The wall above your bathroom sink may be one of the few places in the bathroom where you can add colourful decorations. Traditional wall hangings don't fare well in such a humid environment, so your tile selection in this small space can serve as a focal point for the room's decor.
Cornice tiles provide an ornate trim along the bathroom counter where it meets the wall. These tiles typically come in neutral shades such as slate, sand or eggshell and give the room a very elegant look. These work best in bathrooms with a low-hanging mirror, where you have only a few inches of space to fill on the wall behind the counter. Because these tiles are often deeper than other backsplash materials, you'll want to make sure you caulk them well to keep mould, mildew and dirt from creeping into the cracks. Use a caulk in the same colour as the cornice tile for a seamless look.
Small mosaic tiles, measuring about 1-square inch, can give the backsplash behind your bathroom sink a very detailed look. Sheets of mosaic tile are widely available to give the appearance of a laboriously applied series of small tiles without all the work. You can purchase these sheets in a single colour or with an intricate, multicoloured pattern. If you'd prefer a truly one-of-a-kind look, you can also purchase the tiles individually and affix them to the wall one at a time. This will allow you to create any pattern or design. Remember to carefully caulk between these tiny tiles.
A single stripe of patterned tile between plain monotone tiles will give your bathroom a custom look with little effort. Use affordable, single-coloured tiles above and below your stripe and select border tiles with simple patterns, such as diamonds or waves, to run in the centre of the design. You can use the same tile colour above and below your pattern, or use the border tile as the delineation line between two colours. Situate the stripe just below the mirror so the design isn't obstructed.
If you want to include intricate hand-painted tiles in your bathroom backsplash, but lack the funds to cover the whole wall, choose one or two particularly stunning pieces and surround them with regular tile. The hand painted tiles will stand out like pieces of art, while the other tiles blend into the walls. Center one tile on either side of the mirror, or line up three or four just below it.