How to Install an Inexpensive Reclaimed Wood Backsplash

We recently decided to upgrade our kitchen with new cabinets, new granite and to replace the existing tiles, I chose to install a faux reclaimed wood backsplash.

Have you ever tried to match existing granite? With a solid granite slab on one end of the kitchen and the rest of the base counters getting ready to be demolished it was time to pick a new slab to blend with the existing one.

Before I left the country, we headed over to the granite store and took a peek at what was available. The kitchen remodel would get done before I got back. Sweet! I didn’t mind not having to suffer through washing the dishes in the bathtub believe me.

The older granite I needed to match had a lot of black, mustard gold and creams. I picked a Sainte Cecilia pattern to coordinate with that. Not as much black, lots of grays and creams. Matched our cabinets creamy “Victoria Ivory” color nicely too.

The backsplash and countertop we’re replacing was ugly worn granite tiles. Removing it from the backsplash wall and drywall underneath involved scraping the surface to be smooth without much sanding or patching.

To get a budget backsplash and get the look I wanted I researched reclaimed wood options online and found some examples on Pinterest. Using an alternative material like wood flooring for our backsplash convinced me it was a great option, not only for the budget but also to blend with what was already installed. As a bonus it added texture and wearability to our kitchen.

I was looking for the best product to attach to a wall and be reasonably water and stain resistant. We ended up buying a Home Decorators Collection vinyl plank flooring from Home Depot. None of the plank products were recommended for wall or vertical installation but we figured with additional glue we could get it done. And we did!

What We Used for Our Reclaimed Wood Backsplash Project:
How to Apply Your Reclaimed Wood Backsplash:
  1. Start with left edge of plank and attach to wall from bottom to top, add and fill in with additional planks scoring and cutting with a utility knife.

  2. Planks click or snap together but you will need to apply the adhesive to make sure they adhere to the wall. These planks are meant to be “floating” on a floor so you’ll need to add adhesive to attach to your wall

  3. Add small dime size dots of adhesive about 4-6″ apart along both edges of plank

  4. Once you’ve glued and attached plank to the wall, use a roller to press plank down to get adhesive to stick to wall

  5. Keep an eye on your planks as you attach and make sure to use a level to be sure they’re parallel to the counter

  6. Once you’ve installed all of your planks, use your caulk to “grout” between counters, trim and your planks for a clean and waterproof edge.

That’s it! It’s a relatively installation, you just need to be careful about where you place the planks once the glue is dotted on the back. Here’s a finished kitchen wall next to the oven. As we had decided not to replace the cabinets that had hung above, we installed our backsplash up to the ceiling to create height in the room (and to cover up where those cabinets were!)

Although I do love the look of a tile backsplash, I’m super happy about how this turned out and would do it again. “Tiling” with floor planks is about a third of the cost of tile, so well worth considering for your next DIY project.

If you’re looking for a reclaimed or rustic look, try searching Pinterest or google “reclaimed wood backsplash” to get ideas. I would rate this project as medium in difficulty. You’ll need to be able to trim the wood planks to create a pleasing offset pattern. Be aware of matching planks to any corners or cabinet when you’re trimming. By turning over the plank and marking on the back with pen or pencil you can get an idea of what will fit.

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