A standard height backsplash can offer you many benefits. These are listed in the following table and explained in further detail below. 

Benefits: Standard Height Backsplash
Lower Cost
Uniform Look


Lower Cost 

The less material you use, the less you will have to pay. Because of this, a standard 4-inch backsplash will not cost as much as a full backsplash will. This can be a major benefit if the material you are using is expensive or if you are on a limited budget. 


Although 4 inches is the typical height, you can choose to have a backsplash that is a little higher without choosing a full backsplash. The backsplash is still a great addition to the home whether it is 4 inches, 6 inches or any other measurement you choose.  

Uniform Look 

Using the same type of stone that is on your countertop can create a beautiful uniform look. 

What Are the Benefits of a Full Backsplash? 

Full backsplashes will offer different benefits than those you can get from standard height backsplashes. These benefits are listed in the following table and explained below. 

Benefits: Full Backsplash
Visually Striking
Protects the Wall


Visually Striking 

A full backsplash makes a visual statement – especially if you use the same stone used for the countertop. Whether you opt for a material like tile or stick with stone, a full backsplash can easily become the focal point of the room. 

Protects the Wall 

In addition to appearance, a major benefit that you will receive from a full backsplash is added protection for your walls. Backsplashes help guard your walls from spills and stains that can cause damage. This is particularly helpful in the kitchen, where you will be cooking. Even if you do not want a full backsplash all around, perhaps you consider the full height behind your stove. 

What Materials Can You Use? 

There are many different materials that you can choose for your backsplash. In general, standard choices include either tile backsplashes or stone, whether that is natural stone like granite and marble or engineered stone like quartz. Below is an analysis of some of the popular material options for backsplashes. 


Granite is a very popular material for countertops and backsplashes. Granite is attractive, durable and easy to care for. Whether you choose a standard height granite backsplash or a full backsplash, granite will look amazing behind your countertop. 


Marble is one of the most popular natural stones in the world. The material has been used to build everything from famous statues to backsplashes. While you will want to be careful if you use it for a kitchen backsplash, it is well suited for bathroom backsplashes. Marble is prone to staining when exposed to acidic substances, but as long as you are careful, your marble backsplash can retain its amazing appearance for years to come. 


Quartz is another popular choice for backsplashes. Quartz is an engineered stone and is one of the toughest surfaces you will be able to find. The material can be manufactured to have the look of natural stones, such as granite and marble. The only thing you will need to watch out for with quartz is excessive heat; if the backsplash comes into contact with very high levels of heat, it can result in burn marks on the surface. 



There are various types of tile that you can choose for a backsplash. Whether you opt for a tile mosaic or subway tiles, tile backsplashes are very common in homes. 

Whether you are trying to tie together your kitchen design, add some style to your bathroom or install one in any other room, a backsplash can have a significant impact both visually and functionally. Choosing an ideal backsplash material and height can make an incredible difference in the home. Reviewing this guide can help you decide on which backsplash is right for your home.

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