Since the fixture is supported by the plumbing pipes, rather than the wall, regular backer board for tiling (that is, a stable waterproof board) should suffice, says Connolly. And it doesn’t matter what type of backsplash you have. While it’s usually tile, you can also install the tap on a wall with waterproof paint or even on stone slab.
What else should you consider when installing a wall-mounted faucet?
With all these measurements, it’s best to have a professional install a wall-mounted tap. It starts with the plumber installing the pipes, which must be in positioned so the tap will be centered over the spot where the sink will be. “Once you install the plumbing, you can’t move it,” says Connolly. “Well, maybe by half an inch, but not enough to make a difference if it’s really out of whack.” For the next step, the cabinetmaker measures where the plumbing rough is installed so they know exactly where the sink cabinet needs to go.
And if your backsplash is tile, there’s another detail that should be attended to: For the best appearance, you’ll want the grout lines perfectly aligned with your wall-mounted tap so everything’s centered.
Are there situations where installing a wall-mounted tap isn’t possible?
It’s almost always possible to install a wall-mounted tap (unless you have a window directly behind the sink), but some conditions require extra work. Let’s say you want to install the faucet on an exterior-facing wall—which, in a cold-weather area, could lead to frozen pipes. “In those cases you’ll need to fur out the wall,” says Connolly; that is, build the wall out a few extra inches. “That gives you enough room to encase the pipes with two to three inches of high-density spray foam insulation.”
A stone slab backsplash also creates difficulties: You’ll need to have holes drilled for the faucet, and they must be precisely centered. “But if you’re able to afford a stone backsplash, you can afford a good contractor to coordinate all that work,” Connolly says.
Can I replace a deck-mounted fixture with a wall-mounted one?
Not without making other changes. If your existing tap is mounted on the sink, the sink will have one or more holes to accommodate that. So if you’re swapping out your tap, you’ll also have to replace your old sink with a new one that doesn’t have holes. If your faucet is installed on the counter itself, you’ll have to replace your countertop.
Looking for more tips on kitchen faucets? Start with our Remodeling 101: Kitchen Sinks and Faucets guide, where you’ll find help with faucet and sink selection, installation and maintenance. For more expert opinions on faucets, see our posts:
N.B.: Featured image from the Bear Creek Bovidae Bath in Austin, Texas, an entrant in our 2017 Considered Design Awards.
Finally, get more ideas on how to evaluate and choose your bathroom sink and faucet in our Remodeling 101 Guide: Bathroom Sinks & Faucets.