a red kitchen backsplash in a white kitchen with a modern farmhouse sink


Originally contributed by Jeff Butler • last updated 12/30/2020

Sometimes, the terms backsplash and splashback can be used interchangeably to refer to the area above a sink in a kitchen or bathroom. However, in some cases, splashback can take on a more negative meaning, referring to a splash of dirty water or other noxious liquid.


A backsplash refers to the area directly above the sink and countertop and below the cabinets (or other structures, like a window ledge or mirror) that is covered with a protective surface material like tiles or laminate in order to prevent damage from water, grease, or other substances. Backsplashes are most commonly found in kitchens but can also be located in bathrooms, laundry rooms, and utility rooms. In most cases, they are both decorative and functional.

Are Peel And Stick Backsplashes As Good As Tile Backsplashes?

If you’re thinking of redoing your backsplash, you should know that you have options. Additionally, you should also know that those options come with their own pros and cons:

  • Properly tiled backsplashes are a popular choice for kitchens or bathrooms, where there tends to be a lot of moisture, as they are typically resistant to water. They typically cost more than the peel and stick backsplash options but the look and the quality can be far superior.
  • Peel and stick backsplash options are great for renters or those looking to DIY on a budget. However, cheaper peel and stick backsplashes can have a low quality appearance and can even fall off if the adhesive fails.