How Much Does a Backsplash Install Cost?

Installing a backsplash can transform the look and feel of your kitchen. However, with so many backsplash materials and installation options to choose from, many homeowners wonder how much a backsplash installation typically costs. The short answer is that backsplash installation costs range from $800 to $3000 on average, with material costs factored in. The final price depends on several key factors like the size of the backsplash, materials used, complexity of the design, professional vs DIY installation, and more. This comprehensive guide breaks down everything you need to know about backsplash installation costs to help you create your dream kitchen within your budget.

Factors That Impact Backsplash Installation Cost

Several variables affect the total pricing for installing a new backsplash in your kitchen. The primary factors that influence cost include:

Size of the Backsplash

The overall size of the backsplash is one of the biggest determinants of total cost. Larger backsplash installations require more materials, labor and time. According to HomeAdvisor, most backsplash installations range from 25 to 30 square feet. Here is an overview of how size influences price:

  • Small: Less than 25 sq ft – $800 to $1200
  • Medium: 25 to 50 sq ft – $1200 to $2000
  • Large: Over 50 sq ft – $2000 to $3000+

Measure the total surface area you plan to cover to estimate your size category. Irregular shapes, patterns and hard-to-reach areas will also increase your size calculation.

Material Choices

The specific tiles, stones or other materials selected also affect pricing significantly. Material costs per square foot range dramatically from inexpensive to luxury-level options. Simple ceramic or porcelain tiles tend to be the most budget-friendly, while materials like marble, granite or glass tiles raise costs. Here are average material costs:

  • Ceramic or porcelain tile: $5 to $25 per sq ft
  • Natural stone tile: $15 to $50 per sq ft
  • Glass tile: $20 to $50 per sq ft
  • Metals: $25 to $100 per sq ft
  • Marble or granite: $40 to $100+ per sq ft

In addition to the base cost of materials, unique shapes, intricate patterns, specialty finishes and other custom design elements can increase the final price.

Labor Costs

Professional installation is recommended for most backsplash projects, so labor costs also impact your bottom line. Many tiles and materials require specialized skills and tools to install properly. Labor averages $40 to $80 per hour; complex projects take more time. DIY installation can save on labor fees, but imperfect results may require eventually hiring a pro to fix issues.

Prep Work Needed

The condition of your existing backsplash area also determines how much needs to be done prior to new tile installation. For example, costs will be higher if:

  • Old backsplash must be demolished and removed
  • Walls need repairs or smoothing
  • Electrical, plumbing or other elements need rearrangement

Minimal prep work keeps costs to a minimum.

Design Complexity

Simple, uniform backsplashes with basic installation patterns are most affordable. Intricate mosaics, multi-piece medallions, angled shapes and other complex designs require more planning, precise cuts and tedious installation work, hiking up the price. Consider how elaborate you want to go.

Professional vs DIY Installation

Hiring a professional tile installer ensures proper experience and technique, but adds $40 to $80 per hour onto costs in labor fees. With proper tools and research, DIY installation can save substantially on labor, but mistakes can be expensive to fix later.

Contractor vs Handyman

Specialty tile contractors tend to charge more per hour than handymen, but typically provide higher quality results. Evaluate each professional’s experience and portfolio.

With all these factors considered, most standard backsplash installations fall between $800 and $2000. Luxury, specialty materials or major kitchen remodels with full wall tiling can reach $3000 to $5000+. Now let’s look at average costs for specific backsplash tile materials and styles.

Backsplash Material Costs

One of the biggest cost factors is the type of material you select for your new backsplash. Prices per square foot can range from value tiles at $5 per square foot up to $100+ per square foot for premium materials like marble. Here are the typical price ranges for popular backsplash tile materials:

Ceramic Tile

  • Cost: $5 to $25 per sq ft installed
  • Pros: Budget-friendly, easy to clean, durable. Lots of colors and styles
  • Cons: Lacks high-end luxury appeal

Ceramic tile is one of the most common and affordable backsplash options. Easy to clean and available in endless colors, styles and shapes, ceramic tiles pair well with almost any kitchen decor. Glossy, matte and textured finishes provide design versatility. Prices start around $5 per square foot.

Porcelain Tile

  • Cost: $7 to $30 per sq ft installed
  • Pros: Highly durable, easy maintenance, water-resistant, fade-resistant
  • Cons: Limited color options, harder DIY installation

Denser and more durable than ceramic, porcelain tile provides amazing durability and stain resistance due to low porosity. Suitable for kitchen splashes and baths. Matte and polished options. Prices from $7 to $30 per square foot installed.

Glass Tile

  • Cost: $20 to $50 per sq ft installed
  • Pros: Shiny, sleek contemporary look. Easy to clean, waterproof
  • Cons: Prone to cracking or chipping, challenging DIY install

For contemporary style, glass backsplash tiles lend unique brilliance. Color options from bold hues to mosaic mixes. Prone to cracking if not expertly installed. Costs range $20 to $50 per square foot.

Natural Stone Tile

  • Cost: $15 to $50 per sq ft installed
  • Pros: Elegant look, various natural patters and colors, environmentally friendly
  • Cons: Porous, requires sealing; higher installation skill needed

Granite, marble, travertine, slate and limestone backsplashes provide timeless elegance. Natural variances in stone create one-of-a-kind looks. Higher installation skill required, along with annual sealing. Costs range $15 to $50 per square foot.

Metal Tiles

  • Cost: $25 to $100 per sq ft installed
  • Pros: Modern, industrial, rustic or vintage appeal. Durable and easy to clean
  • Cons: Higher cost, prone to scratches, challenging DIY install

Trendy metal backsplashes offer contemporary styling. Choices like stainless steel, copper, bronze, nickel, tin, aluminum and more. Prices range from $25 to $100 per square foot installed.

Mosaic Tiles

  • Cost: $10 to $50 per sq ft installed
  • Pros: Intricate patterns and colors, artistic appeal, easy DIY install
  • Cons: More grout lines to clean; avoid tiny tiles

Mosaics use small tiles to form artistic patterns. Materials like ceramic, glass or stone work well. Prices range from $10 per square foot for simple designs up to $50 per square foot for intricate details.

Brick Backsplashes

  • Cost: $12 to $25 per sq ft installed
  • Pros: Charming old-world or vintage appeal, easy install
  • Cons: Requires sealing; limited color and size options

Achieve a rustic or vintage look with reclaimed brick backsplash tiles. Real or faux brick offers Arts and Crafts character on a budget. Typical installation costs $12 to $25 per square foot.

Marble Tile

  • Cost: $40 to $100 per sq ft installed
  • Pros: Luxurious high-end look, unique natural veining patterns
  • Cons: Very porous, stains easily, requires sealing

For dramatic impact, marble backsplashes provide timeless elegance with unique natural details. On the luxury end of pricing at $40 to over $100 per square foot installed. Requires professional installation and annual sealing.

Granite Tile

  • Cost: $35 to $75 per sq ft installed
  • Pros: Upscale, durable natural stone. Heat and scratch resistant
  • Cons: Heavy, needs specialized installation

Granite brings resilience along with upscale appeal. With proper installation, granite tiles make an indestructible backsplash able to withstand heavy use. Costs $35 to $75 per square foot installed.

Bottom line, budget ceramic or porcelain tiles start around $800 or less for a typical 30 square foot backsplash. Premium materials like marble can raises costs to $3000 or more for the same 30 square foot installation. The types of tiles you select play a major role in the total project budget.

Backsplash Installation Cost by Style

In addition to the base material costs, the style and layout of your backsplash design influences pricing as well. Standard uniform tiles or simple patterns are most affordable and easy to DIY. Intricate details, mosaics and custom designs require more expert installation. Here is an overview of how design and layout impacts costs:

Subway Tile Backsplash

  • Cost: $800 to $1200 for 30 sq ft
  • Description: Classic 3”x6” uniform rectangular tiles in straight-set pattern

The subway tile backsplash is a classic choice made popular in New York subways. The simple style works with any kitchen decor from farmhouse to contemporary. Using inexpensive white ceramic or colored glossy tiles keeps costs on the budget side.

Stacked Stone Backsplash

  • Cost: $1400 to $2200 for 30 sq ft
  • Description: Random stone tile shapes layered in irregular staggered pattern

Achieve a natural rustic look with a stacked stone backsplash. Real or faux stone tiles get adhered in an uneven stacked pattern. The irregular stones make for challenging DIY installation best left to a pro.

Herringbone Backsplash

  • Cost: $1200 to $1800 for 30 sq ft
  • Description: Rectangular tiles set in a zigzag herringbone pattern

Visually intriguing herringbone backsplashes add interest with their zigzag tile pattern. The intricate design requires cutting many tiles into triangular shapes for installation. Labor and effort raise costs for herringbone layouts.

Linear Glass Backsplash

  • Cost: $1800 to $2200 for 30 sq ft
  • Description: Sleek and shiny rectangular glass tiles set in rows

For contemporary styling, linear glass backsplashes deliver brilliant results. Simple installation combined with the mirrored shine makes a design statement. Use colored glass for bold impact.

Penny Round Mosaic Backsplash

  • Cost: $900 to $1400 for 30 sq ft
  • Description: Hundreds of tiny round mosaic tiles give artistic appeal

Though intricate, penny round mosaic tiles are relatively easy to install for DIYers. The eclectic look adds artsy appeal. Use ceramic, porcelain or glass rounds from 3/4” to 2” size.

Metal Backsplash

  • Cost: $1500 to $3000+ for 30 sq ft
  • Description: Contemporary metal tiles like stainless steel, copper etc.

From gleaming stainless to rustic tin tiles, metal backsplashes make a modern design statement. Higher material costs contribute to the price range of $1500 to $3000+. Consider combining metal with glass tiles.

Accent Inset Backsplash

  • Cost: $1400 to $1800 for 30 sq ft
  • Description: Decorative expensive tile used sparingly as accents

Why break the bank using luxury tiles everywhere? Accent insets place pricier materials like marble or handmade tiles strategically just where needed for best visual effect.

The layout style you select directly influences the installation labor time and total cost range. For budget projects, keep the design simple. For grander designs, specialty tiles and intricate patterns raise costs accordingly.

Factors That Decrease Backsplash Installation Costs

If your budget is limited, there are ways to lower overall backsplash costs through smart planning and decision making:

Select Affordable Materials

Focus first on low cost backsplash materials like ceramic, porcelain or mosaics, rather than premium natural stone or metal.

Install a Smaller Backsplash

Reduce the square footage by sticking to a compact area around the cooktop instead of full wall.

Do a DIY Installation

With proper research, use DIY installation to avoid labor fees of $40 to $80 per hour.

Choose a Simple Style

Avoid intricate patterns or mosaics. Opt for easy-to-install uniform subway or stacked tiles.

Use Accent Sections Strategically

Combine high-end materials like marble or copper just for targeted decorative impact.

Buy Discounted Materials

Check home improvement stores for sales or discontinued styles discounted up to 25% off.

Limit Prep Work Needed

If walls or existing tiles are in good shape, minimal prep saves costs.

When budget is critical, get creative to cut expenses wherever possible. An experienced contractor can also suggest cost-saving measures specific to your kitchen’s needs.

Hiring a Contractor vs DIY Installation

One of the biggest decisions that affects your total backsplash installation cost is whether to do it yourself or hire a professional. Here is an overview of each option:

Professional Installation

Hiring an experienced tile installation contractor to handle your backsplash typically costs $40 to $80 per hour. With an average time of 8 to 12 hours for a medium size job, labor fees can run $500 or more. The advantage is getting expertise that helps ensure correct installation and lasting results.

Benefits of hiring a professional tile installer include:

  • Experienced handling specialty tools and materials
  • Knowledge of building codes and best practices
  • Consistent quality installation
  • Reduced risk of injuries or mistakes
  • Ability to tackle complex designs
  • Completed much faster vs DIY

Professional contractors have the skills to handle difficult materials like natural stone, glass and metal tiles that may frustrate DIYers. For luxury or intricate backsplashes, pro installation gives peace of mind the job will be done right.

DIY Installation

With proper planning and research, many homeowners tackle backsplash installation as a DIY project and save substantially on labor. If you’re fairly handy and not afraid of some trial and error, DIY installation may be feasible.

Benefits of DIY backsplash installation include:

  • Avoid hourly labor fees of $40 to $80 per hour
  • Cost savings of 50% or more on small projects
  • Sense of personal accomplishment and ownership
  • Ability to take your time over days or weeks
  • Opportunity to customize your design as you go

Keep in mind that first timers often underestimate the learning curve with skills like tile cutting. Imperfect cuts or grout lines may be frustrating or apparent in the finished results. Some materials like natural stone also require special tools and techniques that prove difficult for DIY newbies, resulting in permanent damage or leaks if not done properly.

If attempting backsplash installation without experience, limit tile size to 4 inches or smaller and avoid intricate patterns. Focus on uniform styles like subway tile that are straightforward to align and cut. Have a contingency plan and budget in case it becomes necessary to call a professional if issues arise beyond your skill level.

How Much Does Backsplash Demo and Removal Cost?

If your kitchen remodel requires demolishing and removing an existing backsplash first, this adds costs ranging from $200 to $500 based on factors like:

  • Tile material – Natural stone is harder to remove than ceramic
  • Layout style – Intricate mosaic vs simple subway tiles
  • Size of backsplash – More square footage means more demo
  • Need for special tools – Masonry blades for stone tiles, respirators due to dust
  • Hazardous complications – Asbestos, wiring or plumbing concerns

Demo creates a big messy job requiring proper prep and disposal arrangements. Most homeowners opt to hire a contractor specifically for backsplash removal rather than tackling demolition DIY. If your new backsplash is being installed over existing tiles in good shape, you can avoid demolition costs altogether.

Additional Kitchen Upgrade Costs to Factor

Beyond the backsplash installation itself, related kitchen upgrade projects completed at the same time also affect your total budget. These may include:

Countertop Replacement

  • Costs $2000 to $4000 for typical 10 foot length
  • New countertops best done along with new backsplash for cohesive finished look

Cabinet Refresh

  • Costs $5000 to $10000 for new fronts, doors, paint etc.
  • Freshening cabinets complements a new backsplash

Kitchen Flooring

  • Materials plus professional install averages $1000 to $3000
  • Coordinate flooring upgrade with new backsplash

Lighting Improvements

  • $500 to $1000+ for new fixtures, under cabinet lighting
  • Lighting helps highlight a new backsplash

Sink and Faucet Upgrades

  • Expect costs of $400 to $1200 for sink plus $200 to $1000 for new faucet
  • Sink/faucet upgrades often make sense with new backsplash

Keep these other potential kitchen upgrade costs in mind as you budget for your ideal backsplash project.

DIY Backsplash Installation Cost Breakdown

For homeowners who decide to tackle backsplash installation as a DIY project, here is an overview of typical costs for necessary supplies and tools:

  • Tile: $200 to $2000+ depending on tile material and size of backsplash
  • Thinset adhesive: $50 to $100
  • Grout: $20 to $60
  • Grout sealer: $25
  • Tile spacers: $10
  • Tile cutter: $50 to $100
  • Other tools: Hammer, putty knives, sponges, buckets, safety gear etc. Allow $50 to $200

With proper preparation and by following tutorials or videos, an experienced DIYer can complete a ceramic or porcelain tile backsplash over the course of a weekend or in spare time over a week or two, saving substantially on labor. Handy homeowners report total DIY costs between $500 and $1500 depending on materials and backsplash size. Get