How Much Is a Kitchen Backsplash?

A kitchen backsplash is an important design element that serves both functional and aesthetic purposes. It protects the walls from water damage, grease splatter, and other messes while also adding visual interest to your kitchen. But how much should you expect to spend on this key component? The cost of a backsplash can vary greatly based on the material, size of the project, and other factors. This comprehensive guide will provide a breakdown of backsplash costs to help you budget and plan for your kitchen remodel.

Material Costs

The material you choose for your backsplash will have a significant impact on the overall cost. Here is an overview of price ranges for some of the most popular backsplash materials:

Ceramic Tile

Cost: $5 – $25 per sq. ft. installed

Ceramic tile is one of the most common and affordable backsplash options. The price can range dramatically based on the type and quality of the tile. Simple white 3″ x 6″ subway tiles may cost as little as $5 per square foot. Handmade or mosaic tiles are more expensive at $15 to $25 per square foot installed.

Pros: Durable, easy to clean, wide range of styles and colors.

Cons: Grout lines can get dirty but are easy to refresh.

Glass Tile

Cost: $15 – $50 per sq. ft. installed

Made from glass pieces arranged in sheets or mesh-mounted mosaics, glass tile creates a shiny, sleek look. It comes in an endless array of colors from solid hues to metallic mosaic mixes. This versatility comes at a price though, with costs starting at $15 per square foot on the low end but going up to $50 per square foot for more intricate or handmade varieties.

Pros: Reflective surface, intricate designs, easy to clean.

Cons: Prone to cracking or chipping if hit. Grout can be harder to clean.

Natural Stone Tile

Cost: $40 – $100 per sq. ft. installed

Granite, marble, travertine, and other natural stone tiles make a sophisticated, high-end statement. The sky’s the limit on cost depending on the type and quality of the stone used. On the lower end, a 12″ x 12″ granite tile may run around $40 per square foot. For rarer stones like marble or travertine, be prepared to spend $70 to $100 per square foot installed.

Pros: Elegant natural patterns, various textures.

Cons: Natural variations in stone can make installations tricky. Porous materials need sealing.

Metal Tile

Cost: $10 – $75 per sq. ft. installed

Metal backsplashes offer sleek, contemporary appeal. Options range from affordable tin, aluminum or steel sheets for $10 to $25 per square foot up to more expensive stainless steel, copper, and brass tiles costing $50 to $75 per square foot.

Pros: Modern, industrial look. Durable and easy to clean.

Cons: Sensitive to scratches, dents, and heat damage. Metal can dent.

Mosaic Tile

Cost: $10 – $50 per sq. ft. installed

Mosaic tiles use small (1/4″ to 1″) pieces arranged in decorative patterns. This allows for immense design flexibility. Glass, ceramic, or stone mosaics typically run $15 to $50 per square foot installed. Mirror mosaics create unique reflections but are more expensive at $50+ per square foot.

Pros: Intricate, artistic designs. Reflective surface with mirror.

Cons: More grout lines to clean. Labor intensive installations.

Other Cost Factors

In addition to the backsplash material, the following factors will affect the total project cost:

  • Size of backsplash area: Measure the wall space from counter to cabinets to estimate square footage. Most backsplashes are 15-30 square feet. Larger kitchens or full wall installations will cost more.
  • Custom backsplash design: Custom mosaics, medallions, borders, shapes and patterns will increase costs due to design fees and labor.
  • Accent tiles or bands: Adding decorative listellos, trim pieces or other accent tiles boosts cost.
  • Professional installation: Hiring an experienced tile setter ensures proper installation but adds $5-$10 per square foot for labor. DIY is cheaper but imperfect for novices.
  • Grout and sealing: Grout, sealers, and cleaning solutions will add a few dollars per square foot. Epoxy grout is more expensive than traditional cement grout.
  • Other materials: Backerboard, thinset mortar, grout floats, spacers and other supplies average $150-$300 for most jobs. Rental fees for tile saws apply for DIY projects.

Cost to Install a Backsplash

Putting all the factors together, what is the typical total cost to install a new backsplash in a kitchen?

  • Ceramic tile backsplash install: $250 – $1000
  • Glass tile backsplash install: $500 – $1500
  • Mosaic tile backsplash install: $500 – $2000
  • Stone tile backsplash install: $1000 – $3000
  • Metal tile backsplash install: $500 – $2000

On average, expect to spend $40 to $100 per square foot for materials and professional installation. For a typical 10 sq. ft. backsplash, that puts the total cost in the range of $400 to $1000. High-end materials like natural stone, intricate mosaics, or large installations over 50 square feet can cost $2,000 to $5,000 or more.

The wide range gives you flexibility to find an option that fits your backsplash dreams while remaining within your kitchen remodel budget. Carefully calculating your exact square footage and material costs per square foot helps refine estimates.

Cost to Remove Existing Backsplash

If replacing an outdated existing backsplash, you’ll also need to factor in removal costs. This includes labor fees for safely scraping off the old backsplash and preparing the wall for new tile. Figure an average of $5 per square foot for demolition and prep work, more if there are multiple layers of tile or lots of adhesive and backing to clear. Proper disposal fees for hauling away old materials may also apply.

DIY Backsplash Installation vs Hiring a Pro

One way to cut costs is taking a DIY approach to installing your new backsplash. With proper planning, materials, tools and time, an experienced DIYer can install a backsplash for $200-$500 less than a professional job. Simple ceramic subway tile or peel-and-stick backsplash panels are relatively easy for novices. More intricate tile layouts, natural stone, or large installations are better left to the experts.

Be sure to account for backerboard, thinset, grout and tools you may need to rent or purchase. A professional backsplash installer typically includes all required materials and has the skills to handle tricky tile-cutting, achieve perfectly straight grout lines, and create a flawless finished look. The extra cost often pays off in longevity, efficiency and aesthetics.

How to Save Money on Your Backsplash Project

If your dream backsplash stretches your budget, there are ways to save:

  • Choose affordable tile material like ceramic, metal or glass instead of pricier stone.
  • Use simple colors, shapes and designs instead of intricate patterns or mosaics.
  • Install a smaller backsplash area. Full 4 foot high backsplashes cost more than standard 15-18 inch height above countertops.
  • DIY the demo of old backsplash and purchase materials yourself.
  • Watch for tile store sales or closeout/clearance tile discounts.
  • Use recycled or repurposed tiles for a unique eco-friendly style at lower cost.
  • Consider peel-and-stick backsplash panels which require no grout or tile work.
  • Choose standard rectangular subway tiles, which create less waste compared to intricate shaped or mosaic tiles.

Even on a limited budget, creative backsplash choices can elevate your kitchen’s style while protecting the walls. With some savvy planning and cost comparisons, you can achieve a beautiful, affordable kitchen backsplash design.

Factors that Impact Backsplash Cost

Many variables influence the total expense of a kitchen backsplash installation. Being aware of these cost factors helps you calculate an accurate budget and decide where to splurge vs. save.


The type of material sets the base price range for the project. Natural stone is most expensive, followed by handmade or mosaic tile, metal, glass, then standard ceramic as the most budget option. Mirror or foil mosaic tiles also cost more due to their intricate designs.

Size and Layout

The total square footage of your backsplash determines how much material you need to purchase. Standard backsplashes are 4 feet high by 2-5 feet long, or 15-30 square feet. Larger kitchens with backsplashes covering multiple walls or installed floor-to-ceiling can get up to 100 square feet or more. Complex layouts, diagonal patterns, niches and special shapes also increase labor time and waste material.

Tile Size and Thickness

Smaller tile sizes like mosaics take longer to install, increasing labor costs. Oversized tiles are trickier for DIY projects. Tile thickness ranges from 3mm mosaics up to 10-13mm natural stone. Thicker tiles are sturdier but weigh more and are harder to cut.

Grout vs Groutless

Groutless tiles feature spacer tabs that let you install without any grout lines. This creates a seamless look and eliminates extra steps of grouting. But groutless tile is more limited in material/color options and costs $2-4 more per square foot on average.

Decorative Accents

Adding tile inserts, borders, medallions or designs with accent tiles adds cost for the extra materials and labor time. Using more variety of colors/patterns also increases tile cuts and waste.

Delivery and Taxes

Have the tile and materials delivered to avoid pickup fees, gas and time. Delivery fees range $50-$150 depending on quantity. Sales tax adds another 7-10% in most states.

Labor Costs

Hiring professional tile installation typically starts around $5 per square foot, ranging $300-$1000 depending on project scope. Experienced installers ensure proper prep, precise cuts, and perfectly spaced tile layout. DIY is cheaper but imperfect for amateurs.

Demolition and Disposal

For replacing existing backsplash, factor $1-3 per square foot for demo plus $75-$200 haul-away disposal fees. Additional costs may apply for multiple layers, breaking through tough adhesives or asbestos removal.

By understanding what elements influence cost, you can budget accurately, prioritize the most important features, and find opportunities to save. With smart planning, you can design an elegant, affordable kitchen backsplash.

Cost of Backsplash Tile Per Square Foot by Type

Here is a detailed breakdown of the average per square foot costs of popular backsplash tile materials before installation:

| Material | Average Cost Per Square Foot|
| Ceramic Tile | $5 – $25 |
| Porcelain Tile | $8 – $35 |
| Glass Tile| $15 – $50 |
| Metal Tile | $10 – $75 |
| Mosaic Tile | $10 – $50 |
| Stone Tile | $40 – $100 |
| Mirror Tile | $50 – $100 |
| Peel-and-Stick Tile | $5 – $20 |

These prices reflect the common ranges, but costs can go higher or lower depending on factors like tile size, thickness, quality, brand, and source. For example, a high-end artisan ceramic tile may be priced at $50 per square foot, while a basic white subway tile can cost as little as $2 per square foot.

Installation costs will also depend on the complexity of the design and if you DIY or hire professional installation. On average, professional installation ranges $5-$10 per square foot.

This per square foot price guide makes it easy to estimate your total backsplash spend once you know the size of the area you want to cover. Measure your backsplash space height x width to find the square footage. Multiply by the price per square foot for your desired material to approximate the tile part of your budget. Add estimated installation costs to get the total project cost.

Knowing typical tile prices per square foot gives you a helpful benchmark to compare options and make an informed decision that fits both your design vision and budget for your kitchen backsplash project.

Should You Install the Backsplash Before or After New Countertops?

When renovating your kitchen, an important decision is choosing the ideal order for installing the backsplash and countertops. The sequence you choose can impact the final look, cost, and installation process. Here are some tips on whether to install the backsplash before or after new countertops:

Install Backsplash First


  • Allows countertop to be installed over backsplash for a seamless look
  • Backsplash can overlap edges of countertop to prevent gaps
  • Easier to achieve full height backsplashes up to ceiling


  • Harder to achieve tight fit between counter and backsplash
  • Backsplash has unfinished exposed edge where countertop will meet

Install Countertops First


  • Allows for tight precision fit between backsplash and countertop
  • Gives finished look to countertop edge with trim or laminate
  • Easier for templating and cutting countertops


  • More challenging to achieve full height backsplash
  • Gap may show between backsplash and countertop

Generally, it is best practice to install the countertops first, then cut and fit the backsplash for the most seamless look. But for full-height backsplashes, installing tile first allows you to run it uninterrupted from counter to ceiling before dropping in the countertop.

Discuss the ideal order with your contractor and use your backsplash design plans to decide the proper sequence for your kitchen remodel. The extra effort required for a polished finished look is worth the investment to get the details right.

Backsplash Ideas for White Cabinets

White kitchen cabinets create a light, airy feel and offer versatility for your backsplash design. Here are some stunning yet practical backsplash ideas to complement white cabinetry:

White Backsplash

A white subway tile, marble, or glass backsplash has a clean, neutral look. Pair with gray, black or wood countertops for contrast. White on white can feel sterile, so add warmth with natural texture like carved marble, veining, or pebbled glass tile.

Blue Backsplash

From soft sky blue to dramatic navy, blue backsplashes pop against white cabinets. Tiny mosaic tiles in multi-hue blue tones add interest. Anchor the blue with white grout lines. Metallic glass or stone tile in blue-greens or aquas shimmer.

Green Backsplash

Subtle green glass, marble, or ceramic tile bring in natural hues. Minty shades keep it fresh and pale. Deeper emerald greens make the cabinets stand out. Add texture and dimension with 3D tile or green mosaic patterns.

Wood Backsplash

Real or faux wood planks, whether whitewashed or natural, give contemporary rustic charm. Contrast white cabinets with deep walnut or driftwood gray wood. Use penny tile with white and wood colors to get the look while minimizing cost.

Black and White Backsplash

Classic black and white checkerboard tile screams retro diner chic. Or get the look with oversized graphic prints. Use sparingly against white cabinets to retain the light feel. Too much black can feel heavy.

Metal Backsplash

Stainless steel, nickel, or embossed tin tile lends an appliance-matching vibe, cast in sleek grays and silvers that complement white cabinetry. Warm it up with brass, bronze or copper metallic hues.

With a white cabinet foundation, you have lots of options to create a backsplash that awakens your inner artist with punches of color, texture, shape and sheen!

Types of Backsplashes for Kitchens

When choosing a backsplash, one of the first decisions is the type of material you want to use. Here is an overview of common kitchen backsplash tile options:

Ceramic: Classic, affordable option available in endless colors/styles from simple subway tile to artistic patterns. Durable, easy to clean.

Glass: Sleek, shiny glass backsplashes come in every hue. Smooth surface wipes clean easily. Prone to cracking if hit.

Metal: Durable, water-resistant metal backsplashes come in stainless steel, copper, nickel and more. Provides modern, industrial vibe.

Stone: Elegant backsplashes from granite, marble, travertine, and other natural stones. Provides upscale, luxe look but needs sealing.

Mosaic: Artistic designs using tiny 1/4” to 1” pieces of glass, ceramic, or stone tile. More grout but creates vibrant patterns.

Mirrored: Reflective mirrored glass or acrylic panels create unique dazzling visual effect. Needs careful cleaning.

Peel-and-Stick: Removable and reusable vinyl backsplash panels offer affordable, easy installation without grout or mess. Temporary solution.

Beyond these classic types, you can also find backsplashes made of unique materials like pennies, shells, beads, wood, fabric, corrugated metal, license plates, and more. The options are endless to create exactly the look you want! Determine your style, budget and needs to narrow down your backsplash tile decision.

How Does a Backsplash Work?

In addition to creating visual appeal, a backsplash serves important functional purposes in the kitchen:

Protects Walls

The backsplash takes daily wear and tear – splatters from cooking, cleaning, and food prep that would otherwise impact your wall paint or drywall. With an impermeable surface like glass or ceramic tile, messes wipe right off the backsplash instead of soaking into the walls.

Contains Spills

Spills and