Do You Need A Splashback Behind A Bathroom Sink?

Are you in the process of designing your new bathroom and trying to pick your basin, vanity, and mirror combination? Every display that you look at includes a splashback behind the sink–the extra section of tile or stone that runs up the wall from the back edge of your counter. But does it really need to be there?

In this post, I’ll explain if you need a splashback behind a bathroom sink, the advantages of having one as well as look at some ideas for bathroom splashbacks.

Let’s get into it!

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Do You Need A Splashback Behind A Bathroom Sink?

No, you don’t need a splashback behind your sink, but it can be a smart idea to include it in your bathroom design.

The splashback serves to catch any spray from the tap as you wash your hands or brush your teeth. It protects the wallboard from being damaged by water.

However, if your entire bathroom wall is tiled, or you use panels to waterproof the walls then a splashback becomes redundant.

How High Should A Bathroom Splashback Be?

The standard height for a splashback is about 150mm, which matches the height of the most common type of wall tile measuring 15 cm square.

However, if you want to make more of a centrepiece of the splashback, it can be doubled or tripled in height, even all the wall up to the ceiling.

Advantages Of Having A Bathroom Sink Splashback

There are many good reasons to install a splashback behind your bathroom sink.

  • Protects your painted walls from water damage
  • Stops water from getting behind your vanity
  • Adds a professional or decorative finish to your basin area.
  • Complements the tiling in the shower or bath enclosure
  • Resists mildew and mould
  • Easy to clean

Bathroom Sink Splashback Ideas

So, you aren’t impressed by the display splashback choices at the store. The great news is that you can make a splashback out of a wide range of materials that will work with your vision for your new bathroom.


Patterned tiles behind bathroom sink

Tile is the most common type of splashback found in many bathrooms across the country. Available in an endless array of colours and sizes, you can mix and match to your heart’s content.

Plain tiles are extremely affordable and will last a lifetime. Pick up a kit featuring a pattern or mosaic that you love and have a bit of fun.

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 Vanity Countertop Material

Marble splashback behind sink

Create a seamless finish to your new granite-topped vanity by carrying the same material up the wall to make a matching splashback. Installation is easy as it requires a few lines of adhesive and a bead of silicone to stop water penetration.

You can use this same approach with granite, marble, quartz, or another solid surface counter. It is cost-effective if you are purchasing a custom counter as you end up paying for the entire slab of stone. This way you get to use more of the slab instead of throwing it away.


Looking for a simple and clean way to introduce some colour and protect your wall from splashes? Have you been dazzled by the glass splashbacks often found in the kitchen department? They also create a stunning and interesting splashback in the bathroom.

You could even go for some glass mosaic tiles. They are a little more expensive compared to standard tile, but pre-glued squares make creating a mosaic super simple. You will want to follow all directions for cleaning and avoid harsh abrasives to prevent scratching the surface.


Mirror behind bathroom sink

For a small but upscale bathroom, use a mirror for its reflection and as a splashback. The larger mirrored surface adds visual space to the compact room.

The mirror’s surface is water-resistant, but you will need to have it properly mounted to stop moisture from damaging the back of the mirror. This is not a smart idea for the kids’ bathroom. If the mirror cracks, you are replacing the whole piece, not just a single tile.

Waterproof Wallpaper

Do you imagine a refined spa featuring the latest colours and patterns on the walls? Waterproof wallpaper stands up well to scrubbing and resisting water spots.

Today’s wallpaper can be found as a traditional floral or funky geometric, pale grey or bold reds. It’s a great way to personalise the space.

Bathroom Paint

Paint behind bathroom sink

Yes, you can just paint the wall using a product designed for use in a wet room. Match the colour to your tiles or opt for a contrasting palette. Touch up any scratches as the years go by.

It can be scrubbed and is by far the most economical option for covering an entire wall. However, it is also the most likely to let water penetrate the wall and cause hidden damage. 

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Final Thoughts…

There you have it. Everything you need to know about splashbacks behind a bathroom sink as well as some ideas for your next bathroom project.

A splashback behind your sink can be both practical and stylish as well as a way to inject some personality into your bathroom design.

What do you think, will you include a splashback in your next bathroom renovation project?


Michael R

Michael is a KBB designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom installations for over eight years now, and before that, he was an electrician and part of a KBB fitting team. He created The Bathroom Blueprint in early 2020.