How Much to Charge for Installing Tile Backsplash

Installing a tile backsplash can add style and personality to your kitchen or bathroom. But before taking on a tiling project, it’s important to understand how much it will cost. Factors like the size of the space, tile type, pattern complexity, and labor will all impact the final price tag. Here is a helpful guide on how much to expect to pay for installing a tile backsplash.

Determining the Size of Your Backsplash

The size of your backsplash is the primary factor in determining cost. Measure the area you want to tile in square feet. This includes the wall space between countertops and cabinets. For a rough estimate, measure the length and height of the backsplash area and multiply them together. Be sure to account for any focal points, niches or offsets that require tiling. Generally, more surface area equals higher material and labor costs.

Factoring in Tile Type

Porcelain, ceramic, glass, granite, and stone tiles vary greatly in price. On average:

  • Ceramic tiles cost $0.50-$3 per square foot
  • Porcelain tiles run $2-$7 per square foot
  • Natural stone tiles cost $5-$15 per square foot
  • Glass tiles run $10-$20 per square foot

Handmade or mosaic tiles tend to be among the most expensive. Choosing trendy or high-end tile upgrades can increase costs substantially. Sticking to basic ceramic or porcelain tile tends to be the most budget-friendly option.

Considering the Tile Layout

Simple tile layouts like running bond brick patterns are the most affordable. Intricate patterns, angled designs, pebble tiles, and penny rounds take more time and skill, increasing labor costs. Hand-cutting mosaic sheets and dealing with the grout lines of small tiles is often more labor intensive as well.

Factor in Adhesives, Grout and Supplies

In addition to tile itself, you’ll need materials like backerboard, thinset mortar, grout, sealant, and tools. Budget $60-$100 extra for these tile installation supplies for a standard backsplash. Using specialty grouts or edge finishing can drive costs higher.

Labor Costs Add Up Quickly

Tile installation requires some skill and tools. Hiring a professional tiler ranges from $40 to $80 per hour on average. Some charge by the job instead, which can range from $200 up to $2000 or more depending on the backsplash size and tile complexity. DIY it yourself to save on labor.

Additional Cost Considerations

  • Demolition of the existing backsplash
  • Extra prep work like reconfiguring electrical outlets or plumbing fixtures
  • Specialty decorative trim and finishes like chair rail, listello, or mosaics
  • Sealing and grouting porcelain or natural stone tiles
  • Anti-fracture underlayment for large format tiles prone to cracking

Sample Tile Backsplash Costs

Here are some sample costs for common tile backsplash installations:

  • 6’ x 4’ ceramic subway tile backsplash – $420
  • Glass mosaic backsplash – $900
  • Large format porcelain tile with specialty edge trim – $1200
  • Detailed patterned ceramic tile with niche and decorative inserts – $2000

Many homeowners spend $500-$1500 to install a tile backsplash in their kitchen. Highly complex designs in larger spaces can cost upward of $5,000. Think about how much your budget allows for when selecting tiles.

Saving on Installation Costs

Here are some tips to cut costs on your tile installation:

  • Shop discount tile outlets and home improvement sales
  • Use the contractor’s discounted supplies instead of buying your own materials
  • Opt for simple tile layouts and minimal decorative accents
  • Install the backsplash yourself if you have tiling experience
  • Use large tiles requiring fewer grout lines

HVAC Register Vent Covers

Vent register covers allow you to maintain the aesthetic of your new backsplash by camouflaging AC and heating vents. Tile around the vent, then install a cover that matches or complements the new tile. Vent covers cost between $10-$50 depending on size and material. Purchase high-quality covers that won’t rust or corrode.

When to Hire a Pro Installing Tile Backsplash

While DIY backsplash installation is possible for some homeowners, complex tile patterns or large projects often benefit from hiring a professional installer who can:

  • Accurately measure and calculate the tile layout
  • Professionally prep and level uneven walls
  • Use specialized tools for perfectly straight cuts
  • Properly apply adhesives, grout, and sealants
  • Have attention to detail on grout lines and finishes
  • Install tricky materials like marble, travertine, or glass tile
  • Efficiently demolition and haul away the old backsplash

Carefully inspect potential tile installers’ previous work and check reviews before hiring. While expensive, a pro backsplash installation is often worth the investment.


The cost of installing a tile backsplash runs between $420-$2000 on average. Exact pricing depends on the tile type, backsplash size, layout complexity, grout and trim accents, preparation work, and labor. Hiring a professional tile installer costs $40-$80 per hour but yields high-quality results. With some DIY experience, homeowners can install their own backsplash for the cost of supplies plus rental equipment. Focus on choosing decorative, budget-friendly tile and simple layouts to reduce the price.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How much does it cost per square foot to install tile backsplash?

On average, tile backsplash installation costs $5-$10 per square foot for labor and materials. Simple subway tile can be as low as $3-5 per square foot while premium stone or glass tile runs $15-20 per square foot installed.

What is the average cost to install a kitchen backsplash?

The average cost for a kitchen backsplash installation is $500-$1500 depending on the size of the wall space and tiles used. Budget ceramic or porcelain tile keeps costs on the lower end while premium materials like natural stone, glass, and mosaics increase the price into the thousands.

How do I estimate the cost of my tile backsplash?

Measure the wall area length x height in feet to get the square footage. Multiply the square footage by $5-$20 per square foot depending on your tile type. Add estimated costs for supplemental materials, additional labor like electrical adjustments, as well as demolition disposal.

Should I install the backsplash myself or hire a pro?

If you have tiling experience, DIY installation can save substantially on labor costs. But for complex designs or tricky materials, a professional’s expertise yields better results. Evaluate whether the DIY savings outweigh the benefits of hiring a pro for your specific backsplash.

How can I save money on my backsplash installation?

Opt for budget-friendly ceramic or porcelain tile rather than premium materials. Choose basic laying patterns like subway brick and avoid intricate designs requiring precision cutting. Buy discounted surplus tile and use the installer’s backerboard and grout to save money.


Installing a new backsplash tile transforms the look and feel of your kitchen or bath at a relatively affordable project cost. Carefully measure your space, evaluate tile options, and understand important factors like layout complexity when budgeting. With some planning and savvy cost-saving steps, you can achieve a stunning new backsplash design tailored to your budget goals.