How Much Is Backsplash?

Backsplash is an integral part of any kitchen design. It serves both functional and decorative purposes. Functionally, a backsplash protects the walls from water damage, stains, and splatters. Decoratively, it brings color, texture, and visual interest to the kitchen. When planning a new kitchen or renovating an existing one, the backsplash is an important element to consider from cost, design, and installation perspectives. Here is a comprehensive guide on how much backsplash costs, factors affecting the price, and ways to save on this key kitchen feature.

What Is Backsplash?

A backsplash is a protective surface installed on the wall behind a countertop, stove, or sink. It is designed to take the brunt of water, oil, and food splatter that occurs in these high-traffic areas. The terms backsplash, splashback, and wall tiles are sometimes used interchangeably.

Backsplash serves several purposes:

  • Protect the Walls: Backsplash prevents moisture from seeping into and damaging drywall. It also saves painted walls from stains, grease buildup, and repeated scrubbings.
  • Easier to Clean: Backsplash is installed over water-resistant materials like cement board or water-resistant drywall. This makes it easier to wipe away messes versus drywall that can absorb stains. The smooth surface also deters grime buildup.
  • Visual Appeal: Backsplashes introduce color, texture, and patterns to the kitchen. They can complement your countertops, cabinets, and overall design scheme.
  • Increase Resale Value: An updated, attractive backsplash improves kitchen aesthetics. For home sellers, this can boost a home’s resale value.

Backsplash height standards are:

  • 4 to 6 inches above the countertop for a standard backsplash
  • 18 to 24 inches for a full-height backsplash
  • Extended height that goes all the way to the bottom of wall cabinets for a luxury, designer look

Backsplash Cost Per Square Foot

Backsplash prices per square foot range from $10 to $50+ depending on the material:

  • Ceramic tiles: $5 to $20 per square foot installed
  • Glass tiles: $15 to $30 per square foot installed
  • Stone tiles: $40 to $100+ per square foot installed
  • Stainless steel: $35 to $75 per square foot installed
  • Peel-and-stick: $10 to $20 per square foot (DIY installation)

Other materials like quartz, wood, mirrored, or mosaic tiles fall within the $15 to $50 per square foot installed range.

The total cost of your backsplash depends on:

  • Backsplash material type
  • Tile size – smaller mosaic tiles cost more in labor
  • Tile shape – irregular tiles with angled cuts are pricier
  • Grout style – contrasting grout increases labor time
  • Pattern complexity – intricate designs take longer to install
  • Labor/installation rates in your area
  • Contractor experience and specialization

Factors That Determine Backsplash Cost

Several variables affect the total backsplash installation cost for your kitchen:

Tile Material

Porcelain, ceramic, glass, stone, metal, and other tile materials have huge price differences. For example, ceramic subway tiles may cost $5 per square foot while marble tiles can be $100+ per square foot. Tile material is the number one cost factor.

Tile Size & Shape

Smaller tiles, complex patterns, and uniquely shaped tiles require more cutting and intricate installation. This drives up the price per square foot, especially in labor fees. Larger rectangular tiles are the most budget-friendly shape.

Amount of Tiled Area

Total square footage of the backsplashed area greatly impacts overall project costs. Only tiling behind the stove may be 50 square feet while a full backsplash can be over 100 square feet. Measure wall dimensions carefully during planning.

Layout & Design

Intricate backsplash designs require meticulous tile-cutting and placement. This demands more time and skill to install, increasing labor costs. Simple patterns or solid backsplash surfaces are the most affordable route.

Grout Style

Grout fills the gaps between tiles. Contrasting grout colors are visually striking but require extra time and precision to place. Matching the grout color to your tiles results in faster installation.


Design extras like decorative tile inserts, borders, niche shelves, lighting, or trimwork add costs. Factor these into your budget if your design includes special backsplash accents.


Tile installer rates range from $40 to $100 per hour based on skill level, experience, and location. Complex projects and smaller tile sizes result in more installation hours. DIY backsplashes using peel-and-stick tiles require no labor fees.

Geographic Location

Like all home renovation pricing, backsplash costs are tied to your ZIP code. Labor, materials, and contractors cost more in some regions. Get multiple estimates from local professionals.

When calculating total backsplash costs, note that most professional quotes cover: tile purchase, adhesive/grout, tile edging and trim, installation labor, and cleanup fees. Miscellaneous supplies, new lighting fixtures, electrical/gas work, drywall repair, or cabinet modifications would be additional.

Factors That Increase Backsplash Costs

Several backsplash options can upgrade the overall style but also raise the price point. Consider the following factors when establishing your backsplash budget:

  • Full Backsplash Height – Extending tiles from counter to ceiling costs more in tile purchase and labor than a standard height backsplash.
  • Mosaic Tiles – Tiles under 2” square add artistic appeal. However, small tile size equates to more grout lines and increased installation time.
  • Intricate Designs – Elaborate backsplash layouts require meticulous alignment during installation. Simple patterns are most budget-friendly.
  • Contrasting Grout – Visually striking dark or light grout calls for careful tile placement and cleanup. Matching grout color is faster to install.
  • Natural Stone Tiles – Marble, travertine, slate and granite tiles elevate kitchen luxury. But come with a higher price tag than ceramic or porcelain.
  • Metallic Tiles – Stainless steel, copper, and tin backsplash tiles carry unique aesthetic appeal. Material costs for metal tiles are on the pricier end.
  • Professional Installation – Hiring a qualified tile pro ensures proper installation but costs more than a DIY backsplash.
  • Accessories – Adding decorative tile inserts, glass/stone accents, niche shelves or lighting fixtures upgrades the design but also ups the budget.

How To Save on Backsplash Costs

For budget-conscious homeowners, here are smart tips to cut backsplash costs:

Select affordable tile materials – Prioritize ceramic, porcelain, glass, and peel-and-stick tiles which offer the best value per square foot costs.

Choose larger tile sizes – Oversized tile formats like 4×12” subway tiles minimize grout lines and minimize installation labor.

Pick simple tile shapes – Square or rectangular tiles are budget-savvy. Intricate tile shapes must be carefully cut and placed, increasing project costs.

Opt for low-contrast grout – Matching your grout color to the tile looks seamless and affordable. Skip bold grout contrasts which inflate installation effort and price.

Install at standard height – Limit backsplash height to 4-6 inches above countertops rather than extending to the ceiling.

Do a DIY installation – For simple designs using peel-and-stick tile, a DIY backsplash can greatly reduce costs. Watch online tutorials.

Shop sales and closeouts – Check home improvement stores for backsplash tile sales or discontinued color/style discounts to score savings.

Buy tile & accessories separately – Purchasing tile, grout, trimwork, and other materials on your own can be cheaper than bundled contractor quotes.

Average Cost To Install Backsplash By Type

Here are typical per square foot costs, including materials and professional labor fees, for popular backsplash tile types:

  • Ceramic tile backsplash installed – $10 to $20 per square foot
  • Porcelain tile backsplash installed – $15 to $25 per square foot
  • Glass tile backsplash installed – $20 to $30 per square foot
  • Metal tile backsplash installed – $30 to $70 per square foot
  • Stone tile backsplash installed – $40 to $100+ per square foot
  • Peel-and-stick backsplash (DIY install) – $10 to $20 per square foot

Based on your design plans, use the low and high end costs to estimate how much you can expect to budget for your backsplash installation project. Be sure to get itemized quotes from at least 3 local contractors.

Backsplash Installation Cost Estimator

Use the calculator below to estimate the cost of a professionally installed backsplash based on your kitchen’s dimensions:

  • Enter wall length in feet
  • Enter wall height in feet (4 ft for standard backsplash)
  • Select material type
  • Output displays total estimated cost

Cost Calculator Results:

  • Total backsplash square footage: {sq. footage based on wall inputs}
  • Average cost per square foot: {avg. cost based on material selection}
  • Total estimated installation cost: {total estimated cost based on sq. footage x per sq. ft. cost}

This provides a preliminary estimate, but be sure to get quotes from contractors to establish exact project costs.

Cost To Install Backsplash By Room

Beyond the main kitchen backsplash area, additional rooms warrant backsplash protection too. Here are estimated costs for common backsplash project sizes:

Kitchen Backsplash Cost

The kitchen is where most homeowners install backsplash. Average costs include:

  • Kitchen backsplash behind stove only (25 sq. ft.) – $250 to $500
  • Kitchen backsplash behind sink & counters (50 sq. ft.) – $500 to $1,000
  • Full kitchen backsplash install (100 sq. ft.)- $1,000 to $2,000+

Accenting small areas like behind the range or sink keeps costs on the low end of the price spectrum. Splurging for full backsplash height and intricate designs increases the overall budget.

Bathroom Backsplash Cost

In bathrooms, tiled backsplashes help guard against moisture damage. Typical bathroom backsplash costs:

  • Small bathroom backsplash behind sink (10 sq. ft.) – $100 to $200
  • Large bathroom backsplash behind tub & vanity (30 sq. ft.) – $300 to $600

Focus backsplash tile placement wherever plumbing fixtures, sinks, tubs, and showers exist. Size the backsplash area and quotes according to your bathroom’s specific layout.

Laundry/Utility Room Backsplash Cost

Like kitchens, utility spaces see plenty of messes and moisture. Backsplash here prevents stains on painted drywall and deters mold growth. General laundry room backsplash installation costs:

  • Small laundry backsplash behind sink/washer (25 sq. ft.) – $250 to $500
  • Full laundry backsplash install (50+ sq. ft.) – $500 to $1,000

For laundry and mud rooms, evaluate which walls receive the most splatter and moisture when determining your backsplash square footage needs.

Backsplash Maintenance & Repair Costs

Even durable backsplash materials like ceramic tile require occasional maintenance, repairs, or replacements over time. Typical lifespan of backsplash tiles is 10 to 25 years.

Schedule proactive backsplash cleaning every 1 to 2 years to keep surfaces free of grime buildup. Annual grout sealing will help prevent cracking and staining. Watch for loose or damaged tiles and repair immediately to prevent moisture issues.

When your backsplash eventually needs a refresh, here are estimated costs:

  • Backsplash deep cleaning service – $200 to $400
  • Regrout backsplash – $250 to $400
  • Backsplash tile repairs (per hour) – $65 to $85
  • Complete backsplash tile replacement (per square foot) – $10 to $50

Routine maintenance keeps your backsplash looking fresh and reduces the need for pricey remodeling. Some materials like peel-and-stick tiles may require more frequent replacement than tile or metal backsplashes.

Backsplash: DIY vs Professional Installation

Is it worthwhile to tackle backsplash as a DIY weekend project or leave it to the pros? Here’s a look at the costs and considerations:

DIY Backsplash Installation

For skilled DIYers, a small-scale backsplash using peel-and-stick tiles offers an affordable project option.


  • No labor costs
  • Fun weekend upgrade project
  • Peel-and-stick is beginner-friendly


  • Tile cutting still required for outlet openings
  • Gaps visible if tiles not aligned well
  • Limitations for intricate designs
  • DIY mistakes can lead to moisture issues

Cost to DIY: Approximately $100 to $300 for most small backsplash areas

Professional Backsplash Installation

Hiring a backsplash contractor ensures your project is done right but comes with added costs.


  • Expertise for all materials and designs
  • Proper prep and installation
  • Higher quality result
  • Warranties on workmanship


  • Labor fees increase project costs
  • Contractor availability may be limited

Cost for professional install: Approximately $250 to $2,000+ based on size and materials

Evaluate your skill level, budget, and design plans to decide between DIY or contracted backsplash installation. For complex designs or expensive tile choices, a professional’s expertise pays off.

New Backsplash Or Refinish Existing?

Is your old backsplash still structurally intact but showing its age? Some homeowners opt to refresh or replace only portions rather than doing a full backsplash demolition and reinstallation. Here’s an overview of your options:

Professional Backsplash Cleaning

For tile backsplashes that just need a deep clean, hiring a tile & grout cleaning service can restore surfaces to like-new condition. Cost: $200 to $400

Backsplash Regrouting

If the grout lines have become cracked, dingy or mildewed, you may need new grout. A handyman can regrout your existing backsplash for $250 to $400.

Backsplash Tile Repairs

For minor damage like cracked or missing pieces, tiles can be repaired or replaced as spot fixes. Typical handyman rate: $65 to $85 per hour.

Partial Backsplash Update

If only portions are dated or damaged, targeted refreshes offer cost savings. For example, an accent strip behind the stovetop.

Full Backsplash Replacement

For heavy damage or to modernize the whole space, replacing the entire backsplash may be warranted. Rates start at $250 for small areas up to $2,000+ for intricate full backsplashes.

Evaluate the current condition and your budget to decide which backsplash refresh option is right for your situation. A combination of repairs, regrouting, and partial replacements can often suffice vs. full removal and re-tiling.

Backsplash: Tile vs. Other Materials

Tile remains the most popular backsplash choice for its durability, variety, and water-resistance. But alternative materials offer unique options:

Tile Backsplash


  • Huge variety of colors, textures, shapes and patterns
  • Scratch and heat-resistant
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Long-lasting when properly sealed


  • Grout requires periodic sealing
  • Prone to cracks and staining over time
  • Cool surface temperature

Cost: $5 to $50 per square foot installed

Glass Backsplash


  • Sleek, modern visual appeal
  • Reflective qualities and luminous sheen
  • Easy to wipe clean
  • Heat-tolerant


  • Prone to scratches and chipping
  • Limitations for colorful designs
  • Higher cost than basic tile

Cost: $15 to $30 per square foot installed

Stainless Steel Backsplash


  • Sleek, contemporary look
  • Highly heat-resistant
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Easy to sanitize and clean


  • Shows fingerprints, smudges, and water spots
  • Makes high-pitched noises when struck
  • Conducts sound and heat

Cost: $35 to $75 per square foot installed

Peel-and-Stick Backsplash


  • Budget-friendly DIY option
  • Quick and easy application
  • Removable/repositionable
  • Many patterns and textures


  • Less durable than tile
  • Prone to lifting at edges overtime
  • Limited lifetime (5-10 years)

Cost: $10 to $20 per square foot (DIY installation)

Evaluate the pros and cons when selecting backsplash materials based on your kitchen’s needs, features, and style preferences. While tile reigns supreme for durability, alternatives like glass, metal, or peel-and-stick offer unique visual appeal. Combinations are possible too!

Backsplash Tile Patterns & Ideas Guide

While materials influence cost, don’t underestimate the visual impact backsplash tile patterns bring! Follow this design guide when planning your new backsplash:

Subway Tile

These rectangular tiles laid in straight horizontal/vertical rows channels clean, classic style. Affordable and versatile.

White Subway Tile Backsplash

Cost: $5 to $15 per square foot. Vary size and grout color to increase design options.


Rows of rectangular tiles placed in opposing directions create a zig-zag effect. Adds visual interest with tailored appeal.

![Herringbone Tile Backsplash