How Much Does a Tile Backsplash Cost?

Installing a tile backsplash is one of the most popular kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects today. Not only does a backsplash provide an extra layer of protection for your walls, it can also add a beautiful, eye-catching focal point to the room. But before taking on a tiling project, it’s important to understand the costs involved so you can budget accordingly.

What Factors Determine the Cost of a Tile Backsplash?

Several key factors impact the total cost of a tile backsplash installation:

Tile Type

Tile materials range widely in price. At the lower end, ceramic tile may cost $1-$5 per square foot. On the higher end, handmade or mosaic tiles can cost $50 or more per square foot. Natural stone tiles like marble, travertine, and granite also tend to be more expensive.

The type of tile you choose will be the biggest driver of your material costs. Make sure to account for the patterns and designs you want as well. Decorative tiles usually cost more than basic field tiles.

Tile Size

In general, larger tiles are more expensive than smaller tiles. Larger tiles require less grout and are faster to install. Mosaic tiles and other small formats require more cutting and grouting, adding to labor time. If your budget is a concern, using standard 4×4, 6×6, or 12×12 inch tiles rather than large format tiles, mosaics, or subway tile can help reduce costs.


If you plan to install the backsplash yourself, your only labor costs will be your time. Hiring a professional tile installer will add $40-$80 per hour onto your project costs. Many tilers have minimum job requirements too, such as a half or full day rate. For small projects, labor can easily exceed material costs.

Prep Work Needed

Does your backsplash area need repairs, smoothing, or paint removal? Any required drywall repair or wall prep will take time and materials, adding to your installation costs. Consider the condition of the target area when estimating your budget.

Backsplash Size

The overall size of the backsplash also impacts cost. Larger backsplashes require more tile and labor hours to complete. Measure the areas you want to tile and multiply by the price per square foot of your tile. This will give you a rough estimate of how much you’ll spend.

Grout, Supplies, Tools

Grout, mortar, tile spacers, sealers – don’t forget all the ancillary supplies needed to complete your tiling project. If you don’t own any equipment, you may also need to budget for tile cutters, mixers, and other tools. Factor these additional supplies and rental costs into your estimate.

Contractor vs DIY

Hiring a backsplash installation pro ensures expertise, efficiency, and warranty support. But it also adds to costs. Doing it yourself saves on labor fees, but mistakes, delays, tool purchases, and learning curve frustrations can still create budget overages. Decide which approach is right for your skills, schedule, and goals.

Now that we’ve reviewed the key cost factors, let’s look at estimated price ranges.

Average Cost for a Tile Backsplash Installation

A typical 3×5 foot tile backsplash costs $500 to $2000 professionally installed. Total costs average $10-$25 per square foot. For DIY installations, you can expect to spend $5-$15 per square foot on materials.

Here are typical backsplash tile prices:

  • Ceramic tile – $2-$15 per sq. ft. material
  • Porcelain tile – $5-$25 per sq. ft. material
  • Natural stone – $15-$50+ per sq. ft. material
  • Metal, glass & mosaic tile – $15-$50+ per sq. ft. material

While natural stone and elaborate designs cost more, you can also tile a backsplash very affordably using basic white subway or ceramic tiles.

Let’s take a closer look at expected costs based on tile material, labor, and other factors:

Ceramic & Porcelain Tile Backsplash Cost

Glazed ceramic and porcelain tiles provide an affordable and durable option for backsplashes. You can expect to spend:

  • Ceramic tile: $1 to $25 per sq. ft. for materials.
  • Porcelain tile: $5 to $50 per sq. ft. for materials.

For a typical 10 sq. ft. backsplash area with standard 4×4 inch ceramic tiles, total costs start around $200 – $300. Porcelain tiles would range from $400 to $1000 total.

With professional installation, you could spend $500 to $1500+ for a ceramic or porcelain backsplash. Always get multiple quotes to compare rates.

Porcelain tile stands up better to moisture and stains than standard ceramic. But both provide lots of affordable options for colors, shapes, textures, and patterns. From classic white subway tile to decorative accents, ceramic and porcelain are cost-effective ways to add a pop of color and personality.

Natural Stone Tile Backsplash Cost

Types of natural stone tiles include granite, marble, travertine, limestone, and slate. Because these are carved from natural quarries, each piece has unqiue veining and colors. This creates a sophisticated, high-end look.

Natural stone tile costs:

  • Granite: $25 to $70 per sq. ft.
  • Marble: $40 to $100 per sq. ft.
  • Travertine: $15 to $50 per sq. ft.
  • Slate: $30 to $60 per sq. ft.

A stone backsplash often ranges from $500 into the thousands, based on the material chosen and overall size. Get quotes from 3-4 stone suppliers to compare rates on the specific stone type you want.

Factor in extra costs for purchasing more tile than you need, specialized cutting tools, and possible structural reinforcements. Natural stone weighs more than ceramic or porcelain and may require additional support.

Glass, Metal & Mosaic Tile Cost

Glass, metal, and mosaic tiles create gleaming modern backsplashes or add dazzling accents. Prices typically run:

  • Glass tile: $20 to $50 per sq. ft.
  • Stainless steel tile: $25 to $100 per sq. ft.
  • Brass, copper or other metal tiles: $25 to $100 per sq. ft.
  • Mosaic tile sheets: $15 to $50 per sq. ft.

Handmade mosaics and mixed media tiles with elaborate designs can cost $100 or more per square foot. The sky’s the limit for high-end custom tiles!

For small backsplash projects of just 10-25 square feet, you might spend $500 to $2000+ for specialty tile materials. Larger backsplashes or full wall designs can cost tens of thousands.

Factors That Increase Backsplash Tile Costs

Several factors can increase the costs of a tile backsplash:

  • Intricate patterns or mosaics – More cutting and grouting labor required.
  • Natural stone – More expensive raw materials.
  • Glass, metal, or handmade tile – Pricier than ceramic or porcelain.
  • Large format tiles – Bigger tiles cost more.
  • Backsplash height – Full wall height costs more than a 4″ high backsplash strip.
  • Multiple focal points – Multiple sections with decorative tiles increases costs.
  • Professional installation – Tacking on $40-$80 per hour for labor fees.
  • Preparation needs – Drywall repair, paint removal, etc. adds time and steps.

Ways to reduce costs include:

  • Choosing affordable ceramic or porcelain tiles.
  • Using basic square or subway styles instead of decorative shapes.
  • Installing it yourself instead of hiring a pro.
  • Keeping the design simple and low.
  • Finding deals on clearance or overstock tiles.

Hiring a Professional vs. DIY Installation

Installing a tile backsplash yourself can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in labor costs. With proper planning, attention to detail, and patience, DIY projects can look just as good as professional installs.

However, there are also benefits to hiring a qualified tile pro:

Knowledge & Experience

A long-time tile setter has installed countless backsplashes. They know all the tricks and techniques to handle difficult layouts, mixing thinset mortar, proper grout lines, and achieving clean results. DIYers will face a learning curve.

Speed & Efficiency

Professionals tile much faster and more efficiently than inexperienced DIYers. For larger projects, hiring a pro can avoid days or weeks of frustration. Task times are reduced from hours down to minutes.

Neat Results

Cutting tiles neatly and getting details like grout lines and accent borders perfect is tough for beginners. A crooked or messy looking backsplash will annoy you every time you see it. Pros deliver quality craftsmanship.

Proper Prep Work

Prepping the work surface properly is crucial for good adhesion and preventing moisture issues. A pro will know how to inspect and prep the area to avoid problems down the road.

Equipment & Tools

Tiling requires specific mixing, cutting, leveling, and cleaning tools. DIYers may need to heavily invest in purchasing or renting equipment. Pros already own everything needed.

Materials Expertise

From selecting the right mortar, grout, sealers, and tile sizes to calculating material needs – experienced tilers know the ins-and-outs of proper materials. DIYers may make expensive mistakes ordering too little or the wrong items.

Warranties & Protection

Reputable tile installers offer warranties against defects and damage. Protection if anything goes wrong is priceless peace of mind.

Do the potential headaches and risks of tiling it yourself seem to outweigh the cost savings? Hiring a pro may be worth the added expense for many homeowners.

Cost Saving Tips

Here are some smart ways to save money on your backsplash tile project:

Shop sales & overstocks – Check home improvement stores for discount tiles, or the “Oops” section for customer returns.

Use neutrals – Plain white or neutral tiles offer an upscale look at a lower cost than decorative patterns.

Small accents – Minimize expensive mosaic or metal tiles to just a few accent strips.

Standard size & shape – Square or subway tiles require less cutting and waste than unusual shapes.

Low backsplash – Keeping the height under 4 inches saves over full wall installations.

DIY install – Tackle it yourself to avoid pro labor fees if you have the skills.

Provide your own materials – Supplying your own tile saves contractor markup costs.

Watch out for minimums – Contractors often have half day or daily minimum charges.

Request estimates – Get 3-5 estimates to compare quotes on pricing.

DIY Installation Cost Breakdown

If you’re up for a DIY challenge, here’s a look at typical material costs:


  • Ceramic or porcelain tile: $100 – $500
  • Natural stone tile: $200 – $2000
  • Glass/mosaic tile: $100 – $1000


  • Mortar – $20 – $50
  • Grout – $20 – $40
  • Trowels & mixing paddles – $15 – $30
  • Tile spacers – $10 – $20
  • Grout sealer – $15 – $30


  • Tile cutter rental – $50 per day
  • Tile nippers – $15 – $25
  • Level & measuring tools – $20 – $50
  • Buckets, sponges, safety gear – $20 – $50


  • Tile samples – $5 – $20
  • Thinset mortar – $15 – $50
  • Grout float & scrub pads – $15 – $30

Factor in another 10-20% extra for tile cuts, potential waste or breakage, tool purchases, and supplies like drop cloths, painter’s tape, and cleaning solutions.

Hiring a Professional Tile Installer

Typical professional installation costs are:

  • Tile setter hourly rate: $40 – $80 per hour
  • Minimum job requirement: Half day to full day
  • Total backsplash installation: Starts around $500 – $2000

Always get 3-5 quotes to compare rates. Costs vary based on your location, the tile company, and backsplash size. Many tile installers won’t take on jobs smaller than a certain minimum because prep and clean up time makes them not cost effective.

Be sure to get an itemized estimate, and review what is included. Some tilers charge extra for demolition, wall surface preparation, sealing, and job site clean up. Ask what their rates are for 1) materials 2) labor 3) other project charges.

Also clarify who is responsible for purchasing the tile and extras. Some contractors have wholesale accounts and prefer to supply materials directly – this may add around 30% markup onto tile costs however.

Get start and end dates, warranty terms, and a contract before work begins. Carefully vet tile company reviews and check the quality of past installations similar to yours so there are no surprises.

Backsplash Tile: Average Costs

Here’s a recap of typical costs for backsplash tile installation:

  • DIY Materials – $5 to $25 per sq. ft.
  • DIY Total Cost – $200 to $1500
  • Pro Installation – $10 to $50 per sq. ft
  • Pro Total Cost – $500 to $5000

As you budget for your project, remember that backsplash costs can vary widely. Get multiple estimates and average costs for your specific tile materials and installation size. With smart planning, great design, and skilled installation, you can create a stunning backsplash focal point that makes your kitchen or bath shine.

Factors That Impact the Overall Cost

Installing a new backsplash is a fun way to add personality and visual interest to your kitchen or bathroom. With so many tile options to choose from, it’s easy to get carried away with dreaming up dazzling designs!

But before picking out your perfect tiles, it’s essential to understand what factors impact the overall investment for a backsplash project. Careful planning and budgeting can help avoid surprise expenses down the road.

Here are the key considerations that determine the total installed cost when estimating your backsplash tile project:

Tile Material

The type of tile ultimately chosen – ceramic, porcelain, natural stone, glass, metal, or mosaic – has the biggest impact on material costs.

Ceramic and porcelain are the most budget friendly options at $2-$25 per square foot. White subway tile is a popular and versatile ceramic style.

Natural stone such as granite, marble, and travertine range from $15-$100+ per square foot. Great for a luxury look.

Glass, metal, and mosaic tiles offer gleaming, modern style but cost $20-$100+ per square foot installed.

Shop around to get price estimates on the specific tile material and style you want before setting a final budget.

Tile Size and Shape

Larger format tiles typically cost more per square foot compared to smaller mosaics or subway tiles. Intricate tile shapes like hexagons also usually cost more because they require more labor to install.

Sticking with basic squares, rectangles, or simple patterns helps reduce tile costs.

Amount of Decorative Accents

The more intricate the design, the higher the price tag. Using decorative tile trims or combining different colors, textures, and shapes increases both material and installation work compared to an all-white backsplash.

Minimize expensive decorative tiles to just the focal point or an accent strip to save costs.

Layout Complexity

A backsplash with a simple vertical or grid layout is the easiest and most affordable to install. Diagonal patterns, combining different size tiles, or shapes like circles require more tile cutting and careful alignment.

Stick with straightforward layouts and rectangular tile formats to reduce labor time and difficulty.

Grout Color

Neutral grout like white or gray blends in and doesn’t draw attention. Colored or contrasting grout makes a decor statement but can also double or triple the cost of grout materials.

Sticking with basic unsanded white grout keeps the budget in check.

Backsplash Height

A 4 inch tall backsplash strip right above countertops or sinks keeps costs at a minimum. Extending tile from countertop to ceiling for a full-height backsplash costs substantially more in tile and installation labor.

Decide the look you want vs the budget you have. Size does impact cost.

Installation Area Size

Bigger backsplashes mean you need more tile and time to complete the project. Measure the wall area(s) you want to tile and multiply by the cost per square foot of your tile.

Also factor about 10% extra for cuts and waste.

DIY vs Pro Install

Doing it yourself saves significantly on labor – but requires more time, tools, learning curve frustrations, and risks of a less professional looking result.

Hiring a qualified tile pro ensures expertise, speed, and quality workmanship.

Determine your skill level before deciding between DIY or professional installation.

Surface Preparation

What shape are the existing walls in? Any drywall repairs, holes to patch, paint removal, or debris clean up required before starting will add costs in time and materials for prep work.

Inspect the target area and account for any repairs needed in the project budget.

Keeping these key cost factors in mind while planning a backsplash installation will help estimate an accurate total budget. Set your expectations about what is affordable or may be out of reach.

Get multiple quotes, average costs of materials and pro labor, and price out options at different tile distributors. With proper planning and budgeting, you can install a backsplash you’ll love without blowing your kitchen or bath remodel budget.

Average Cost for Different Types of Tile

The costs of backsplash tiles span a wide range depending on the material and style you choose. From inexpensive to luxurious, here is an overview of typical price points for