We often get calls from customers asking what size they should make their backsplash. Each case is unique, and your particular layout is probably not like the next one. However, there are some considerations to keep in mind. If you want to get straight to measuring, jump to the bottom of this article. First off, it's a preference thing. You decide how wide and tall you want it, and forget about any of the "standard sizes" that are available. Having said that, read on for some examples of what others have done, after which I'll explain how you should measure.
The diehard stainless fans want that shiny hunk of stainless to cover the entire wall. You can see some very nice examples over at the customer installation gallery. Now the example on the other site is probably overkill for most applications, but shows how #4 brushed stainless can be used to make a kitchen look reeeeal good. And to boot, the necessary material to cover that wall doesn't cost as much as you think. Contrary to popular opinion, stainless is middle of the road price wise, not up in the stratosphere.
Some customers opt for a backsplash behind their counter, creating the illusion of a bigger space. Not only that, it greatly increases the aesthetic appeal, and makes for an easier to clean kitchen area. Below is a great example of a custom project that included receptacle cutouts. It went very smoothly because the customer took the time to measure twice, and we cut once. This is just another example of what you can do.
By far the most popular size of backsplash is one that sits behind the stove and generally fits between the cupboards on either side. This is straight forward, and is a great addition to almost any kitchen style or layout. There are a couple of different ways you can go about sizing the backsplash. Make it exactly the width of the range, cooktop, etc, or add 3"- 4" to either side so it extends past the edges of your appliance. Having said that, you generally shouldn't make it more than 4" wider, and stay a couple of inches away from outlets just because of the aesthetics. You don't want the backsplash ending right next to an outlet, it'll look funny.
Now for some measuring pointers:
Determine Placement: If the backsplash is going behind your stove, oven, kitchen sink, mop sink, or what have you, check for any obstacles that restrict the width. For example, this could be a shelf, counter top, glass tile, the 80's, etc. (Tip: If the space between two cupboards is wider than your appliance, I highly recommend making the backsplash the full width.) If you feel the backsplash is wide and tall enough given any obstacles, great, proceed to measuring. If not, firstname.lastname@example.org send us a drawing and we'll send you a quote for a custom cut piece THE SAME DAY.
Measuring: You should measure at the two outer points on both the length and height. Reason being, your cupboards, wall, or tile might not be straight, meaning the cut would have to be either angled or you simply go with the narrowest measurement. Measure twice and get the exact dimensions of all four measurements.
Ordering: Once you have established the exact length and height of your backsplash, subtract 1/16" from the length and height measurements and place your order. This will ensure the piece fits upon arrival. If your backsplash requires an angled cut, email@example.com send us a drawing and we'll cut it for you. This is a small charge, ranging from $10 - $15 depending on the size of the piece.
Options: When ordering you have a couple of options to choose from. Hemmed edges are a great way to finish an exposed edge and you can specify hemmed edges lengthwise, widthwise, or both. (Tip: Specify hemming only for those edges that are exposed, and if there are no exposed edges don't order hemmed edges.) Mounting holes are another option. If you decide to use fasteners to mount your backsplash be careful you don't dent the sheet. We recommend either construction adhesive or contact cement.
If anything is unclear, give us a call or email: firstname.lastname@example.org . We're more than happy to help.