What is a Tin Backsplash?

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  • Written By: Debra Durkee
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2019
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A tin backsplash is typically installed on kitchen walls behind sinks, stoves, and other spaces frequently splashed or wet. Easy to clean simply by wiping off with a rag, soap, and water, tin backsplashes can save plaster walls and wallpaper from staining and water damage. Sheets of tin come in a number of colors and patterns.

Made of thin, semi-flexible sheets mounted directly on a wall, a tin backsplash can be more durable and water resistant than a bare wall. Careful selection of a tin backsplash can ensure that it matches almost any kitchen decor. Commonly in a natural silver finish, but also frequently seen in copper and other metallic colors, most backsplashes have a distinct and repetitive pattern to them. Depending on the area to be covered, differently sized patterns can be selected; starting from 2 inches (about 5 cm), larger patterns can also be found to cover larger areas. Typical sheets are about 2 feet (about 0.6 m) square, but can easily be cut to fit any space.

In most kitchen projects, a tin backsplash can be easily adhered to the wall with liquid nails. Sealing the edges with molding or a glue-like sealant can further protect the wall, and keep moisture from getting caught behind it. One of the main benefits of tin backsplashes is easy cleanup, and they are commonly found behind stoves and sinks.


A tin backsplash can be prone to discoloration, however, so it is important to keep it clean. Acidic substances, including foods, juices, and cleaners, can stain and discolor the surface, and when left on the backsplash can even pit the material. Some tin sheets can be purchased pre-painted in a process that can help protect the sheet from damage. Tin is also a fairly bendable metal, and because of its soft qualities, it can be easily dented. As it is typically mounted on walls behind counters, this is usually a minor concern.

Panels typically used for a tin backsplash can also have other home improvement applications. Attaching panels to the ceiling can be an attractive alternative to plain white paint in bathrooms or kitchens. Small patterns can also be used as molding or as accent pieces behind bedroom headboards or behind wall-mounted televisions. While tin generally has the connotation of being metallic and shiny, the application of a coat of powder and paint can make panels suitable for almost any room.


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