Tiling behind bathroom vanity cabinet

Published by Cynthiaz132 on October 4, 2008 - 12:30am

Should wall tile be installed behind a bathroom vanity cabinet (total remodel of bathroom) or should the cabinet go flush to the sheetrock? The contractor wants the tiler to edge the tile to the cabinet, not go behind it. Our concern is that the wall is most likely not straight and there will be a gap.

I think that if you want to have a cabinet inside a bathroom, for me it's better if it's a built it in. So you don't have to worry about the tiles or the walls even if it's not straight becuse it won't be obvious anymore, and it will also save space.

But when the problem already exist like this, well then I suggest that you should consult a bathroom expert to help you decide what to do. Most importantly look for craftsmen who will work in their best in doing this job . For some bathroom cabinet and tile ideas, I think that http://www.bathroomandkitchenguide.com/ can help.


There is no fast rule as far as I know. We typically tile behind the vanity cabinet even though no one will ever see it. It's just easier for the tiler and give us more flexibility when we install the vanity cabinet. We're not worried whether we move the cabinet a bit to the left or right, because there's only tile. I your case, make sure you know the exact dimensions of your cabinet, if you go with your contractor's recommendation. Also make sure that the sheet rock is at least green board and not just drywall. Durock and wall board works too.

Most walls are not straight. Usually the tiler makes sure that the wall is straight by applying more or less adhesive to the walls and then applying the tiles. That way the vanity cabinet is pretty flush against the walls and their is no wide gap.

Two other considerations:

a) Is there a reason why the contractor wants you to do this? Ask your contractor why he wants to do this. Perhaps the wall behind the vanity is bowed or the tile work will be difficult. Or maybe you are just short of tiles. How big is the vanity cabinet anyway?

b) What's going on top of the sink? Is it more tile with a listella or bordura and also what kind of sink top are you using? Granite, marble or a cultured marble sink with a backsplash. See the first photo in another article I wrote on bathroom sinks to get an idea of what I am talking about at http://www.millennialliving.com/Activities/Renovation/Kitchen/buying-faucet-home-depot-lowes.htm

You want to make sure there is a good seal between the cabinet and the sink top so that water does not get behind the vanity cabinet, especially is there won't be tile there. Hope this helps.