Backsplashes are one of the most decorative areas in the kitchen. This is the place most homeowners splash out on for something colorful, detailed, or impressive to help complete the kitchen design. One of the most frequently used designs includes a border along the counters while a more decorative focal point is placed behind the cooktop. The question that arises, however, when installing a border along the counters is at what height to place it. After all, most backsplashes are roughly 18-inches in height, which gives you a lot of leeway in where a linear border could be placed. There are a few rules of thumb, however, that can help you find the best spot quickly and easily.
One or Two Tiles Up
The most common position for a border along the counter section of the backsplash is one to two tiles up from the counter itself. This is done for a few reasons:
- A border closer to the counter would be covered by small appliances and items left on the counter.
- A border placed too high is hidden by the upper cabinets when you get close to them.
- A border placed in the middle of the backsplash area looks like a stripe, cutting the backsplash tiles in two and making the area seem smaller than it is.
- A border run one to two tiles up is in a good place to make a frame around the cooktop area if a border is desired around the focal point as well.
Sometimes the backsplash calls for a second border as part of the design. This may be a row of field tile laid straight before the rest are set on the diagonal, a textured tile set below a more decorative border, or a second row of decorative tile. Depending on what the second border is, you can:
- Set a row of plain or textured tile right at counter level with the more decorative border on top to make a thicker, more prominent border for the whole area.
- Set the first border one to two tiles up, then set another row of tile before setting the second border still in the lower half of the backsplash to avoid chopping the area up.