Backsplash Does Not Reach Cabinets: What To Do?

A slight gap between the bottom of your cabinets and the top of your backsplash may seem insignificant, but even a tiny space can create an unfinished look. Deciding how to fill this space can be daunting. We have searched several sources to determine what to do when your backsplash does not reach your cabinets.

When your backsplash does not reach your cabinets, you can fill in the space using a variety of materials. We will discuss how to fill the gap with these options:

  1. Tile trim molding
  2. Smaller tile
  3. Wood trim molding
  4. Copper sheet metal
  5. Tin sheet metal
  6. Use paint
  7. Strip lighting
  8. Caulking method

You may wonder about current trends and color options in backsplashes. In this post, we will cover these questions and discuss other closely related topics, so keep reading!

What To Do When Your Backsplash Does Not Reach The Cabinets

A modern farmhouse kitchen detail shot with grey cabinets, marble countertop and tiled backsplash, gold hardware, and wooden shelves., Backsplash Does Not Reach Cabinets: What To Do?

Figuring out what to do with the gap between your cabinets and backsplash is only one of the questions that you may encounter with your kitchen project. You may wonder what material to use to fill the gap or how far the backsplash should stretch.

If you're using tile, cutting it into small pieces can damage it. Your project will look much more professional and polished by using one of these finishing options.

1. Tile trim molding

The blunt edge of a tile backsplash can look harsh and unfinished. You can add a finished appearance to your backsplash tile project while filling in gaps by adding simple trim molding with a profiled edge.

This small bit of tile trim is sure to add a polished look to your backsplash, even if it does not reach the edge of your cabinets. Peel-and-stick tile trim is available for easy application.

Click here to find this peel-and-stick trim molding on Amazon. 

2. Smaller tile

If you use large pieces of tile as the primary material for your backsplash, cutting this tile to fill a gap may not be an option. You can use small squares of glass tile to fill in small gaps.

This smaller-sized glass tile can even be snipped in half to fit a small space between a larger tile backsplash and your cabinets. Peel-and-stick versions that can be cut to size are also available.

Click here to find this peel-and-stick glass tile on Amazon. 

3. Wood trim molding

Wood trim molding can be used to fill in the space between your cabinets and backsplash. This trim can be used and easily installed on the bottom and top of your backsplash.

With several available options, you are sure to find a wood trim piece to fit your backsplash/cabinet combination. Additional steps must be performed when installing wood trim in your kitchen.

Trim tips

When using wood trim, there are a few steps that you should take to ensure optimal results. Because wood is a porous material, you should be prepared to prime and seal the trim before application.

Wood trim is easy to install using a strong construction adhesive. You should then finish the project by caulking the edges of the trim to prevent water from entering from the top or bottom of the molding.

Click here to find this construction adhesive on Amazon. 

4. Copper sheet metal

Copper is a unique material that can add a bit of sparkle to your space. Its warm glow will bring tons of character and charm to your backsplash while effectively filling in space.

Bits of copper can create an accent that will make your tile backsplash pop. Copper sheets can also be easily installed with tin snips or shears and a strong construction adhesive.

5. Tin sheet metal

The photo shows how to measure how thick of the metal sheet by using digital thickness gauge.

To add a cool metallic accent to your kitchen, consider using a tin sheet. Much like copper, tin can be used to fill the space between your backsplash and cabinets and is easy to install.

This material is also easy to clean and adds an unmatched decorative element to your kitchen while protecting the wall. Tin snips can also be used to easily trim tin sheets to the correct size.

6. Use paint

If your tile backsplash edge is clean and level, you can paint the space with a shade that matches or contrasts with the backsplash or the cabinets. This will camouflage the gap and draw less attention to the space.

This method may be tricky depending on your kitchen layout. Decide where your paint lines should begin and end before applying paint.

7. Add strip lighting

Panorama of stylish white kitchen furniture with simple sink in wooden countertop

The space under your cabinets can look dark and make your kitchen seem small and enclosed. Consider placing a light strip in the space between your backsplash and cabinets for a clean, bright look.

A light strip will accentuate your backsplash and give you more light for food preparation. You will want to ensure that you have a clean edge to your backsplash as it will be more visible.

Click here to find this LED strip light tape on Amazon.

8. Caulking method

A person will seize a crack with silicone and sealant

You can fill in spaces throughout your home with a silicone jelly that dries into a flexible filler. Caulking the gap between your backsplash and cabinets works best when there is only a small space to fill.

Use painter's tape to protect other from the caulking material. Caulking requires a special caulking gun and can get quite messy, but the finished results will be worth it.

Click here to find this caulk and caulk gun on Amazon. 

Tips for caulking

A structure can shift and move over time. This movement requires some amount of flexibility within the construction materials that are used, and caulk is the perfect flexible material to fill in cracks.

You can use your finger to spread and smooth your caulk or use a caulking tool to keep the mess to a minimum. Keep a wet rag handy for easy cleaning when the caulk is still wet.

Click here to find this caulking finishing tool on Amazon. 

What to put between the backsplash and cabinets

Many different materials can be placed in between your backsplash and cabinets. Finding the perfect material to suit your needs can be challenging with all of the available options.

For areas with a high probability of getting splashed with food or liquids, a waterproof option like metal or tile may be a good choice. Wood trim pieces may be a good option if this isn't a concern.

Should the backsplash go to the edge of the counter or cabinet?

Blue and white cabinets in a modern kitchen with a blue island and white granite counter top.

The backsplash edge should look clean and finished. To achieve this look, you will want to ensure that your top and bottom cabinets are as perfectly aligned as possible.

If your top and bottom cabinets are properly aligned, then your backsplash should line up with the top edge of the countertop and the edge of the underside of the upper cabinets.

Should the backsplash be lighter than the cabinets?

Your backsplash should serve the purpose of bringing a sense of balance into your kitchen. If your cabinets and countertops are dark, use a light backsplash to bring brightness into your space.

A dark backsplash can bring depth and dimension into a light-colored kitchen. Keep the overall look of your kitchen in mind when deciding on a shade for your backsplash.

What are some current trends in backsplashes?

Current backsplash trends are all about bold contrasts and vibrant colors. Bold-colored tile and tile made of various materials are two of the hottest current trends in backsplash design and decor.

Glossy, vibrant finishes have also recently emerged as trends in backsplash tile. Tile material can also be mixed and matched for a unique and eye-catching look.

Final thoughts

Leaving a gap between your backsplash and cabinets can look unfinished and unsightly. You can fill this space with the material of your choice for an accented, polished look.

Before you go, here are some other articles that may be of help to you.

11 Stunning Kitchen Backsplash Ideas With Granite Countertops

Backsplash Design: Horizontal Or Vertical? Which To Choose?

Does Kitchen Backsplash Need Trim Or Edging?

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