How Much Do Backsplash Installers Charge?

Installing a backsplash can greatly enhance the look of your kitchen or bathroom. However, installing a backsplash requires specialized skills and tools. As such, many homeowners opt to hire professional backsplash installation services. If you’re considering installing a new backsplash, you’re likely wondering – how much do backsplash installers charge? The cost can vary quite a bit based on the type of material you select and the complexity of the job.

Factors That Impact Backsplash Installation Costs

Several key factors impact how much backsplash installers will charge for a job:

Type of Material

The material you select for your backsplash will significantly influence the total cost. Some of the most popular backsplash materials and their typical price ranges include:

  • Ceramic or porcelain tile: $5-$25 per sq. ft. installed
  • Natural stone tile: $40-$100 per sq. ft. installed
  • Glass tile: $20-$50 per sq. ft. installed
  • Metal tile: $30-$100 per sq. ft. installed
  • Mosaic tile: $20-$50 per sq. ft. installed
  • Peel-and-stick tile: $5-$20 per sq. ft. installed

More exotic materials like handmade tile, glass mosaics, and stone tend to be on the higher end of the spectrum. Simple ceramic or porcelain tiles make a more budget-friendly option.

Size of the Backsplash Area

The total size of the area you wish to cover will also impact the cost. Larger backsplash installations will naturally require more tile, time, and labor. Most standard backsplash installations range from 25-60 square feet.

Layout Complexity

Simple grid layouts using one tile size are the most straightforward backsplash designs. However, some layouts involve ornate designs, specialty shapes, borders, and multiple tile sizes. The more complex the design, the more time and skill it will take for installation.

Prep Work Required

If the existing wall requires repairs, smoothing, or painting before tile can be installed, this will add to the project costs. Likewise, if your plans require special lighting, electrical work, or plumbing alterations before the backsplash installation, this prep work tacks on additional fees.

Professional vs DIY Installation

Installing backsplash tile requires some specialized tools and knowledge to get it perfectly level and grouted properly. Hiring a professional backsplash installer generally costs $50-$100 per hour or more. If you’re up for a DIY project, you can save significantly on labor costs, but your results may vary.

Cost to Install a Backsplash – By Project Scope

To give you a better idea of potential costs for your project, here are some ballpark estimates for backsplash installation based on standard project scopes:

  • Small backsplash project – 25-30 sq ft ceramic tile with simple grid pattern: $300-$800
  • Standard backsplash project – 30-60 sq ft stone, glass or mosaic backsplash with modest design: $800-$2,000
  • Large, custom backsplash project – Over 60 sq ft, complex design with specialty tile, borders, accent tiles, etc: $2,000-$5,000+

These costs are for the backsplash installation only, not including the cost of the tile and materials themselves. Simple jobs with smaller areas to cover will be on the lower end of the cost spectrum, while larger spaces and intricate designs will range into the thousands.

Additional Cost Factors to Consider

Beyond the backsplash installation itself, here are some other potential costs to factor in:

  • Cost of tile materials and supplies – $5-$100+ per sq.ft.
  • Countertop or sink alterations – $200-$1000+
  • New lighting fixtures or under cabinet lighting – $100-$500
  • Electrical or plumbing work – $40-$100 per hour
  • Drywall repair, painting, smoothing wall surfaces – $40-$80 per hour
  • Removal and disposal of old backsplash – $40-$100 per hour
  • Sealant, grout, adhesive and installation supplies – $100-$300

When budgeting your backsplash installation project, be sure to account for all these ancillary costs in addition to the installer’s labor fees.

Tips for Getting the Best Value

Here are some tips to get a great backsplash installation at the best price:

  • Get quotes from 3-5 installers – prices can vary widely, so shop around.
  • Select a simple tile material and design – the more ornate, the more it will cost.
  • Do prep work yourself – painting walls, electrical, etc to save on labor.
  • Provide your own tile and supplies – separate material costs from labor.
  • Avoid “low bid” quotes – very cheap may signal poor quality work.
  • Read reviews and see past work – vet installers thoroughly before hiring.
  • Provide refreshments – providing drinks and snacks can lead to discounts.
  • Schedule during slower seasons – avoid peak spring/summer seasons.

With proper planning and smart tile selection, you can install an eye-catching backsplash in your kitchen or bath without breaking the bank. Expect to invest $500-$2,000+ for most standard sized backsplash installation projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to install a backsplash in a small kitchen?

For a small kitchen backsplash of around 25-30 square feet with simple ceramic tile, expect to pay $300-$800 for a professional installation.

What is the average cost to install a subway tile backsplash?

The average cost to install a classic subway tile backsplash is $600-$1000. The total depends on the size of the space and any custom designs.

How much should a contractor charge to install a backsplash?

Backsplash installers typically charge $50-$100 per hour for labor. Simple projects may only take 5-10 hours total, while large custom jobs could take 40+ hours.

Is it worth it to hire a contractor for a backsplash?

For most homeowners, hiring a backsplash installation contractor is worth the cost due to the specialized skills and tools required. However, DIY installation can save significantly on labor costs if you’re up for the challenge.

Can I install a backsplash myself?

With some tile experience and the right tools, installing a backsplash yourself is definitely doable. To get quality results, be sure to properly prepare the surface, use spacers for even tile alignment, and apply grout and sealant correctly. Watching DIY tutorial videos can help.


Installing a backsplash is an involved project, but the end results are well worth the investment. With proper planning and preparation, you can install a beautiful and functional backsplash in your home while staying on budget. Expect to pay in the range of $500-$2,000+ for most professional backsplash installation jobs, depending on the material, size, and complexity. With smart tile selection and efficient project management, you’ll enjoy your new backsplash for years to come.