How Much Should a Backsplash Cost?

Installing a backsplash in your kitchen or bathroom can greatly improve the look and function of the space. However, backsplash installation does come at a cost. The amount you’ll pay for a new backsplash depends on several factors, including the size of the project, the materials you choose, and labor costs. Let’s take a closer look at what goes into determining how much a backsplash should cost.

Backsplash Material Costs

The material you select for your backsplash will have a significant impact on the overall project cost. Here are some of the most popular backsplash materials and their typical price ranges:

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is one of the most common and affordable backsplash materials. It comes in a wide variety of styles, colors, shapes, and patterns. Standard ceramic tiles cost $1-$10 per square foot installed. Handmade or mosaic ceramic tiles run $5-$50 per square foot installed.

Glass Tile

Glass backsplash tiles create a shiny, sleek look. Glass tiles cost $10-$50 per square foot installed. The price is higher than ceramic since the tiles need to be installed with special adhesives and grout.

Metal Tile

Metal backsplashes have an eye-catching, modern look. Material options include stainless steel, copper, brass, and aluminum. Metal tile costs $15-$75 per square foot installed.

Natural Stone

Stone tiles like marble, travertine, slate, and granite make for a high-end, luxurious backsplash. Natural stone tiles range from $15-$100 per square foot installed. The cost varies widely based on the type and quality of the stone.

Recycled Glass

For an earthy yet stylish look, recycled glass tile contains pieces of recycled glass in different shapes and sizes. Recycled glass tiles cost $10-$20 per square foot installed.

Backsplash Labor Costs

In addition to material costs, you’ll also need to account for installation labor when budgeting for a backsplash. Labor costs typically add $5-$10 per square foot, but can go higher depending on the complexity of the design.

The main factors affecting labor costs include:

  • Layout complexity – A backsplash with a intricate pattern or angled shapes will take more time and skill to install correctly. Simple layouts are quicker and cheaper.
  • Tile size – Small tiles and mosaics take longer to install than large tiles, increasing labor time and cost.
  • Accessibility – Areas that are hard to reach, like behind the stove, often cost more in labor fees. Easy to access areas are simpler to install.
  • Prep work needed – If the existing wall requires repairs, smoothing, or painting before tile can be installed, this adds to the project timeline and cost.

Cost By Backsplash Size

The size of your backsplash project is the other major factor determining the total installation cost. Let’s look at estimated costs for typical kitchen and bathroom backsplash sizes:

Average Kitchen Backsplash

A typical kitchen backsplash runs 4 feet high by 10-30 feet long along the counters and stove. At 15 square feet, materials plus installation costs for a kitchen backsplash fall in these ranges:

  • Ceramic tile: $150 – $450
  • Glass tile: $300 – $1,125
  • Natural stone: $375 – $2,250
  • Metal tile: $450 – $1,875
  • Recycled glass: $225 – $450

Full Kitchen Backsplash

For a full backsplash covering all walls from counter to ceiling, the size increases to 50-100 square feet. The estimated cost ranges are:

  • Ceramic tile: $500 – $1,500
  • Glass tile: $1,000 – $5,000
  • Natural stone: $1,250 – $10,000
  • Metal tile: $1,500 – $7,500
  • Recycled glass: $750 – $2,000

Average Bathroom Backsplash

The typical bathroom backsplash spans one wall behind the vanity. At 10 square feet, costs range from:

  • Ceramic tile: $100 – $300
  • Glass tile: $200 – $750
  • Natural stone: $250 – $1,500
  • Metal tile: $300 – $1,250
  • Recycled glass: $150 – $300

Full Bathroom Backsplash

For a bathroom backsplash covering all walls from counter to ceiling, estimate 30-50 square feet. Cost ranges are:

  • Ceramic tile: $300 – $900
  • Glass tile: $600 – $2,500
  • Natural stone: $750 – $5,000
  • Metal tile: $900 – $3,750
  • Recycled glass: $450 – $1,000

Factors That Increase Backsplash Cost

There are a few special considerations that can significantly bump up your total backsplash cost:

  • Custom designs – Backsplashes with intricate patterns, special shapes, borders, and accent tiles require more planning and labor to get right. Custom backsplashes can cost 50-100% more than standard tile installations.
  • Professional installation – Hiring a professional tiling company generally adds $5-$15 per square foot versus doing it yourself. Experts ensure proper installation.
  • Specialty tiles – Handpainted, cracked ice, iridescent and other specialty tiles cost $10-$100 per square foot more than regular tiles.
  • Demolition fees – If you’re replacing an existing backsplash, demolition and disposal fees add $2-$5 per square foot.

DIY Backsplash Cost Savings

One great way to control backsplash costs is to tackle installation as a DIY project. With some basic tiling skills and time, you can complete a simple backsplash for a fraction of the cost of professional installation.

Here are the estimated price ranges for DIY backsplash installation:

  • DIY ceramic tile backsplash – $2-$5 per square foot
  • DIY glass tile backsplash – $5-$10 per square foot
  • DIY natural stone backsplash – $5-$15 per square foot

Even with pricier tile materials, a DIY backsplash can still cost 50-75% less than pro installation. Just be sure to account for equipment rentals and tools you may need to purchase.

Cost Saving Tips For Backsplash Installation

If your budget is tight, there are a few ways to save on your backsplash installation:

  • Select affordable tile material like ceramic, porcelain, or faux stone
  • Use large format tiles instead of small mosaics
  • Install a smaller backsplash area rather than full wall covering
  • Reuse or refinish existing countertops and cabinets rather than replacing
  • Choose a simple tile layout over an intricate or angled design
  • Install the backsplash yourself if you have tiling experience
  • Shop sales and clearance for discounted tile and supplies
  • Consider peel-and-stick backsplash panels for an easy DIY option

Even small backsplashes can make a big visual impact while keeping your costs down. Focus on high-impact spots like behind the kitchen sink or stove rather than tiling an entire wall.

Average Cost To Professionally Install A Backsplash

If you plan to hire a professional installer, the total project cost for a backsplash averages $10-$25 per square foot including labor and materials.

For a medium sized kitchen backsplash of 30 square feet, you can expect to pay $300-$750 for professional installation. Costs reach up to $2,500 or more for larger, intricate backsplashes.

Always get 3-4 quotes to compare rates among local tile installation pros. Check reviews to ensure you hire an experienced contractor that provides quality workmanship.

Factoring In Other Kitchen Or Bathroom Remodel Costs

While the backsplash is one element of your room remodel, remember to account for costs of other planned upgrades in your budget. If you’ll be replacing countertops, cabinets, sinks or fixtures, flooring, and appliances, the expenses add up quickly.

Be strategic in choosing the elements that will make the biggest impact for your available budget. Cosmetic upgrades like backsplashes, accent lighting, and new cabinet hardware go a long way in transforming the look of a space.

Research costs for all planned remodel projects and create a total budget. You can always phase larger projects over time as your budget allows.

Backsplash Cost Per Square Foot By Material

To recap, here are the typical per square foot costs for the most popular backsplash materials:

| Material | Cost Per Sq.Ft. Installed|
| Ceramic Tile | $1 – $10 |
| Glass Tile | $10 – $50 |
| Metal Tile | $15 – $75|
| Stone Tile | $15 – $100|
| Recycled Glass Tile | $10 – $20|

The exact amount you’ll pay per square foot depends on the quality, size, and style of the tiles along with labor fees. Create a floor plan and surface area measurements to estimate your total project costs.

Key Takeaways On How Much A Backsplash Should Cost

  • The main factors affecting backsplash costs are the size of the area, tile material, and professional vs DIY installation.
  • Ceramic, porcelain, and recycled glass tiles provide affordable options starting at $1 per square foot.
  • Natural stone, metal, and glass backsplash tiles range from $10 – $100 per square foot installed.
  • On average, use $10 – $25 per square foot as an estimated budget when planning for professional backsplash installation.
  • DIY installation can reduce costs by 50-75% compared to hiring a backsplash pro.
  • Carefully measure the backsplash area and create a floor plan to determine total tile needs and costs.
  • Look for ways to reduce other kitchen or bath remodel costs if the backsplash is over budget.
  • Get multiple quotes and review examples of contractors’ previous backsplash work before hiring.

Knowing typical per square foot costs for materials and labor helps you estimate a realistic budget for your dream backsplash design. With some planning and savvy decisions, you can achieve a beautiful, on-trend backsplash at a price point that works for your next remodeling project.

Frequently Asked Questions About Backsplash Costs

Here are answers to some common questions homeowners have about budgeting and planning for a new backsplash installation:

How much does a kitchen backsplash cost?

A typical kitchen backsplash costs $150-$750 for materials and professional installation. Small kitchen backsplashes under 15 square feet can be done for $200-$500. Large kitchen backsplashes with custom designs can cost over $2,000.

How can I get a backsplash on a budget?

Stick to affordable ceramic or faux stone tiles rather than real stone or glass. Install a small backsplash over the stove rather than full walls. Choose a simple tile layout and patterns. And consider DIY installation if you have tiling experience.

What is the most inexpensive backsplash?

Ceramic tile provides the most budget-friendly backsplash option at just $1-$3 per square foot for the tile. Recycled glass tile and peel-and-stick panels are other low-cost backsplash materials costing $2-$10 per square foot.

Does tile color affect cost?

Not significantly. Neutral and white tiles are slightly cheaper than bold colors by a dollar or two per square foot. Any color differences are minimal compared to factors like tile size, material, and installation labor costs.

Should I get quotes from multiple contractors?

Yes, always get 3-4 quotes before hiring a backsplash installation company. Costs can vary dramatically between different tilers. Make sure to get an itemized estimate accounting for materials, labor, and other project expenses.

How much does a tiler charge per hour?

Tilers typically charge $50-$100 per hour for installation labor. Simple layouts and large tiles can be installed faster, while small mosaic tiles and custom designs take longer. Get a set price per square foot rather than hourly.

Can I install a backsplash myself?

Definitely! Ambitious DIYers can install their own backsplash and save 50-75% on labor costs. Focus on ceramic, glass, or faux stone tiles which are easier for beginners. You’ll need tile cutting tools, adhesive, and grout. Watch online tutorials.

How long does it take to install a kitchen backsplash?

The timeline ranges from 1-3 days depending on the size. A professional tiler can typically install a medium sized kitchen backsplash of 30 square feet in 1-2 days. DIY projects may take 2-3 days allowing for beginner mistakes.

What height should a backsplash be?

The standard backsplash height is 4 inches from the countertop. Full height backsplashes extend from counter to ceiling for a bolder look. Backsplashes should at minimum reach any wall cabinets to provide a finished, clean transition.


Installing a backsplash transforms the look of your kitchen or bath at a relatively low cost compared to other upgrades. Carefully measure your space, evaluate materials and designs, obtain installer quotes, and stay within your budget. With smart planning, you can achieve the backsplash style you love for a fraction of the cost of a full remodel.