One of the great benefits to choosing granite countertops is that you can have a backsplash made from the same slab as your counters, giving you a smooth, consistent look. Most homeowners have seen or heard of standard 4-inch high granite backsplash, but did you know that you can have full height granite backsplash that goes all the way from the counters up to the bottom of the cabinets? In this article, we’ll go over a few basic things to know about granite backsplash (both 4-inch and full height) and then talk about the pros and cons of each style.
Basics of Granite Backsplash
Granite backsplash is typically cut from the same material as the counters. That means it will be the same thickness as the counter (3cm or 1 1/4 in). It is typically finished with an eased edge, no matter what edge profile you use on your counters. Granite backsplash sits on top of the counter and is attached to the wall with silicone. A thin line of clear caulk is used to seal the right angles where the backsplash meets and wall and where it meets the counters so that no crumbs or dust gets stuck in small spaces.
Besides the sleek look of a perfectly matched counter and backsplash, one of the best features of granite backsplash of any height is that it is extremely easy to clean. Grease and food splashes wipe easily off the smooth surface. You can care for it exactly the same as your counters, and you avoid all the grout line problems that come with tile.
Pros and Cons of Standard 4-inch Granite Backsplash
The single biggest advantage of 4-inch granite backsplash over full height backsplash (and tile) is that it is both convenient and inexpensive. An extra few inches of granite will not change your overall countertop budget too much, and standard height backsplash can be installed at the same time as your counters so you don’t have to extend your renovation to include time for tiling.
Another advantage to this type of backsplash is decorating flexibility. Four-inch backsplash still leaves a large part of the wall open. That means you can choose an edgy paint color or try a trendy tile above the backsplash, knowing that it can always be changed later down the road. Bottom line, standard 4 in granite backsplash is a great, convenient way to go.
There a few cons. Mostly, these come down to the fact that 4-inch backsplash leaves your wall open to grease splashes and other flying foods. A good way to solve this problem is to have full height backsplash installed behind the range and standard height in the rest of the kitchen.
Pros and Cons of Full Height Granite Backsplash
Full granite backsplash is installed after the counter, usually during a second installation appointment. Typically, the area between the counter and the cabinets must be re-measured after the counters are installed; this is to ensure a perfect fit that accounts for small variations in the width of different granite slabs. This is a downside for some, although it only requires a few more days of having your kitchen in transition.
The primary reasons homeowners choose full height backsplash over standard are looks and cleanliness. First, there is no denying the visual impact of granite on the walls. A single piece of natural material on the wall adds color and energy to the room. No grout lines for tile means a smooth surface, which is a luxurious look. Secondly, there is no surface easier to clean quickly than granite. Any spill and splashes come right off with a damp cloth and a bit of granite-safe cleaner. It’s hard to beat gorgeous and easy to maintain and clean all in one choice.
One unique possibility with full height backsplash is to choose a complementary stone for the backsplash instead of having it fabricated from your countertop material. For example, white marble on the wall pairs well with Absolute Black Granite counters or solid white quartz counters. Of course, this can be a bit more expensive than using the same stone on the counters and wall, but it’s nice to have the extra options.
Full height backsplash is, of course, more expensive than standard height. As mentioned, it requires more installation time, and it is difficult to remove and replace should you choose to go with tile at a later date. You should also keep in mind that you’ll have to have cutouts for all your electrical outlets.
At the end of the day, granite backsplash is a stylish, reliable way to keep your walls clean and safe, whether you opt for standard 4-inch or full height backsplash. It will last as long as your counters (years and years and years), and natural materials never go out of style.
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