How Much Is Backsplash for Kitchen? A Detailed Overview

Adding a backsplash to your kitchen can completely transform the look and feel of the space. But before installing a stylish new backsplash, it’s important to understand how much it will cost. The price of a kitchen backsplash can vary widely depending on the materials, size of the area being covered, and labor involved in the installation. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the key factors that impact backsplash costs and provide typical price ranges so you can budget for your kitchen remodel.

Backsplash Material Costs

The material you choose for your backsplash will be the biggest driver of cost. Here’s an overview of price ranges for popular kitchen backsplash materials:

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is one of the most common and affordable backsplash options. The price for ceramic tile ranges from $5 to $15 per square foot installed. Factors like tile size, texture, and color patterns can push the price up or down within that range. Simpler subway-style tiles tend to be at the lower end, while hand-painted ceramic tiles can cost up to $50 per square foot.

Glass Tile

Glass backsplash tile ranges from $15 to $50 per square foot installed. This wide range covers everything from basic glass subway tiles to opulent designer or custom-cut glass tile. Expect to pay around $20 to $30 per square foot for a nice mid-range glass tile material. The style you choose makes a big difference in glass tile pricing.

Stone Tile

Natural stone tile like marble, travertine, granite, and slate have an installed cost of $40 to $100 per square foot. The specific stone type and quality greatly impact costs for stone backsplash tile. A high-end marble or travertine tile can cost $70 to $100 per square foot. But a basic slate or limestone tile may only run you $40 to $60 per square foot installed.

Metal Tile

Metal tiles made from materials like stainless steel, copper, and aluminum make a dramatic style statement. The installed cost for metal backsplash tile is $30 to $150 per square foot. Brushed stainless steel tiles are at the lower end around $30 to $50 per square foot. Handcrafted copper or zinc penny tiles can hit $100 to $150 per square foot.

Mosaic Tile

Mosaic tiles use small individual tile pieces to create patterns and images. Mosaic backsplash tile costs $5 to $50 per square foot depending on the tile material and intricacy of the design. Simple ceramic mosaic tiles cost less. Stone, glass, or metal mosaic backsplash designs run on the higher end of the range.

Brick Backsplash

A brick backsplash has an installed cost of $10 to $20 per square foot. Reclaimed bricks are at the lower end around $10 per square foot. New brick veneer tiles designed for backsplash use cost closer to $15 to $20 per square foot installed. Keep in mind that labor costs for cutting and laying the brick pieces also adds to the total project cost.

Wood Backsplash

Wood paneling or planks make for a warm, natural looking backsplash. But solid wood is prone to water damage in the kitchen. Moisture-resistant woods like teak are best for backsplashes. Expect to pay $30 to $100 per square foot installed for high-quality wood backsplash materials.

Mirror Backsplash

Mirror backsplashes have an installed cost of approximately $50 to $200 per square foot. On the low end, you have acrylic mirror panels around $50 per square foot. Custom-cut glass mirrors with intricate styles and beveled edges can run $150 to $200 per square foot installed.

Metal Backsplash

Stainless steel, copper, zinc and other metals also come in backsplash panels beyond just tile. Metal backsplash panels cost $50 to $200 per square foot installed. Brushed stainless steel sheets are most affordable around $50 per square foot. Pricey solid copper backsplashes can hit $200 per square foot.

Factors That Impact Total Backsplash Cost

In addition the material costs, several other factors also affect your total backsplash installation costs including:

Size of the Backsplash Area – The overall size of the space you need to cover makes a significant difference in the total project cost. Covering 100 square feet with top-of-the-line custom tile will obviously cost a lot more than 50 square feet of basic subway tile. Measure the overall area that will be covered by your backsplash when budgeting.

Backsplash Design – More intricate backsplash designs require more cutting and custom fitting of tiles during installation which drives up labor costs. Large format tiles are quicker and easier for installers than small mosaics or penny tiles so they tend to cost less.

Accent Areas – Adding specialty materials like decorative listellos, borders, or geometric designs as accents makes the project more complex and adds to cost.

Niche and Outlet Cutouts – Any niches for storing spices or outlets that need to be worked around also increase installation time and labor rates.

Permits – Your local building department may require an electrical or plumbing permit for some backsplash installations, adding $100 to $200 in fees.

Removal and Disposal – If this is a backsplash replacement project, demolishing and disposing of the old backsplash adds cost.

Additional Materials – Don’t forget to account for necessary backsplash installation materials like grout, mortar, adhesive, trim pieces and sealant when budgeting.

Typical Cost Ranges by Backsplash Size

Here are typical installed cost estimates for some common backsplash sizes using mid-range tile materials:

  • 8′ x 4′ Backsplash Area – Approximately $500 to $700
  • 10′ x 4′ Backsplash Area – Approximately $700 to $900
  • Full 4′ x 8′ Wall Backsplash – Approximately $1,000 to $1,400
  • Full Room Backsplash (e.g. 15′ x 8′) – $2,000 to $4,000

Of course, material choices make a big difference. A basic ceramic subway tile backsplash as low as $5 per square foot can cut these estimates significantly. Choosing expensive handmade tiles at $50+ per square foot pushes them much higher.

Backsplash Labor Costs

In addition to material costs, labor makes up a significant portion of your total backsplash installation price. Contractor labor rates for backsplash installation typically run $50 to $100 per hour. The overall time required depends on the factors noted earlier like backsplash layout, niche cutouts, permitting, and demo of an existing backsplash.

Simple installations may only take 5 hours for a professional contractor to complete. More complex backsplash projects can take 15 hours or more of labor. This wide range of potential labor hours combined with the hourly labor rate is why it’s so important to get contractor quotes for your specific backsplash project.

Should I Install a Backsplash Myself?

With the right skills and tools, an experienced DIYer can tackle a tile backsplash install and save substantially on labor costs. But beginners should think twice before taking on a kitchen backsplash as their first tiling project. Messing up the installation or accidentally cracking your new tiles can end up costing more in wasted materials and starting over.

If you want to DIY your backsplash, limit yourself to simple layouts with large format tile and watch tutorial videos to learn the process before beginning. Also account for the cost of tile cutting tools and adhesive you’ll need to buy or rent.

Tips for Reducing Your Backsplash Cost

If your backsplash budget is limited, here are some great ways to cut costs:

  • Choose simple rectangular ceramic subway tiles rather than intricate patterns or natural stone.
  • Install the tiles in a stacked straight layout rather than a decorative angle or herringbone pattern.
  • Use white grout instead of colored grout which requires more cleanup.
  • Limit your backsplash space to just the area behind appliances/sink instead of full walls.
  • Do a partial height backsplash that goes 2 feet up instead of to the cabinets.
  • Use paint or wallpaper for easy affordable areas like side or tall walls.
  • Install the backsplash yourself if you have strong DIY skills.
  • Shop sales and discount tile outlets for deals on quality tile.

Backsplash Cost FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about backsplash installation costs:

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

For a typical small 4′ by 5′ bathroom backsplash, expect to pay $500 to $1,000 depending on materials. Simple white subway tile could cost as little as $400.

What is the typical cost for a full kitchen backsplash?

A full backsplash covering all walls from counter to cabinets in a 10′ by 10′ kitchen usually runs $1,500 to $3,000 installed depending on tile choices.

Is it cheaper to do backsplash tile horizontal or vertical?

Stacking tiles vertically often costs less. It takes less time to cut and install vertically stacked rectangular subway tiles than horizontally laid tiles.

Can I install backsplash tile over existing tile?

Yes, tile can be installed over existing backsplash tile if the old tile is in good condition. This saves demolition costs but does make the new tiles slightly thicker.

What backsplash tile is cheapest?

Ceramic subway tiles between $5-$10 per square foot are the most budget friendly backsplash option. White 3×6 or 4×4 inch subway tiles keep costs lower than decorative or oversized tiles.

Get Quotes from Local Backsplash Pros

While this guide provides overall estimates for backsplash installation costs, prices can vary significantly by region and contractor rates. Be sure to get several quotes for your specific backsplash size and materials before making a final decision. Most tile installers offer free estimates. This allows you to compare rates and find the best value installer to transform your kitchen within your planned backsplash budget.

How Much Is Backsplash for Kitchen: Key Takeaways

  • Backsplash material costs range from $5 to $200 per square foot installed
  • Stone, metal, glass and mosaic tiles are on the pricier end while ceramic and brick are budget friendly
  • Basic subway tile backsplash installations start around $500 for a 8′ x 4′ area
  • Full kitchen backsplash installs typically run $1500 to $4000 depending on size
  • Labor makes up a significant portion of cost, around $50 to $100 per installation hour
  • Simple installs and materials keep costs lower