Bathroom Backsplash Ideas: Advice & Inspiration

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Although a backsplash is one of our favorite features in a kitchen, we think bathroom backsplash ideas are equally important. And in case you're not up to speed, a backsplash is simply a strip (or an entire wall) of tile, stone, or wood that provides a protective surface against water splashes, something that will inevitably happen in any bathroom. This way, your wall won't be covered in not-so-pretty water stains.

Even though bathroom backsplash ideas serve a practical purpose, we think they're an ideal way to inject style into an otherwise neutral space. Depending on the material, size, color, or pattern you choose, you can suddenly add oh-so-much personality to your personal sanctuary. You'll also need to think about your budget if you're remodeling, and you'll want to consider the maintenance and durability of certain materials, too.

As you ponder bathroom backsplash ideas, allow us to start pointing you in the right direction with these helpful tips.

Bathroom Backsplash Materials

Long gone are the days when you had only a handful of choices for bathroom backsplash ideas. Right now, there are near-limitless tile varieties and materials to choose from, which makes this part of the design process really fun.

We can all agree that you literally can't go wrong with subway tile — Joanna Gaines was so right. And it's not relegated to farmhouse bathrooms. It can pretty much work with any style from contemporary to bohemian.

Another completely classic choice is penny tile, a vintage-inspired option that has been around for decades. Reminiscent of pennies, these small, circular tiles can instantly bring charm and a lighthearted feel to a bathroom backsplash.

Mosaic tile can create a work of art in your bathroom. Often composed of glass, ceramic, porcelain, or marble, these tiles are pieced together in a way that's very pleasing to the eye. Try contrasting colors or a herringbone pattern to punch up the aesthetics in your space.

If you'd like to drift away from tile, and instead opt for a solid material for your backsplash, you're in luck because there are a myriad of materials to choose from nowadays. Carrara marble is incredibly chic, elegant, and trend-proof. Travertine looks hip, modern, and natural, weaving a touch of limestone flair into your bathroom. Granite is as sturdy as it gets and looks spot-on in a wide array of bathroom styles. And for something a bit unexpected, wood is a rustic pick and can add warmth to your space.

And don't forget, your vanity isn't the only thing that could use a backsplash. Consider wrapping it around your bathtub, too, for added protection against stains.

Bathroom Backsplash Colors and Styles

You can dream up most anything when it comes to bathroom backsplash colors and styles — we promise that there's an option that will perfectly fit the feel of your space. For instance, are you longing for a farmhouse bath? In this case, options such as subway tile, shiplap, wainscoting, exposed brick, or wood will probably speak to you. A rustic bathroom backsplash calls for wood (of course!) and accompanying design details, like matching wood cabinets, a black countertop, and weathered decorative accents.

So, what about colors? To create a cohesive look in your personal sanctuary, it's all about the palette and the mood you want to create. For instance, if you're aiming for a modern space, we suggest a black backsplash in an eye-grabbing pattern, stained wood, or graphic shapes. A gray backsplash is visually-pleasing, classic, and soothing, and you likely won't get sick of it anytime soon. White is a super-safe bet, but you can always push the envelope by pairing it with unexpected green tile or opting for a contrasting grout color.

If you're after something a bit more unique that goes way beyond subway tile, look to varying patterns, geometric designs, textured tiles, or a bright color. Other distinctive options include a backsplash rendered in galvanized steel, faux wood, glass, mirror, or artistic tile featuring a brass or copper inlay.

Other Things to Consider

As you're remodeling your space, you may notice that the numbers are quickly adding up. To include bathroom backsplash ideas in your budget, you can always turn to certain types of tile and materials that won't break the bank, such as subway tile, shiplap, and peel-and-stick options. Another way to save some money is by installing the backsplash yourself. Coincidentally, there are lots of extremely easy ways to accomplish this task, and sometimes, they don't even involve tile. You could use something that is peel-and-stick, paint the wall a dark color, or even choose a vinyl wallpaper. Guess what else isn't expensive? Grout! If you're working with basic subway tile, you can instantly dial up the visual impact with a grout in a contrasting color.

Lastly, you'll need to think through how much maintenance you want to devote to your new bathroom backsplash. Certain materials are ultra-durable and require less upkeep, like porcelain or ceramic tile or granite. But other materials like marble can chip and crack easily. Some materials will require more attention than others. For example, travertine and wood need careful sealing to prevent wear and tear, and they still may show signs of use over time. To keep cleaning and maintenance simple, you can install a porcelain or ceramic tile backsplash and polish it up with a mixture of distilled water, white vinegar, and orange essential oil.

Where to Shop for Bathroom Backsplash Materials

Lowe's

The Home Depot

Clé Tile

Mercury Mosaics

Heath Ceramics


Shelby Deering is a lifestyle writer who contributes to national magazines and websites, including Country Living, Good Housekeeping, Well+Good, and more. When she's not writing, you'll find her shopping flea markets, hiking, and going for walks with her corgi.

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