How Much to Change Backsplash


Updating your backsplash is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to give your kitchen a fresh new look. With an endless array of backsplash materials, colors, patterns and textures to choose from, the possibilities are virtually endless. But before embarking on a backsplash makeover, it’s important to determine your budget and assess how much of the backsplash surface area you want to update.

How Much Does a Backsplash Cost?

The cost of a new backsplash can vary widely depending on the material, complexity of the design, and how much surface area you plan to cover. Here are some general guidelines on backsplash costs:

  • Ceramic tile: $5-$25 per sq. ft.
  • Glass tile: $15-$30 per sq. ft.
  • Stone tile: $40-$100 per sq. ft.
  • Stainless steel: $35-$60 per sq. ft.
  • Peel-and-stick backsplash: $2-$5 per sq. ft.

The amount of labor and installation costs also impact the total project cost. Complex tile layouts and natural stone typically require more specialized skills and take more time to install.

Key Factors Impacting Backsplash Costs

Several key factors determine how much you’ll spend on a new backsplash installation:

Backsplash Size

The overall size of the backsplash area you want to cover is the primary cost factor. Measure the backsplash area in your kitchen to determine the square footage. This provides a baseline for estimating material quantities and labor time.

Backsplash Materials

The specific material you select largely determines the price point. Ceramic or porcelain tile provides an affordable option starting around $5 per sq. ft. On the higher end, materials like natural stone tile or stainless steel run $40-$100 per sq. ft.

Accent Tiles and Borders

Adding accent tiles, mosaic sheets, or borders increases costs but creates a more customized, upscale look. These tiles often require more precision and time to install.

Labor Costs

While DIY installation is possible for peel-and-stick tiles, most backsplash materials require professional installation. Labor accounts for 50% or more of the total project cost.

Special Backsplash Shapes

Backsplashes with special cutouts or edge designs for sinks, windows, outlets and other features require custom-cutting tiles and adding trim molding. This specialized work adds cost.

How Much Backsplash to Replace?

You don’t necessarily need to replace your entire backsplash if only portions are damaged or dated. Consider these options for partial backsplash updates:

  • Refresh just a section behind the stove or sink.
  • Replace only the top 4-6 rows of tiles.
  • Add an accent strip or geometric border.

However, if more than 30% of your backsplash is in poor shape or mismatches, a full backsplash replacement tends to give the best results. New full-height backsplashes can entirely transform the look of a kitchen by introducing cohesive colors, textures and styles.

Cost to Replace Kitchen Backsplash

For a full backsplash replacement in a 10′ x 10′ kitchen, expect costs between $1000-$2000. Here’s a typical price breakdown:

  • Ceramic subway tile backsplash – Approximately $1000
  • Glass mosaic backsplash – Approximately $1500
  • Travertine stone backsplash – Approximately $2000

The range accounts for differences in tile prices and local labor rates. Additional costs may apply if special preparation work is needed beyond just swapping out tiles.

Tips for Affording a New Backsplash

If your dream backsplash exceeds your budget, here are some tips to cut costs:

  • Choose affordable tiles like ceramic or peel-and-stick.
  • Install the new backsplash yourself if confident in DIY skills.
  • Use accent tiles sparingly to add splashes of color and interest.
  • Replace only the portions of backsplash that need updates.
  • Shop sales and clearance for tiles and installation supplies.
  • Consider lower-cost beadboard or tin backsplash alternatives.

With some savvy planning, you can refresh your backsplash and get a new up-to-date look without breaking the bank. Carefully weigh the factors of tile costs, installation fees and how much surface area to cover. This ensures your kitchen backsplash makeover stays within an affordable budget range.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to replace a 4×8 sheet of backsplash?

For a 4×8 foot sheet of backsplash tile, expect to pay $100-$300 depending on the material. Budget $3-5 per square foot for ceramic or porcelain tile. Glass tiles run $5-10 per square foot. Natural stone tiles cost $10-15 per square foot.

Should I replace the entire backsplash or just a section?

It depends on the condition of your existing backsplash. If more than 30% is damaged or outdated looking, a full backsplash replacement generally gives the best results. If only a small portion needs updating, you may be able to get away with just replacing that section.

What’s the easiest backsplash to install?

Peel-and-stick backsplash tiles are the easiest DIY option. They have an adhesive back so you can stick them right onto the wall without any special tools or materials needed. Porcelain and ceramic tile require more skill to install properly.

How long does it take to replace a kitchen backsplash?

For an average 10′ x 10′ kitchen, a professional installer typically needs 8-16 hours to complete the backsplash replacement, depending on the complexity of the design. DIY installation takes longer – up to 24-32 hours.

Can I install a new backsplash over the existing one?

In some cases, it is possible to install a new backsplash material right over the top of the existing one. This saves time on tearing out the original. Be sure to prepare the surface properly so the new tiles adhere smoothly and securely.


Updating a backsplash provides big visual impact and entirely new style to your kitchen. Carefully evaluate the size of your backsplash area, materials costs, and labor fees to get an accurate idea of budget. In a 10’x10’ kitchen, you can expect to invest $1000-$2000 for a professionally installed backsplash makeover using ceramic, glass or stone tiles. With smart planning and affordable material choices, a new backsplash can fit within modest budgets to give your kitchen a fresh facelift.

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