How Much Is Backsplash Per Square Foot

Installing a backsplash in your kitchen or bathroom can add style, protect your walls, and make cleaning easier. When budgeting for a backsplash installation or remodel, one of the key factors is the cost per square foot of the backsplash materials. Prices can range widely, so it’s important to understand what impacts the total expense. Here is an overview of the cost factors, average prices, and tips for getting the best value on your backsplash project.

What Impacts the Cost of a Backsplash?

Several variables affect the total cost of a backsplash installation. The main factors are:

Backsplash Materials

The type of backsplash material is the biggest factor in cost per square foot. Materials like ceramic, porcelain, or glass tile can be very affordable, starting at $5 per square foot. Stone and mosaics cost more, from $15 to $50 per square foot. Specialty materials like metal or accent tiles can be $50 to $100+ per square foot.

Backsplash Size

The total size of your backsplash will determine the total cost. Measure the area carefully in square feet to budget accurately. Standard backsplash height is 4 inches, but you may opt for a full wall splash.


Tile installation labor typically adds $5 to $10 per square foot for materials and workmanship. Complex patterns or difficult layouts take more time and skill, increasing project costs.

Other Costs

Adhesives, grout, backerboard, trim, and sealing add incremental costs to the total project price. Expect to spend an extra $2 to $5 per square foot on these necessities.

Average Costs for Backsplash Materials

Here are typical price ranges for popular backsplash materials:

  • Ceramic tile: $5 to $20 per square foot
  • Porcelain tile: $5 to $30 per square foot
  • Glass tile: $15 to $50 per square foot
  • Stone tile: $15 to $50 per square foot
  • Mosaic tile: $15 to $50 per square foot
  • Metal tile: $50 to $100 per square foot
  • Accent tiles: $50+ per square foot

Ceramic or porcelain tiles offer an affordable option starting around $5 per square foot. Simple installation keeps labor costs low as well. Stone, glass, and mosaic tiles range from $15 to $50 per square foot depending on the materials and complexity. Metal or specialty tiles cost $50+ per square foot.

Cost of Installation by a Pro

Hiring a professional tile installer for a backsplash typically costs:

  • Ceramic or porcelain tile installation: $10 to $20 per square foot
  • Glass or stone tile installation: $20 to $35 per square foot
  • Mosaic or metal tile installation: $35+ per square foot

A simple ceramic tile backsplash installed by a pro may total $15 to $25 per square foot for materials and labor. More complex designs in stone, glass, or metal tiles installed by an expert generally range from $30 to $75+ per square foot.

DIY Backsplash Cost

For a DIY backsplash using affordable tile and basic layout, total costs may range from:

  • DIY ceramic tile backsplash: $10 to $15 per square foot
  • DIY glass tile backsplash: $20 to $30 per square foot

The biggest cost savings from a DIY project come from avoiding labor fees. The downside is taking on the work yourself, increased material costs from mistakes, and potentially slower progress. Consider your skill level before deciding between DIY or pro installation.

Tips for Saving on Backsplash Costs

Here are some ideas to get a great looking backsplash and maximize value:

  • Use affordable ceramic, porcelain, or faux tiles that emulate pricier materials
  • Select smaller accent tiles instead of full wall coverage in premium materials
  • Install a backsplash yourself if you have tiling experience
  • Choose simple layouts and materials that are easy to install
  • Use backsplash edge trim rather than bullnose tiles to save on labor
  • Purchase tile and supplies directly from wholesalers instead of retail markup
  • Compare quotes from at least 3 contractors to find the best deal

The Bottom Line

The typical cost of a kitchen or bathroom backsplash ranges from $10 to $50 per square foot, with the specific material and complexity being the largest factors. With smart design choices and shopping around, you can find an attractive backsplash solution at a reasonable price. Calculating your total square footage and budgeting about $15 to $25 per square foot for install will give you an accurate estimate. This allows you to get the backsplash design you want while staying on budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a 10×10 backsplash cost?

For a 10×10 backsplash (100 square feet), the total costs generally range from $1000 to $2500. Simple ceramic tile would be around $1000, while premium glass or mosaic backsplash may be $2000 to $2500.

How much does backsplash installation cost per hour?

The labor rate for backsplash installation is typically $50 to $100 per hour. The total time required depends on the size of the job and complexity of the design. Simple tile layouts may take 5-10 hours, while intricate patterns could take 15-25+ hours.

Is backsplash cheaper than full wall tile?

Yes, backsplash is generally cheaper than full wall tile since it requires less material and labor. Standard 4 inch backsplash with budget tile may be $5 to $10 per square foot. Full wall tiles often cost $10 to $20+ per square foot installed.

What is the most cost effective backsplash?

The most cost effective backsplash is typically ceramic, porcelain or faux tiles. These affordable materials start around $5 per square foot. Quick installation also helps reduce labor costs compared to more complex tile layouts.

Can you put backsplash over existing tile?

In some cases it’s possible to install a backsplash over existing backsplash or tile. The old surface must be well attached, clean, and provide an appropriate base for the new backsplash to adhere to. Extra work is required to prepare the surface.


The cost per square foot of a backsplash can range from economical to extravagant depending on your choices. With average prices between $15 and $25 per square foot installed, it’s possible to get a gorgeous new backsplash that protects your walls and adds personality to your space. Carefully calculating your total size requirements, evaluating material options, and finding professional installers will allow you to design the perfect backsplash within your budget.