I am working on a kitchen remodel. The kitchen is composed of two perpendicular walls (one is existing, the other is new). While the new is built straight, the existing is not straight and has bowing studs. Before I finish the drywall, i would like to get recommendations on anticipating the counter top to not be perfectly flush with the wall.

I am planning to have a tile backsplash from countertop to ceiling on both perpendicular walls.


  1. Can the tile backsplash be used to hide the gap between a straight quartz counter top and a not-so-straight wall? (thickness covering gaps is less than 1/2in)
  2. Is it ok if the wall receiving tiles is not "not-perfectly" flat? (I am worried that the inperfection of the wall will make it difficult to place tiles)
  3. Does a tile wall require a cement board between drywall and tiles?
  • 2
    How bad is the wall? Tiles do not bend, so small(1x1s) might work better than 4x6s. Can cut counter tops to match the wall imperfections. If drywall not finished, might be better to remove it and fix the studs, by shaving/building/shimming out.
    – crip659
    Mar 2, 2023 at 23:10
  • How thick is your backsplash tiles, vs the widest gap? And is the curve in the wall noticeable? If it is, then the backsplash may accentuate the imperfection, irrespective of whether it can hide the gap.
    – SteveSh
    Mar 2, 2023 at 23:23
  • Finally, the quartz countertop MAY be able to be cut with a slight curve to match the wall.
    – SteveSh
    Mar 2, 2023 at 23:24
  • 1
    @crip659 is right on the money. It might be much easier to fix a few studs now than to work around the imperfections in multiple layers (drywall, tile, countertop, cabinets, etc.)
    – spuck
    Mar 2, 2023 at 23:40
  • 1
    @SteveSh Is right. A quartz countertop will need to be cut by the installers before installing. They should have a template of the wall imperfections so it will match.
    – crip659
    Mar 3, 2023 at 0:15

2 Answers 2


Make your walls flat for tiling or pay for it later.

Tile wants to be installed on a flat surface. You can use tile leveling systems but the time spent to fix the wall issue with the finishing materials will cost you many times what it would to fix it at framing.

Gold standard for counter tops is a template made on site before getting the counter made. I've had 3 quartz counter tops installed, I've never had someone with a laser or a template. Most companies just send a guy to measure and draw it out. One company did a good job they made some adjustments onsite. One company did a crap job and I had to float the wall out 3/4 before tiling to hide the wall to countertop gap. The wall likely wasn't square so it should have been fixed before drywall.


A few good counter top pros use a very accurate laser template. The counter is cut to the profile of the wall....BUT sometimes that isn't enough.

Then this method is used:

Once the counter is placed but not anchored they scribe or draw a line with a pencil and mark where the counter hits the wall and where there is a gap. Once marked, they slide the counter back and trim the drywall out where it was touching the counter. This allows the counter to slide back into the "groove" they carved out and reduce or eliminate the gaps.

If a tile backsplash is added it will most likely cover the gaps. Tile can be applied to drywall. It doesn't need cement board. Also A mastic can be used such as an acrylic pre mixed.

The wall does not have to be perfectly flat. Will it be an issue for tile? That depends on the size of the tile. More info would be needed to give you an accurate answer. such as amount of deflection in what length and what size tile is being used.

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