How To Protect The Wall Under A Breakfast Bar [7 Ideas]

Breakfast bars are stylish and extremely useful to have, especially in small kitchens or homes where there might not be room for a table and chairs. However, the wall underneath the breakfast bar can take a beating, especially if you have children who like to swing their legs. So, what can you do to protect the wall under a breakfast bar? We've researched the topic in depth and have solutions for you!
To protect the wall under a breakfast bar, you can:
  1. Use peel and stick backsplash
  2. Add tile
  3. Add carpet squares
  4. Use washable or scuff-resistant paint
  5. Add beadboard
  6. Install wooden planks
  7. Add temporary wallpaper

There are seven methods you can try to protect the wall under your breakfast bar, but keep reading as we elaborate on each one. We'll go over how each method works and how you can implement it. We'll also answer some other questions you might have about your breakfast bar including how much overhang a breakfast bar needs. Without further ado, let's get into it.

Large modern open space loft kitchen interior with large kitchen island and bar chairs - How To Protect The Wall Under A Breakfast Bar [7 Ideas]

Protecting The Wall Under Your Breakfast Bar

The wall under your breakfast bar can be easily damaged by swinging feet and dirty shoes, but it can be a lot of work trying to make sure people remove their shoes before sitting down to eat.

Instead, it's much easier to implement a way to protect the wall. Additionally, many of these methods are also easy to clean, so it's a win-win! Let's go over each of the ways you can protect your wall.

1. Peel and Stick Backsplash

Modern panoramic kitchen interior with white breakfast bar table, red stools, grey concrete walls, lighter backsplash and wood materials.

For a simple but effective method, you can try out peel and stick backsplash. This is one of the more inexpensive methods, but it allows for a lot of room for creativity and style to come into play. Peel and stick backsplash is available in so many designs, from simple to overly colorful and patterned.

Because it is generally used for backsplash behind a stove, it's designed to get messy and to be easily cleaned. It's also easy to remove, so if you decide to change the appearance of your kitchen or it becomes damaged, you can loosen the adhesive with a blow dryer and peel it away.

Click here to see this peel and stick backsplash on Amazon.

2. Tile

Living apartment timeless designs example

If you're more confident in your design and know you won't change it any time soon, a more permanent solution is to tile the wall below the breakfast bar.

Tiling takes considerably more skill, so you may wish to hire a contractor to do the job for you. That being said, it can be worth it for the overall look which is typically more glamorous and extravagant.

Click here to see this kitchen tile on Amazon.

3. Carpet Squares or Remnants

Digitally generated luxury (stylish) domestic kitchen interior with rustic elements

Another easy way to protect the wall and add some texture to your kitchen decor is by adding carpet squares or carpet remnants to the wall.

Carpet tiles are also available as a peel and stick option, making them easy to install. You could also use leftover carpet remnants. The carpet doesn't have to cover the entire wall but can be installed along the lower half where shoes are more likely to come in contact with the wall.

Click here to see these carpet tiles on Amazon.

4. Washable or Scuff-Resistant Paint

If you like the way paint looks under your breakfast bar, opt for high-gloss, washable, or scuff-resistant paint. This will make it much easier to clean the wall below.

This option doesn't offer an additional layer of protection to the wall per se, but it does offer an easy to clean layer. Painted walls can be cleaned with a magic eraser or even a baby wipe. Most paint cans will also list ways the painted walls can be cleaned.

In addition to its simple style, painting is generally a less intimidating project for those who might not be very DIY inclined. It's also much cheaper than some of the other options, especially if you can use paint left over from a previous project.

Click here to see this scuff-resistant paint on Amazon.

5. Beadboard

Bar stools at breakfast bar in contemporary kitchen

Beadboard is a type of paneling that can be used in several places throughout your home including under your breakfast bar to protect the wall. It is available in MDF, PVC, and fiberboard. Each material has different qualities and will range in price.

Typically, PVC and fiberboard are used for exterior projects or in high-moisture areas such as a bathroom. MDF will work fine for a breakfast bar but is susceptible to scratches. Beadboard also comes in many styles, and as you can see in the example above, it can be painted to fit your style.

It can be found at most home improvement stores and will need to be cut to size. However, many of the stores will do this for free. You will also need to decide how to adhere it to the wall. You could opt for an adhesive such as liquid nails or nails themselves.

6. Wooden Planks

Large modern open space loft kitchen interior with large kitchen island and bar chairs

Adding wooden planks under your breakfast bar will not only protect the wall but add a stylish flair to your kitchen.

Great for country-style or farmhouse kitchens, they can be easy to install if you opt for a self-adhesive option. You could also use non-adhesive planks, however, this might require a little more equipment, such as a nail gun, for installation.

Click here to see these wooden planks on Amazon.

7. Temporary Wallpaper

Temporary wallpaper also offers a lot of freedom when it comes to design and style. With a huge variety to choose from, you are sure to find a design that will work for your space.

Though it is available in different textures and materials, a vinyl wallpaper would be the easiest to maintain and clean. If you do opt for a different material, you might have to repair a sheet if it becomes damaged.

The great thing about this option is that most brands of temporary wallpaper are repositionable. This means that if you mess up putting it on, you can easily correct it.

Click here to see this temporary wallpaper on Amazon.

Can you have a breakfast bar in a small kitchen?

You can have a breakfast bar in a small kitchen. In fact, they are actually a great way to add seating to a small kitchen, especially if it lacks the space for a regular dining area. Of course, there is still a minimum amount of space you will need to accommodate a breakfast bar.

You will need enough space for someone to sit comfortably with plenty of room for their legs. You also have to consider how much space it will take up when it is not in use.

Can the chairs fit completely underneath or will part of the chair protrude into the walkway? If this will cause issues for you, then your kitchen might be too small to accommodate the breakfast bar.

How much overhang do you need for a breakfast bar?

kitchen in newly constructed luxury home

The overhang is the part of the countertop that extends out from the wall or island. You need a minimum of 10 inches for a breakfast bar overhang. For a more comfortable space that allows for more than adequate legroom, you should opt for an overhang of 15 to 18 inches.

Of course, this also depends on how tall the members of your family are. If they are of average height or less, you could get away with a smaller overhang. On the other hand, if you have taller family members, you might need more space to accommodate their legs.

Also, the larger the overhang, the less chance your wall underneath will get damaged which is the main reason behind this blog post. However, this might not be ideal if you do have a smaller kitchen.

All this is to say there are lots of variables to consider when it comes to choosing the size of your overhang, and it can range from 10 to 18 inches.

Final Thoughts

We've provided seven methods you can try to protect the wall under your breakfast bar. More permanent solutions include tiling the wall or nailing on wooden planks.

However, we've also provided many temporary options which can still look great and are easy to install! Hopefully, you are leaving this page with a better idea of which option to choose. Good luck!

Take a look at some of our other blog posts regarding kitchen islands which can also double as breakfast bars! Find them here:

Kitchen Island Vs Kitchen Peninsula – What Are The Differences?

How Tall Is A Kitchen Island? [Dimensions Explored]

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