Should You Tile Behind Bathroom Sink? [Inc. What Kind Of Backsplash To Have]

When redoing your bathroom sink you might wonder what sort of backsplash or tile to have behind it. We've checked in with our home decor experts and gathered some fantastic ideas of materials to use for your bathroom sink backsplash. Let's take a look at what we found out.

Tiling behind a sink is a good idea. It prevents water splashes from soaking into sheetrock which can cause mold and mildew. But what type of backsplash is best behind the bathroom sink? We've gathered a few ideas below:

  • Granite Countertop Extension
  • Ceramic Tile
  • Glass Tile
  • Artisan-Made Tiles
  • Butcher Block
  • Copper Pennies (Or Other Unique DIY Ideas)
  • Peel And Stick Tiles

Let's look more closely at each of these great backsplash materials. We'll show you examples and give you information about the pros and cons of each material. We'll also explore the need to match or not match your backsplash to your sink countertop.

A cozy bathroom with black and white floor and tiled walls, Should You Tile Behind Bathroom Sink? [Inc. What Kind Of Backsplash To Have]

Great Bathroom Sink Backsplash Materials

There's no universal backsplash material for the bathroom sink. Instead, as home interior designers, we have choices. Ultimately what you choose might hinge on cost, function, or looks but whatever the deciding factor is, there's something perfect for your bathroom sink backsplash.

Granite Countertop Extension

Perhaps the most common choice in today's bathrooms is a granite backsplash. If you have a granite countertop, it's easy to have a granite backsplash installed at the same time. The installer will cut the backsplash piece at the same time they cut your countertop and it will match perfectly. It's super durable and your color choices are plentiful. Because granite is a higher-end finish, this will cost a bit more than other choices, but if you order at the same time as your countertop you probably won't even notice the upcharge.

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is another popular choice for bathrooms. Subway tiles like in the image above are very sought after for two reasons. They look great and are super affordable, costing as little as $7/square foot installed. Ceramic tile is also extremely durable and easy to clean which makes it a great choice for busy bathrooms. 

One trick if choosing ceramic tile is to always buy an extra half box of tile. That way if you do have a chip or edge break, you have the same tile to replace it with.

Glass Tile

In the past few years, colored glass tiles have made a comeback. They often are available in larger sheets of small tiles making them easier to install. The clear quality of the glass makes them beautifully reflective with the light in the room, but they can be slightly more susceptible to damage than ceramic or granite. As to cost, they are in the same general ballpark as ceramic tiles with costs running from $3-$15 per square foot pre-installation.

This less traditional application of glass tiles has them installed running vertically up the entire wall behind the bathroom sink and bathroom mirror. It gives the bathroom a contemporary feel to its design.

Artisan-Made Tiles

If you want something completely unique, why not look to artisan-crafted tiles? You can find a potter in your area and have them make custom tiles for your bathroom backsplash in your color and in the designs you love. They are durable if they're made from ceramic and if flat they should clean well. If they have a bit of texture, they might take a bit more work to clean, but the uniqueness will make it worth your while.

The cost can vary greatly depending on what the individual artist may charge for their work. But you can also intersperse some handmade tiles with commercial tiles to get a unique look and keep the cost within your budget.

These hand-painted tiles with birds give this bathroom a colorful oasis feel. You'll never get bored looking at all of the gorgeous imagery on these pieces.

Butcher Block

Butcher block is a much-loved material for countertops in kitchens and sometimes in bathrooms. Though it's used more often in dryer zones, the butcher block can be an interesting choice for a less-trafficked bathroom. And like granite, you can buy a piece of butcher block backsplash made specifically to match the countertop. This gives you a seamless look and can be installed at the same time as your counter.

Butcher block does require a bit more maintenance than some other choice. To keep it waterproof, regular applications of mineral oil are required. 

Copper Pennies (Or Other Unique DIY Ideas)

Creativity can be your friend when it comes to a bathroom backsplash. Because the backsplash area is typically smaller than in larger kitchens, it's a fun place to do a little experimentation. And it only costs a few cents! See what we did there? Basically, you glue the pennies up on the wall, and then give the whole thing a nice finish with sealer.

Do you love collecting gorgeous rocks at the river or beach and want to put them to use? Why not create a river rock backsplash in your bathroom? The main material is free and you only need to invest in installation products like glue and grout.

Another rustic design that you can do yourself with just a saw and some beautiful pieces of wood is a wood cross-section backsplash. Cut different size diameters of wood and glue them to your wall. It's inexpensive and easy to do.

If you don't feel like cutting wood, you can buy assortments of wood already pre-cut in the same thickness. It makes the DIY project incredibly easy.

Click here for this product on Amazon.

Peel And Stick Tiles

Maybe you're not 100% committed to the idea of a backsplash, or you're in a rental where you can't do anything super permanent. Well, you're in luck. Nowadays you can buy peel and stick tiles in a variety of materials. These tiles (in glass, vinyl, and resin) come with a self-adhesive backing that is as simple to use as peeling the backing off and sticking the tile to your wall. A 12" x 12" piece costs around $30, give or take, depending on the style you choose. So, depending on your bathroom, you could have a bathroom for around a couple hundred dollars or less.

These peel and stick adhesive tiles are flexible and humidity-resistant. They give you the look of marble without the cost.

Click here for this product on Amazon.

These stick-on tiles give you the look of glass tiles with grout in between.

Click here to see this product on Amazon.

How Wide Is A Backsplash?

The width of your backsplash typically goes with the width of your bathroom sink countertop and will be the same measurement. One exception to this is if the entire wall behind your sink is tiled. Then the tile and the backsplash are essentially the same thing.

As to the height of a backsplash, if you're going with a standard height, it is typically 3"-4". However, going higher can create a more elegant look.

What Do You Use To Seal A Backsplash?

For backsplashes that use grout, you'll definitely want to seal it. A good grout sealer will help keep out soap, makeup, and cleaners that might damage the grout lines. See our post here: Do Bathroom Tiles Need To Be Sealed?

Grout Sealer

A grout sealer like this comes in a bottle with a handy applicator brush. Paint directly onto your grout lines.

Click here for this product on Amazon.

If you've chosen to use a natural stone backsplash then you'll want a stone sealant and protectant. Stone surfaces can be porous and a sealant will keep moisture out. Keeping the moisture out will protect the stone from fracturing.

Granite Sealer

Use a granite sealer like this one to protect your stone backsplash in your bathroom.

Click here for this product on Amazon.

Ceramic tiles, glass tiles, even artisan-made tiles will not need a sealant. The glazes used in the firing create a hard surface that makes it a perfect choice to withstand the water and humidity found in the bathroom. 

Does The Backsplash Have To Match Countertops?

Really the only time you might want your backsplash to match your countertop is when you've chosen natural stone and have had a backsplash manufactured at the same time (like the image above). Even in this situation, the homeowner has added additional tile above the countertop extension.

Besides that, you may want to choose a backsplash that coordinates with your countertop or goes with the overall theme of your bathroom's design. But really, you can have a lot of fun picking tiles that contrast or complement your bathroom's countertop, like these gorgeous blue tiles in the bathroom below.

You Can Also Choose None At All

Sometimes homeowners choose not to use a backsplash, and that's okay too. But whatever you decide, it's sure to look gorgeous because it will have your thought, creativity, and inspiration behind it. 

We hope you've enjoyed these backsplash ideas. If this post was helpful to you, please check out a few of our others here at below:

101 Bathroom Backsplash Ideas [Photo List Inspiration]

Should Bathroom Floor And Wall Tiles Match?

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