One of the most asked-about elements in the Greystone kitchen is the beadboard backsplash.
Beadboard backsplashes are often found in traditional European kitchens. Think of brands like deVol Kitchens or Plain English; beadboard paneling is one of the most defining elements of the cottagecore aesthetic these two brands are most known for.
Beadboard paneling adds the perfect dose of quaint charm to any space and is a beautiful, inexpensive way to add that old world charm to your project, too.
Today I’m sharing everything you need to know about choosing and installing a beadboard backsplash. Whether you’re considering it for your kitchen, laundry, or bathroom, today’s post is full of helpful info that will help you decide if this material is for you.
What is Beadboard?
Beadboard is a type of paneling made out of wooden planks, with a small indentation between each plank, which is called the bead. It can be installed in various settings: kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, mudrooms, hallways, on the back of hutches or open cabinets, on stair risers, inside of shaker-style cabinet doors, and so much more! Beadboard is an affordable option for any sort of paneling you may want to do in your home.
This material comes in two types: 1) individual, hand-crafted tongue-and-groove boards and 2) panel sheets manufactured to look like individual boards. Individual boards are more expensive and labor-intensive to install, but the quality is higher because of the handmade factor. Manufactured beadboard sheets, on the other hand, are a more affordable option. They mimic the tongue-and-groove look and are less likely to warp in moisture-heavy areas than individual boards.
First, measure and cut the beadboard panel to scale. Double check the size and location of any outlets or light switches, and use an oscillating multi-tool to cut those out.
To attach the beadboard to the wall, cover the back of the panel with liquid nails using a caulk gun. Adhere the panel to the wall, and use a staple gun to staple it into place. If your beadboard doesn’t run all the way to the ceiling, you’ll need some sort of end cap installed at the top of the panel. We used a 2×1 primed trim board. The trim board comes in lengths of 8 feet, so you’ll need to measure and cut to size. If your beadboard does not neatly butt against a pantry cabinet or wall corner like it does in our project, you can use a Schluter trim piece or a quarter round to line unfinished edges.
After filling the staple gun holes, caulk any seams or gaps, as well as the edge where the backsplash meets the countertops. Then, paint the beadboard backsplash. For this project, I used “Agreeable Gray” from Sherwin Williams – the perfect greige paint color to add some warmth to the otherwise white kitchen.
The same beadboard paneling is installed on the back of the kitchen island to make the design element feel more intentional.
Advantages of a Beadboard Backsplash
The advantages of beadboard are numerous. We briefly touched on them above, but to review: 1) Beadboard adds charm to your room. 2) It’s much more affordable than tile, and 3) far less labor-intensive to install. 4) There are virtually zero disadvantages of a beadboard backsplash. 5) What’s more, a beadboard backsplash is simple to maintain.
Disadvantages of a Beadboard Backsplash
Many people are concerned about water damage and maintenance when considering beadboard materials for a kitchen backsplash. However, keep in mind that this product has been used in traditional European kitchens for decades. Because it’s moisture-resistant, water damage is not an issue, especially if you’re diligent to wipe any splashes from the kitchen sink or range top.
I do suggest staying away from harsh cleaning chemicals.