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How to Make a Backsplash for the Bathroom Sink

The wall behind your bathroom sink, like the wall behind the kitchen sink, needs to be protected from splashed water. The most common way of doing this is to hang a tile backsplash directly onto the wall. Since a backsplash is smaller area than a full tile wall, this is a good project to start with before you take on a larger tile project. Start with a flat, smooth wall, free of obstructions.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Level
  • Thinset (mortar)
  • Notched trowel
  • Standard ceramic tiles (sealed)
  • Bullnose ceramic tiles (sealed)
  • 1/8th inch tile spacers
  • Grout
  • Grout float
  • Sponge
  • Caulk
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    • 1

      Mark out the dimensions you want for the backsplash on the wall over the bathroom sink, using a pencil and level. Use your tape measure to adjust the size of the area to hold all full tiles, with no cuts. Leave enough room around the perimeter to account for your bullnose tiles.

    • 2

      Spread thinset over the area that you marked, using a notched tiling trowel. For standard, 4-inch ceramic tiles, use a quarter-inch V-notch trowel.

    • 3

      Press the bottom row of ceramic tiles into the thinset, lining them up side by side across the bottom of the area. Put tile spacers between each tile as you hang it, and between the bottom edges of the tiles and the counter. Note that some 4-inch wall tiles have built in spacers.

    • 4

      Repeat for the next row up of tiles, hanging them in a grid pattern. Cover the whole marked-out area.

    • 5

      Spread thinset onto the back of a bullnose tile, using the notched trowel. Press the tile to the wall, alongside the tiled area, so the finished edge of the bullnose tile faces outward. Put spacers between the bullnose tile and the regular tile.

    • 6

      Hang the remaining the bullnose tiles in the same manner, around the whole perimeter of the tiled backsplash.

    • 7

      Let the thin set dry for 12 hours. Remove the spacers.

    • 8

      Spread grout over the tiled backsplash with a grout float, squeezing it into the spaces between the tiles. Wipe up the residual grout from the tile face with a damp sponge. Let the grout dry for 24 hours.

    • 9

      Run caulk along the base of the backsplash, where the tiles meet the countertop.