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Do Bathroom Sinks Need a Backsplash? (All You Need to Know)

The age-old question for many homeowners is whether they should get a bathroom sink backsplash or not. It could pop into your head when you’ve moved into a new house or when you’re redecorating your bathroom. 

Is a backsplash really necessary? What are the advantages of having one? Let’s find out! 

Do bathroom sinks need a backsplash?

Bathroom sink backsplash is not mandatory but it is needed to prevent future damage. Drywall is easily damaged when you do not have a backsplash. This can lead to the growth of warp and mold. It can grow to other areas of your home. Drywall damage is often irreversible. 

Do you need a splashback behind a bathroom sink? Is it necessary?

Although it is not necessary to have a splashback behind a bathroom sink, it is practical. It prevents damage to your wallboard from water splashes by catching any spray from the tap when you use the sink. If not installed properly, it will not benefit you. 

Can you have a bathroom sink without backsplash?

You can have a bathroom sink without a backsplash but it is not recommended. A backsplash not only improves your bathroom’s design but also protects your bathroom from damage such as mildew, mold, warp, and rot. 

However, there are some cases where it is not necessary to have a backsplash. If your sink counter does not press against the wall (such as a pedestal sink), you do not need a backsplash. 

Why do you need a bathroom sink backsplash?

Reasons behind you need a bathroom sink backsplash are given below –

Prevents warp and rot:

When your bathroom sink does not have a backsplash, the drywall builds up moisture and forms warp and rot. You might not even notice it until the damage has grown. A backsplash prevents this from happening. 

Prevents mildew and mold:

Drywall can grow mold and mildew if you don’t have a backsplash. This mold can spread from your home to other spaces in your home. This is a health risk and is pricey to handle. 

Provides style and appeal:

You get to pick from a range of tile options with a variety of colors choices and designs available. The bathroom is entered several times a day which is why the drywall will not go unnoticed. 

This is why you can spice things up by adding a decorative backsplash. The material and height are up to you. It can totally transform your bathroom. 

Makes it easier to clean:

Cleaning is less complicated because all you have to do is wipe the wall. The backsplash will stop the water from dripping behind and around the bathroom vanity. 

With the use of a backsplash, you don’t have to wait for the water to dry. Backsplash damages such as scratches or chips are easier to fix than drywall. 

Prevents damage to wall and paint:

Paint damage will be the least of your worries if you let the water soak up into the drywall for a long time. Over time, it can damage your drywall which is not only hard to fix but also expensive. 

This type of damage can be permanent. Waterproof paint is not the solution as the wall has constant contact with water. This is why a backsplash is necessary. 

What do you use for bathroom backsplash? – Backsplash material

Following materials are generally used for bathroom backsplash –

Ceramic or Porcelain Material:

This is the most common material choice for bathroom backsplashes. It is considerably cheap and durable as well. 

Glass tile:

Unlike other tiles, they do not fade. This makes them last longer. 

Metal Tile:

You do not need mortar or grout to install metal tile backsplashes. However, they are not as reliable as other types. They are easily damaged. 

Travertine Tile:

These are generally found in older homes and are easier to install when compared to other stone tiles. 

Plastic Backsplash:

This is the simplest to install. All you need are scissors and tape. They are lightweight and dependable. 

Man-made stone veneer:

Premium homes usually opt for a stone veneer backsplash but now you can get the same look without buying the actual stone. 

Is bathroom sink backsplash hard to install?

Bathroom sink backsplashes are not that difficult to install. It can vary depending on what kind of backsplash you are installing and how much area it is covering. Overall, it can take more than 3 days to complete. Some basic carpentry skills should do the job. 

It can take some time to prepare. You don’t necessarily need to hire a professional but they do the job more efficiently. 

How to install a bathroom sink backsplash?

Following these easy steps will lead to installing a bathroom sink backsplash –

Clean the area:

Start by cleaning the wall where you will be placing the backsplash. Clean any stain, dirt, or debris using a bathroom cleaner. Scrub it thoroughly. Wait for the wall to dry or you can simply wipe it dry using a cloth. 

Measure out the amount you want to cover and draw a grid:

Draw out the area you want to cover. A pencil, tape measure, and level are all you need for this step. Choose a place for the spacers. 

Put in the all-purpose tile adhesive:

Apply the tile adhesive with the help of a tiling trowel in a circular pattern on the wall. Do this on the backside, center, and ends of the backsplash as well. 

Place the backsplash:

Lay the tiles one by one and press them against the tile adhesive. Adjust the tiles. Make sure they align with the edges of the countertop. Remove any excess adhesive that might fall under the backsplash. 

Allow the adhesive to dry:

Let the adhesive dry properly. It might take a whole night. 

Final cleaning:

Clean any residue from the tiles using a cleaning solution. 

What size backsplash should I use?

The most common tile size for backsplashes is the 3 x 6 subway tile and 4 x 4 straight-set pattern tile. Your backsplash should cover the entire area that water splashes on, at least around 3 inches high. 

The size of your backsplash depends on the amount of space you have behind the sink and the amount of space you are willing to cover. Measure the height and width of the area you want to cover and use a backsplash according to that. 

There are several types of backsplash tiles to choose from. 

Types of BacksplashMain Features
Ceramic Tile BacksplashAffordableEasy installationLong-lasting
Classic Glass TileHarder to installPlenty of color choicesSimple maintenance and cleaning
Natural Stone or Marble TileMore costlyAdds a unique luxurious touchEasy to clean
Peel and Stick TilesCheapEasy to installVariety of material options
Granite Countertop Extension BacksplashStraightforward installation. Durable.Can be matched with the countertop 

How to choose the right backsplash for your bathroom?

Let’s talk about things you need to consider to pick the perfect backsplash for your bathroom. First, you need to have an estimate of your budget. Most of the things you decide on will be influenced by your budget starting from the number of tiles and the type of tiles. 

Standard sizes are cheaper than unique ones

Next is tile material. The material you choose will affect the durability, quality, design, and appearance of your bathroom. For a glorious or luxurious look, you can go for metallic or mosaic tiles. 

Tile shapes matter too. Classic tile shapes and sizes such as squares and rectangles are the most common because they stay in style for a long time. Whichever design you go for, should align with the countertop or cabinet of your bathroom.

Consider the colors of the backsplash as well. Do you want to go for light colors or do you want to be bold? Make sure it goes with the colors of the surrounding surfaces. Color coordination is just as important. 

Neutral colors are elegant too. Darker colors can bring out the modern and futuristic vibe. 

The final thing you should keep in mind is the backsplash height. We’ll talk more about that in the coming section! 

Can you use peel and stick backsplash in a bathroom?

Although peel and stick backsplash can be a cost-effective solution to redecorate your bathroom, they are not recommended for bathrooms. They are mostly used in places that are less used and only as a temporary option. 

They have a lifespan of 25 years when installed in proper places with good maintenance. But they are not suitable for places where they are in direct contact with water regularly.

Do I need tiles behind the bathroom sink?

Tiles behind the bathroom sink is a good decision for many as it protects you from mold and mildew. The water splashes don’t soak into the wall if you have proper tiles. Tiles are useful depending on the type of sink you have. 

Pedestal sinks usually are not kept against the wall which is why tiles might not be necessary for that. Aside from preventing rot, mold, and mildew, tiles can brighten up the look of your bathroom

How high should a bathroom sink backsplash be? What is the standard height?

The standard height for a bathroom sink backsplash is typically 3 to 4 inches. But most designers recommend going for a taller backsplash to draw attention towards its design. It creates a classy appearance and makes it more unique. 

However, most bathroom sink backsplashes are about 4 inches and some are way higher

How tall should a bathroom sink backsplash be?

Although the majority of bathroom sink backsplashes are around 4 inches tall, people recommend it to be taller. This makes the backsplash the focal point of the bathroom and it is a great way to reinvent your bathroom space. 

Less than 4 inches might leave your backsplash unnoticed. This is why nowadays, people go for taller and decorative backsplashes. 

Are 4 inch backsplashes outdated?

Some may call the 4-inch backsplashes a bit outdated as the design has been used for many years. Modern backsplashes are much taller with proper color coordination with the surrounding of the bathroom such as the countertop. 

It also depends on the color of your backsplash. If it is too colorful or bright, it can appear outdated. Larger backsplashes are trending now as they make things easier for taller people and give enough protection against splashes. 

Final Thoughts:

Unless your bathroom sink countertop does not rest against the wall, having a bathroom sink backsplash is practical. It can save you hundreds of dollars and also prevent your wallboard from damage. You need to make sure to install it properly for the backsplash to function.