Beadboard‌ ‌Kitchen‌ ‌Backsplash‌ ‌

Check out our beadboard kitchen backsplash ideas including design styles, answers to popular questions like if it’s moisture resistant, cheaper than tile, or if it’s good to use as a backsplash for your kitchen.
Country style kitchen with beadboard backsplash and cabinet, and a vase of sunflower on an island Curious about beadboard kitchen backsplash, but not sure where to start? In this article, we’ll explain exactly what beadboard kitchen backsplash is, and give you some great ideas for how to incorporate it into your home.

After learning about moisture-resistant beadboard and the cost of beadboard compared to tile, you’ll be ready to install your own beadboard kitchen backsplash.


What Is Beadboard Kitchen Backsplash?

Grey and white kitchen with beadboard backsplash, range hood, and black kitchen rod with cups Beadboard kitchen backsplash is an inexpensive protective solution for the wall between your countertops and cabinets. A standard tile backsplash extends four inches from the countertop, leaving the rest of the wall uncovered and unprotected, but a full-tile backsplash might be out of your budget.

Single panel backsplash solutions, such as stainless steel or glass, are even more expensive. Beadboard is an alternative backsplash material that makes an excellent DIY project.

Originally popularized in the Victorian era, beadboard was traditionally constructed using narrow, grooved planks of wood. It is now usually constructed from panels of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) rather than individual planks of wood, although interlocking MDF planks are also available. 

Beadboard can also be constructed from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PVC beadboard is ruggedly durable, unaffected by moisture, and most often used outdoors. 

MDF is a synthetic material consisting of wood fiber and resin. Chemicals may be introduced during the manufacturing process to add moisture-resistant capabilities.

Kitchen with floating shelves, wood countertop, blue cabinets, and beadboard backsplash Choosing beadboard for your kitchen backsplash has many benefits. Installing a beadboard backsplash in your kitchen is an easy, fun, and rewarding DIY project. Beadboard is the least expensive kitchen backsplash material, and it looks great. 

The grooved surface of beadboard adds texture and visual interest to your kitchen while warming up the room and keeping it from feeling too institutional or spartan. 

Beadboard kitchen backsplashes are also easy to care for. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe up spills and splashes as soon as they happen. A mild surface cleaner will remove most dust and surface grime. For deep cleaning inside the grooves, an old toothbrush will help rout any dried-on food debris. 

Beadboard Backsplash Ideas

Spacious kitchen with wood floor ceiling beams island and beadboard backsplash There are many creative ways to use beadboard in your kitchen backsplash. The panels can be easily cut to size, so you can achieve the cohesive look of a full backsplash at a lower cost than tile, stainless steel, or glass. Beadboard, with its wood fiber and resin construction, has a warmer feel than other backsplash materials. 

Wider spaces between grooves will give the impression of wood planks and help create a farmhouse aesthetic. An English-inspired cottage kitchen might benefit from narrower beadboard, similar to the strips of wood that were used in the original Victorian design. 

The depth of the groove is another important consideration. Thin, shallow-grooved beadboard retains the appearance of a single panel when installed.

Thicker beadboard with a deeper groove has a more convincing wood plank look. Remember that you will need to clean out the grooves occasionally, and choose the depth according to convenience and visual appeal.  

Beadboard Backsplash That’s Waterproof

Bright kitchen with large window, wood floor, wood countertops and beadboard backsplash For completely waterproof beadboard, look for PVC options. These beadboards are perfect for outdoor kitchen backsplashes because PVC is a rugged, durable material that repels water. PVC beadboard can even be used inside showers. 

For interior kitchen backsplashes, look for water-resistant MDF beadboard. You’ll still want to clean up spills quickly and avoid soaking the backsplash, but water-resistant MDF beadboard can function perfectly well as a kitchen backsplash. 

Farmhouse Kitchen Beadboard Backsplash

Farmhouse kitchen with pendant lights, beadboard backsplash, and grey cabinet with golden knobs A farmhouse kitchen needs a warm, cozy, textured backsplash rather than a cold, industrial surface. Beadboard’s plank-like appearance reinforces the farmhouse vibe, while the vertical lines break up the expanse of space between counter and cabinet.

A beadboard backsplash contributes to the quaint, cozy feel of a farmhouse kitchen with minimal cost and installation difficulty. 

Beadboard Tile Backsplash

If you are worried about the maintenance of using regular beadboard, than a tile backsplash might be the solution you’re looking for.  There are styles of tile that are designed to closely resemble beadboard which offer many advantages in their durability and clean-up over traditional materials.

Beadboard constructed from tile can be applied directly over the wall surfaces once they are properly prepared and the correct adhesive is used.

In some instances you can tile over older wall materials. This saves you the trouble of demolishing the existing material and potentially damaging the wall, while still giving your space a style update. 

Horizontal Beadboard Backsplash

Retro white kitchen with pendant lights, wood countertops, ceiling beams, and horizontal beadboard backsplash Traditionally, beadboard is installed vertically, but don’t let that stop you! Horizontally installed beadboard is a unique and eye-catching design choice for your kitchen backsplash. 

If you’re looking to create a shiplap-inspired kitchen backsplash at a lower cost, horizontal beadboard is the perfect alternative. Shiplap usually comes in interlocking planks while beadboard is a grooved panel that convincingly imitates the look of individual planks.

Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash

If you’re a confident DIYer, a herringbone beadboard backsplash could be the project you’re looking for to elevate the design of your kitchen. 

To create a herringbone or chevron pattern, the panel of beadboard must be cut along the diagonal. When the resulting planks are trimmed to size and installed, the beaded grooves will run at a 45-degree angle to your countertops and cabinets. 

Laying beadboard in a herringbone pattern is a great way to create a modernized beadboard kitchen backsplash. See our gallery of herringbone tile backsplash here.

Colored Beadboard Backsplash

Bright kitchen with wood island, tile floor, beadboard backsplash, and ceiling beams A colored beadboard backsplash can change the feel of your whole kitchen, and can easily be achieved with a few coats of acrylic or oil-based paint. 

Because kitchen backsplashes are often subjected to debris from food preparation, you must consider the clean-ability of the paint you choose.

Avoid paint with a matte finish in favor of higher-sheen finishes. Semi-gloss is a good compromise between clean-ability and moderate reflectiveness. 

Is Beadboard Good For Kitchen Backsplash?

Contemporary kitchen with vinyl countertop, stove, food ingredients, kitchenware, and beadboard backsplash

PVC and moisture-resistant beadboard is an excellent choice for a cost-effective, attractive, and effective kitchen backsplash. 

Standard MDF beadboard (which has not been treated to make it moisture resistant) is not the ideal choice for kitchen backsplash. Steam produced by cooking or splashes from the sink could penetrate the beadboard, producing an unattractive warped look and introducing the potential for rot. 

If you are committed to installing standard MDF beadboard as a backsplash, spread a vapor absorber on the wall first. Glue the panels to the wall rather than just nailing them to reduce space where moisture could collect. 

As a compromise, standard and moisture-resistant panels of beadboard can often be seamlessly intermixed. This allows you to strategically place the more expensive moisture-resistant panels in splash zones and use cheaper standard panels away from sinks and stoves. 

Is Beadboard Backsplash Cheaper Than Tile?

Dining and kitchen area with wood floors, pendant lights, island, and white beadboard walls Manufactured beadboard backsplash is significantly cheaper than professionally installed tile and marginally less expensive than installing tile yourself. 

The average tile backsplash costs about $1,500, including materials, labor, and installation. Using premium materials will drive the cost up, as will working around various obstacles in your kitchen layout, and could cost as much as $2,500. Install the tile backsplash yourself and you may be able to bring the cost down to $900. 

To construct a backsplash out of beadboard, expect to spend $90-$500 on materials, including beadboard panels, trim, nails, glue, caulk, and paint. This budget assumes you already have access to a circular or table saw and a jigsaw. 

Even if you opted to purchase these tools solely for this project, the total cost of a beadboard backsplash could still be lower than self-installed tile. 

Is Beadboard Moisture Resistant?

Kitchen with olive cabinets, wood panel wall and ceiling, beadboard backsplash, and mounted tv on a brick wall Whether or not beadboard is moisture-resistant depends on the materials used to construct it and how it was treated. 

MDF beadboard can be damaged by direct contact with liquids or through exposure to high humidity, making it best suited for dry environments. A treatment applied during fabrication produces moisture-resistant beadboard, and these products can be used in bathrooms and kitchens.

PVC beadboard is another moisture-resistant option, and can be used in exterior applications. 

Visit our kitchen backsplash designs for more related content.

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Written by Matthew Sherborne

Matthew has been writing about interior design since 2015 when he founded He owns a design firm and enjoys working alongside interior designers and architects to share new and exciting design trends, picture galleries, and room layouts with his readers.

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  1. I like the look of using bead boards as a backsplash for my have a future kitchen renovations. Thanks as well for including that I should find ones that has been treated to be waterproof or moisture resistant. I hoped I could find one made from PVC.

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