Laminate on the Wall Behind a Cooktop

Tips on how to apply laminate directly to a wall above a kitchen counter backsplash. September 27, 2008

I'm going to apply laminate to the wall between a cooktop and a range hood, in lieu of the stainless backsplashes that are often used in that application. First, any caveats or tips?

And second, does anyone have ideas on an elegant treatment for the visible edge? The metal channels that are typically used in showers look a bit too tacky for this...

Forum Responses
(Laminate and Solid Surface Forum)
From contributor S:
Walls should be flat, smooth, clean and painted to seal the drywall joint compound. As for the glue? I try to use something with a little body to it, either the white tile mastic or like a VCT glue that is troweled on thin (walls are generally not as flat as they look). Try to trap the laminate behind the upper boxes and the lower backsplash or countertop so no edges are showing and try to use long enough pieces so as not to have to worry about joints. If you have to put a joint in the middle somewhere, consider splicing the laminate before installing by using a 12" wide piece of scrap contact glued back to back to your wall splash. It has been my experience that contact glue does not do well on walls, which is why I recommend a fuller-bodied glue.

End treatment will depend on your own creativity and the material in use in the rest of the room and what is at hand. I don't find it all that objectionable to just leave it untreated. The laminate is so thin that it does not look too bad to just let it stop in line with the counter or the boxes. Now if you have a situation where the uppers and lowers don't line up, then you may need to get creative and apply a scribed vertical board or panel on the back wall or something.

I do prefer a laminated wall behind a working countertop. It is easier to keep clean. The problem is that you have to make the customer happy. Tile is too much to keep clean and stainless. While I like it for an institutional look, it is kind of hard on the decor. Laminate need not match the counters or cabinets, just be a color/pattern that the owner likes.