How Much Does It Cost to Tile a Kitchen Backsplash?

Tiling your kitchen backsplash can completely transform the look and feel of your kitchen. However, like most home improvement projects, installing a tile backsplash comes with a cost. Here is a detailed overview of the factors that influence the cost of tiling a kitchen backsplash so you can budget accordingly.

Estimating Your Backsplash Tiling Costs

The cost of tiling a backsplash in your kitchen can range quite a bit based on the size of your backsplash area, the tiles you choose, and any special installation requirements. On average, expect to spend $500 to $2,500 to tile a standard kitchen backsplash. Here are some of the main factors that affect the cost:

Size of the Backsplash Area

The size of your backsplash area is one of the biggest factors in determining price. Smaller kitchens under 150 square feet may cost around $500 to $1,000 to tile the backsplash. Medium to large kitchens around 150 to 400 square feet have backsplash tiling costs of $1,000 to $2,000 on average.

Measure the backsplash area in your kitchen to estimate the square footage you need to cover. This will give you a baseline for comparing contractor quotes.

Type of Tile

Tile prices per square foot range drastically from $2 to $50 or more. Simple ceramic subway tiles on the low end are an economical option. Stone tiles like marble, granite, or slate are more expensive choices. Mosaic tiles also cost more due to their intricate patterns.

The material, size, finish, and style of your tile all impact the tile costs per square foot. Be sure to factor this into your budget. More detailed or high-end tiles raise the overall project costs.

Labor Costs

In addition to tile and materials, you also need to account for installation labor costs. Contractors typically charge $5 to $10 per square foot for basic tile installation. Complex patterns, specialty tiles, or large format tiles may cost more to install.

Be sure to get an itemized quote of material costs and estimated labor hours to have a clear breakdown of what is included. Most pros estimate backsplash installation takes 16 to 24 labor hours.

Backsplash Design

The complexity of your backsplash design also affects the cost. A basic straight brick pattern using standard subway tiles is the most affordable option. Intricate patterns, angled designs, border details, and accent tiles add to the overall costs.

If your backsplash tiles extend to cover an entire wall rather than just a contained backsplash area, that will also increase the price of materials and installation.

Additional Costs

Other factors that can increase your tiling expenses include:

  • Specialty grout or sealants: $100 to $200
  • Niche cutouts for outlets: $50 to $100 per niche
  • Decorative border or trim tiles: $10 to $20 per linear foot
  • Removal of old backsplash: $150 to $300
  • Backsplash lighting installation: $200 to $500

Be sure to discuss any special features you want included so you can get an accurate estimate.

DIY vs Hiring a Pro

Installing a tile backsplash yourself can save thousands compared to hiring a professional. However, it requires advanced DIY skills, tools, and a significant time investment. Be sure to factor the hassle and learning curve if taking on a backsplash tiling project as a DIY homeowner.

The cost to hire a general contractor for a day ranges from $500 to $800 on average. Tiling contractors may charge around $50 per hour. With 16 to 24 hours of work estimated, professional installation costs are $800 to $1,200 for basic jobs. Highly complex backsplash designs could be $2,000 or more for a contractor to install.

Key Price Factors to Recap

The main factors that influence the total costs for tiling a kitchen backsplash include:

  • Size of the backsplash area (square footage)
  • Type of tile material and style
  • Overall tile design complexity
  • Labor for installation
  • Any additional features like lighting or niches

Measuring your backsplash area and outlining your tile preferences will allow contractors to provide the most accurate quotes possible. Be sure to get at least three quotes to compare rates.

With the right preparation and budgeting, you can install a gorgeous new backsplash that puts the perfect finishing touch on your kitchen. Carefully weighing the factors that impact costs will help you stay on budget for your project.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to tile a small kitchen backsplash?

For a small kitchen backsplash under 150 square feet, expect to pay $500 to $1,000 for tile materials, adhesive, grout and professional installation.

What is the cheapest way to do a kitchen backsplash?

The most budget-friendly backsplash option is using simple and affordable ceramic subway tiles in a straight stacked pattern. DIY installation can also reduce costs significantly.

How much does it cost to tile a backsplash yourself?

If you install the backsplash tile yourself, costs for a mid-sized 150 square foot backsplash average $300 to $700 for tiles, tools, adhesive, grout and sealant.

Should I get a professional to install my backsplash?

For complex patterns or large format tiles, hiring a pro can ensure a quality finished product. For simple subway tile layouts, DIY provides cost savings if you have the skills.

How long does it take to install a kitchen backsplash?

A professional installer will typically complete a mid-sized kitchen backsplash in 1 to 2 days. DIY installation may take 2 to 4 days for an inexperienced homeowner.


Installing a kitchen backsplash tile transforms the look of your space with style and visual interest. Carefully calculating your backsplash tiling budget ensures you can move forward with the best project plan. With average costs ranging $500 to $2,500, depending on size, materials, and professional vs DIY installation, you can create the kitchen backsplash design that fits both your vision and your budget.