Your bathroom’s design doesn’t stop at your bathtub, your shower, or your sinks. The walls around these items can be just as important in establishing the look of your space. And since your bathroom backsplash sits at eye level, it can quickly become the most statement-making element in the room.
For the uninitiated, a backsplash is a small panel that sits behind your sink to—you guessed it—prevent splashes. This backsplash can come attached to your bathroom sink or countertop, or it can take the form of a striking wall covered in tiles, paint, or wallpaper.
Put simply, bathroom backsplash options abound, so there are plenty of ways to use yours to transform your space, and we’ve rounded up 23 of our favorites. Bookmark the bathroom backsplash ideas you love, and let the decorating process commence.
Experiment With Asymmetry
Your backsplash doesn’t have to cover the wall behind your sink. In fact, if you’re willing to get creative with your tile placement, you can turn your backsplash into a veritable work of art. Stock up on tiles in a striking shade, and use them to craft a stripe that runs from ceiling to floor.
Instead of letting this stripe run behind the center of your mirror, set it off to the side just a touch. This asymmetry will make your colorful backsplash even more statement-making.
Get Creative With Your Grout
Believe it or not, your grout doesn’t have to be white. It can be black, gray, or even orange—meaning you have plenty of ways to make a statement, even if you’re working with classic white tiles.
If your floors are lined with some vibrant color, don’t worry about finding wall tiles that complement them. Instead, stick to something traditional and let your grout handle the color coordination.
Paint Your Wall
Tiles are a common choice for bathroom backsplashes, but they’re not the only way to get the job done. Feel free to keep things simple, and stick with a standard coat of paint, instead.
This choice works particularly well when you’re dealing with a freestanding sink, but it can look striking, no matter what sink set-up you’re dealing with.
Turn Your Tiles Sideways
Tiles tend to run in one direction—at least, rectangular tiles do. We lay them out horizontally, so the long side stretches from left to right, and the short side runs from top to bottom. This is a tried-and-true approach.
Since it’s so classic, inverting it is an easy way to make a statement, even if the tiles you’re working with are crisp, clean white.
Mix and Match Your Materials
Your backsplash is only one piece of the puzzle. You also have your countertops and your cabinets to consider, and you want all three of these pieces to work together in harmony. So, if you’ve already picked one of the three out, use that as a starting point—and let it inspire the choices you make in the rest of your space.
If you’ve settled on black marble countertops, look for a shiny backsplash tile that’ll complement it. Then, add a little texture with wooden cabinets.
A monochromatic bathroom is an instant statement-maker, and you can use your backsplash to bring your space together. If your shower is lined with vibrant pink tiles, let those tiles extend to your backsplash, or add a touch of contrast with a pink terrazzo backsplash, instead.
Play With Texture
When you’re working with bold countertops, you may feel the need to strip back your backsplash, keeping it as simple as possible. But, don’t be afraid to combine two striking textures. A striated marble countertop looks great next to classic subway tiles.
It might look even better if you pair those subway tiles with black grout. This combination will echo the striations in the marble, lending your space contrast and cohesion in equal measure.
Complement Your Hardware
A great way to bring your space together? Match your backsplash to your hardware, or vice versa. Since your backsplash will serve as a focal point in your space, it’s sure to demand attention.
Color-coordinating it with smaller details—like your drawer pulls, towel racks, and overhead lights—can make your space feel balanced and whole.
Stock Up on Paneling in Two Different Shades
Tiles and paint aren’t your only backsplash options. Wood paneling can add texture to your space, serving as a subtler alternative to vibrant tiles.
For a striking floor-to-ceiling look, line your walls with painted wood paneling. Then, line your bathroom cabinets with matching wood paneling in another shade. This two-tone approach should leave your space feeling varied, cohesive, and delightfully dynamic.
Pair Your Backsplash to Your Sink
Not sure what to do with your backsplash? Consider using your sink as a starting point. If you’ve scored a particularly statement-making sink, look for a backsplash that complements it. Pair a cement sink with a marble backsplash that’s lined with gray striations, or complement a metal sink with similarly shiny tiles.
Cover Your Wall in Tiles
Your backsplash doesn’t have to begin and end behind your sink. It can extend to cover an entire wall—in fact, it can extend to cover your entire bathroom. If you don’t mind the look of floor-to-ceiling tiles, consider letting your backsplash stretch across your space. This wall-to-wall approach is bound to make a statement, even if the tiles you pick come in a sleek neutral shade.
Let Wallpaper Be Your Backsplash
Wallpaper is a simple way to transform any bathroom, and it can easily serve as a built-in backsplash. If you’ve lined your walls with a pretty print, consider letting it stand on its own.
If you want to layer in other design elements—like bits of marble or vibrant tiles—you absolutely can, but since what you’ve got is already so striking, you don’t need to.
Keep It Classic
Subway tiles are tried-and-true for a reason: they look great, and they’re incredibly easy to decorate with. Don’t force yourself to stay away from them just because they’ve been done before. If you love them, line your backsplash with them.
Look for other places to add a little statement-making flair. Your faucet, your mirror, and your lighting fixtures are all excellent candidates.
Match Your Backsplash to Your Floors
Matching your backsplash to your floors may seem like a strange choice. But, if your floors are lined with statement-making tiles or rendered in a pretty color, why not use them to inspire other design elements in your space?
If you’d prefer a higher-contrast approach, you can always pick a backsplash that complements your floors rather than matching them perfectly. But, if you don’t mind a little clear coordination, consider using the same tiles, material, or paint color in both places.
Make the Most of Your Space
Bathrooms tend to look pretty similar, but every now and then, you’ll end up with an unconventional space. Maybe your bathroom is incredibly small or strangely shaped. Or, maybe it boasts a sprawling bay window that makes a traditional backsplash hard to come by.
Instead of covering up these so-called “imperfections,” look for ways to make them work for you. Could you hang a couple of mirrors from your ceiling and let your window serve as your backsplash?
Line Your Walls With Wood Paneling
There are plenty of ways to add texture to your walls without relying on classic tiles. While unfinished wood paneling may sound a little rustic, it can look surprisingly sleek when paired with marble and shiny metal.
If you’ve lined your walls with wood paneling or some other striking material, consider skipping out on a traditional backsplash and let your walls serve as your backsplash, instead.
Pick a Backsplash That Complements Your Mirror
If you’ve stumbled upon a truly statement-making mirror, consider building your backsplash and the rest of your space around it. Use dark grout to echo the lines in a geometric mirror, and use light tiles to mimic your mirror’s light reflection. If your mirror is filled with other shapes and colors, you can use tiles to nod to these, as well.
Extend Your Backsplash Into Your Shower
Backsplashes and showers are both hotspots for tiles, so why not blend them together by using the same tile in both? Line your shower walls with a set of pretty tiles. Then, let those tiles extend to cover the wall behind your sink, too.
If you don’t love the look of wall-to-wall color, you can always use the same tiles to form a more traditional backsplash behind your sink.
DIY a Two-Tone Wall
Your walls don’t have to be just one color or texture. With a handful of tiles and a quick coat of paint, you can DIY a two-tone wall that segments just above your sink, giving you a built-in backsplash that’s both striking and unique.
Spring for Floor-to-Ceiling Marble
Marble makes a classic addition to any bathroom, and if you’re hoping to craft a seriously stunning backsplash, the elegant material won’t disappoint.
If you have the budget for it, consider springing for a full-blown marble wall. The material will set the tone in your space, adding luxury and functionality in equal measure.
Merge Your Backsplash With Your Countertops
Backsplashes and countertops are often separate pieces, but they certainly don’t have to be. Many bathroom countertops come with backsplashes built-in. Typically, these backsplashes are crafted from the same material as the countertops, giving you one continuous line from the front of your counter to the top of your backsplash.
Keep It Simple
If there’s a lot going on in your bathroom, consider keeping your backsplash relatively simple. A classic white backsplash may skew a little traditional in an all-white bathroom, but if you put it next to a wood-lined wall—and above a strikingly tiled floor—it should add a welcome dose of contrast and simplicity to your space.
Pick a Sink With a Built-In Backsplash
Curating a bold backsplash can be a lot of fun, but if you don’t want to go through the trouble of tiling or painting your walls, remember that you can always spring for a sink with a built-in backsplash, instead. Some sinks really do come equipped with backsplashes, giving you a very low-maintenance way to outfit your space.