Sealing kitchen counters required?

I recently inspected a new home for a buyer. The home was started by a builder that walked away from it at rough-in stage and was taken over by a couple who took out a home owner permit to finish it. They put it on the market without ever moving into it, in fact, the building official was scheduled for the final C of O that afternoon.
One item of concern was the plastic laminate kitchen counters had no backsplashes without any sealant at the joint with the drywall surfaces. As typical with most drywall partitions, the gaps between the wall and counter services varied, making a uniform sealant joint difficult.
My client is looking for some sort of recourse to force the sellers to install a backsplash but I cannot find any reference in the ICC Residential code speaking to this condition. They are getting it for a steal as it is but would still like to have the seller do something.
Does anyone know if and where this condition is covered in the code or have some suggestions on a narrative to cover this situation?
Would appreciate some guidance.

I know of no requirement but would simply recommend sealing the joint area to prevent water entry and damage.

It is minor and can be remedied with caulk or a backsplash/caulk combination.

If they want a backsplash, they should tell the seller that they want a backsplash, not try to get you to invent a requirement for one. IMO.

Sounds like a cosmetic issue. Even though not a requirement, I agree it should be caulked at the very least to prevent any water penetration. Use a different color caulk like bone or almond to blend in with the counter if necessary.

I’m not aware of any requirement either. But, I would think it would defer to the manufacturer of the countertop and their installation guidelines. Perhaps you could determine the manufacturer and give them a call on Monday?

The counters should be sealed with a good clear silicone and
I recommend Dow brand for long life


I recommend the grout be sealed with a silicon based grout sealant as water will penetrate the grout and loosen the wall tile.This can also possibly lead to mold issues.

The above are good general recommendations for counters, but in your case I would suggest or add he use a caulk that matches the counter surface and add a backsplash if needed.
The matching color will hide variance in distance though if it is that was one must consider the drywall as an improper install.

Just last month I had a client ask me to write up a bathroom cabinet for being one inch from the bathtub as trying to clean would be difficult and because all the water from the tub would splash and sit in the tiny space between.
The client wondered why the cabinet did not just seat to the tub side.

Bob, Gary stated drywall, not tile. Pay more attention to details, will ya’??? :p:D

Hey MR pain in my a-s there are a lot of guys who read this and can be helped by my comment ,if they save it as a part of the general idea behind sealing counters.

Your lucky we have no more reds to give.

I see my lots of good inspectors avoid the morons here.:roll:

Perhaps you should just say thank you for the first section and be done with it .

Maybe you might even ask why I recommend DOW and learn something,but like most teenagers you know it all.

Fight nice boys. Jeff, when was the last time you got called a teenager? LMAO

He is lucky I did not take off my belt.

Bob, don’t forget, you are the*** receiver*** !!

Why is a backslash a debate over purchasing a house?

I can install a plastic laminate backslash myself for around 20 bucks.

When I was 10 !!! :smiley:

Bob… it would be more helpful if you kept to the facts, as you have a tendency to confuse others, as witnessed by many other inspectors, not just myself.

Oh, don’t dive a damn why you like Dow products… personal preference. Maybe for you, it seals better, with less leakage!!! :twisted::twisted:

Ooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh… I’m scared !!! :sarcasm::sarcasm::sarcasm::sarcasm:

And a wide one at that!!! :shock::shock::p:p

You just do not get it. :roll:
Were you picked on in school?

Seriously on looking at your posts it seems 90% of all your posts have nothing to do with inspection ,but are negative towards others in nature.
Please leave issues at home or on the members only.

There is a difference between having fun and just being mean.
(see post below)

Jeff I have also added a extra paragraph to help you and the original question response make better sense in perspective.
I come here off and on all day while working often and in trying to help others I sometimes do not have time to read a lot of detail , but the option is to just not care or help.

You are thinking Retriever.
Are you taking your furry friend out for Valentines Day ?:wink: