How Much to Do Backsplash in Kitchen

Installing a backsplash in your kitchen not only adds visual appeal but also protects your walls from splashes and stains. However, backsplashes can vary widely in terms of materials, size, and complexity, which directly impacts the total cost for installation. Here is a detailed guide on how much it costs to do a backsplash in your kitchen.


A kitchen backsplash is a must-have design element that serves both form and function. Visually, it brings color, texture, and personality to your kitchen’s aesthetic. Practically, it protects the walls around sinks, stoves, and countertops from water damage, grease splatter, and repeated cleaning.

Backsplashes today come in a huge range of materials like ceramic, metal, glass, stone, and more. The material you choose impacts the style as well as the cost. Size and coverage area is another major cost determinant, aside from factors like special shapes, inset accents, etc. This makes it difficult to give a flat rate on backsplash installation costs. However, having a good idea on cost range helps plan and budget this project.

Factors That Influence Backsplash Cost

Several variables affect the total expense of installing a backsplash in your kitchen. The major factors are:


The type of material is the biggest cost factor. Natural stone, metal, and glass are premium options that can run from $50 to $100 per square foot including labor. Tile is the most popular choice for backsplash as you get plenty of styles and patterns at $5 to $50 per square foot installed.

Size and Coverage Area

Total size and wall area covered directly impacts material quantities and overall cost. A full wall 4 feet high x 8 feet wide backsplash requires materials for 32 square feet of coverage. Partial backsplashes of 4 feet high x 4 feet wide need 16 square feet.

Layout and Design Complexity

Simple subway tiles in basic patterns are cheaper to install than mosaic styles, special shapes like hexagons, or inserts of different materials. Complex layouts need more cutting and careful placement which takes more time and labor.

Professional Installation

DIY installation can save on labor but means you need the skills and tools. Hiring a backsplash pro ensures proper installation but adds $40 to $80 per hour to the total project cost.

Other Factors

Location impacts labor rates. Situations like a badly damaged wall or countertop replacements done before the backsplash also add costs.

Cost to Install Different Types of Backsplashes

Now that we’ve looked at what impacts the costs, here is an overview of price ranges for popular backsplash materials:

Ceramic Tile

The convenient modular sizes, vast design options, and lower price point make ceramic or porcelain tile the #1 backsplash choice. Cost per square foot installed falls in the range:

  • Basic ceramic subway tiles: $5 – $10
  • Handpainted tiles: $15 – $25
  • Stone-look porcelain: $25 – $50

A full 4 feet x 8 feet ceramic tile backsplash would cost $160 to $320 for materials and labor.

Natural Stone

Granite, marble, travertine, slate – all make for luxurious backsplashes but also cost more. The price per square foot installed is:

  • Slate : $50 – $60
  • Travertine: $60 – $70
  • Marble: $70 – $100
  • Granite: $80 – $100

That puts a complete 30 square foot granite backsplash at $2,400 to $3,000. Always use a pro for natural stone installations.

Glass Tile

From brilliant gleaming glass to frosted, textured styles, glass mosaic tile backsplashes make a statement. Glass tile costs between:

  • Standard glass tile: $10 – $20
  • Mosaic glass sheets: $25 – $50
  • Recycled/frosted glass: $30 – $60

A 10 square foot accent glass backsplash starts around $300. Use sanded grout to avoid scratching.

Metal Tiles

Metal backsplashes create an industrial modern or vintage flair. The installed cost per square foot is:

  • Standard metal tiles: $25 – $40
  • Stainless steel: $40 – $60
  • Copper: $60 – $100

A 4 feet x 4 feet metal backsplash starts at $400. Pro install is advised.

Laminates and Vinyl

For budget kitchens, laminate and vinyl backsplash sheets cost $1 – $10 per square foot installed. Quick DIY-friendly systems snap into place and mimic more expensive looks like marble or metal.

Cost to Install Backsplash – By Size

Here is a breakdown of estimated costs to install different sizes of backsplash:

4 feet x 4 feet = 16 square feet

  • Ceramic tile: $160 – $320
  • Glass mosaic: $320 – $800
  • Natural stone: $960 – $1600
  • Metal tile: $400 – $960

4 feet x 8 feet = 32 square feet

  • Ceramic tile: $320 – $640
  • Glass mosaic: $640 – $1600
  • Natural stone: $1920 – $3200
  • Metal tile: $800 – $1920

Full wall = 8 feet x 8 feet = 64 square feet

  • Ceramic tile: $640 – $1280
  • Glass mosaic: $1280 – $3200
  • Natural stone: $3840 – $6400
  • Metal tile: $1600 – $3840

As you go beyond 100 square feet for multiple walls or high ceilings, costs can exceed $5000+ quickly.

Cost Saving Tips

Here are some great ways to cut costs on your kitchen backsplash project:

  • Use a thinner border or accent band instead of full wall backsplash.
  • Install a laminate or vinyl backsplash instead of pricier tile or stone.
  • Keep the layout simple – avoid complex patterns and mixes of materials.
  • DIY the demolition and prep work like removing old backsplash.
  • Shop sales and clearance for discount tile and supplies.
  • Use recycled, non-premium glass or irregular stone tiles.
  • Hire a handyperson vs a specialist tile pro for labor.
  • Buy tile and supplies yourself and just hire labor.

Hiring a Pro vs DIY Backsplash

Installing a backsplash yourself can save on labor costs. But for good results you need some tiling experience and access to tools like a wet saw. Key considerations for DIY vs hiring a backsplash installation professional:

Pros of DIY Backsplash

  • Cost savings on labor.
  • Gain tiling skills and experience.
  • Get project satisfaction of doing it yourself.

Cons of DIY Backsplash

  • Need tiling knowledge and learning curve.
  • Have to buy or rent wet saw and tools.
  • Risk making mistakes a pro would avoid.
  • Gets challenging for large or intricate designs.

Pros of Hiring a Backsplash Pro

  • Ensures proper installation and no rookie mistakes.
  • Perfect results with less headache.
  • Handles all tools, equipment, hauling debris.
  • Can do complex designs easily.

Cons of Hiring a Pro

  • Costs $40 to $80 per hour for labor.
  • Scheduling and timing issues.
  • You have less control over project.

For most homeowners without tiling experience, hiring a backsplash professional gives the best results.

The Bottom Line

The total cost to install a kitchen backsplash runs $5 to $10 per square foot for DIY using basic ceramic tile, and $40 to $100 per square foot when hiring a pro for premium materials like natural stone or glass. Size of the backsplash is the biggest cost factor, with professional installation and complex designs also increasing price.

While backsplashes are an investment, they provide great returns by boosting kitchen style and protecting your walls. Reduce costs by keeping the size manageable, using less expensive materials like ceramic tile, and taking on prep work or the full project yourself if you have some tiling experience.

Frequently Asked Questions About Backsplash Costs

Q: How much does the average kitchen backsplash cost?

A: For DIY with basic ceramic subway tiles, budget $150 – $300. Hiring a pro to install stone or glass backsplash costs $400 to $1000 on average.

Q: What is the cheapest option for a kitchen backsplash?

A: Vinyl and laminate backsplash panels cost just $1 to $10 per square foot installed. Peel-and-stick backsplash tiles are another affordable option starting around $5 per square foot.

Q: How can I save money on my backsplash?

A: Do the demolition and wall prep yourself. Choose smaller coverage area. Use tiles on clearance or leftovers from other projects. Install a DIY laminate or vinyl backsplash system.

Q: Is it worth paying more for a high-end backsplash?

A: Premium materials like natural stone, metal, or glass tile do add resale value by creating a high-end kitchen. On a budget, focus splurges to a smaller accent backsplash area.

Q: Can I install a backsplash myself as a beginner?

A: With some patience and YouTube tutorial help, beginners can install simpler ceramic tile backsplash designs successfully. Have a pro install stone, glass or mosaic backsplashes.


The typical cost to install a backsplash runs $3 to $10 per square foot in DIY materials, and $5 to $50 per square foot installed when you hire a professional. Size of the backsplash area is the single biggest cost factor. To rein in backsplash costs, limit the coverage area, use budget-friendly ceramic tiles, and take on demo and prep work yourself. With smart planning, you can gain the function and style a backsplash offers without blowing your kitchen renovation budget.