Installing a new backsplash in your kitchen or bathroom can instantly upgrade the look and feel of the space. However, many homeowners wonder just how much they should budget for a backsplash installation project. The cost to install a backsplash can vary widely based on the size of the space, the materials chosen, and the complexity of the design. Here is a comprehensive guide on how much you can expect to pay for backsplash installation.
Factors That Determine Backsplash Installation Cost
Several key factors impact the total cost of a backsplash installation project. The main considerations include:
Size of the Backsplash Area
The overall size of the backsplash area is one of the biggest determinants of price. A larger backsplash area requires more tile and labor hours to complete. Standard kitchen backsplashes measure around 25-30 square feet, while full wall backsplashes in kitchens can measure 50 square feet or more. For bathrooms, you may need just 10-20 square feet of backsplash. Measure your space carefully to determine sq footage.
Backsplash Materials Selected
The type of material chosen – ceramic tile, glass tile, metal tile, or stone – directly impacts the installation price. More exotic, intricate, or luxury materials will upcharge the project cost significantly. Simple ceramic subway tiles tend to be the most budget friendly.
Specialty Tiles or Borders
Any decorative mosaic tiles, intricate patterns, specialty metal tiles, or glass tile accents will add to the installation time and tile expenses.
Grout should be factored into your backsplash budget. More durable grout with latex additive will cost around 35-40% more than basic unsanded grout. Popular epoxy grout can cost $100+ and adds labor time.
Tile Layout Complexity
The complexity of the tile layout and overall design will determine the installation time. Simple brick/grid layouts with big tiles are fast for tilers to install. Intricate patterns, angled designs, small tiles, and multi-piece mosaics add many more labor hours.
Adding a niche for tiles requires extra tile cuts and time to install and grout. While small niches add marginal cost, a large focal niche can add several hours of work.
Permits or Remodel Work
If any electrical, plumbing, lighting, or demolition must be done to prep for the backsplash install, this will add cost in permits, time and labor. If it is just a simple tile swap with no construction, the project will be more affordable.
Professional vs DIY Install
Hiring a professional tile installation company will cost more in labor compared to a DIY project. However, pros have the skills to complete the job correctly. Consider your skill level before taking a DIY backsplash on.
With these factors in mind, let’s look at typical backsplash installation costs.
Backsplash Installation Cost Per Square Foot
On average, you can expect to pay $15 to $40 per square foot for installation of a backsplash. This cost per square foot typically includes:
- Tile purchase cost
- Thinset mortar
- Grout and sealing products
- Basic installation labor
Here is a breakdown of what you can expect to pay for various backsplash materials:
- Ceramic subway tile installation: $5 to $20 per sq ft
- Glass tile installation: $20 to $50 per sq ft
- Natural stone tile installation: $40 to $100 per sq ft
- Metal or mosaic tile installation: $15 to $50 per sq ft
More intricate tile patterns, niche installations, special accents or borders can increase the price per square foot significantly. Get several quotes to compare.
Typical Backsplash Size Costs
Another way to estimate your potential investment is to look at typical backsplash sizes and average costs:
Standard 25 sq ft Kitchen Backsplash
A standard 25-30 sq ft kitchen backsplash using basic ceramic subway tiles and simple installation typically ranges from $375 to $600 in total installation cost.
Full 50 sq ft Kitchen Backsplash
For a full backsplash covering a whole wall or spanning 50 sq ft with field tiles and some accents, expect to pay $750 to $1,500 for installation.
Small 10-15 sq ft Bathroom Backsplash
A bathroom backsplash measuring 10-15 square feet with economical tile usually ranges between $150 and $300 installed.
Large 60 sq ft Kitchen Backsplash
A large and likely intricate backsplash measuring a full 60 square feet could cost $900 to $3,000 or more depending on the tiles used and complexity of the design.
Calculate your backsplash size and use these typical install costs as a ballpark estimate for your project. Keep in mind, regional labor rates also impact overall install costs.
Cost to Install Subway Tile Backsplash
A subway tile backsplash is a classic and affordable option for both kitchens and bathrooms. For simple ceramic white 3×6 subway tiles in a basic brick pattern, you can expect an installation cost of:
- $5 per sq ft for DIY installation
- $10 to $20 per sq ft for professional installation labor
Glass or marble subway tiles may upcharge the price $5 to $10 per sq ft. Factors like niche additions, special accents, grout upgrades, or more complex patterns would increase the costs.
Cost to Install Marble Tile Backsplash
Marble backsplash tile brings elegance and sophistication. Natural stone marble tiles tend to cost $15 per sq ft and up just for the material. Professional installation averages:
- $40 to $60 per sq ft for a standard marble subway layout
- $80 to $120 per sq ft for intricate marble patterns/mosaics
Marble is more delicate to work with and requires expertise to cut and install properly. The glossy polished finish also requires more prep and sealing than ceramic.
Cost to Install Mosaic Tile Backsplash
Tiny mosaic tiles allow for artistic backsplash designs. However, all those small tiles equate to a more labor-intensive installation process. You can expect to pay:
- $20 to $35 per sq ft for mosaic tile sheets in simple layouts
- $35 to $75 per sq ft for intricate mosaic patterns
Handmade or glass mosaic tiles tend to range $50 per sq ft and up. Adding metal or stone accents into a mosaic design will also increase the installation cost.
Cost to Install Metal Tile Backsplash
Metal backsplashes bring contemporary, eye-catching style. Stainless steel, copper, brass, and aluminum are popular choices. The cost to install metal backsplash tile averages:
- $25 to $40 per sq ft for economical aluminum or stainless tiles
- $50 to $100 per sq ft for real copper or brass tile
Metal tiles require special cutting tools and adhesives. Grout also needs to be compatible. Intricate metal mosaic patterns can up the price to $100+ per sq ft installed.
Cost to Install Glass Tile Backsplash
Glass backsplash tile offers brilliant shine and visual depth. The cost of glass tile itself can range widely from $10 to $50 per sq ft. Then professional installation averages:
- $25 to $35 per sq ft for glass sheet tiles
- $35 to $75 per sq ft for glass mosaic layouts
Iridescent glass, custom etched glass, or handmade art glass tiles will send the installation costs soaring upwards of $80+ per sq ft. The glass material and fragility add to install time.
Backsplash Installation Labor Costs
If quoted by the job rather than by square foot, backsplash installation labor averages $200 to $1,000 per project:
- Simple DIY backsplash installations may cost as little as $200 in materials if you supply your own tile.
- For a basic professional install under 6 hours expect to pay $400 to $600 including tile costs and sealer/grout.
- Most installers charge around $65 per hour for labor – so a full 10-12 hour job could run $650 to $800 for a tile pro’s work.
- A complex pro install over 2-3 days may cost $800 to $1,500 including the tile and all materials.
Get 3-4 written estimates before hiring a tile installation contractor for your backsplash.
Cost to Remove Existing Backsplash
Taking out an old existing backsplash averages $2 to $6 per sq ft depending on how difficult it is to remove. Simple ceramic tile may pop right off. Heavily mortared stone may require chiseling off which takes more time. typical costs:
- Remove drywall with tiles: $3 to $5 per sq ft
- Remove stone tiles with grinding: $4 to $10 per sq ft
Demo can add $100 to $400 or more depending on how stubborn the old backsplash is to remove.
DIY Backsplash Installation Cost Savings
For the most budget-friendly option, consider taking on the backsplash as a DIY project. Here are average DIY backsplash cost savings:
- DIY tile prices average $2 to $10 per sq ft compared to $10 to $50 per sq ft for installers to supply.
- DIY labor is free if you install it yourself, saving $10 to $50 per sq ft in pro install costs.
- Basic materials like thinset, grout and tools may run you $200 to $300 vs $500 or more from pros.
Check that the DIY cost is lower even with having to purchase/rent tools and potential tile breakage or rework. There is also value in hiring an expert for an intricate backsplash.
Backsplash Installation Cost by Location
Regional labor costs cause price variances for installation across the country. Here are average backsplash installation costs for a 25 sq ft kitchen backsplash by metro area:
|City|25 sq ft Backsplash Install Cost|
|New York City|$675|
Factors like contractor demand and tile availability also vary across different markets, impacting backsplash pricing.
Backsplash Installation Cost FAQs
Let’s go over some commonly asked questions on backsplash installation costs:
How much does it cost to install tile backsplash?
The cost to install tile backsplash averages $15 to $40 per sq ft depending on the tile type, size of the project, and complexity of the design. Simple ceramic subway tile starts around $5 per sq ft for DIY and $15 per sq ft pro install. Stone, glass or metal tiles range $25 to $100+ per sq ft installed.
How much does a kitchen backsplash installation cost?
For a typical 25-30 sq ft kitchen backsplash, installation costs range between $375 to $1,500 depending on the tile used. Simple ceramic subway tile backsplash installations start around $400. Handmade glass tile backsplash installations average $1,000 to $1,500 range.
How much does backsplash tile cost?
Backsplash tile costs $5 to $50 per sq ft for the material alone. Low-cost options are ceramic subway tiles ($5-$15 per sq ft). Higher-end tiles like stone, glass or metal range $25-$50 per sq ft just for the tile.
How much does it cost to install backsplash tile in bathroom?
For a small 10-15 sq ft bathroom backsplash, expect to pay $150 to $300 for installation of inexpensive ceramic, glass or mosaic tiles. Larger and more intricate bathroom backsplash projects easily reach $500 or more.
Can you install backsplash tile over existing backsplash?
In some cases it may be possible to install new backsplash tile over an existing backsplash. However this depends on the surface – heavily textured stone or uneven tiles will require removal first. Drywall or thin tile may allow going over.
How much does it cost to remove existing backsplash?
On average, removal of an old existing backsplash for replacement costs $2 to $6 per sq ft. Simple ceramic tile pops off for just $2 per sq ft. Stubborn stone needs grinding at around $5 per sq ft. Whole drywall removal can run up to $10 per sq ft.
The cost to install a backsplash widely ranges from $15 to $100 per sq ft based on the size, tile, complexity, and pro vs DIY labor. For a 25 sq ft kitchen backsplash in ceramic tile, budget $400 to $700 for professional installation. Glass, metal or stone tiles upcharge the price per square foot quickly. Remove old backsplash first if needed at around $5 per sq ft. Whenever possible, get several quotes to compare pricing.
Getting Backsplash Install Quotes
Start by contacting local tile showrooms and backsplash professionals to provide your measurements for exact project quotes. From pricing per sq ft to flat rate labor, compare detailed bids. Ask about tile purchasing packages to maximize value. With quotes in hand for your new dream backsplash’s installation cost, make an informed decision to upgrade your space!