Does Backsplash Add Value?

Backsplash is an integral part of any kitchen. It serves both aesthetic and functional purposes. The right backsplash can elevate the look and feel of your kitchen while also protecting the walls from splashes and spills. So does installing or upgrading backsplash add resale value to your home? The short answer is – yes, it does! Here is a detailed look at how and why backsplash adds value.

What is Backsplash?

Backsplash refers to the material/tile installed on the wall behind a counter, sink, or stove in kitchens, bathrooms, and even laundry rooms. It is installed a few inches above the countertop and extends upwards towards the ceiling. The primary purpose of backsplash is to protect the walls from water damage, stains, and splashes while cooking or cleaning. Apart from function, it also serves as a decorative focal point and lets you incorporate your design aesthetic. The most popular backsplash materials are ceramic, porcelain, glass, stone, and metal tiles.

How Does Backsplash Add Value to a Home?

A high-quality, well-designed backsplash can boost your home’s resale value in multiple ways:

Enhances Visual Appeal

Backsplash serves as an eye-catching focal point in the kitchen. It is one of the first things potential homebuyers notice. An upgraded backsplash in on-trend colors or textures makes the kitchen look more appealing. This visually enhances the overall home value.

For instance, a mosaic glass tile backsplash can add a pop of color and texture while white marble backsplash evokes elegance. Similarly, creative patterns and combination of materials in backsplashes draw attention. updated backsplash improves the look significantly compared to a dated one.

Reflects Personality of Homeowners

The backsplash design and material you choose reflect your style and personality. For example, a vintage penny round tile backsplash has a classic charm while handmade artisanal tiles bring an artful modern touch. Unique materials like metal, glass, and stone make a statement.

Such personalizedsplash adds character and makes your kitchen stand apart. It shows potential buyers that thought and care has been put into the home’s interiors which adds to the home’s value.

Indicates Good Maintenance

A well-maintained, undamaged backsplash improves the kitchen’s overall appeal. It also indicates that the home has been cared for properly. Damaged, moldy or missing backsplash tiles make the home look neglected and buyers may perceive this as a sign of broader structural issues.

An updated backsplash signals attention to detail. It shows any repairs or replacements have been done timely. This reflects good home maintenance – an important criteria for buyers which directly correlates with home value.

Modernizes the Kitchen

An updated backsplash can give an instant facelift to an outdated kitchen. For example, replacing 80s stone tiles with contemporary white subway tiles or a sleek glass mosaic backsplash modernizes the cooking space. Just this one change provides a fresh look in line with current trends.

Modernization increases aesthetic appeal and functionality which are big pluses for buyers. It is easier for them to visualize entertaining or cooking in an updated kitchen. This makes renovation dollars spent on backsplash worth it.

Improves Functionality

Splashguard backsplashes are very functional. They protect walls while also making clean-up easier. New materials like marble, quartzite and porcelain are more resistant to scratches, cracks and damage. They are also easy to clean.

So replacing a high maintenance backsplash with a durable, low maintenance option adds value. It provides practical benefits to buyers looking for worry-free, fuss-free options.

Completes the Look

The backsplash serves as the finishing focal point that ties the entire kitchen together. It complements and completes the look of the countertops, cabinets, floors and other details. It brings harmony in the overall design and makes the kitchen look well put-together.

It is easier for potential home buyers to picture themselves living in a cohesive stylish space. The finished look signifies attention was given to all details which boosts buyer confidence and home price.

Adds Luxury

Certain premium materials like marble, travertine, glass tile, and granite backsplash impart a luxury feel. Their striking visual appeal emphasizes the gourmet kitchen aspect which buyers find attractive.

Using such high-end materials in backsplash indicates the quality of renovation/construction and separates it from a budget build. It adds a touch of sophistication that carries more value for discerning buyers.

How Much Value Does Backsplash Add?

The exact dollar value backsplash adds depends on several criteria:

  • Materials used – Premium materials like granite, marble, and glass add more value than ceramic or porcelain tile. Natural stone and artistic tile cost more but bring higher returns.
  • Layout and design – Intricate patterns, combinations of materials and mosaics add more splendor and value than simple subway tile layout.
  • Color scheme – Colors like white, gray and black are popular backsplash choices but colors which pop or complement cabinets/countertops better maximize appeal and price.
  • Workmanship – Professionally installed, high-quality backsplash with no grout issues or damages adds more value than DIY projects.
  • Overall renovation scope – A complete kitchen overhaul with new cabinets, countertops and appliances plus backsplash adds higher resale value than just backsplash upgrade.

According to real estate experts, on average, a high-end backsplash installation or renovation recoups about 65-80% of the project cost during resale. The return can go up to 100-125% for premium materials like granite, marble and glass tiles installed professionally.

For a mid-range backsplash makeover, expect approximately 50-70% of the investment to be added to the home sale price. Even a small-scale backsplash upgrade like subway tile installation behind stove recoups 25-35% during resale.

Factors that Influence Value Addition

The exact return and value you can expect from a backsplash upgrade varies case by case. It depends on:

1. Current Housing Market

In a seller’s market with high demand, upgraded backsplash makes a home more competitive. Buyers are willing to pay a premium for move-in ready, updated homes. In a buyer’s market, lower returns are likely.

2. Home Type

In entry-level homes, small backsplash upgrades add comparably lower value than high-end homes. Luxury homes allow homeowners to splurge on backsplash and see higher ROI.

3. Overall Home Condition

If other parts of the home like floors, cabinets need repairs, the value added by backsplash is limited. When backsplash complements renovated spaces, it boosts value more.

4. Layout and Design

Backsplash covering a larger wall area or full wall with intricate design details fetches higher price than a basic back panel behind the stove.

5. Kitchen Size

In small kitchens, backsplash may not dramatically impact home value whereas in spacious, open kitchens it makes a noticeable difference.

6. Materials Used

Natural stone, metal, glass or mosaic tile backsplashes add more value than installing ceramic subway tiles which are considered basic.

7. Homebuyer Preferences

Some homebuyers are willing to pay extra for upgraded backsplash while others may not consider it a priority or worth premium pricing.

What Home Buyers Should Look for in Backsplash?

For homebuyers shopping for houses, the backsplash is an important aspect to evaluate. Here are things to look out for:


  • What material is used – ceramic, porcelain, glass, metal, stone?
  • Does the material seem durable and easy to maintain?
  • Is there visible damage like cracks, chipping or missing tiles?
  • Do the edges look finished properly without jagged edges/uneven cuts?


  • Does the backsplash design match the overall style of kitchen – modern, transitional, traditional, rustic, etc?
  • Does the color and pattern coordinate well with cabinets, countertops and flooring?
  • Is the layout simple or does it incorporate borders, decorative accents and combinations?
  • Is the backsplash a focal point adding character or barely noticeable?


  • Does backsplash installation look professionally done – proper grout spacing, alignment, no sloppy edges?
  • Or are there signs of DIY/amateur work – uneven tiles, messy grout lines, caulking stains?
  • Does it look new or show age/deterioration signs – discoloration, faded grout, mildew stains?

Coverage Area

  • Does backsplash cover entire wall area above counter or only a small section behind stove?
  • For full wall installation, are their any unfinished spots left?
  • Is height adequate – at least 4 inches above countertop extending upwards properly?


  • Does the backsplash material seem impervious to stains, splashes and easy to wipe clean?
  • For heavy usage areas like sink and stove, is backsplash material practical or high maintenance?
  • Are outlets placed at comfortable height above backsplash or awkwardly too high?

Cost of Backsplash Installation and Return on Investment

Here is an overview of estimated costs, value added and ROI for backsplash installation:

| Type of Backsplash | Estimated Cost | Value Added | ROI |
| Ceramic or Porcelain Tile| $3 – $10 per sq.ft installed | 50-70% of project cost |
| Glass Mosaic Tile | $15 – $30 per sq.ft installed| 70-90% of project cost|
| Metal Tile like Copper or Tin| $25 – $50 per sq.ft installed | 80-120% of project cost|
| Stone like Marble or Travertine | $40 – $100 per sq.ft installed | 90-150% of project cost|
| Premium Materials like Onyx or Quartzite| $100+ per sq.ft installed| 100- 200% of project cost|

The exact installation costs vary based on:

  • Tile dimensions – Small mosaic tiles take longer to install than larger tiles
  • Layout – Intricate patterns and combinations of tile materials are more labor intensive
  • Accessibility – Ease of working around cabinets, built-ins etc impacts installation cost
  • Tile thickness – Thicker tile materials cost more
  • Specialty tiles – Handmade, custom or artisanal tiles are expensive
  • Grout type – Epoxy grout is pricier than traditional cement grout

Always hire professional tile installation contractors for best results. While DIY installation may seem cheaper, the value added will be less significant if the final look is not polished. Poor installation quality will be evident to homebuyers.

Backsplash Ideas that Add Value

Here are some backsplash design ideas that not only look fabulous but also boost your home’s resale value:

Mix and Match

Combining materials like glass and stone mosaic within the backsplash adds interest. Contrasting or alternating colors also livens up the look. Mixing modern and traditional patterns ties the old and new together.

Photo by Alicia Weaver on Unsplash

Mosaic Artwork

Mosaics are a classic backsplash choice that intricately patterned artistic mosaic backsplash adds an artisanal feel and charisma. Using mosaic tiles or multi-shaped glass/stone pieces renders one-of-a-kind designs.

Photo by Jeremy Yap on Unsplash

Extend to Ceiling

Extending backsplash tile from countertop to ceiling makes it a commanding full-wall feature. It has more decor impact and protects the wall entirely versus small backsplashes.

Photo by Nätti Design on Unsplash

Natural Stone

Elegant natural stone like marble, travertine, and granite backsplashes add luxury feel, especially popular in upscale home kitchens. Their inherent patterns and colors make a statement.

Photo by Nordwood Themes on Unsplash

Modern Metallic

For contemporary kitchens, metal backsplashes add an edgy, modern, industrial vibe. Copper, brass, nickel, and stainless steel make the cooking space feel sleek and futuristic.

Photo by Bless This Mess on Unsplash

Brick Design

Brick-pattern backsplash tile lends a classic vintage feel reminiscent of old-world home kitchens. Red brick evokes warmth while gray/white brick looks modern. Great for farmhouse, cottage or craftsmen style kitchens.

Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash

Moroccan Style

Intricate geometric patterns and vivid colors in glossy finish tiles bring alluring Moroccan flair. Great way to integrate cultural charm and add character. Works in traditional and modern spaces.

Photo by Bess Hamiti on Pexels

Textural Look

Using textured tiles like wavy, cracked, or handpainted varieties adds depth and dimension to backsplash. The shadows and contours lend visual appeal. Adds uniqueness and craftsmanship feel.

Photo by Studio 7 Designs on Pexels

Hiring Contractors for Installation

Installing backsplash tile involves meticulous work best left to experienced professionals. Here are tips for hiring contractors:

Verify Credentials

  • Look for established contractors who are licensed, bonded, insured and have good online reviews/portfolio.
  • Check reviews on sites like GuildQuality, BBB and references from past clients.
  • Ensure they have expertise in the material you want to use – natural stone, glass mosaic etc.

Get Itemized Quote

  • Get a detailed written estimate outlining material, labor charges, timeline etc.
  • Ensure quote separates material cost vs installation cost breakdown.
  • Understand what’s included – demolition and disposal, permits, preparation etc.

Check Portfolio

  • Look at actual photos/videos of installations done by the contractor.
  • Assess quality of prep work, grout spacing, tile alignment, cuts etc.
  • Ensure their previous backsplash work matches your expectations.

Understand Timeline

  • Ask how many days the installation will take and steps involved.
  • Enquire about lead time for procurement of specialty tiles if required.
  • Confirm if crew will work on installation continuously or split across days.

Verify Warranty

  • Standard 1-year installation warranty should cover defects or issues.
  • Manufacturer warranty may apply to premium backsplash tiles against defects.
  • Get all warranty terms in writing from the contractor.

Backsplash Ideas for Rental Homes and Flips

Here are some great backsplash ideas to add value in rental properties and homes you plan to flip:

White Subway Tile

Classic, neutral white 3×6 subway tile backsplash is affordable and matches any style kitchen. It looks clean and upgraded versus boring back walls. Great rental/flip option.

Photo by Agnes SA on Unsplash

Bold Painted Backsplash

Painting the wall behind stove or sink adds an artsy pop of color. Use semi-gloss paint that can be wiped clean. Inexpensive way to upgrade back area.

Photo by Studio 7 Designs on Pexels

Peel-and-Stick Backsplash

Peel-and-stick backsplash tile offers easy installation and removal. Cost-effective for rentals. Go for materials like vinyl, metal, or removable wallpaper.

Photo by Alex Loup on Unsplash

L-Shaped Stove Backsplash

For small rental kitchens, consider L-shaped backsplash just around the stove area. Open shelves on sides maintain openness.

Photo by Katie Treadway on Unsplash

Clever Accent

Use backsplash behind sink/stove creatively as an accent. Bold patterns, unexpected colors and textures upgrade plain spaces.

Photo by Victoria Shedden on Unsplash

Maintaining Backsplash

Proper maintenance preserves your backsplash investment and keeps it looking new:

  • Seal natural stone backsplash regularly to prevent staining and etching. Use recommended sealer for the stone type.
  • For grout, use a sealing grout additive during installation. Apply grout sealer periodically for water resistance and stain protection.
  • Clean backsplash using gentle, non-abrasive cleaners formulated for stone, ceramic or glass. Avoid harsh chemicals.
  • Rinse