How Much to Get Backsplash Installed

Backsplashes are an essential design element in any kitchen. Not only do they protect your walls from splashes and stains, but they also add visual interest and tie your design together. If you’re looking to add a backsplash to your kitchen, you’re probably wondering – how much will it cost? The price can vary greatly depending on the materials, complexity of the design, and other factors. This guide will break down the cost considerations so you can budget for your backsplash project.


The material you choose for your backsplash will have a significant impact on the total cost. Here are some of the most popular options and their typical price ranges:


Ceramic tile: $5-$25 per sq. ft. installed

Ceramic is one of the most budget-friendly backsplash materials. You can find simple ceramic tiles for as low as $5 per square foot. Handmade or mosaic tiles will cost more.

Porcelain tile: $15-$50 per sq. ft. installed

Denser and more durable than ceramic, porcelain tiles range from basic white subway tiles to elaborate mosaics. Material costs vary widely.

Glass tile: $25-$50 per sq. ft. installed

Glass backsplash tiles make a gorgeous, shiny statement. They are pricier than ceramic or porcelain. Installation is also trickier which increases labor costs.

Stone tile: $40-$100 per sq. ft. installed

Natural stone like marble, travertine, and granite add impressive beauty and value. But the dense materials are expensive and difficult to cut and install.

Metal tile: $25-$100 per sq. ft. installed

Metal tiles are great for contemporary kitchens. Stainless steel, copper, and aluminum options are available. Prices span a wide range.

Alternatives to Tile

Stainless steel: $40-$100 per sq. ft. installed

Full sheets of stainless steel make for a sleek, modern backsplash. The installation process is simpler than tile. Costs are comparable to natural stone tile.

Glass sheets: $100-$200 per sq. ft. installed

Large panes of glass can be mounted as a backsplash. This creates a clean, seamless look. The glass itself is pricier than tile or metal. Installation costs are also high.

Reclaimed wood: $20-$50 per sq. ft. installed

For a rustic, vintage look, you can install reclaimed wood boards. The weathered, natural material is less expensive than tile. You can install it yourself to save on labor.

Laminate: $15-$35 per sq. ft. installed

Laminate backsplash sheets mimic the look of more expensive materials for less. While not as durable as real stone or metal, laminate is an affordable option.

Paint: $1-$3 per sq. ft.

For DIYers on a very tight budget, a painted backsplash is an option. Use a high-gloss enamel paint for a shiny, wipeable finish. Costs are for materials only.

Factors Affecting the Cost

Aside from the backsplash materials, several other factors impact the total installation cost:

Size of the area: The larger the backsplash area, the more materials and labor will be required. Prices are usually estimated per square foot.

Custom design: A creative layout with multiple shapes, patterns, and materials will take more time to install. This raises the cost.

Special cutting: Tile that requires meticulous or irregular cuts – like mosaic sheets or marble hexagons – takes extra time and skill to install correctly.

Accent additions: Features like decorative borders, medallions, or niches add to the materials and installation costs.

Complex demolition: Removing an existing backsplash without damaging the walls adds labor. Structural or electrical issues discovered during demo can add cost.

Subcontractors needed: If drywall, electrical, or plumbing work is required before installation, adding subcontractors raises the price.

Accessibility: A difficult area to access, like behind the stove or sink, will take extra time. High or awkward areas also increase installation cost.

Cost to Install Different Types of Backsplashes

Here are estimated costs for installing some of the most popular kitchen backsplash materials, based on a 10×4 foot area:

  • Ceramic subway tile backsplash – $700
  • Stainless steel sheet backsplash – $1,200
  • Mosaic or decorative tile backsplash – $1,600
  • Marble tile backsplash – $2,500
  • Glass sheet backsplash – $3,000
  • Intricate multi-material backsplash – $3,500+

These prices encompass all materials and professional installation labor. They can give you a realistic budget for your project. However, it’s best to get quotes from contractors based on your exact backsplash design.

DIY Installation Cost Savings

One way to reduce the cost of your backsplash project is to install it yourself. The most beginner-friendly materials for DIY are:

  • Subway tile
  • Peel-and-stick vinyl tiles
  • Stainless steel sheets
  • Reclaimed wood
  • Laminate
  • Paint

By handling demo of your old backsplash and doing the new installation yourself, you can save 30-50% on the overall project cost. The tradeoff is that it will take more of your time and effort. Be sure to account for expenses like tile cutters, adhesive, grout, and sealant when calculating potential DIY savings.

Hiring Professional Installers

The pro route may cost more upfront, but it comes with advantages like saving your time and getting top-quality results. Here are tips for getting the best value:

  • Get at least 3 detailed quotes to compare pricing.
  • Ask about any additional charges beforehand – for extra cutting, demolition fees, etc.
  • Verify the installer will do any wall preparation needed.
  • Confirm they have experience with your chosen backsplash type.
  • Read reviews and verify licenses before hiring.
  • Avoid paying 100% upfront. Hold back some payment until the job is done.

A professional installer should be skilled at making tricky cuts, getting clean edges, properly sealing materials, and achieving a seamless overall look. Their expertise is worth the price for many homeowners.

Factors That Increase Project Costs

There are a few scenarios where your backsplash installation may end up costing more than the averages:

  • Significant wall prep is needed before installation.
  • Electrical or plumbing work needs to be done behind the walls first.
  • There are multiple accent pieces, irregular edges, or complex mosaic patterns.
  • Hard-to-find specialty tiles or materials are being shipped in.
  • The area is very difficult to access and requires extra labor time.
  • Removing the old backsplash damages the wall and repairs are needed.
  • You’re combining multiple materials like tile, glass, and metal.

Any of these factors can bump up the price due to increased materials, extra installation steps, additional subcontractors, or behind-the-scenes structural work needed. Be sure your installer gives you an accurate quote upfront that accounts for any complexities.

Cost Savings Tips

If your backsplash installation quote is beyond your budget, there are a few ways to reduce the price:

Go for the simplest design – Minimal cuts and patterns will require less installation time and labor costs.

Use budget-friendly materials like ceramic tile instead of natural stone.

Look for tile sales – Time your project around major home improvement sales.

Install yourself if you have the DIY skills.

Get quotes from several installers and go with the best value.

Wait for remodeling sales – Some companies offer discounts during slower seasons.

Use backsplash as a DIY accent wall rather than full room height for fewer materials.

Hiring the Right Pro for Your Project

Finding the right backsplash installation pro involves more than just choosing the lowest bid. You need an experienced contractor who can handle your specific job. Here are tips for hiring:

  • Ask to see examples of previous backsplash projects they’ve installed, ideally similar to what you want.
  • Verify they have experience with the materials you want to use like metal tile, glass sheets, or mosaics.
  • Check reviews and ask for references from recent clients.
  • Look for any red flags like lack of licensing or wanting full payment upfront.
  • Get a detailed written quote that outlines specific costs and any warranties.
  • Clarify who will be responsible for tasks like demolition, wall prep, cleanup, permits, sealing, etc.
  • Ask lots of questions and voice any concerns before signing a contract.

Hiring a true backsplash professional will increase your odds of a stunning finished product you’ll love. Take time to carefully evaluate candidates during the hiring process.

Is the Cost of a Backsplash Worth It?

With the wide range of backsplash costs, you may be wondering – is it worth investing in one at all? If you’re remodeling your kitchen, the answer is typically yes. Here are some of the benefits that come with installation:

Visual appeal – An eye-catching backsplash is a focal point that elevates your whole design.

Protects walls – Backsplashes prevent damage from water, grease, food, and other spills.

Easier to clean – Backsplashes wipe clean more easily than drywall.

Adds value – Updating to a tile, stone, or glass backsplash increases home resale value.

Allows creativity – From bold patterns to custom murals, backsplashes offer design flexibility.

Long-lasting – Materials like porcelain or metal backsplashes last for many years with proper sealing.

For most homeowners, the benefits outweigh the cost investment in a quality backsplash installation. Focus on choosing materials within your budget that suit your kitchen’s style.

When to Splurge or Save on Your Backsplash

If certain backsplash materials are beyond your budget, look for ways to save without sacrificing your whole design:

Splurge on: Accent areas seen up close, like behind the stove or sink. These spots make the biggest visual impact.

Save on: Hard-to-see upper wall areas. Simple white tiles or paint work for these sections.

Splurge on: Your kitchen’s focal feature, like a decorative tile pattern over the cooktop.

Save on: Bordering areas around the focal feature. Use more affordable coordinating tile.

Splurge on: High-end countertops and backsplash. Pair luxurious materials like marble and metal for drama.

Save on: Kitchen cabinets if needed. The counters and backsplash will draw attention.

Splurge on: Backsplash materials that tie into cabinets or appliances, creating a unified look.

Save on: Decor extras like glass inserts or listello borders. Stick to key materials only.

Getting creative with placement of splurges and savings allows you to work within your budget and still achieve a high-end designer look.

Maintaining Your Investment Over Time

Once your beautiful new backsplash is installed, maintaining it properly will keep it looking like new for many years. Here are some tips:

  • Seal grout and natural stone annually to prevent staining and damage.
  • Use non-abrasive cleaners and soft sponges only – no harsh scrubbing.
  • Immediately wipe up any spills on metal, glass, or tile backsplashes.
  • Re-caulk areas like the counter-backsplash junction when needed.
  • Limit direct sunlight exposure, which can fade some materials.
  • Follow any specific care guidelines from your backsplash manufacturer.
  • Address any cracks, loose tiles, or damage right away to prevent worsening.

With proper care, your kitchen backsplash will maintain its beauty and function while increasing your home’s value. Follow these maintenance tips to protect your investment.

Achieving the Look You Want Within Your Budget

The cost of a new backsplash can span a wide range depending on your kitchen’s size, design plans, choice of materials, and other factors. Having a budget is key to choosing the right backsplash that achieves the look you want without overspending.

From affordable ceramic to stunning natural stone, glass, or metal, backsplash options exist at any budget level. Comparing installer quotes, choosing the simplest design that suits your style, and looking for sales can help lower costs. With strategic planning, you can get the backsplash of your dreams and stay within your ideal remodeling budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a kitchen backsplash cost per square foot?

Backsplash costs can range from $5 – $100 per square foot or more, depending on the material. Simple ceramic tile can cost as little as $5 per square foot while premium materials like glass or marble tile can exceed $50-100 per square foot installed.

What is the most cost-effective backsplash?

Ceramic subway tiles offer an affordable and classic option starting around $5 per square foot. Vinyl peel-and-stick tiles are another budget-friendly choice at $10-20 per square foot. For low cost, try a DIY painted backsplash using high-gloss enamel paint.

What backsplash is best for resale value?

Upgrading to stone, marble, or glass tile backsplashes adds significant resale value. Stainless steel, reclaimed wood, or mosaic tile backsplashes also appeal to potential buyers. Avoid dated or quirky materials if resale value is a priority.

Can you put backsplash over existing tile?

It is possible to install a new backsplash over existing tile or laminate backsplash. But this adds complexity and limits the materials you can use. Removing the old backsplash completely is best for proper installation of most new materials.

How much does it cost to remove a backsplash?

If you can do it yourself, costs are minimal – just safety gear, tools, and debris disposal. For professional removal, costs range from $2-5 per square foot depending on factors like demolition, damage repair, debris hauling, and wall prep needed.


Determining the costs for a kitchen backsplash installation involves considering sizing, materials, preparation work, and other project-specific factors. While tile is the most popular choice, glass, metal, stone, laminate, or wood backsplashes each create different visual effects at a wide range of price points. Set a realistic budget by getting quotes for your exact project scope. With planning, you can achieve the backsplash design you want for your kitchen within your budget.