Do You Need Cement Board for Backsplash? Easy Explanation

Backsplash is a kind of tile that is generally used in kitchens and bathrooms. Most commonly, it is used as a panel behind a sink or cooker in the kitchen and protects the wall from splashes. During the renovation work, when it comes to the backsplash, you may wonder whether you install them directly or use cement board underneath it. 

Basically, it will depend on where you are using the backsplash as a panel. Sometimes you will require a cement board underneath of backsplash tile or panel and sometimes cement board doesn’t require at all.

In today’s article, we have discussed when you will require cement boards for the backsplash and when you can use the backsplash without cement boards. So, without any further ado, let’s begin then!

Do You Need Cement Board for Backsplash

Is It Mandatory to Use Cement Board for Backsplash?

Generally, cement boards are used as a backer for tiles, backsplash, and so on. It is used underneath to protect surface from the moisture. It also prevents forming of cracks on the wall after finishing the tiling work.

As aforementioned, the backsplash is used to protect the wall from water splashing. Now, let’s come to the point of whether it is mandatory to use cement boards underneath it or not.

1. For Kitchen Walls

If you are willing to renovate your kitchen walls with backsplash then it’s not mandatory to use cement board there. Because kitchen walls are not exposed to water or there is a lesser chance of flowing water continuously. Thus, cement board isn’t mandatory for kitchen walls.

2. For Bathroom Walls

But if you are willing to use the backsplash for the bathroom walls then you will require cement boards there. The reason is, in the bathroom, water flows frequently, and the cement board withstands moisture, and water damage and protects the backsplash. But it’s not mandatory at all; if you want to provide an extra layer of protection then you can use cement boards for backsplash.

Bonus Tips: When Cement Board is Essential for Backsplash

For normal circumstances, cement boards are not essential for the backsplash but there are a few situations when using cement boards underneath the backsplash is essential. Here are the situations where you will require cement boards –

  • If you have uneven or damaged drywall to work with.
  • If you are willing to use heavy tiles such as stone tiles.
  • If you are willing to build an outdoor kitchen.

In these situations, a cement board is essential for a backsplash.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions and Answers)

Can I put the backsplash directly on drywall?

Yes, you can put the backsplash directly on drywall without any issues. But there are a few conditions, if the wall has moisture issues or uneven surface then you won’t be able to put the backsplash without any backing on the drywall.

Is cement board necessary for tile?

Yes, a cement board is necessary for every type of tile. Using cement boards as backing will provide a smooth surface for the tile work, prevents the tiles from getting moisture contact, prevent forming of cracking in the walls after tiling, etc. 


Lastly, using cement boards for the backsplash isn’t mandatory. Using them means increasing the amount in your renovation bill. However, if you are considering bathroom walls or outdoor kitchens, then you should use cement boards underneath the backsplash. Also, if you want to add extra layer of protection then you can use cement boards without any hesitation.

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