Trends: 3 Ways Taller Backsplashes Can Elevate Kitchen Design

Trends: 3 Ways Taller Backsplashes Can Elevate Kitchen Design

As cabinetry providers, we’re constantly in search of kitchen design solutions that add value — both aesthetically and financially — to the multifamily projects we manage. Sometimes, going up is the best way to bring costs down without compromising style.

One trend that has (literally) been on the rise in recent years is increasing the height of the backsplash to 24-inches, a small but notable increase from the standard 18-inch backsplash found in many kitchens. Multifamily developers in particular have gravitated to the style not only because of its visual appeal, but also the added functionality and cost efficiency, the latter of which has become a selling point amid rising construction costs.

Visual Appeal

Openness in apartments, especially those with smaller floor plans, is critical. Any trick that can make an apartment feel larger is always welcomed, and elevated cabinets do just that by giving the illusion of more space in even the tiniest of micro-units.
A taller backsplash also provides the opportunity to incorporate eye-catching designs into the backsplash itself. There are a variety of tiles and treatments that, when used tastefully, can infuse personality into each unit.


A taller backsplash adds more than aesthetic value to a kitchen: it also increases functionality. While an additional 3 to 6 inches of space above the countertop may not seem like a lot, it can be just enough to accommodate taller appliances that would otherwise have to be stored inside cabinets or a nearby closet or pantry — a problem for espresso machines and other gadgets used on a near-daily basis.

That extra space also means more headroom — and evenly distributed lighting — over the prep and cooking stations. Even better: This doesn’t have to come at the expense of storage. In many cases, homeowners and renters are already using stepstools to reach the highest shelves in their kitchen. Therefore, it’s no less convenient to raise shelving, sometimes all the way to the ceiling, so that every inch of wall space can be utilized, if desired.

Cost Efficiency

Taller backsplashes can be a cost saver in cases where higher cabinets aren’t needed or wouldn’t be utilized. That may sound odd coming from a cabinetry provider like Bristol Design Group, but we consider ourselves partners to our developer clients and want to ensure they have a product they are happy with and that resonates with their target customer.

Apartment dwellers tend to be more transient, with fewer possessions and a willingness to sacrifice square footage in exchange for a walkable lifestyle. With numerous restaurants at their doorstop and no shortage of meal delivery services at their disposal, renters may not require all of the storage you would find in a standard kitchen. Therefore, a taller backsplash is a way for multifamily developers to be on trend while lowering their design budget, as most backsplashes will cost less than the cabinetry that would otherwise be installed.

So, the next time you’re mapping out a kitchen design, don’t be afraid to think outside the box — or cabinet — to explore options that best align with your preferred style and target budget.

If you want to talk more about kitchen design trends, contact me at 312.266.2341.

Jane Kelly
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