Sunday, July 11, 2010

Brick: Not just for the exterior

Last time we explored the 18 or so inches of wall space between your lower and upper cabinets and its purpose and potential of a backsplash. The purpose: to protect the wall from water and grease. The potential: a canvas for artwork; a place to display your personality. This week we will dive into the use of beadboard as a backsplash material.


The most common type of beadboard used is a ¼” thick sheet with a narrow groove pattern. It can be found at your big box home improvement store or any building supply company. The ¼” beadboard sheet is an inexpensive material and is relatively simple to install. Typically this material is used on porch ceiling, wainscoting in a bathroom or on cabinet ends and doors. Simply cut to size and nail to the wall. You may want to finish out the raw edges with a simple piece of trim.


Beadboard can be painted or stained to coordinate with your d├ęcor. The darker you go with the color of your backsplash, the more light is absorbed and causes the space to look darker. The lighter it is, the more light it reflects and brightens the space.


When considering using beadboard for your backsplash surface, be aware of some maintenance issues. Just like your sheetrock wall behind it, painted or stained beadboard will not stand up to water or grease exposure over time and is likely to show wear. Another common maintenance concern is the small grooves in beadboard are prone to catch whatever might be splashed in their direction and are often difficult to clean. You may want to silicone caulk the join between the bottom of your beadboard and your countertop so no water can escape behind your cabinets.


Beadboard is a great look as a backsplash but I would not consider it a long tern solution unless you are prepared to replace or repaint as needed. But in the short term, it can add real charm and character to an otherwise lifeless space.

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