How Much Is It to Install a Backsplash?

Installing a backsplash is one effective way to update the look of your kitchen. A stylish backsplash can transform the space by adding visual interest, color, and texture. If you’re considering adding a backsplash, one of the first things you’ll want to know is – how much will it cost? The cost to install a backsplash can vary quite a bit based on the materials, size of the space, and labor involved. Here’s an overview of what factors impact the cost and what you can expect to budget for your backsplash installation project.

What Impacts the Cost to Install a Backsplash?

Several key factors determine your total backsplash installation costs:

Backsplash Materials

The material you choose for your backsplash will significantly affect the total project cost. Some popular backsplash materials include:

  • Ceramic tile: A very common choice, ceramic tile provides endless options for colors, textures, and patterns. Cost per square foot starts around $5.
  • Stone tile: Materials like granite, marble, and travertine add natural beauty and luxury. Expect to pay $15-50+ per square foot installed.
  • Glass tile: Offering tons of colors and sheen, glass tiles start around $10 per square foot.
  • Stainless steel: A modern, industrial look for $25-50 per square foot.
  • Mosaic tile: Small, intricate tiles that create patterns. Starts around $10 per square foot.
  • Peel-and-stick: Budget-friendly and easy to install yourself. About $5 per square foot.

More exotic materials like quartz, metal, or recycled glass tiles can cost $50-100 per square foot installed. The material choice has a big impact on overall cost.

Size of the Backsplash Area

The overall size of the space you need to cover will factor into the total cost. Measure the backsplash area’s square footage to estimate how much material you’ll need to purchase. Don’t forget to account for funky angles, niches, or accent sections.

Labor Costs

While DIY installation is an option, professional installation ensures your backsplash is perfectly measured, cut, and installed. Labor typically adds $5-10 per square foot onto the project cost. Many tile installers charge an hourly or per day rate.

Specialty Services

For a fully customized look, you may require additional services like:

  • Tile design fee
  • Tile cutting for intricate shapes
  • Grout coloring
  • Accent inserts like glass or metal

Be sure to get an all-inclusive quote from start to finish.

What’s the Total Cost to Install a Backsplash?

It’s difficult to give an exact dollar amount for how much it costs to install a backsplash since many variables impact the final price tag. However, here are some ballpark figures:

  • Ceramic or porcelain tile: $10-20 per square foot for materials and labor.
  • Glass or mosaic tile: $15-30 per square foot installed.
  • Natural stone: $25-60 per square foot installed.
  • Metals: $50-100 per square foot installed.

For example, if you have a 30 square foot backsplash area and choose mid-range ceramic tile at $15 per square foot, you’d be looking at around $450 in total installation costs.

The major factors that affect overall budget are material costs and labor rates in your local area. Get multiple estimates to compare pricing.

Tips for Installing a Backsplash on a Budget

If you’re looking to install a backsplash affordably, consider these money-saving tips:

  • Choose a simple tile shape like squares or subway tiles, which require less cutting and labor.
  • Use peel-and-stick tiles or backsplash panels for easy, do-it-yourself installation.
  • Opt for lower-cost materials like ceramic, porcelain, or mosaic tiles rather than natural stone or metals.
  • Keep the backsplash design simple and minimal. Intricate patterns or mosaics add labor time.
  • Use existing countertops and paint existing cabinets to avoid a full kitchen remodel.
  • Install the backsplash yourself if you have tiling experience. Watch online tutorials.
  • Shop wholesale tile retailers, home improvement liquidators, or big box stores for tile deals.
  • Consider alternatives like laminate sheets, stainless steel panels, or paint.

With some savvy shopping and strategic design decisions, you can install an eye-catching backsplash on a limited budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the cost to install a backsplash include labor?

Typically, no. When you receive a quote for materials, this does not usually include installation labor costs. Be sure to get a breakdown for both material and labor costs in a complete backsplash installation quote.

What is the best material for an inexpensive backsplash?

Ceramic and porcelain tiles offer the most budget-friendly options for backsplashes. Look for sales on simple subway tile, mosaics, or field tile in the $5-7 per square foot range.

Should I install the backsplash myself or hire a pro?

An experienced tile installer can ensure a quality, long-lasting backsplash. However, with the right tools and DIY skills, self-installation can save substantially on labor costs. Watch online tutorials to see if it’s in your ability.

Can I just paint my existing backsplash?

Painting over an existing tile or laminate backsplash is a fast, easy DIY approach. Use proper primer and formulations designed for slick surfaces. This works best as a temporary upgrade versus a permanent solution.

What backsplash goes best with white cabinets?

White cabinets pair beautifully with nearly any color backsplash. Try a crisp white subway tile, beige and gray stone, or pops of color like blue or green glass tile. Stainless steel, patterned ceramic, or mosaic marble also complement white cabinets nicely.


Installing a backsplash is a great way to improve your kitchen’s appearance and functionality. While costs vary based on materials, size, and labor, expect to budget around $10-20 per square foot for a ceramic tile backsplash installed. Carefully weigh the advantages of DIY versus hiring a pro. And apply money-saving techniques like choosing affordable tile, simple designs, and handyman installation to reduce your total backsplash costs. With some smart planning, you can achieve the custom backsplash of your dreams on a budget that works.