How to End Backsplash on Open Wall: Tips and Tricks.

To end backsplash on an open wall, use bullnose tiles as a border. This technique will create a polished and seamless transition while protecting the exposed edge from chips and damage.

When designing a kitchen or bathroom, choosing the right backsplash can make a huge difference. It serves as a protective layer against moisture, stains, and splatters while also enhancing the overall look of the space. However, when it comes to an open wall where cabinets or counters don’t continue, an exposed edge will remain.

It can be challenging to know how to end the backsplash in a way that looks intentional and well-designed. Fortunately, by using bullnose tiles or other finishing options, an open-wall backsplash can look as though it was always intended to be there. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best methods for ending backsplash on an open wall and offer tips for doing it right.

How to End Backsplash on Open Wall: Tips and Tricks.



Measuring The Area And Calculating How Much Tile Is Needed

Before starting to install your backsplash on the open wall, it is crucial to have the right measurement of the area. You should also make sure that you have enough tile to cover the entire wall. Here are some tips on how to measure and calculate what you need:

  • Measure the height and width of the open wall. Calculate the area by multiplying the height and width measurements. This will give you the total square footage that needs to be covered by the tile.
  • Check the packaging of the tile you want to purchase for the square footage coverage and calculate how many square feet you will need to cover the open wall. It is also important to buy extra tile to account for cuts and mistakes.
  • If you are unsure how much tile you will need, ask a professional or a representative at the store for guidance.

Choosing The Right Backsplash Tile For An Open Wall

When choosing the right backsplash tile for an open wall, several factors should be considered, including the overall style and color scheme of the room. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Consider the overall color scheme of the room. Do you want the backsplash to match the color of your cabinets, countertops, or walls?
  • Keep in mind the style of the room. If you have a modern kitchen, you may want to opt for sleek, glossy, and monotone tiles. If you have a more traditional style, a subway tile might be more appropriate.
  • You might want to choose a more durable and easy-to-clean material, depending on where the backsplash is located. A kitchen backsplash might need to withstand heat, grease, and food spills. A bathroom backsplash might need to be waterproof and resistant to mold and mildew.
  • Consider your budget. Backsplash tiles come in a range of materials and price points. Decide on a material and style that fits your budget.
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Determining The Layout And Pattern Of The Tile

Once you have figured out your measurement and tile choice, it is time to plan the layout and pattern of the tile. Here are some things to consider:

  • Think about the size and shape of the tile. Some tiles come in squares, while others come in rectangles or custom shapes.
  • Determine how you want the tile to lay out. A standard horizontal or vertical pattern might work, or you might want something more creative, like a herringbone or diagonal layout.
  • Use tile spacers to ensure a consistent distance between the tiles. This will also help you visualize how the final product will look.
  • Determine the size of the cuts you will need, especially if you have any outlets or switches on the open wall. This way, you can plan out the horizontal or vertical pattern to ensure that any cuts are hidden as much as possible.

Preparing The Wall

Having tiles as the backsplash on open walls can give your kitchen or bathroom a more finished look. However, ending that backsplash on an open wall may not be as simple as it seems, and improper ending can result in a messy and unfinished look, which can ruin the aesthetic of your space.

But don’t worry, we are here to help you learn how to end a backsplash on an open wall like a pro. Let’s start with the first step:

Cleaning And Smoothing The Surface Of The Wall

Before you start with any installation, it’s essential to prepare the surface of the wall. You will want to make sure the wall surface is smooth, clean, and free from any dirt or debris, which may cause adhesion problems later.

To achieve a clean and smooth surface, you need to follow these steps:

  • Remove any old tiles or adhesive from the wall with a scraper
  • Sand the surface of the wall with sandpaper to get rid of roughness and create a smooth base
  • Use a damp cloth to wipe the surface, removing any remaining dust or debris left from the sandpaper

Filling In Any Gaps Or Holes

If you are replacing an old backsplash, you may find gaps or holes in the wall that require filling. Use a spackling knife to fill in all the gaps and holes with grout or a filler product. Once the filler or grout is dry, you need to sand it down using fine-grit sandpaper until it’s level with the wall’s surface:

  • Apply the filler or grout in the gaps with the help of a spackling knife
  • Allow the filler or grout to dry for the recommended time
  • Sand down the filled gaps using fine-grit sandpaper until level with the wall’s surface
  • Clean the sanded area with a damp cloth to remove any leftover dust or debris
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Applying A Primer For Better Adhesion

Primer is an essential component to help ensure the adhesion of the tile on the wall’s surface. It creates a strong bond between the surface and the tile, creating a longer-lasting backsplash. To apply a primer, you need to follow these steps:

  • Choose a primer that ensures tile adhesion on the recommended surface type
  • Apply a thin and even layer of primer using a brush or roller
  • Allow the primer to dry for 24 hours

Once the primer is dry, you can commence tile installation on the wall. Properly ending the backsplash on an open wall doesn’t just make your space look better; it also adds a finishing touch to your tiling project. Ensure you follow all the above-listed preparation steps and the manufacturer’s installation instructions for a more professional-looking backsplash.

Installing The Tile

Starting At The Center And Working Outward

When it comes to installing a backsplash on an open wall, starting at the center and working outward is the best way to ensure that your backsplash is properly aligned. In general, most walls are not perfectly squared, so starting at the center provides a good reference point for aligning the rest of the backsplash.

Use a level to ensure that the first few tiles are straight. Once you have the first few tiles in place, use spacers to ensure that each tile is evenly spaced from the others.

Using Spacers For Equal Spacing

Using spacers is essential for equal spacing. Proper spacing ensures that the tiles are visually appealing and aligned correctly. Depending on your preference, you can use a variety of spacer sizes, ranging from 1/16 inch to 1/2 inch. These spacers come in various materials, including rubber, plastic, and metal.

Just ensure that you remove the spacers as soon as possible; otherwise, the adhesive will harden around them.

Cutting And Fitting Tiles To Fill Gaps And Corners

Inevitably, you will have gaps and corners to fill when installing a backsplash. To fill the gaps, you need to cut and fit tiles to size. To do this, measure the gap and cut the tiles to fit. You can use a wet saw, tile cutter, or even a manual tile cutter.

The key is to ensure that the tiles fit correctly and look seamless. To fit around corners, you will need to make some special cuts. Use a tile cutter or wet saw to cut the tiles to fit snugly around the corners.

Applying Adhesive And Grout

After you have all the tiles in place, it is now time to apply adhesive and grout. Mix the adhesive according to the manufacturer’s instructions, then spread it on the wall using a notched trowel. Apply the adhesive evenly, then place the tiles onto the wall, using spacers to ensure evenness.

Once the adhesive is dry, usually after 24 hours, remove the spacers and apply grout. Use a grout float to fill the gaps between tiles. Make sure that each corner has enough grout without excess. Once you finish, wipe away any excess grout with a damp sponge.

Starting at the center and working outward, using spacers, cutting and fitting tiles, and applying adhesive and grout are the key tasks to ending backsplash on an open wall. By following these tips, you can install a beautiful, aligned, and visually appealing backsplash in your kitchen or bathroom.

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Finishing The Ends

When it comes to adding a backsplash to your open wall kitchen, finishing the edges can be a challenging task. You want the edge to look polished and complete, but how can you achieve this without making it look odd?

Luckily, there are a few alternatives to traditional edging that you can utilize to create a beautiful finish for your backsplash without compromising on its appearance or functionality.

Alternatives To Traditional Edging

Here are some ways to finish the ends of your backsplash without using any traditional edging:

  • Use contrasting paint to finish the edge of your backsplash. However, this technique works best if you have a light colored backsplash and a dark wall.
  • Apply caulking to the edge of your backsplash and smooth it out with a putty knife for a clean and sophisticated edge finish.

Using Bullnose Tile Or Pencil Trim

Bullnose tile and pencil trim are popular options for finishing off an open wall backsplash because they offer a clean and modern look. Bullnose tile has a slightly rounded edge, while pencil trim has a narrow, flat edge.

Below are some key points to keep in mind when using bullnose tile or pencil trim:

  • Choose a contrasting color for a more pronounced edge or a matching color for a subtle finish.
  • If you prefer a more seamless look, go for bullnose tiles with a similar texture to your backsplash tile.

Utilizing Metal Edging Or Custom Edging Options

Metal edging can be an excellent choice for a modern and chic finish to your backsplash. You can get metal edging in various colors and finishes, including chrome, brushed nickel, and oil-rubbed bronze.

A custom edging option is ideal for achieving the perfect finish that matches your style and décor. You can get creative with a custom edge selection, ranging from laser-cut designs to natural stones.

Here are some key points to keep in mind when using metal or custom edging:

  • Choose a metal finish that matches your backsplash tiles or complements your kitchen appliances.
  • A custom edge can be an expensive option, so make sure you factor this into your budget.

Properly Sealing And Cleaning The Finished Project

Once you’ve achieved your desired edge finish, you must correctly seal and clean the backsplash to keep it looking good as new. Here are some quick tips to follow:

  • Use grout sealer to protect your tiles from moisture and stains.
  • Clean your backsplash regularly using non-abrasive cleaners and a gentle scrub pad to avoid damaging the edge finish.

Finding the right solution for ending an open wall backsplash can be daunting at first, but with the help of these tips and tricks, you’re guaranteed to find your perfect finish.


To summarize, ending a backsplash on an open wall can be challenging, but there are several options to choose from depending on your personal taste and style preferences. Whether you choose to install a matching border tile or utilize an alternative material such as wood or wallpaper, it’s important to ensure a seamless and professional finish.

Before beginning any installation, make sure to measure and cut your tiles accurately and use appropriate adhesives and sealants for a long-lasting result. With a little creativity and attention to detail, you can transform any open wall into a beautiful focal point in your kitchen or bathroom.

So go ahead, experiment, and have fun with your backsplash design!