Shiplap Kitchen Backsplash (17 Design Options)

One way to redecorate and improve the kitchen’s overall appearance is through a shiplap backsplash. Shiplap kitchen backsplashes are charming and beautiful. They hold so much potential, and they definitely give your kitchen the extra touch it needs to take it to a whole new level, both in functionality and design.

Kitchen with shiplap backsplash, blue cabinets, shelves, and warm lighting

Although the main goal of a kitchen backsplash is to provide a layer of protective features, they have ever since evolved into something so much more than that. Kitchen backsplashes these days have become integral to the concept of the design and using shiplap is an intriguing way to emphasize a stylish modern farmhouse look. [toc]

What Is Shiplap Backsplash

Modern style farmhouse with weathered shiplap wallsShiplap boards were originally used to mend the holes in old ships. They prevented water from seeping in by covering the holes from the outside. As time progressed, shiplap has progressed into an actual design element. 

In modern times, shiplap is often comprised of using horizontal wood pieces or planks on the wall with a small gap between the pieces to form a simple line along the wall. This makes for a visually interesting design element and something that can add textures and shapes to your kitchen backsplash. 

Typically, shiplap pieces are often mounted and installed horizontally, but it’s not unheard of to get them installed vertically. This is the main reason shiplap can be very versatile when it comes to how you use or set it up. 

You can easily come up with a kitchen backsplash design that not only appeals to certain aesthetics but also represents your own personal sense of style and character. Most kitchen backsplashes are made out of tile and other similar materials, but you can make them out to be anything you want.

Any material can be made into a kitchen backsplash, which is no different from a shiplap. This material is a great alternative. Tile looks great, but shiplap can look just as great or perhaps even better.

White painted kitchen with hardwood flooring, shiplap tiles and pendant lights

Some of the benefits that come along with opting for shiplap as material for your kitchen backsplash are:

The design is inspired – If you’re going for a somewhat eclectic type of design for your kitchen design, shiplap can turn out to be a really great material for you to consider.

Shiplap creates a somewhat informal look, similar to a charming or ramshackle rustic kitchen that’s a conglomeration of a lot of different elements while looking clean and polished as well.

Unique and one of a kind – If you’re looking for something new, unique, and something that you just don’t normally see in most houses’ kitchen backsplashes, shiplap is the perfect material.

Most shiplap planks are arranged horizontally, but you can always switch things around and opt to get them arranged vertically instead. You can often see shiplap ceilings that create an attractive design feature. The same can be said about them when applied to a kitchen backsplash area.

Great visual flowShiplap backsplashes in the kitchen can really open the space up because it will give your eyes something to follow, be it horizontally or vertically.

If you want to make the space look and seem taller, though, you can definitely experiment with vertical positioning. Check out more ideas about shiplap kitchens here.

Kitchen Backsplash Ideas Using Shiplap

Kitchen with dark accents, island counter and low back leather stool

Farmhouse Shiplap

A distressed look on the shiplap planks can really tie in well with a farmhouse design theme. This is actually one of the most popular styles where shiplap backsplashes are used. The boards are normally stained or painted a certain shade of white. 

Whitewashing can also be a reasonable process. When you whitewash some types of wood, they can take in grayish tones that are soft and gorgeous and definitely worth the look that you’re aiming for. 

The best part of a farmhouse shiplap backsplash is that you get to see the white hues but you also still get to see some of the wood material showing through. It’s the perfect marriage between the paint and the actual wood material. It’s very visually interesting yet, at the same time, still very welcoming and cozy. See more farmhouse kitchen ideas here.

Shiplap in Vertical Orientation

Kitchen with wooden island, vertical shiplap and curtain

Vertical shiplap backsplashes can give you a great illusion if tricking the eye is your main goal for your kitchen space.

It can make your overall kitchen space appear so much taller than it actually is because of the way the planks are actually arranged. This is great for kitchens that are struggling with low ceilings and cramped spaces. 

The lines created by this type of backsplash can provide a certain sense of balance in the otherwise horizontal lines you have in the kitchen, and you will have a lot of those. They’re everywhere, from the shelves to the countertops, kitchen islands, tables, and so much more.

Grey Color Shiplap 

Kitchen with grey cabinets, wooden countertops and white ceiling

Grey is a neutral color and getting your shiplap backsplash painted as such can really make your kitchen décor ideas edgy yet at the same time safe. 

If you happen to love the look of white but you aren’t particularly fond of its absence of color, grey is a pretty good alternative or even essential. It isn’t as bold as the strongly colored browns and blacks, but it can still deliver a really modern and contemporary look without trying too hard. 

A lighter grey can make your kitchen appear airier and bigger. If you need some extra space in or at least the illusion of space in your kitchen atmosphere, then opting for gray shiplap backsplashes can really bring this to a whole new level.

White Shiplap

White kitchen with wooden details and open shelving

Opting for a white shiplap backsplash in the kitchen is a unique design choice and a bit of a statement in the kitchen. If you haven’t thought about this too much before, this is definitely something that you’re bound to fall in love with.

Using white banks on the symmetry of the planks being laid out next to each other neatly and with precision. It’s particularly impressive and can give a certain organized look and feel to the kitchen. 

White tends to open the space up and really make everything brighter and airier. It’s classic and it’s bound to work with literally any design or color palette you can come up with.

Shiplap Tile

Kitchen with white waterfall island, lantern lights and wood cabinets

Shiplap tiles that look like shiplap can be a great alternative if you aren’t too fond of the organic traits of actual wooden boards. If you think about it, it can be the perfect marriage between tiles and the design of planks. 

Tiles, especially those with glazed surfaces, are nonporous. They are waterproof and are less prone to getting damaged as they’re denser and far sturdier. This is something that you can definitely take advantage of if you go ahead and opt for shiplap tiles instead of the traditional planks for your kitchen backsplash. 

It can make maintenance very easy. The kitchen is an area in the home where you deal with a lot of wet and dry materials and where you are usually going crazy with new or even experimental recipes. 

This means that you will have to deal with the mess right after, but you don’t have to worry too much about it when you have shiplap tiles for your backsplash because you can easily wipe them up or clean them up with a simple solution of water and soap and a soft rag. You can even opt for some warm water or paper towels.

You also need to take note of the fact that there happens to be so much moisture behind your kitchen walls. This means that there’s always the off-chance that your backsplash may be prone to a small amount of water damage. 

Even the smallest amount of moisture or water can ruin the look, but you don’t have to worry about this if you go for tiles, as they don’t degrade the same waywooden planks normally do.

It can increase your overall home value. Your kitchen backsplash works the same as an icing on a cake. It holds everything together as far as how your kitchen looks and feels like. 

It can enhance your kitchen décor and really take it to a whole new level, which you ought to use. It’s durable, so even if you get to a point wherein you have to resell your home, it can even tack on to your real estate value.

Backsplash Tile That Looks Like Shiplap

Peel and stick backsplash in white finish and countertop stove on granite countertop

Peel-and-Stick Shiplap

This is a great option to consider if you don’t want to install any permanent décor in your home.

If you’re renting and you want the material to be removable but at the same time you want to be able to enjoy the aesthetic benefits of grooved siding board, a peel and stick backsplash may work.

It’s an easy and quick update for your kitchen space, and you get to do it on a fairly reasonable budget as well.

Shiplap designed wallpaperSee this shiplap peel-and-stick wallpaper at Amazon [sponsored link]

The downside to this though is that you don’t get the same multi-dimensionality and texture as with a regular and actual lap siding backsplash. You can always get kits that are of higher quality but they can easily run up to $25 or more per square foot. 

Also, the adhesive can end up degrading over time, causing your backsplash to peel out. Unless it has a permanent adhesive, it’s a downside you will have to deal with further down the road.

Shiplap Wallpaper

Kitchen with modular cabinets. ceramic floor tiles and stool

Anything that can be printed on a wallpaper can resemble anything you would like it to look like. This is the same thing with plank-like wallpaper backsplashes.

The whole point of getting a backsplash in the first place is for you to have an attractive wall to showcase your kitchen space in. 

It’s easy, it’s cheap, and it can be done in nothing, costing you more than $25 or so per roll. Some wallpapers even come with embossed textures, mimicking the overall look and feel of actual grooved panels. Some wallpaper on the higher end can cost as much as $250 or so per roll.

Faux Shiplap 

Kitchen with faux shiplap, beadboard with ceiling and cabinets with handles

If you are feeling a bit creative, opting for a faux lap-siding backsplash can get the job done for you. You can actually get this style painted on. You get to play around with the contours, shading, shadows, and so on.

Anything is up on the table if you happen to be feeling a bit artsy. You get to select paint types and colors that can match wood panels specifically. You can even contrive the weathered look of the grooved planks if that’s what you prefer.

Vertical or Horizontal Shiplap Backsplash

Kitchen with all white shaker cabinets, countertop with black faucet

Both vertical and horizontal lap siding can look great for different settings, so the best choice will depend on your personal preference and the overall design of the space. Here are some details to help you decide.

Horizontal Shiplap

This is ideal for narrow kitchens to visually elongate spaces. These board panel installations from end to end of a backsplash wall can widen the space visually.

It is also suitable for coastal and modern farmhouse design kitchens. Reminiscent of old barn exterior walls, horizontal rabbeted wall paneling can create an interesting backdrop for these design aesthetics.

You can pull together design elements. The continuous pattern of horizontal planks can effectively pull together the design elements and create a sense of stability in a kitchen space.

Create a restful and calm space for a busy kitchen. While adding visual interest, rabbeted board planks on walls convey that homely vibe, and with a horizontal orientation, the lines project a restful and calming element.

It can make an architectural feature visually larger. Emphasize a section of a backsplash by using a different width or orientation of the rabbeted. A niched section, for instance, with an arched profile looks great with a wide-planked bevel siding.

Vertical Shiplap

For showcasing architectural details or accents above the sight lines. Lighting fixtures, arches, domes, a clerestory, or any statement piece, can be showcased with a vertical orientation.

A vertical orientation is also a more modern choice that can make a room feel taller and more spacious. It can draw the eyes upward, increasing the stately presence of the wall element. 

For small kitchens. Like the horizontal rabbeted board siding, a vertically oriented one can create a sense of spaciousness. A higher ceiling can also be an opportunity for a larger window, increasing ventilation and lighting.

How To Spruce Up Your Shiplap Design

Shiplap Kitchen Wide Planks – Larger planks can make a kitchen feel larger while having fewer pieces to assemble. White rabbeted planks with 12 inches width can be a gorgeous backdrop for a farmhouse-style kitchen.

Obscure a Rangehood Cover – Not only can a rabbeted panel board install can emphasize architectural features, it can also help blur away an overbearing feature such as the range hood.

For instance, install the same material following the contours of the rangehood with the same orientation, color, and width of the wall panel backsplash.

The continuous lines and material project a cleaner look. Add minimal moldings or trims to follow the profile with the same color for a more polished appearance.

Is Shiplap Good For Backsplash

Shiplaps definitely make for a great kitchen backsplash. It can get the job done quite nicely if you happen to be in the market for something unique, different, and aesthetically appealing. 

A great looking panel-clad backsplash is a great focal point to have in the kitchen. It brings in a huge difference to your overall kitchen décor. Here are some of the main reasons why lap siding can turn out to be a really great candidate:

Kitchen with green siding, green table, and hanging pots

It looks very natural – This is an organic material since it’s mainly really made out of wood. It’s amazing, and although it wasn’t intentionally built out to be made into a backsplash, it tends to fit right into the kitchen décor.

You will also get to play around with the rest of the kitchen décor even if you happen to have lots of large overhead cabinets because the rabbeted boards will still be fairly visible.

It has a huge impact on your kitchen – This is a really big deal. This material can totally revolutionize the way that your kitchen looks and feels overall. Even if you don’t really do anything else other than update your kitchen backsplash to panel boards, it can get the job done without you having to try too hard.

It looks and feels high-end – Lap siding added in as a backsplash for your culinary space can instantly make it look and feel expensive without actually costing way too much money on your end. The unique look on your walls can really make all of the difference in the world.

It has clean corners or edges – Because lap siding tends to overlap over each other, it allows them to meet together without being cut off. This ensures that you get to end up with clean corners and this can really bring your entire kitchen look together.

Its simplicity is appealing – This material is simple and fairly free of distractions. If you want something clean and seamless for your culinary space, lap siding can interestingly deliver just that.

Kitchen with track lights, overhead cupboards and beige walls

To make it fair, there are also some things that you might need to look into as far as disadvantages with panel boards go:

They can be expensive – This is one of the biggest cons of getting lap siding as the backsplash for the kitchen. The thing is, more often than not, you will have to more or less pay double to get panel boards as a backsplash for your kitchen.

An average backsplash has a square footage of 5 to 10 square feet. Lap siding may cost around 5 to 10 times more money than any other regular type of backsplash material.

They can be hard to install – This is particularly challenging because the kind of planks you need to be using should be the types that are longer, and they also need to look symmetrical. This means that lap siding is harder to install compared to the others because of the amount of technicality it actually needs for the installation.

Still, the pros far outweigh the cons, and the slight inconveniences are really nothing compared to the overall look and feel you can achieve when you opt for a horizontal panel backsplash in the kitchen. It’s really worth all the trouble you go through to get it.

How to Protect Shiplap Near the Kitchen Cooking Area? 


Kitchen with wood dining set, geometric carpet and accent wall


While regular maintenance, such as wiping off grease or dirt from the surface, helps keep the backsplash pristine, proper waterproofing is important, particularly for panel board backsplashes made out of wood. 


Waterproofing Methods for Wood Backsplash 


Waterproof membrane – A waterproof membrane can be installed before placing the wooden slats. This continuous layer creates a barrier between the wall and the tile, protecting it from water damage. Waterproof membranes are available in almost any hardware or home improvement shop. 


Waterproof backer board – Basically, a board that is designed specifically to be used in wet areas, such as bathrooms and kitchens. This material is designed to resist water and moisture, making it an ideal choice for use behind a backsplash.


Apply a Sealer – Polyurethane, tung oil, and wax-based sealers are common waterproofing treatments for wood surfaces. Shellac is a natural resin-like tung oil that provides a water-resistant surface and is available in matte, semi-gloss, or glossy finishes. 

How to Seal Shiplap Style Backsplash

A kitchen backsplash is definitely a beautiful and practical feature to have at home. It’s great when it comes to protecting your kitchen walls from water and other splatters, such as oil and food-related spills that might ruin the overall look and feel of the home. 

 Backsplashes these days are meant to be cohesive with the overall design of the culinary space. They usually complement the color palette of the place or even the colors of the walls and all of the other furnishings and elements that came along with it.

Putting a shiplap panel backsplash on isn’t enough, though. You need to make sure that on top of getting the backsplash installed, you also need to know that it’s properly maintained and protected. Horizontal siding should always be sealed at all costs and no matter what happens. 

Wood is porous, and this isn’t a good trait to have in the kitchen, where it will be exposed to a lot of heat, moisture, and so much more. Sealing your rabbeted board backsplash will ensure that it has an extended lifespan and that you get to enjoy it for more years to come. 

Kitchen with peninsula, black wood surround and under cabinet lighting

Here are the things you will need:

Clean your horizontal board backsplash by using an oxygen bleach solution. Most of the rabbeted siding material can be weathered or even a little dirty, especially if it’s salvaged material. This step is particularly important. Preparing the solution is easy.

All you need to do is mix 6 ounces of bleach with a gallon of water. Once you have this solution ready, transfer the solution to a hand spray and spray it all over the backsplash.

Allow it to set for about 10 minutes or longer, depending on how deep and clean you would like to get. Using a rag, scrub the wood gently. With the use of another hand sprayer with nothing but water in it, spray it down some more so you can rinse off the bleach solution.

You need to make sure that you wipe everything down. On top of all of this, you also need to make sure that you allow the backsplash to completely dry off before you proceed with the actual application of the sealer. You might need to give this a little bit of time, perhaps a day or two.

There shouldn’t be any amount of moisture left at all in the wood. Bring an industrial fan in for added air circulation in the culinary area if you have to.

The next thing you need to do is for you to pick out the sealer you’re going to use that’s specifically designed for the wood type of paneling material you picked out. For example, certain woods have certain types of wood sealers applicable to them. 

Use a clean, bristled brush to apply your sealer. Start with a thin coat for the initial layer. Make sure that you go ahead and work on long brush strokes. Make sure that you also do it against the wood grain for total and complete coverage.

After the application, you need to make sure that you allow the sealer to dry completely. Read the instructions in the can or in the package. Some would require only a few hours, while some might take a day or two.

 You might need to layer a second coat on your horizontal shiplap backsplash if you want it to be really comprehensive. Make sure that you let the layers dry out in between coats.

This is a fairly easy application process and something that you can easily do all by yourself. There certainly isn’t a need for you to get the job done professionally which means that it can be practical and that you get to save a little bit of money as well on the side.

For more articles like this, visit our gallery of shiplap bathroom designs here.

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