The Alternative Christina Hall Prefers To Dated Tile Backsplashes

Designer and HGTV host Christina Hall is used to designing stylish interiors that are both functional and minimalistic in style and approach. This includes kitchens, where the designer and her team were once known for their gorgeously tiled backsplashes incorporating dynamic patterns and color.

Designers' aesthetics change over time, though, and one major change in Hall's design preferences is her treatment of backsplashes. Rather than employing her favored traditional tile, Hall's newer designs often extend the countertop material all the way up the wall to the upper cabinets.

This developing trend of extended countertops taps into Hall's love of minimalism, which the "Christina on the Coast" star exhibits in many of her room designs that feature clean lines and shapes and a sense of spareness. Continuing the marble up from the countertop to the backsplash creates an overall effect that is cleaner and less cluttered, providing for a number of cosmetic and functional benefits.

Design benefits

Running the countertop material up the wall is an excellent way to make the room seem larger. Rather than cutting the eye line with yet another horizontal element, the lack of traditional backsplash gives the room a cleaner, more open feeling. Marble kitchen countertops, which many homeowners are opting for, are a durable and beautiful alternative to tile for the wall as well. Marble readily fulfills the role that tile backsplashes traditionally fill, protecting the walls above the counter from splashes, grime, and moisture. Not only is the visual effect less cluttered, but the lack of tile and grout is also far easier to keep clean.

This technique is also a great approach for highlighting beautiful countertop materials more fully, such as intricately veined statement marble, which becomes the focal point in any kitchen. Hall explains in an episode of "Christina on the Coast," "Running the backsplash up the wall the way we did not only draws your eye up, making the room feel bigger, it also showcases the beautiful veining in the slab" (via

Budget benefits

Beyond aesthetic and practical reasons, running the material of your counter partially or fully up the wall may be a more budget-friendly tactic than expected, with the material costs for a counter slab of marble often resulting in excess that can be used in other places. According to experts, if you are choosing between a more luxe counter and a conventional tile backsplash, the better solution is to run the counter material up the wall.  

You can also minimize the harsher lines of the horizontal cabinets by varying the height of how far your backsplash extends up the wall, particularly in areas which require a little more coverage for bare walls and cleanability, such as the stovetop and sink. This solution provides coverage where needed while allowing you to save a bit in your budget on additional materials and labor. It's particularly great for creating zones in your kitchen and avoiding too many sharp horizontal lines that can make the room appear smaller.