Get A Quote
No Junk mail. No spam Calls. Free quotes

Countertops or Backsplash: What’s First?

Written by Amanda Kaiser on January 11, 2018
Edited By Angela Warren, Last Updated On January 01, 2024
Reviewed By Samantha Peterson
Share this article

Table of Contents

Which should you choose first – your kitchen countertops or backsplash? As you embark on your home renovation journey, many questions will arise about the process, and you may be wondering where it’s best to start. On one hand, your kitchen counters are a fundamental focal point, but your backsplash could also be if you pick a bold option. It can be quite confusing!

You could spend months collecting samples only to realize that you love them on their own but not together. Conversely you may find granite counters and tile backsplashes that look great together, but you don’t like independently. This can present concerns for future kitchen renovations.

Have no fear. We’re going to decode the process of selecting your kitchen countertops and backsplash.


Kitchen Countertops First

The kitchen is the hub of the home and the countertops are the workhorse within it. The first way of tackling your kitchen renovation is to start by selecting your countertop. Since it takes up a larger surface area than the backsplash, it often seems like the sensible place to begin. Kitchen counters are also installed before the backsplash.

We have over 200,000 slabs of natural stone in over 2,000 different colors in stock at all times. Our massive inventory makes it easy to start with a countertop material and work forward. You can select from the best materials for countertops, including granite, marble, quartzite, quartz, slate, soapstone, glass, limestone and more. It may sound overwhelming to sort through 2,000 different colors of kitchen counters, but rest assured it’s nowhere near the number of backsplash possibilities. Backsplashes options include all of these natural stone choices in addition to a seemingly endless array of mosaic tiles and other materials.

Once you’ve decided on your kitchen countertop, you’ve effectively narrowed down your choices for a backsplash. Why is this? Because there are a limited amount of color options that will pair with a given countertop. You’ll have the option of picking a complimentary or contrasting color. You also could use the same material as your countertop, however, be wary of trying to match a tile perfectly to your granite or marble counters. It’s pretty much impossible.

The movement of your countertop’s design will determine how busy or simple the backsplash should be. If you’re using a complex granite, marble or quartzite, then going with a subtle neutral option will prevent the area from looking too chaotic. For example, the kitchen above features Fantasy Brown Quartzite countertops paired with a white subway tile backsplash. The backsplash is a good choice for two reasons. First, it matches an accent color of the countertop. Second, it doesn’t visually clash with the countertop.

Backsplash First

Starting with your backsplash isn’t a bad idea if you have your heart set on one. Just as the previous option did, this will narrow down your countertop possibilities. If you go with a bold backsplash, then find a quiet and subtle granite or marble counter option like Absolute Black Granite or White Calacatta Marble.


You want the countertop or the backsplash to take the visual lead. When both are fighting for attention, the kitchen will feel overwhelming. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consider a mix of colors in your kitchen design, but be careful. You’ll want to have a hue that’s consistent in both your countertops and backsplash, even if it’s slight.

Why you can trust
When it comes time to get the job done, our fabrication and installation teams have the equipment and expertise it takes to get your project cut and delivered the right way, every time. We at are known for our incredibly quick turnaround, as we understand having countertops and other mainstays installed quickly and properly is important to our customers. We value your time, and our goal is to create the best work possible and have you enjoying it as possible.
[Total: 52 Average: 4.7/5]
You must be logged in before you can vote.
Get your countertop estimate today! Review Standards

How has it helped you?

Get Estimate
Where To Buy