How Much Space Between Faucet and Backsplash

Having the right amount of space between your faucet and backsplash is an important consideration when designing or renovating your kitchen. The gap between the two can impact the functionality, aesthetics, and maintenance of your space. Here is a detailed look at recommended distances and factors to consider.


The backsplash is the section of wall above the kitchen counter and below the cabinets. This area often gets splashed with water and food debris when using the sink. A backsplash protects the wall from damage.

The faucet, also known as the tap, is the fixture that controls the flow of water into the sink. It’s mounted to the countertop or sink. When turned on, water flows from the faucet spout towards the sink basin below.

Having a carefully measured gap between the faucet spout and backsplash is important for containing splashes and promoting proper use of the sink. If the faucet sits too far back, splashing occurs. If it extends too far forward, it crowds the backsplash and makes cleaning difficult.

The ideal spacing depends on your faucet, backsplash, and personal preferences. Typically, a 2-3 inch gap is recommended.

Recommended Distances Between Faucet & Backsplash

2-3 inches is the standard distance recommended between the faucet spout and backsplash. This allows splashes to be contained while giving enough clearance.

For a single-handle faucet, allow 2-3 inches from the spout to the wall.

For a widespread faucet with separate handles, allow 2-3 inches from the spout and 3-5 inches from the handles.

Vessel sinks that sit on top of the counter require more space since they are taller. Allow 3-5 inches between vessel sink faucets and the backsplash.

Apron front sinks are installed with the front edge exposed. Allow for 2-3 inches between the faucet spout and where the sink lip meets the countertop.

Factors That Impact Spacing

Several factors come into play when fine-tuning the ideal faucet-to-backsplash distance:

  • Faucet design – Height, spout reach, and spray patterns impact water flow. Look at the manufacturer specs.
  • Sink basin depth – Deeper sinks may require more room for filling, draining, and washing.
  • Backsplash material – Tile or other porous material needs more space from splashes. Glass and metal can tolerate closer contact.
  • Plumbing considerations – Shut off valves, supply lines, and drains must be accounted for.
  • Personal preferences – Lifestyle, cleaning habits, aesthetics, and ease of use inform personal needs.

Benefits of Proper Spacing

Having an optimal 2-3 inch gap between your faucet and backsplash provides several benefits:

  • Splash control – Keeps water contained to the sink basin area and off the backsplash.
  • Convenience – Allows unobstructed use of faucet handles and the sink.
  • Cleanability – Provides space to easily clean the backsplash surface and faucet fixtures.
  • Visual appeal – Looks balanced and prevents a cramped appearance.

Tips for Measuring & Installation

When installing a new faucet or backsplash, keep these tips in mind:

  • Test different faucet positions with a cardboard cutout prior to installing.
  • Mark the desired faucet location with painters tape before drilling holes.
  • Account for any protruding handles, sprayers, or spout lengths.
  • Allow for extra space if surface-mounting plumbing on the wall.
  • Consider using a backsplash extension to close any gaps if space is limited.

Achieving the Right Backsplash Spacing

Here are some best practices to end up with the ideal spacing between faucet and backsplash:

  • Consult manufacturer recommendations for all fixtures.
  • Measure the precise distances of sinks, faucets, counters, and backsplashes.
  • Map out plumbing lines and shut off valves on the wall.
  • Use spacers during faucet and backsplash installation to hold position.
  • Test water flow for splashes prior to completing installation.
  • Make any adjustments to faucet position before securing permanently.


How much space should be between the faucet handles and backsplash?

For widespread faucets, allow 3-5 inches between the handles and backsplash. This prevents crowding and leaves room for cleaning.

What about a pot filler faucet?

Pot filler faucets require greater clearance from the backsplash – around 4 inches is ideal. Their arched spout extends out further when in use.

Can I adjust an already installed backsplash to work with my new faucet?

It is possible to cut or notch out sections of a tile, stainless steel, or laminate backsplash to accommodate the new faucet spacing. But this is only recommended if gaps are minimal.

What if my vessel sink faucet is too close to the backsplash?

Consider swapping it for a taller gooseneck faucet, or install a small backsplash extension to fill the gap. Another option is to push the faucet back slightly and seal around it.

Should I match the faucet and backsplash finish?

Aesthetically, matching the metallic finishes can provide a cohesive look. However, having contrasting finishes can make each fixture stand out on its own.


Finding the ideal spacing between your kitchen faucet and backsplash results in proper water containment, easy maintenance, and visual appeal. Generally leaving a gap of 2-3 inches does the trick, but unique sink and faucet combinations may call for small adjustments. Careful planning of your installation and fixtures will ensure you achieve both form and function.