Installing a backsplash in your kitchen can really transform the look and feel of the space. Not only does a backsplash serve a functional purpose by protecting the walls from splashes and spills, it also acts as a decorative focal point and allows you to add color, texture, and personality. When considering a new backsplash, one of the first questions that comes to mind for many homeowners is cost. How much to install backsplash kitchen can vary widely based on the size of the project, the materials selected, and factors like special pattern designs or inset accents. With some planning and research, you can get a quality backsplash installation that fits your budget.
Factors That Determine Backsplash Installation Cost
There are several key factors that impact the overall cost to install a kitchen backsplash:
Size of the Backsplash Area
The total square footage that will be covered is one of the biggest determinants of overall cost. A small backsplash confined to a tiny area around a stove may cost a few hundred dollars. A backsplash running across multiple walls and covering a large surface area could cost $2,000-$5,000 or more. Measure the space carefully to determine square footage so you can budget accurately.
Type of Material
Common backsplash materials range significantly in price. At the lower end, standard ceramic tile may run $5-$10 per square foot installed. An intricate stone, glass or metal backsplash could cost $50 per square foot or higher end. The material choices make a major difference in the project budget.
While savvy DIYers can install their own backsplash and save on labor, many homeowners hire a professional installer. This adds $40-$80 per hour onto the total cost, with labor accounting for 50% or more of the total budget. More complex tile patterns or specialized materials may require more installation time too.
A simple straight brick pattern of subway tiles is fast and easy to install. Intricate patterns, angled designs, stones cut into unique shapes, and mosaic styles take more time, skill, and care to install correctly. The labor costs rise accordingly.
Backsplashes can be jazzed up with special accents like glass tile inserts, decorative borders, mosaic medallions, or bands of contrasting colors and textures. These add-ons add cost but provide great visual impact.
The right accessories can take a backsplash to the next level. Accents like trim pieces, decorative metal tiles, and trim help finish off the design professionally. Count on an extra $200-$500 for high-end accessories and trim work.
Cost to Install Backsplash by Material
Here is an overview of estimated costs to install some of the most popular kitchen backsplash materials:
Ceramic tile provides an affordable and versatile backsplash option starting around $5 per square foot. The total cost to install a ceramic tile backsplash ranges from $800-$1,500 depending on the tile size, pattern complexity, and overall scope of the project. Glazed ceramic, porcelain, and terracotta tiles are all budget-friendly possibilities.
Elegant glass backsplash tile creates brilliant gleaming effects, at a cost of $15-$50 per square foot installed. Many homeowners accent key areas like the range or sink with glass tile rather than use it for the entire backsplash. Total costs are $1,500-$5,000.
Granite, marble, travertine and slate backsplash tiles lend natural beauty with prices starting at $15 per square foot. Installation costs for stone tile backsplashes run between $2,000-$5,000 depending on the material and scope. Stone often requires extra care during installation.
A sleek stainless-steel backsplash offers serious contemporary style. The estimated cost is $50-$100 per square foot installed. The entire backsplash installation may run $3,000-$6,000 for a larger kitchen. Professional installation is recommended.
Intricate metal backsplash tiles with copper, bronze and other metallic finishes have visual impact. Costs range from $15-$50 per square foot installed, with the total project budget hitting $2,000-$5,000 overall. Skilled installers are key.
Mosaics use small tiles to form artistic patterns. Material and labor costs are higher, from $15-$50 per square foot. Bold mosaic backsplash projects can cost $3,000 to $6,000. Mosaics require meticulous installation.
Cost to Install Backsplash Labor
Professional installation is recommended for most backsplash projects. Here are typical labor costs:
- Tile Installer Hourly Rate – $40-$80 per hour
- Total Labor Time – 8-40 hours depending on size and complexity
- Simple Ceramic Tile Install – 8-16 hours
- Detailed Stone, Mosaic or Metal Tile Install – 16-40 hours
- Total Labor Costs – $400-$3,000+
Many tile installers charge a minimum fee or half-day rate. Discuss labor costs upfront so there are no surprises.
Cost to Remove Existing Backsplash
If replacing an outdated backsplash, you’ll need to factor in removal costs. Removing ceramic or stone tile costs $2-$5 per square foot. Removing heavy materials like stone requires more time. Typical costs:
- Labor for Tile Removal – $100-$500
- Landfill Fees for Disposal – $50-$150
- New Drywall if Damage Occurs – $250-$500
DIY Backsplash Installation Costs
For homeowners experienced in tiling, a DIY backsplash project can save substantially on labor. You’ll need tools like a tile cutter, materials for the substrate and thinset mortar, grout, spacers and sealer. Total costs for a DIY install:
- Tile and Supplies – $300-$1,500
- Tools (if needed) – $50-$200
- Total DIY Install Cost – $400-$1,700
Keep in mind the learning curve if attempting specialty decorative designs. Complex patterns like herringbone mosaic are best left to the professionals.
Factors That Increase Backsplash Installation Cost
Be aware of these extra factors that can drive up the price of a backsplash installation:
- Surface Area – The larger the backsplash area, the higher the cost.
- Specialty Materials – Unique stones, glass, metal or handmade tile cost more.
- Intricate Patterns – Mosaic, herringbone, and angled tile patterns require more installation time and skill.
- Accent Inserts – Glass, metal or ceramic accents add cost but provide visual pop.
- Niche or Shelving – Backsplash niches for storing utensils add carpentry work.
- Permits – Larger projects may require building permits at added cost.
- Contractors Overhead and Profit – Expect to pay 15%-25% over direct expenses.
How to Save on Backsplash Installation
There are ways to get a gorgeous new backsplash on a budget:
Purchase Materials Yourself – Tile showrooms will mark up product costs. Buy directly from a tile supplier.
Use Accents Strategically – Use higher end glass, metal or stone only on key areas rather than the entire wall.
Install a Smaller Backsplash – Tailor the backsplash to just the cooktop area if you are on a tight budget.
Do a DIY Install – Skilled DIYers can save substantially on labor costs. Watch online tutorials.
Shop Discount Outlets – Check outlets and clearance for discounted overstock tile.
Watch for Tile Store Sales – Stock up when tile shops have periodic sales.
Backsplash Installation Cost Per Square Foot
On average, you can expect to pay the following per square foot installed:
- Low-end Ceramic Tile – $5-$10 per sq. ft.
- Mid-range Stone/Glass Blend – $15-$25 per sq. ft.
- High-end Handmade Tile – $30-$50 per sq. ft.
Calculate the total square footage and use these ranges to estimate overall budget. The actual costs depend on the specific materials chosen.
Backsplash Maintenance Costs
No backsplash will retain its beauty without regular care. Here are typical backsplash maintenance costs:
- Annual Deep Cleaning – $150-$300 professionally; $50-$100 for DIY
- Re-Sealing Grout Every 2-3 Years – $1-$2 per sq. ft.
- Polishing Metal or Stone – $200-$400 every 3-5 years
- Replacing Damaged Tiles – $5-$50 per tile
Build maintenance into your long-term budget and care for the backsplash properly. Clean spills immediately to prevent staining.
FAQs About Backsplash Installation Costs
What is the cheapest option for a backsplash?
Standard white 3×6” ceramic subway tiles offer an affordable and classic backsplash look starting around $5 per square foot installed.
What backsplash material looks most expensive?
Glass, metallic and handmade art tile backsplashes make the most impressive design statement.
What tile shape is cheapest to install?
Simple straight brick patterns with rectangular subway tile are the most budget friendly layout. Intricate shapes like hexagons cost more in labor.
Can I install a backsplash myself?
With some DIY skill and patience, you can install a ceramic tile backsplash yourself and save on labor. Watch online tutorials.
How much does it cost to install a marble backsplash?
Count on spending $15-$30 per square foot for installation of a marble tile backsplash. The total cost for a larger kitchen backsplash may be $3,000-$5,000.
Installing a new backsplash is one of the most effective ways to transform the look of a kitchen. While costs vary widely based on the size, materials, and complexity of the design, the right backsplash can be achieved even on a tight budget. With some careful planning around tile choices and installation options, you can get the backsplash of your dreams at a price you can afford. Paying attention to precise measurements, utilizing accents judiciously, and shopping for deals will all help stretch your backsplash budget. Investing in this focal area of the kitchen is well worth the cost for years of beauty and easier cleanups.