How Much to Install Kitchen Tile Backsplash

Kitchen backsplashes not only add visual interest and style to your kitchen, but they also serve the important function of protecting your walls from spills, splatters, and stains. If you’re considering installing a new tile backsplash in your kitchen, you probably want to know how much it will cost so you can budget accordingly. Here’s a detailed overview of the factors that influence the cost of a kitchen tile backsplash installation project.

Tile Material

The type of tile you select will have a significant impact on your total project cost. Natural stone tiles like marble, granite, and slate are generally the most expensive option, costing $15-$40 per square foot. High-end ceramic and porcelain tiles can also be pricey, ranging from $8-$30 per square foot. On the more affordable end, you can find ceramic, porcelain, or glass subway tiles for $5-$15 per square foot.

Some popular backsplash tile materials and average costs are:

  • Ceramic tile: $5-$15 per sq. ft.
  • Porcelain tile: $8-$20 per sq. ft.
  • Glass tile: $10-$20 per sq. ft.
  • Marble tile: $15-$40 per sq. ft.
  • Granite tile: $15-$40 per sq. ft.
  • Slate tile: $15-$30 per sq. ft.

So for example, a kitchen backsplash measuring 30 square feet built with marble tile would cost around $450 to $1200 just for the tile alone.


In addition to material costs, you’ll need to factor in labor charges for installation. Labor costs can vary greatly depending on your geographic location, as well as the complexity of the design. However, on average, you can expect to pay $40-$80 per hour for professional tile installation.

For a basic subway tile backsplash measuring 30 square feet, labor may range from $200-$400. More intricate tile patterns and accents will take more time and skill to install, increasing costs. Get quotes from at least 3 contractors to compare rates.

Additional Costs

On top of tile and installation, your backsplash project will require some supplementary materials and costs:

  • Tile adhesive / grout / spacers – $150+
  • Backerboard – $50+
  • Sealing and finishing products – $75+
  • New faucet / fixtures (optional) – $100+
  • Removal and disposal of old backsplash – $100+

So for a 30 sq. ft. kitchen backsplash using middle-range tile and average labor rates, the total cost could be:

  • Tile: $450 ($15 per sq. ft. porcelain)
  • Labor: $300
  • Materials/other costs: $300

Total: Around $1,050

But this is just a rough estimate. The full costs could be as low as $700 or as high as $2,000+, depending on the factors above. Getting quotes tailored to your specific project will give you the most accurate price.

Cost-Saving Tips

If your budget is tight, here are some tips to install a beautiful backsplash at a lower cost:

  • Use a peel-and-stick tile or tile sheets rather than individual tiles to speed up installation.
  • Choose smaller tiles which take less time to install than large tiles.
  • Install the backsplash yourself if you have tiling experience.
  • Select affordable mosaic sheets rather than hand-placing each mosaic tile.
  • Use porcelain or ceramic instead of natural stone.
  • Shop discount tile outlets and hardware stores for deals.
  • Consider a painted backsplash or laminate sheets rather than tile.

Factors That Increase Project Cost

Be aware that certain backsplash factors can significantly increase your total costs:

  • Natural stone tile types – marble, granite, slate, etc.
  • Intricate patterns and designs – mosaics, accents
  • Glass, metal or handmade artisan tiles
  • Larger tile sizes or unusual shapes
  • Extensive demolition/preparation work needed
  • Plumbing changes – moving pipes or fixtures
  • Large backsplash area – over 30+ sq. ft.
  • Professional tile installation
  • High-end grouts and finishing products

DIY Installation vs Hiring a Pro

One way to potentially save money is to install the backsplash yourself if you have tiling experience. However, keep in mind that professional installation from a contractor who specializes in backsplashes may be worth the investment if you want high-quality, long-lasting results.

Factors to consider when deciding on DIY vs hiring a pro:

Benefits of DIY

  • Less expensive
  • Creative control over project
  • Learn a new skill

Benefits of Hiring a Pro

  • Higher quality installation
  • Advanced cutting precision for intricate tile patterns
  • Correct product selection and usage
  • Efficient installation without mistakes
  • Warranties and protection Plans

Whether you DIY or hire a contractor, make sure to get all costs and expected timelines in writing upfront before work begins. And be sure to budget for contingencies just in case additional costs pop up during the project. With some planning and smart decisions, you can achieve the kitchen backsplash of your dreams at a price you can afford.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a basic subway tile backsplash cost?

A basic 3×6 white subway tile backsplash will cost around $400 to $700 for most standard 10×10 foot kitchens. This assumes mid-range tile prices and professional installation.

What is the cheapest option for a backsplash?

The most budget-friendly options for backsplashes are peel-and-stick tiles, laminate sheets, or painted drywall. These can be installed as a DIY project for under $200 in many cases.

Should I install the backsplash myself or hire a pro?

Installing a tile backsplash yourself can save on labor costs but poses a higher risk of mistakes. Hiring a professional contractor ensures proper installation but costs more. Evaluate your DIY skills and budget to decide.

How much does backsplash installation typically cost per square foot?

On average, expect to pay $5 to $15 per square foot for tile materials, $40 to $80 per hour for labor, and $5 to $10 per square foot for additional installation supplies.

What size tile is best for a backsplash?

4×4, 3×6, 4×12, and mosaic tiles are common backsplash sizes. Larger tiles are faster to install while small mosaic tiles allow for more intricate designs. The size depends on your design preferences.

Can I install a backsplash over existing tile or wall?

In some cases, yes – new tile or other materials can be installed over existing backsplashes. However, your contractor will need to assess if the current wall surface is suitable.


Adding a tile backsplash is a great way to improve both the appearance and functionality of your kitchen. Carefully calculating your total costs and finding the right contractor will ensure your installation goes smoothly. With an attractive backsplash that fits your budget, you can enjoy a more beautiful and practical kitchen for years to come.