Changing your kitchen backsplash can completely transform the look and feel of your kitchen. But before taking on a backsplash project, it’s important to understand what’s involved from start to finish so you can budget appropriately. Here’s a detailed look at the costs associated with changing a kitchen backsplash.
The backsplash is one of the most visible parts of any kitchen. Located directly behind the countertops and below the upper cabinets, the backsplash takes a lot of wear and tear. Over time, an outdated or damaged backsplash can make the entire kitchen look dingy and dated.
Replacing the backsplash is one of the most effective ways to update the look of your kitchen without a full remodel. With so many backsplash tile options available today in different materials, colors, shapes and textures, you can easily find a new backsplash to match your kitchen’s existing decor or transform the space with a whole new style.
But what exactly does it cost to change a kitchen backsplash? Below we break down the major expenses involved so you can create an accurate budget.
Cost Factors for Changing a Kitchen Backsplash
The main factors that influence the overall cost of changing a kitchen backsplash include:
- Backsplash material: The material you choose for the new backsplash will impact the total cost significantly. Materials like ceramic, porcelain or glass tile tend to be the most budget friendly. While more high-end options like natural stone, marble or granite backsplash tiles will be much more expensive.
- Backsplash size: The total square footage of your backsplashes will determine how much material you need to purchase and the labor time involved. Large kitchens or backsplashes running along multiple walls will cost more.
- Specialty backsplash tile: Opting for mosaic tiles, decorative inserts or other specialty tile shapes can increase material and installation costs.
- Tile finish: The tile finish you select, whether glossy, matte, textured, patterned etc., affects the tile pricing. More intricate options cost more.
- Accent features: Adding decorative accents like borders, banding or designing patterns adds labor time and more materials.
- Tile layout complexity: Intricate tile layouts require more cutting and careful installation work, increasing labor time. Simple layouts are quicker to install.
- Prep work needed: If your existing backsplash or wall surface needs repairs, patching, evening out or priming, this adds labor and material costs.
- Backsplash design: Backsplashes that use multiple tiles, patterns or intricate designs take more time to layout and install. Simple tile designs are most affordable.
- Tile cutting needs: Tile that needs a lot of precise cuts around outlets, cabinets, corners etc. takes more effort and tools.
- Grout and caulking: The materials used to finish the tile installation can have some impact on total cost for a backsplash.
- Removal of old backsplash: Taking out an existing backsplash adds demolition time and fees for proper disposal.
Knowing these cost factors will help you make the best backsplash material choices and design decisions for your budget.
Cost to Change Kitchen Backsplash by Material
The material you choose for the new backsplash has the biggest impact on the project budget. Here are typical price ranges for some of the most popular backsplash materials:
Ceramic tile is one of the most common and affordable backsplash options. The ceramic tiles themselves can cost $1 to $25 per square foot including labor.
Total estimated cost: $175 – $700 or more
Slightly more durable than ceramic and often with more design options, porcelain tiles for backsplashes range from $3 to $50 per square foot installed.
Total estimated cost: $200 – $1,100 or more
With endless color and finish options, glass backsplash tile can cost $10 to $60 per square foot installed. Reflective, metallic and recycled glass tiles are on the higher end.
Total estimated cost: $500 – $2,000
Granite, marble, slate and other natural stone tile backsplashes cost between $40 to $100 per square foot installed. More delicate natural stones may be higher.
Total estimated cost: $900 – $3,500
Intricate mosaic tile patterns offer unique visual appeal but also cost more, averaging $10 to $50 per square foot for materials and installation.
Total estimated cost: $600 – $2,500
For an industrial modern look, metal backsplash tiles like stainless steel, copper, tin or aluminum cost $15 to $75 per square foot installed.
Total estimated cost: $800 – $4,000
Brick, Wood or Concrete
Rustic and natural materials like mini-bricks, wood planks or concrete panels make distinctive backsplashes from $20 to $150 per square foot installed.
Total estimated cost: $1,000 – $5,000
These prices can fluctuate based on the complexity of your backsplash design, the mosaic tile size, special tile shapes needed and regional labor rates. Expect to pay at the higher end for more intricate backsplash installation.
Cost by Backsplash Size and Layout
The size of your new backsplash also impacts the budget. Larger backsplash installations require more tile and labor time. Some typical backsplash sizes and estimated costs:
- 4 foot by 6 foot backsplash = 24 sq ft
- Ceramic tile install = $420 – $1,680
- Stone tile install = $960 – $2,400
- 5 foot by 5 foot backsplash = 25 sq ft
- Glass tile install = $500 – $1,500
- Metal tile install = $800 – $1,875
- 8 foot by 6 foot backsplash = 48 sq ft
- Mosaic tile install = $960 – $2,400
- Porcelain tile install = $576 – $2,400
- 10 foot by 6 foot backsplash = 60 sq ft
- Brick tile install = $1,200 – $9,000
- Marble tile install = $2,400 – $6,000
For multiple walls or complex kitchen layouts, measure each backsplash section separately when calculating costs.
The tile layout and spacing you select can also impact installation time. Basic layouts like stacks or grids take less effort than angled, staggered or zig-zag designs.
Additional Cost Factors for a Backsplash Installation
Beyond the backsplash materials and size, additional factors that can increase your total kitchen backsplash installation costs include:
- Demolition and disposal – Removing an old backsplash adds $1 to $5 per square foot for labor, disposal fees and new fasteners.
- New plumbing fixtures – Moving, adding or reconfiguring sink faucets, soap dispensers, etc. can add several hundred dollars or more.
- New electrical – Any wiring updates for lighting, switches or outlets cost around $125 to $300 per fixture.
- Cabinet alterations – Adjusting cabinetry for a new backsplash layout averages $500 per cabinet.
- Additional prep work – Evening out uneven walls or applying backing materials can add at least $1 per square foot.
- Specialty tools – Custom tile cutters, grinders and hole saws to work around outlets cost around $60 to $200 each.
- Sealing and caulking – Waterproofing and sealing the backsplash installation averages about 30 cents per linear foot.
- Extended labor – Complicated backsplash installations or hard to access areas take more time, at $50 or more per extra hour.
Total additional costs: $500 – $2,000 or more depending on specific upgrade needs.
DIY vs Professional Installation
One of the biggest factors affecting your total backsplash replacement costs is whether you tackle the project as a DIY job or hire professional tile installers.
A typical professional backsplash installation includes:
- Tile purchasing and delivery
- Knocking out the old backsplash
- Proper disposal
- Prep work like wall repairs and priming
- Precision tile cutting
- Setting the tile
- Grouting and sealing
- Finishing and cleanup
Hiring a backsplash installation pro ensures the job gets done right, but costs $900 to $4,500+ depending on tile selection and layout complexity.
A DIY backsplash installation requires:
- Purchasing your own tile and tools
- Backsplash tear out (if needed)
- Wall prep
- Careful tile layout planning
- Cutting and setting all tiles
- Applying grout and caulk
- Thorough cleanup
While a DIY backsplash costs $200 to $1,500 less in labor fees, mistakes can happen and may require calling in a pro to fix issues and finish the installation.
Average Total Cost to Change a Kitchen Backsplash
Based on the most common materials, sizes and installation factors, most homeowners spend between $1,000 to $3,000 on average to completely change their kitchen backsplash.
Here’s a breakdown of typical total costs based on backsplash material:
- Ceramic or porcelain tile backsplash – $800 to $2,500
- Glass mosaic backsplash – $1,200 to $3,000
- Natural stone backsplash – $1,800 to $4,500
- Metal tile backsplash – $1,500 to $3,500
- Brick or wood backsplash – $2,000 to $5,000+
Upgrading to premium materials like marble, intricate patterns or expanding your backsplash across large surfaces can easily push costs over $5,000+, especially if hiring professional installers.
But even a DIY backsplash using affordable ceramic tile and simple layout can give your kitchen a fresh new look for under $1,000 in many cases.
Tips for Budgeting a New Kitchen Backsplash
To stay on budget with your kitchen backsplash project:
- Get multiple estimates – Prices can vary greatly between contractors, be sure to get 3-4 bids.
- Visit tile showrooms – Seeing material samples in person helps avoid costly surprises later.
- Measure meticulously – Precise tile needs means less wasted materials. Create a detailed layout plan.
- Time it right – Avoid popular seasons when contractor rates are higher.
- Choose affordable tile – Ceramic, porcelain and smaller mosaic tiles are most budget friendly.
- Stick with simple designs – Grid, stack and straight layouts are most affordable. Limit accent tiles.
- Install it yourself – DIY installs can cut labor costs significantly if you have the skill.
- Watch for sales – Look for tile dealer discounts or markdowns on discontinued inventory.
- Factor in all costs – Demo, disposal fees, electrical, plumbing and more add up.
With some careful planning and cost comparisons, you can change your kitchen backsplash on time and on budget.
how much to change backsplash in kitchen
Kitchen Backsplash Tile Material Options
Selecting the right tile material is one of the most important decisions when planning a new kitchen backsplash. The possibilities are almost endless! Here is detailed information on some of the most popular backsplash tile materials to consider:
Ceramic tile is one of the most commonly used backsplash materials, and for good reason. It offers a nearly endless range of colors, shapes, patterns and textures at affordable prices.
Benefits of ceramic backsplash tile:
- Budget friendly – typically $1 to $10 per square foot
- Easy to clean and stain resistant
- Works with any home decor style
- Range of finishes – matte, gloss, crackled etc.
- Can mimic looks of other materials like wood, stone and metal
- Lightweight yet durable if properly sealed
Ceramic tile provides a practical and cost-effective backsplash option that can still offer plenty of visual appeal through creative shapes and designs.
Porcelain tile is another ceramic option popular for backsplashes. It is denser and less porous than ceramic, making it more impervious to moisture and staining.
Benefits of porcelain tile:
- Extremely durable and water resistant
- Withstands heat better than ceramic
- Stain, scratch and chip resistant
- Easily cleaned with just soap and water
- Heavier than ceramic tile
- Can emulate looks of natural stone, metal, marble and more
- Costs slightly more than ceramic at $3 to $20 per square foot
Porcelain backsplash tile holds up well in kitchens seeing frequent use and cleaning. The hardness does make cutting more difficult.
From colorful mosaics to sleek modern options, glass backsplash tile provides endless eye-catching design possibilities.
Advantages of glass tile:
- Reflective, shiny surface adds depth
- Translucent for a unique aesthetic
- Mimics look of pricier natural stone
- Easy to wipe clean and keep sanitary
- Durable and waterproof
- Costs $10 to $60 per square foot installed
- Frost, bubble and recycled glass varieties available
- Can be cut for outlets and fittings
Glass tile brings great visual appeal at relatively affordable prices. The installation process must be precise to prevent cracking.
Natural Stone Tile
For a backsplash that’s naturally beautiful, materials like granite, marble, travertine and slate create a high-end, sophisticated look.
Benefits of natural stone tile:
- Elegant, upscale visual appeal
- Each piece offers unique natural variations
- With proper sealing, stains well and is durable
- Adds visual interest with veins, crystals and flecks
- Conveys a sense of luxury in any kitchen
- Costs range widely from $15 to $100 per square foot
The downside is natural stone requires extra sealing and care. Delicate materials like marble can stain or etch if not properly maintained.
Metal backsplashes provide a modern, industrial flair through choices like stainless steel, copper, aluminum and tin tiles.
Positives of metal tile:
- Sleek, shiny, modern aesthetic
- Highly durable and dent resistant
- Easy to keep clean and hygienic
- Does not require sealing
- Adds great visual impact to any kitchen
- Costs around $15 to $75 per square foot
- Variety of metal finishes and looks available
- Can be cut to fit any space
Metal backsplash tile holds up well to heavy use and offers distinctive appeal. But the hard surface can show fingerprints, grease and water spots that require frequent wiping.
Brick, Wood or Concrete
Rustic kitchen designs look great with backsplash materials like mini bricks, reclaimed wood planks or concrete tiles.
Benefits of brick, wood or concrete backsplashes:
- Natural, earthy visual appeal
- Interesting variations in colors and textures
- Distinctive character not found with manmade tiles
- Relatively easy installation
- Costs around $25 to $150 per square foot
- Can find reclaimed and sustainable options
The naturally rough surface requires careful sealing and more frequent cleaning. But these materials make a unique backsplash statement.
With this overview of the most common types of backsplash tiles, you can zero in on the right material for your kitchen design, budget and style.
how much to change backsplash in kitchen
Backsplash Tile Layout Design and Installation Tips
Choosing the tile layout design is an exciting and creative part of planning your new kitchen backsplash. Here are some top tips for selecting a tile pattern and installing it successfully:
Simple Grid Layout
The most straightforward and affordable option is a basic grid format, with tiles lined up in evenly spaced rows and columns. This works well with uniform square or rectangular tiles.
- Fast and easy DIY install
- Minimal tile cutting needed
- Provides clean, uniform appearance
- Draws the eye to the natural tile colors and textures
Stacking rectangular, square or mosaic tiles in a straight vertical column is another simple backsplash pattern. It gives a tailored look and is easy to achieve.
- Straightforward and fast installation
- Less tile cutting required
- Offers clean linear look
- Great for busy kitchens needing an uncluttered feel
Alternating the tile pieces to create a faux brick pattern adds visual interest. Stones, ceramic bricks, rectangular tiles and mosaics work well.
- Mimics the look of a real brick wall
- Natural vibe perfect for rustic spaces
- Adds depth and texture
- Allows you to blend multiple colors
- Works with variety of tile sizes and shapes
For more of a statement, herringbone patterns created by setting rectangular or square tiles in zigzags offer great retro appeal.
- Timeless, classic zigzag design
- Guides the eye across the space
- Adds great visual dimension
- Tests DIY skills with precise tile cutting
- Works with long, narrow tiles or large format
Small mosaic tiles make it easy to create geometric shapes like hexagons. Triangular mosaics can also be arranged in fun geometric designs.
- Captivating multi-sided shapes
- Allows blending numerous tile colors
- High visual impact
- Tests skills with tricky tile shaping
- Gives depth and energy to the space
Accent Stripes or Bands
Jazz up any backsplash by adding horizontal or vertical accent stripes in a contrasting tile color and finish. Mirrored accents also inject interest.
- Allows you to highlight specific areas
- Brings in secondary colors
- Adds eye-catching focal points
- Lets you get creative with patterns and lines
- Tests precision in aligning bands
Shapes and Medallions
Consider working shapes like circles, curves, starbursts or medallions into the tile plan for a high-end backsplash look.