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Bathroom Backsplashes: How Tall Should They Be?

January 12, 2016

Bathtub Backsplash

Not sure how tall to make the backsplash behind your bathroom vanity, sink, or bathtub?

Here’s the short answer: 4 inches tall. That’s the standard height that most contractors will recommend. It’s not too tall, it’s relatively inexpensive but it will provide sufficient protection for your walls against moisture. It also gives you plenty of space to create gorgeous designs with high-end tile or granite.

The long answer? Well, it depends.

(Would you rather browse photos for inspiration? Click to browse our bathroom ideas page.)

When to Make Your Bathroom Backsplash Shorter than 4 Inches

Short Bathroom Sink Backsplash

Many homeowners opt for a shorter backsplash when they think that a taller design won’t proportionately fit with their bathrooms (for instance, if a taller backsplash might dwarf the walls of your bathtub).

You might also be more concerned with function than with making a design statement. In that case, even a 2 inch backsplash might do the trick, though you should ask your contractor before you make that determination.

When to Make Your Bathroom Backsplash Taller than 4 Inches

Bathroom Sink Backsplash

If you have the budget, then you might consider making your bathroom’s backsplash even taller than 4 inches.

The most obvious reason to go taller would be to use the backsplash more decoratively. You’ll be able to be much more creative with your design if you extend the height.

For instance, some howeowners will run the backsplash on their bathtubs as tall as 8 to 11 inches in order to create the design they’re looking for. This kind of tall backsplash can also serve to make the bathroom feel a big more luxurious and expansive as well.

A taller backsplash can also be useful if your bathroom already has some level of drywall damage. You can cover up the damage with the new backsplash, killing two birds with one stone.

What Kind of Material Should You Use for Your Bathroom Backsplash?

There are many different types of material that work well for bathroom backsplashes, including granite, tile, glass and even metal.

Granite Backsplashes

Granite may be the most common material that homeowners choose for their backsplashes. That’s because natural stone is so beautiful and easy to work with. Among other things, granite backsplashes don’t have seams like tile does, so you’ll get a cohesive, unified look.

Granite can sometimes be more expensive than other types of materials, however.

Tile Backsplashes

Many backsplashes are made from tile because of the material’s versatility. Unlike granite, which is one piece of stone, tile backsplashes can be made up of multiple elements of different sizes, shapes and styles. With tile, you can design whatever you like, including stylish mosaics and accents.

Tile can be somewhat labor-intensive though, since it can take up to three dayds to prep the surface, place the tiles, grout the spaces and seal the backsplash.

Glass Tile Backsplashes

Glass tiles can be used to create gorgeous mosaics in a variety of colors and styles. They also add a sense of depth to your backsplash. They’re easy to clean and maintain, but still much less common that run-of-the-mill tile.

Metal Backsplashes

While metal doesn’t have the same sense of depth that glass tile does, it can still provide an eye-catching sense of contrast to a bathroom as a backsplash. It’s extremely durable as well.

Subway Tile Backsplashes

Some homeowners have started to install backsplashes using subway tile. This trendy material can be produced to look modern and sleek, as well as handcrafted and rustic. While some do worry that it might make your bathroom look dated in a few years, subway tile is timeless in the right context.

Marble Backsplashes

You can’t beat marble for adding a sense of luxury to your bathroom. There’s a reason why so many higher-end homes utilize this timeless material. If you have the budget, it might work for you, though keep in mind that a marble bathroom backsplash will likely have to be sealed at least once a year.

Bathroom Backsplash Design Ideas

Check out some of our favorite bathroom backsplashes from our Bath Idea Board below.

Related Topics: Bath, Interior Design Tips