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Can You Have a Bathroom Vanity Without a Backsplash?

Bathroom Vanity Without Backsplash
Written by Kai Michel
Last Update: August 10, 2023

A bathroom backsplash is essential since it protects the wall from water damage and prevents mildew and mold from appearing.

Backsplash can increase the re-sale value of your house. There isn’t any downfalls when it comes to installing backsplashes.

What Happens When You Use a Bathroom Vanity Without a Backsplash

1. Warp and rot

A bathroom that lacks a backsplash has no protection against moisture.

In a bathroom, moisture might seem common, but it can lead to rotted and warped walls.

Unfortunately, this type of problem is hard to notice until it becomes a huge and costly job.

2. Mold and mildew

Wrapping and rotting aren’t as bad as drywall that has mold and mildew problems.

Mold can grow undetected either on the outside or the inside of the wall.

It can spread rapidly, and over time can lead to walls needing to get replaced.

Mold is a health hazard and creates high costs when left untreated.

3. Dull, plain bathroom look

Backsplashes can be a focal point in your bathroom.

If you have dull walls and floor colors, you can use your backsplash as a pop of color or design.

Why Is a Bathroom Vanity Backsplash a Must-Have?

Why Is a Bathroom Vanity Backsplash a Must-Have

1. Uplift your vanity so it becomes a focal point

Your backsplash works as a visual point and can enhance a very ordinary bathroom.

You can use this area to create an unexpected scene in the room.

2. Make the room appear bigger

By using the right materials, you can create an illusion that your bathroom is bigger than it actually is.

You can achieve this by using large format tiles. Using mirror tiles will also give a bigger appearance to the room.

3. Adding a touch of personal aesthetic

If you love patterns or certain textures, you can use the backsplash to show your style and preference. This is a chance to flair up the area that is seen as soon as you walk in the room.

4. Cleaning made easy

A backsplash makes cleaning easy. If you have painted walls behind, then it can make it hard to keep clean.

You cannot use cleaning chemicals. Most backsplashes only require a spray and a damp sponge to wipe down.

5. Wall protection

Having bare walls behind your vanity does come with a risk of water damage on the walls.

Having a backsplash will protect the walls better than anything else.

You can avoid mold and mildew and rotted or warped walls.

Backsplash Ideas & Materials You Can Use

1. Ceramic

Ceramic is inexpensive and gives a beautiful look to your backsplash. Ceramic tiles are a little harder to install but are very durable and easy to clean.

2. Granite

Granite is often used for bathroom backsplashes. There are many different colors to choose from, and it cleans up very well.

3. Marble

Marble is very durable, but it comes with a high price tag. If you want to go for grandiose, then choosing a marble backsplash is the way to go.

It will look better to have a marble benchtop and backsplash matching marble adds elegance to your room.

4. Stone

Natural stone is very beautiful; however, it comes with a risk. Most of the stone backsplashes are porous, and they will need to be resealed once a year. If you cook often and like to cook messy sauces, make sure you get flat stone and not rough or stacked types.

5. Glass tiles

Glass backsplashes are versatile, durable, and sanitary. You won’t need to seal the glass, and it will not stain. Glass is resistant to mildew, mold, and bacteria. There is also no grout to try and keep clean.

6. Laminate

Laminate is affordable but isn’t as durable as other choices. This material comes in many different colors and patterns and is easy to clean.

7. Metallic tile

Metallic tiles are designed for luxury bathrooms. You can get stainless steel, copper, iron, and copper.  These will need to be sealed once they are finished.

8. Mirror tile

In most cases, there will already be a mirror on the wall. If you like the mirror tiled look, change the tiles over to cover the whole back wall from the benchtop to the ceiling.  This serves as a mirror and a backsplash.

9. Wainscot

Wainscot is not used very often but can be used in bathrooms. It is quite durable and works best for those bathrooms that are not used much it’s more of a design feature.

10. Waterproof wallpapers

If you are choosing wallpaper for a bathroom, make sure it is waterproof.

Unfortunately, waterproof wallpaper is not very durable but is cheap and comes in great designs.

Which Bathroom Vanity Backsplash Height Do You Prefer?

Which Bathroom Vanity Backsplash Height Do You Prefer

1. 4-Inch backsplash

The backsplash measuring 4 inches is cheaper due to using less materials. This stuff will cover any walls that are not cut perfectly and appear out of line. This backsplash is very commonly found in mid to lower-end houses as it is mass-produced.

2. Countertop to ceiling backsplash

A countertop to ceiling backsplash starts at the countertop and goes all the way up to the ceiling. This makes your kitchen have a slimline look to it.

Unfortunately, this size backsplash is costly, with a huge amount of materials needed.

3. Floor-to-ceiling backsplash

This height for backsplashes is not as common as the others.

Your kitchen will feel taller, and this height is great for installing shelves. Your eyes are drawn to follow the backsplash up the wall.

This will give off a high-end look.

Is Waterproofing Behind a Vanity Necessary?

Yes. The paint itself provides no protection for the wall behind the vanity. A backsplash can only protect your wall from the water that comes from above. If you have a leak in the water pipe behind the vanity, it can have a devastating effect if not discovered immediately.

You may need to replace the entire wall in this situation, which will be expensive and stressful. So it would be a good consideration to take the extra step and make the wall waterproof. That way, even if there is a leak left undiscovered, the result won’t be catastrophic.

How to Match the Countertop With the Backsplash

1. Color schemes

The best look comes from the benchtop and backsplash colors matching.

If you are unsure, use a color wheel. You can choose to work with the veins in the tile and match them to your benchtop or match pattens with the surrounding countertops.

You don’t want the bench and backsplash competing against each other. If you have a benchtop with plenty of movement in it, such as granite, choose a subdued backsplash.

2. Seamless blend

If you like elegance but minimal, you can match in by using the same material in both the benchtop and the backsplash.

This simplifies everything creating a seamless blend in a modern kitchen.

3. Bold design

To go for a bold design, aim for vibrant colors like red and yellow for the backsplash. This will give you a pop of color that can accent your stainless steel appliances and cabinets.

This is great for those who want to add some detail to a bland palette kitchen.

Tips to Save Money on Your Next Bathroom Vanity

1. Use good quality tradespeople

Look up reviews for a particular company, mention their name around town, and see if others rate them as good quality tradespeople.

Getting a proper job done of your vanity and backsplash is important.

2. Keep original plumbing points

When connecting up your vanity, try and keep the original points for the sink if they still work well.

This will save you plenty of money without needing to create new plumbing points and pipes.

3. Avoid tiling where you really don’t need to

You can save plenty of dollars just by tiling the areas completely necessary to keep everything waterproof.

Tiling up to the ceiling and around the rest of the room will become very pricey with both labor and materials.

4. If you are new to this, don’t try to go DIY

If you are renovating to sell or something else, don’t try and do your vanity yourself unless you know how. The backsplash needs to be completely even and straight.

One part out of whack will throw everything off and trust me, you will notice it. You can spend more fixing mistakes than getting a professional in.


1. Do I have to have a side splash on my vanity?

Ans. This really depends on who is using the vanity. If splashes occur but are cleaned up right away, you are pretty safe. For a kid’s bathroom, it is suggested to have side splashes.

2. What happens when a vanity does not come with a backsplash?

Ans. Having a backsplash is important. Otherwise, the wall behind will collect moisture. This will cause rotting, mildew, and warping.

About the author

Kai Michel

Hello, this is Kai, addressing homeowners in need of some help with their home renovation projects. I’ve worked on numerous toilet repair projects over the years that incorporated a wide variety of tasks, from repair to renovation and maintenance. Besides acquiring a degree on the legal codes and procedures, I gathered vast insights into bathroom settings, toilets, showers, fittings, and other household appliances, fixtures, and components. This helps me guide my clients through their home improvement and interior development plans. Since maintenance is my area of expertise, I can assist people in all phases of the actual ‘improvement’ process. To get my messages even further, I contribute to this site through my blog posts. Check my content here for expert suggestions!

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