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PVC as a Backsplash?

Countertops January 11, 2008 admin


Q: I’m remodeling my kitchen, which will feature white cabinets, white crown molding and white baseboard trim throughout. For a sink backsplash, I thought the look of baseboard trim would tie in nicely to the overall décor, but I don’t want the wood trim to decay when exposed to water. Is there any problem with making an economical baseboard-like backsplash using PVC trim?

 

A: Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is not affected by water, so it should work well as a backsplash material. It won’t rot, split or swell. Plus, it has a similar workability as pine. Using standard woodworking tools, you can saw it, glue it, drill it, nail it and use a router to create decorative molding profiles. Use PVC cement to join the trim boards together. To paint it, just clean the surface first and use regular house paint.

Fypon Banner Ad Small PVC as a Backsplash?

One a side note, you might also consider tileboard as another economical alternative. Companies such as Georgia-Pacific offer durable, yet decorative, hardboard panels that are easy-to-maintain and install quickly and easily with standard tools. Designed for high-moisture areas, such as kitchens, baths and laundry rooms, tileboard features a tough, baked-on melamine finish, is water-resistant and can be cleaned easily with soap and water. Typically available in lightweight 4-by-8-foot panels, tileboard is available in a wide selection of colors and patterns in both flat and scored surfaces for lots of decorating options.

The EHT staff has used tileboard as a backsplash in the past. The particular pattern we chose was a glossy white 4-by-4″ tile design with scored grout lines. We ripped a “course” of the tiles on a table saw and glued the strip along the rear of the counterop as the backsplash. We then used quarter-round PVC trim to line the joint between the backsplash and countertop. Next, just seal everything up with some mildew-resistant caulk.

Another decorative option, although more expensive, comes from Fypon (www.fypon.com). Create a design for a backsplash using urethane applique tiles. Decorative and resistant to moisture, Fypon’s 17-inch squares offer lots of detail and can be painted or faux finished.