Budget DIY Reclaimed Wood Backsplash Weekend Project

We recently decided to upgrade our kitchen with new cabinets, new granite and backsplash!

For our new kitchen counters we chose the granite pattern “Saint Cecilia”. We’d already upgraded some of our cabinets, now it was time to take down the old ones and replace them with new ivory cabinets to match.

The existing backsplash was ugly old worn granite tiles that definitely needed to be replaced.

To match what we already had I decided I wanted a reclaimed wood backsplash that looked kinda like this.

reclaimed wood kitchen backsplash idea

To start the project the old granite tile backsplash had to go.

It took some muscle to remove the tiles from the kitchen wall. We were careful not to destroy the drywall underneath. Once the tiles were removed, it just took scraping the remaining surface to get it as flat and smooth as possible.

By sanding down any rough patches and patching up any knicks you’ll have a nice flat surface for the next step – installing new backsplash!

We considered a tile backsplash but installing tile over the existing wall was going to be very labor intensive. Not to mention expensive.

Since I loved the look of a farmhouse kitchen I researched reclaimed wood options online and found some on Pinterest.

reclaimed wood backsplash
Image courtesy of Refresh Restyle

But instead of trying to find a supply of real reclaimed wood, we decided to use reclaimed wood look vinyl flooring for our backsplash to get the look without the cost.

Vinyl wood flooring was a great swap, budget friendly and the “wood” added texture and the vinyl made it easy to clean.

I searched for the best product to attach to a wall and still be water and stain resistant for a backsplash. None of the plank products I researched were recommended for wall or vertical installation!

We ended up buying a Home Decorators Collection vinyl plank floor from Home Depot.  We decided to gamble on it and figured by adding extra glue we could get it done. And we did!

Since the vinyl planks are much thinner than real reclaimed wood, you don’t really need a saw, just a sharp utility knife. The hardest part of this project is measuring to make sure all the planks fit around existing cabinets, keeping them level and getting just enough but not too much adhesive on the back.

What We Used for Our Reclaimed Wood Backsplash Project:

Before you order or buy any materials, do a rough measure of your kitchen walls to find out how many square feet of flooring you’ll need to buy. Allow for some mess-ups. I always order a little more than I think I’ll need. If you have a full box left over you can always return it.

We used these planks because the color worked in our kitchen but there are lots of other options. Have a google!

How to Install Your Reclaimed Wood Backsplash:

  1. Start with the left edge of one plank and attach it to the bottom of  the wall working left to right.
  2. Keep adding and filling in with additional planks. Offset each plank to create a realistic look.
  3. To fit around cabinets or corners, measure ahead and make sure each plank will be about the same length. You want to avoid any super short ones.
  4. To fit each plank, score and cut it with a utility knife. You can use a piece of real wood as a cutting board.
  5. Since these are floor planks, they click or snap together because they’re meant to be “floating” on a floor.
  6. So add your adhesive to the back of each plank before you click them together.
  7. Use small dime size dots of adhesive about 4-6″ apart along both long edges of each plank
  8. Once you’ve added glue to the back and attached a plank to the wall, use a roller to press the plank down to stick
  9. Keep an eye on your planks as you attach and make sure to use a level so they’re parallel to your counter surface
  10. Once you’ve installed all of your planks, use your caulk to “grout”
  11. You’ll add caulk between the bottom of the plank and the top of your counter surface. Between planks and trim and around windows or cabinets. This gives your planks a clean and waterproof edge.

That’s it! It’s a relatively easy installation, you just need to be careful about where you place the planks once the glue is dotted on the back as it will bond pretty quickly.

This is what it looks like. We decided to install our plank backsplash up to the ceiling to create height in the room (and to cover up where old cabinets used to hang!)

reclaimed wood kitchen backsplash

Although I love the look of a tile backsplash, I’m super happy about how this turned out and would do it again. “Tiling” with floor planks is about a third of the cost of tile, and a pretty simple DIY project for a weekend.

how to install a diy reclaimed wood backsplash