If you’re currently choosing new countertops or updating your backsplash, you will soon need to decide whether you’ll go with the 4-inch slab backsplash or not. For years now, the 4-inch backsplash has been standard in most spec homes and continues to be a popular choice. If you’re not familiar with the concept, it’s that slab of countertop that goes up the wall about 4 inches. While this style has been around for a long time, it has recently received a lot of criticism in new kitchen designs. You may be wondering with all these conventional kitchen design rules being tossed aside if this another one you can also do without. However, this design aspect does serve a purpose and has both advantages and disadvantages you should know about before making a decision.
The purpose of the 4-inch backsplash is to protect cooking spills from leaking behind the cabinets and potentially ruining the wall, floor, and kitchen cabinets. Imagine how quickly a forgotten sink that’s filling up with water could destroy drywall or become a nest for black mold. On laminate countertops, this backsplash is usually already formed as part of the countertops. On natural stone and solid surfaces, it is usually its own slab that is secured and sealed to the countertops once they have been installed. The main advantage to the 4-inch slab is that it costs a lot less than a full backsplash so it’s a budget-friendly solution to protecting your kitchen. When it matches your countertop, as it should, it adds a uniform look like an extension of your countertops. This extension can also cause the perception of height to make a large kitchen feel a little cozier by appearing to bring the countertop closer to the cabinets to each other. By choosing a 4-inch backsplash, you can also have more design flexibility; if ever you want to change things up, you can choose to paint the wall above the countertops instead of ripping out a full backsplash.
One of the main disadvantages to the 4-inch slab is that it’s becoming an outdated look. The main goal with your kitchen design is to choose features that you love that will also make your kitchen feel timeless so you’re not having to update it constantly. However, choosing a specific design from a certain time era that is going out of style could accidentally date your kitchen. Additionally, while the slab may help prevent liquids from spilling behind the cabinets, it does a poor job of protecting the walls from splashes, especially with a taller person. The same 4-inch slab that helps a large kitchen feel cozier can also make a small kitchen feel much smaller. The slab backsplash can also feel like the safe choice that takes away the opportunity for the custom look a full backsplash provides.Schedule an appointment today with one of our kitchen design experts to help make the right decision for your kitchen!