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I recently replaced an over-the-range microwave with a hood. Since the hood is about half the height of the microwave, this left a ~15" gap between the preexisting tile backsplash and the start of the hood. Instead of trying to match tile to the existing backsplash, I am thinking of filling the gap with a piece of stainless steel. I have a few questions:

  1. There were some extraneous holes (~5" square) in the drywall behind the microwave. I don't think they served a purpose (it's not like there was a junction box there or anything; that's in the cabinet above). Do I need to patch any of those holes, or is it sufficient just to cover them by the metal plate?
  2. The hood manufacturer sells an accompanying backsplash plate, however, (a) it costs upwards of US$200, which seems very expensive for a ~15"x30" piece of metal, and (b) the size it comes in is too big, so I'd have to cut it down to size. Therefore, I am thinking of finding a cheaper piece of sheet-metal and cutting that down. For what type of metal should I look? Could I get a reasonably nicely finished piece of metal from a local metal shop?
  3. In the event that I need to cut the sheetmetal to size myself, what's the best way to do that? Am I better off just getting a local metal shop to do it?
  4. I've read in a few places that one should glue the steel to the underlying drywall, however, some other instructions simply say to drill it to a stud. Is glueing really necessary? If so, what type of adhesive should I use?
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  1. Don't bother patching the holes in the drywall.

  2. Backsplashes are usually 304 stainless steel. In the US, you could order that from onlinemetals.com. (No, I don't work for them. I recently replaced my range hood and have the same problem as you.)

  3. You should get a metal shop to cut the metal with a jump shear. It is very unlikely that you can get a nice edge for less money using hand shears or a jigsaw.

  4. I'm not sure about the glue. My old backsplash has some kind of adhesive padding behind it. I'll probably try Liquid Nails LN-203.

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