Side splash or not? Opinions please...

ecnyxNovember 12, 2012

Hi All,

I have been wrestling with "to side splash or not" for several days now and really just wanted to hear advice from others. I don't feel I have a good eye for these things...

I have attached a picture of my current vanity.

The mosaic tile I will use is this:

I have narrowed it down to 3 options:

1. 7.5 inch backsplash only (no side splash). I picked 7.5 inches because that height just clears the top of the faucet.

2. ~5 inch backsplash and side splash.

3. ~11 inch backsplash and side splash.

Due to location of outlet on the side wall I can either tile up to outlet or completely cover outlet.

If I don't do a side splash, I will have to use caulking to seal the gap on the side wall.

Please, suggestions are appreciated. I have a feeling that it probably doesn't matter too much either or, but just wanted some opinions. In the beginning, I was deadset on having the backsplash clear the height of the faucet (option 1), because I think it looks wierd if the height of the backsplash is lower than the top of the faucet. I then started thinking about a side splash but the outlet gets in the way. If I go option 2, I was thinking to get a wide frame mirror so that the bottom of the mirror is still above the faucet.

This is driving me nuts!! Help please! Pictures would be great too!

Thank you!


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If you haven't already, check out for some inspiration pictures. Here are just a few ideas...

Backsplash without sidesplash:

Contemporary Bathroom design by New York Interior Designer AMI Designs

Traditional Bathroom design by Detroit Interior Designer Green Apple Design

Backsplash with sidesplash:

Contemporary Bathroom design by Los Angeles General Contractor Globus Builder

Taller backsplash and sidesplash:

Traditional Bathroom design by Houston Interior Designer Carla Aston : Interior Designer

Traditional Bathroom design by San Francisco Interior Designer Brownhouse Design, Los Altos, CA

When there is a side wall or two, especially with a more narrow vanity, I prefer to continue the backsplash into sidesplash(es) In your situation, I'd probably go with one that goes to the bottom of the medicine cabinet(?) on the right. You can put the outlets in the backsplash as they've done in a couple of the photos above.

There is no wrong way to do it... it's whatever looks best to you.

It's the details that drive you crazy, isn't it?

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 2:41PM
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I vote for no side splash in your situation. I am not a big fan of side splashes in the first place, but there are a few additional reasons why I think your installation would look better without one. Your counter space is small enough to highlight the asymmetry (this is a single sink vanity, not something over 6' long) because the eye can easily take in the entire counter. Your mosaic tile is decorative and will draw the eye. Additionally, your towels appear not to be directly over the counter area. In my house, I have two smaller sinks with no side splash. In both cases, the hand towel is hung at the side just above the counter. I do get a few drips on the wall and a side splash might prevent this. But they are easy to clean off with a moist rag or if they're more than just drips, a little soapy water. Your sink does not seem to have anything on the side wall that people will be grabbing for with dripping wet hands.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 3:28PM
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Thanks to the above posters.
Thanks for referring me to
For the record, the vanity is about 48 inches wide by 20 inches deep.

I still can't make up my mind =(....It will come to me though. I can feel it =)



    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 5:58PM
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I wouldn't put in the sidesplash. I think your backsplash should be on the taller side, meaning you would need to include the outlet and switch. With your choice of tile, which I really like, that might not look so good. I liked all of the pictures, posted above, without the sidesplash. Just my thoughts.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 11:23PM
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I didn't put in a full side splash because of symmetry issues with the paneling. I ended up with a 3" or so side splash to finish it off, and I haven't had any issues with water, etc. (I also kind of broke the rules by going with a 5.5" backsplash to begin with, but I wanted that so that it ended where the paneling started. So I may not be the best person to ask!) I vote no side splash.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 6:52PM
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Kevin MP: Can you post a picture of the left side of the vanity head on? I'd like to see how you handled the paneling and edge of the counter top and backsplash. Thanks.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 10:59AM
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