White Shiplap behind Sink and Stove

Shiplap is a timeless and beautiful design to put on any wall, but put it on your kitchen walls and you instantly feel like you’re in a French cottage.

white open shelf in a kitchen with glasses on top

When we were looking to move to our current town and we walked into this home, we both knew this was where we wanted to put down roots.

The home is solid and has so many classic touches, such as crown moulding and plantation shutters.

The kitchen, on the other hand, left a little to be desired.

It was completely functional, but it had elements that kept it stuck in the 90’s.

Kitchens are a huge undertaking, so we have tweaked it, little by little, over the past 4-5 years and it is really starting to take shape.

One of the biggest transformations is our beautiful shiplap kitchen backsplash and the charming open kitchen shelving that Mark installed.

I get a few questions about our shiplap backsplash, such as how to install vertical shiplap backsplash in a kitchen, and I wanted to tackle another popular question today.

steaming water boiling in a stock pot

What is shiplap?

True shiplap overlaps and was originally used in old ships to prevent water from seeping in. As time has moved on, so has the style of shiplap.

These days, shiplap is most characterized by horizontal planks of wood placed on the wall with a small gap between each piece to create a simple line across the wall.

While typically mounted horizontally, shiplap is also being used as a vertical shiplap in many spaces, making it a very versatile way to add charm and character to any space.

cast iron on electric stove tips

Can shiplap be used as a backsplash?

This question pops up a lot and- yes, you can!

Shiplap can be used as a backsplash as long as you prep and paint it with the right products.

There are some “do’s and don’ts” for caring for your backsplash that we will cover a bit later in this post.

The best part of shiplap as a backsplash is that it creates a simple line that draws your eye either around the room if it is hung horizontally or upward if it is hung vertically.

Either way, it adds a simple charm and warmth to a space.

window and open shelving in a kitchen with vintage artwork

Using Shiplap behind Kitchen Sink

If you are a home cook, you know that it is impossible to prevent some splatter from hitting your backsplash.

When you have tiles, it’s no big deal because they have a finish on them that keeps them from absorbing the moisture.

Shiplap isn’t always the same, so you do have to take care to keep them free from moisture.

There are a few tips for keeping your backsplash in good condition behind your sink.

  • Wipe up spills immediately- Don’t let water or splatter stay on your shiplap. It doesn’t take much effort to wipe it away in a timely manner.
  • Use a waterproof shiplap product, such as vinyl bead board, Hardiplank or Metrie.
  • When preparing your boards, use a paint that offers a good deal of protection against the moisture.
  • Don’t cut your shiplap planks so that they rest on the counter. Leave a small gap and caulk it so there is less opportunity for water to wick up the bottom of the shiplap if there is a spill on the counter.
white kitchen with a corner sink and stainless appliances

Waterproof Shiplap Backsplash

There are two different ways you can ensure your backsplash is waterproof.

  1. Prepare and paint it with appropriate paint and sealer
  2. Choose a product that looks like shiplap, but is actually a waterproof product, such as Hardiplank or tiles made to look like shiplap.

There are paints and sealers on the market that help to maintain the integrity of wood products, even when met with a small amount of moisture.

Consider your wooden cabinets or butcher block counters. They all have to be finished to withstand the work that goes on in a kitchen.

Use a proper paint and sealer to make sure your backsplash is sealed and you should be fine.

stainless steel pot on a stove in a white kitchen

Using Shiplap behind a Stove

Adding shiplap behind a stove can draw some questions.

Will it get scorched? How can I cook with it right next to my burner?

Again, we have cabinets and some some people have butcher block counters butted up to their stoves and it all works fine.

If you use a product, such as Hardiplank, it is essentially cement and heat resistant.

Maybe you want to go a different route and use traditional tongue and groove as your backsplash.

Use a heat resistant paint and seal it with a heat resistant sealer.

blue tea kettle in a kitchen with vertical shiplap

Tips for shiplap behind sink and stove

  • Seal the shiplap with a waterproof/heat resistant clear coat
  • Keep shiplap edges off of the counter and caulk the gap to keep water away from the wood
  • Use a product that is durable, but looks like shiplap, such as Hardie plank
  • Wipe moisture off of the walls
  • Use a vent when boiling or simmering water to keep the backsplash dry
white shiplap and a corner window in a kitchen

Pros of Shiplap Backsplash in a Kitchen

  • It makes the room look bigger because the eye doesn’t stop at every corner or wall
  • The line adds a simple and timeless design element
  • If prepped and painted correctly, it is easy to clean and maintain
  • This is a cost effective way to make a huge impact
  • Shiplap adds so much charm in such a short amount of time

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  1. I have a butcher block counter and I love it. I also like the shiplap white look. Is it too much to use shiplap together with my butcher block? I mean too much of a wood on wood look?

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