How Much is Backsplash Tile per Square Foot?

Installing a backsplash in your kitchen or bathroom can greatly enhance the look and feel of the space. But before starting a project, it’s important to budget properly and understand the costs involved – especially how much the tile itself will cost. Here’s an in-depth look at what goes into pricing backsplash tile on a per square foot basis.

What Influences Backsplash Tile Pricing?

Several key factors affect how much backsplash tile costs per square foot:

Tile Material

Porcelain, ceramic, glass, marble, and other backsplash tile materials all have vastly different price points. For example:

  • Ceramic tile: $1 – $10 per square foot
  • Porcelain tile: $2 – $20 per square foot
  • Marble tile: $15 – $40 per square foot
  • Glass tile: $10 – $30 per square foot

The material you choose has a big impact on the total project cost.

Tile Finish and Style

Backsplash tiles come in different finishes (glossy, matte, textured) and styles (subway, mosaic, large format). Unique or ornate designs are typically more expensive.

Tile Size

Larger tiles mean lower cost per square foot. Small mosaics and subway tiles have a higher price point for the amount of material.

Tile Brand

Premium, high-end tile brands generally cost more than value or budget options. Shop around among brands to find the right balance of quality and price.


Custom or specialty tiles (like handmade, bespoke designs) have a much higher per square foot cost than mass-produced options.

Labor Costs

In addition to materials, you’ll need to account for installation costs. Many tile installers charge per square foot for the labor.

Average Costs: Backsplash Tile Per Square Foot

With all those factors considered, the national average cost for backsplash tile falls in the $5 – $15 per square foot range. Here’s a look at typical prices based on popular kitchen backsplash tile materials:

  • Ceramic subway tile: $5 per square foot
  • Porcelain mosaic tile: $7 – $12 per square foot
  • Marble tile: $15 – $30 per square foot
  • Glass tile: $10 – $20 per square foot

Those are just averages, not firm quotes. The per square foot cost can easily be higher or lower for your specific tile type, size, and style.

Be sure to get detailed quotes from tile suppliers before deciding on a final backsplash design. Let them know your desired tile, the total square footage needed, and any customization needs.

Calculating Total Backsplash Costs

To estimate the total backsplash cost, simply multiply the per square foot price by the total number of square feet you need to cover.

For example:

  • Porcelain mosaic at $10 per sq ft
  • Backsplash area = 25 sq ft
  • Total estimated cost = $10 x 25 sq ft = $250

Don’t forget to add the installation charges on top of the tile materials cost. Get quotes from experienced tile installers prior to purchasing the tile.

Tips for Lowering Backsplash Tile Costs

Looking to cut backsplash costs? Here are some smart tips:

  • Choose affordable tile materials like ceramic
  • Use a simple subway or brick pattern, not ornate mosaics
  • Opt for large, easy-to-install tile sizes
  • Shop sales and clearance sections for deals
  • DIY installation if you have tiling experience
  • Use backsplash only where needed, not full wall
  • Stick with solid backsplash color, not multi-tiles

Even small changes like going with 6″x6″ instead of 4″x4″ tile can make a noticeable difference in per square foot pricing.

Is the Investment Worth It?

Backsplash tile can be an expensive kitchen or bath upgrade, but the boost in visual appeal, style, and functionality makes it a worthwhile investment for most homeowners.

The key is keeping costs reasonable by shopping smart. Always get multiple quotes, look for sales and discounts, and balance your design desires with your budget.

With careful planning and an understanding of all the factors involved, you can have stunning backsplash tile at a per square foot price that fits your project budget and vision. Enjoy the process of selecting beautiful, creative designs that will make your space shine.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Q: What’s the typical range I can expect to pay for backsplash tile per square foot?

A: Most backsplash tiles fall in the $5 to $15 per square foot range, but costs vary widely based on the material, style, brand, and other factors. Simple ceramic subway tiles can be as low as $1 per square foot while custom marble mosaics can be $40+ per square foot.

Q: How can I calculate the total cost for my backsplash project?

A: Take the per square foot price and multiply it by the total number of square feet you need to cover. So if your backsplash area is 25 sq ft and the tile costs $10 per sq ft, the estimated total is $10 x 25 = $250.

Q: What are some ways to lower the per square foot cost?

A: Opt for affordable materials like ceramic, choose large format tiles over mosaics, look for sales and clearance deals, install it yourself if experienced, and only use backsplash where needed rather than a full wall.

Q: Should I splurge on expensive designer backsplash tiles?

A: The higher per square foot cost of premium backsplash tiles may be worthwhile for some homeowners that want a true focal point. But you can still get great visual impact from cheaper tile with a bold color, unique pattern, or mosaic design.

Q: How much does labor factor into the total backsplash installation cost?

A: Tile installers often charge per square foot for labor, so factor this into the total project cost. Get quotes from experienced tile contractors before purchasing materials. DIY is an option if you’re comfortable tiling.


When budgeting for a new backsplash, understanding how much tile costs per square foot is key. Prices typically range from $5-$15 per square foot depending on the material, size, style and other factors. Carefully compare quotes, look for ways to save through strategic design decisions, and weight the benefits of higher-end tiles vs. more budget options. With some planning, you can install a stunning, cost-effective backsplash that perfectly suits your space.