Should You Put a Backsplash on Quartz Countertop?

Quartz countertops are growing in popularity for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects. With a wide variety of colors, patterns, and finishes available, quartz offers a beautiful and durable surface for the heart of the home. One consideration when installing quartz countertops is whether or not to add a backsplash. There are pros and cons to weigh when deciding if you should put a backsplash on quartz.

What is a Backsplash?

A backsplash is a vertical surface installed on the wall behind a countertop, most commonly in kitchens and bathrooms. Backsplashes serve both decorative and functional purposes:

  • Visually, a backsplash adds interest and ties together the countertop and wall colors. Backsplashes come in an array of materials like ceramic tile, glass tile, natural stone, metal, and more.
  • Functionally, a backsplash protects the walls from water damage, splashes, and stains. The water-resistant surface is easier to clean compared to drywall or paint.

Backsplashes typically extend 4-6 inches up the wall from the countertop and run the entire length of the counter. Extra height may be added for further protection and design impact.

Benefits of Adding a Backsplash with Quartz

There are several benefits that make a backsplash worth considering for your quartz countertop installation:

Enhanced Style

A backsplash and countertop paired together create a more finished, upscale look. The backsplash brings color, texture, and pattern up the wall to tie the whole space together. Glass, mosaic, metal, and stone backsplash tiles can make a dramatic design statement.

Protect Walls from Damage

One of the key roles of a backsplash is to protect walls from water, splashes, and stains. When cooking, cleaning, or using a bathroom sink, it’s easy for liquid to end up on walls. The backsplash takes the brunt of the mess instead of drywall or paint which can be difficult to clean and prone to damage. Quartz is non-porous but a backsplash provides an additional layer of protection.

Ease of Cleaning

It’s simple to keep a backsplash clean – just wipe with a sponge and mild soap as needed. Cleaning products and scrubbing that would harm wall paint or drywall won’t bother a tough backsplash. A squeegee can be used to quickly eliminate water and soap scum.

Design Continuity

Including a backsplash that coordinates with or complements the quartz countertop results in a continuous, integrated appearance. The finished look is more seamless and upscale compared to a bare wall which can appear choppy or unfinished.

Increased Home Value

Investing in a backsplash is a way to add value to your home. Stylish, updated backsplash and countertop combos are expected by buyers and add to resale value. Backsplashes also make spaces look well-cared for.

Versatility in Materials

Backsplashes can be customized with nearly any material including metal, glass, porcelain, stone, and more. Mixing materials between the backsplash and countertop creates interesting contrast.durability, easy maintenance, and resistance to scratching, heat, and stains make quartz an excellent choice for kitchen countertops and bathroom vanities.

Drawbacks of Adding a Backsplash with Quartz

On the other hand, there are a few reasons you may want to skip the backsplash:

Added Cost

A backsplash involves extra cost for design, materials, and labor. While small spaces require less material, backsplashes typically run $10-40 per square foot installed. The investment may not make sense if you’re on a tight budget or have a temporary countertop situation.

Cleaning Difficulties

Some backsplash materials like glass tile or polished stone can lead to cleaning headaches. Products like soap scum build up quickly and require thorough scrubbing. Grout also needs regular maintenance to avoid staining and mildew.

Style Restrictions

Since the backsplash ties in with the countertop, your material and color options may be limited. For example, large slabs of quartz often have uniform patterns so the backsplash should match. If you want a bold backsplash that contrasts, quartz may not be the best countertop choice.

Installation Challenges

Backsplashes require careful installation, especially with uneven walls. Prepping the wall surface, precise tile cutting, and precise grout spacing take skill. Imperfections like uneven grout lines or corners that don’t line up right will be obvious.

Limits Lighting Options

Electrical codes prevent installing electrical outlets, switches, and lighting inside the backsplash zone. For adequate clearance, sconces, under-cabinet lights, and other fixtures need to go a bit higher on the wall.

Factors to Consider When Deciding About a Backsplash

When weighing whether or not to install a backsplash with your new quartz countertop, keep the following factors in mind:

Your Budget

Adding a backsplash represents an additional upfront investment that impacts your total kitchen or bath remodel budget. While backsplashes are not required, including one creates a higher-end finished look. Focus on overall priorities and decide if the added cost is justified or if funds would be better spent elsewhere.

Your Style Preferences

Do you gravitate towards bold, eye-catching backsplashes or prefer a simple clean wall? Glass, mosaic, and metal backsplashes make a dramatic style impact. If your design aesthetic leans more minimal, skip the backsplash and let the beautiful quartz countertop shine.

Ease of Maintenance

Look at backsplash material maintenance needs before deciding. For example, glass tile looks stunning but requires diligent cleaning. Natural stone backsplashes like marble are prone to etching from acidic foods and require resealing. Tough porcelain or ceramic tiles are easiest to keep clean.

Your Countertop Selection

The backsplash design should complement your quartz countertop selection. For a coordinated look, choose a backsplash featuring one of the accent colors from your quartz pattern. Going with a contrasting backsplash material like metal next to a quartz countertop can also create visual interest.

Existing Wall Condition

If your walls need repairs, adding a backsplash is a great way to cover imperfections like uneven drywall seams or previous damage. Backsplashes also eliminate the need to paint behind a sink or range where walls get dirty quickly. On new construction or perfectly finished walls, a backsplash may be less critical.

DIY Skills

Installing backsplashes takes precision and is usually best left to professionals. If you’re an ambitious DIYer, make sure to thoroughly research the process for your backsplash material and have the necessary tools before tackling this project yourself.

Resale Value

Upgrading to quartz countertops and a coordinating backsplash is a smart investment when selling your home. The combination adds style and luxury to kitchens and bathrooms which buyers notice. However, if not planning to sell soon, don’t let resale be the deciding factor.

Popular Backsplash Options for Quartz Countertops

Quartz is versatile enough to be paired with nearly any backsplash material from metal to glass to stone and more. Here are some of the most popular backsplash choices:

Glass Tile

Glass backsplashes make a brilliant glamorous statement. Light bounces off the tile creating a shimmering effect. Glass comes in every color and fits any design aesthetic from modern to traditional. Durability and easy maintenance are bonuses too. Consider frosted or textured glass to limit fingerprints and smudges.

Metal Tile

Metal backsplashes lend an edgy, contemporary vibe with eye-catching shine. Choices like stainless steel, copper, brass, and aluminum come in diverse finish options – smooth, hammered, aged, and more. Metal makes a bold metallic pairing next to quartz. Ensure proper sealing and cleaning to prevent corrosion and tarnishing.

Mosaic Tile

Mosaic tiles create dazzling geometric patterns and visual depth. Tiny individual tiles are combined to form intricate designs. Bright multi-colored mosaics enliven modern spaces. Neutral colored mosaics have an elegant, Old World feel. Grout between mosaic tiles requires extra diligence to keep clean.

Stone Tile

Natural stone choices like marble, travertine, and limestone bring organic texture with natural beauty. Stone backsplashes complement the manmade vibe of quartz. Consider honed or tumbled stones for a lower maintenance, less formal look. Avoid polished stones that highlight etching or staining.

Ceramic or Porcelain Tile

For an understated, fuss-free backsplash, ceramic and porcelain tiles deliver. From rustic terra cotta to colorful glazed subway tile and beyond, the options are endless. Porcelain is virtually non-porous and super strong. Affordable price, easy maintenance, and durability make ceramic and porcelain backsplashes a go-to choice.

Design Ideas for Pairing a Backsplash with Quartz

Approaching backsplash design with quartz countertops begins with the color and pattern of the quartz slab. Here are ideas for achieving an integrated, cohesive look:

Pick Up an Accent Color

Get inspiration from the veins and flecks that give your quartz slab visual interest. Select a backsplash featuring one of the accent colors in the countertop pattern. For example, integrate sky blue glass backsplash tiles with a quartz containing blue gray swirls.

Repeat the Veining Pattern

Look for backsplash materials with linear patterns that mimic the quartz veins. Horizontal planks of reclaimed wood, marble bricklay patterns, or rectangular glass tiles create this visual flow. Metallic glass or real metals tiles also subtly mirror quartz veining.

Contrast Texture

Pair the smooth polished surface of quartz with a backsplash featuring pronounced texture. Materials like handmade ceramic tile, pebbled glass mosaic, or tumbled natural stone add appealing contrast. Just ensure textured materials are properly sealed for easy cleaning.

Complement Neutrals

For quartz slabs in neutral hues like white, cream, or gray, the backsplash brings in color. Warm neutrals like almond quartz look great with glossy brick red or deep orange glass. Cool grays pair well with lively turquoise or cobalt blue accents.

Stick with All-White

An all-white color palette lets subtle quartz patterns stand out. Use white grout and matching white caulk for a seamless look. Crisp white backsplashes feel fresh and clean with any kitchen or bath design scheme.

Frame with Metallic

Add dimensional detail by framing quartz with a metallic backsplash. Install marble, stone, or glass mosaic tile in the center with stainless steel, copper, or brass tile lining the perimeter. Metallic edge trim gives the backsplash a polished finish.

Answers to Common Questions About Backsplashes with Quartz

Some frequently asked questions about pairing quartz countertops and backsplashes include:

Does Quartz Need a Backsplash?

A backsplash is an optional decorative feature with quartz countertops. Quartz does not require a backsplash for protection since the material is non-porous and highly stain-resistant. But a backsplash offers aesthetic and functional advantages.

What Backsplash Goes Best with White Quartz?

White quartz pairs beautifully with almost any color backsplash for contrast. Bold or dark backsplash colors like navy blue, charcoal, or emerald green pop against crisp white. For a tone-on-tone look consider soft grays, silvers, ivories, and white glass tile.

Can You Use the Same Quartz for Countertops and Backsplash?

Using matching slabs of quartz for both countertops and backsplash creates a streamlined, continuous appearance. The consistency ensures an ideal color match. However, combining different materials adds more design interest.

Should Backsplash Match or Contrast with Countertops?

The backsplash can either pick up colors from the quartz for harmony or contrast strongly – both options work well. Contrast adds drama while coordination results in more of a furniture-like look. Overall style preferences should guide your choice.

How Thick Should a Quartz Backsplash Be?

Standard thickness for quartz backsplash slabs is 3/4-inch, equal to the countertop. Some manufacturers offer slimmer 1/2-inch pieces to reduce weight and cost. Thinner backsplashes are fine since walls support them, but may be more prone to cracking if improperly handled.


The choice of whether or not to incorporate a backsplash comes down to your style sensibilities, priorities, and budget. Ultimately, quartz countertops offer durability and visual appeal with or without a backsplash. If aiming for a high-end kitchen or bath look, a backsplash brings additional impact. Thoughtfully designed and properly installed, a backsplash finishes off your quartz countertop and elevates the whole space. Consider your options carefully and consult an experienced remodeling professional to successfully execute this project.