How Much to Replace a Backsplash – The Complete Guide

Replacing your outdated or damaged backsplash can completely transform the look and feel of your kitchen. But before you dive in, it’s important to understand the costs involved so you can budget accordingly. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about how much it costs to replace a backsplash.

Factors That Influence Backsplash Replacement Cost

Several key factors impact the total cost of replacing your backsplash:


The material you choose for your new backsplash will significantly affect the overall price. Some popular backsplash materials and their typical costs include:

  • Ceramic tile – $5-$20 per sq. ft. installed
  • Glass tile – $15-$30 per sq. ft. installed
  • Metal tile – $15-$50 per sq. ft. installed
  • Stone tile – $40-$100 per sq. ft. installed
  • Mosaic tile – $10-$35 per sq. ft. installed
  • Stainless steel – $40-$75 per sq. ft. installed
  • Peel-and-stick tile – $2-$5 per sq. ft. (DIY install)

More exotic or custom materials like handmade tiles, natural stone, or recycled glass can cost $50 per sq. ft. or more.

Size of the Backsplash

The overall size of your backsplash will also affect the total replacement cost. Measure the height and width of your existing backsplash and multiply to determine the square footage. Most standard backsplashes range from 50-100 square feet.

Layout Complexity

Simple layouts with few seams, cuts, or special shapes will be cheaper to install than intricate designs. Complex patterns, mosaics, or artisan tiles require more labor time and custom cutting, increasing costs.

Installation Location

If your backsplash installation area has easy access and no special requirements, it will generally cost less than tricky spaces behind appliances or on uneven surfaces. Outlets, switches, and built-in fixtures can also add time and difficulty to the install.

DIY vs. Professional Installation

Replacing a backsplash as a DIY project can save on labor costs, but runs the risk of improper installation. Hiring a professional tilter typically costs $50-$100 per hour and ensures expertise.

Tile Edging and Trim

Any decorative edging, accent tile, trim, or specialized pieces will increase your backsplash budget. Simple projects with few extras cost less.

With all these factors in mind, most standard kitchen backsplash replacements run $1000 to $4000 professionally installed. Let’s break down the costs in more detail.

Backsplash Replacement Cost Breakdown

Here is an overview of what’s included in a typical professional backsplash installation quote:

  • Tile cost – $5-$50 per sq. ft. for materials
  • Tile edging and accent trim – $2-$10 per linear foot
  • Adhesives and grout – $150 – $300
  • Labor – $50-$100 per hour
  • Sealing and protection – $100-$200
  • Removal and disposal of old backsplash – $150-$300
  • Additional materials – $100-$500 (backing board, tools, etc)

So for a 100 sq ft ceramic tile backsplash with simple edging and standard grout, you might budget:

  • $1000 for tile materials ($10 per sq. ft)
  • $100 for trim and edging
  • $200 for adhesives and grout
  • $1000 for labor (10 hours at $100 per hour)
  • $150 for sealing and protection
  • $200 for removal and disposal
  • $100 for additional materials and tools

Total: $2750

But a more premium material like marble mosaic would alter the costs:

  • $3500 for a specialty marble mosaic tile ($35 per sq. ft.)
  • $500 for intricate tile edge trim
  • $300 for specialized adhesive and grout
  • $1200 for extended professional labor time (12 hours)
  • $250 for sealing and protection
  • $300 for removal of existing backsplash
  • $200 for additional materials

Total: $6250

As you can see, the material choice alone can double or triple your total backsplash replacement costs. Let’s look at a few popular backsplash tile options in more detail.

Costs for Specific Backsplash Materials

Ceramic Tile Backsplash

Ceramic is one of the most affordable and commonly used kitchen backsplash materials. The tile itself starts at just $5 per square foot, making it budget-friendly. It also comes in endless colors, shapes, and patterns. Simple ceramic tile backsplashes start around $1000 professionally installed.

Glass Tile Backsplash

Elegant and modern, glass tile creates a gleaming backsplash but costs more than ceramic. Expect to pay $1500 to $3000 or more for glass backsplash installation. The specialized grout and labor drive up costs.

Metal Tile Backsplash

Metal backsplashes like stainless steel, tin, or copper make a bold statement. Material prices range widely based on the metal used – tin is the most economical around $15 per square foot, while stainless steel costs $50 or more per square foot. With additional cutting and fabrication labor, metal backsplashes typically cost between $2000-$4000 installed.

Stone Tile Backsplash

Natural stone like marble, travertine, or granite tiles create a high-end, luxurious look. However, stone is one of the most expensive backsplash materials at $50-$100 per square foot or higher. Most stone backsplash installations run $4000-$6000. Granite, slate, and stacked stone backsplashes fall within a similar price range.

Mosaic Tile Backsplash

Intricate mosaic tiles allow for creative designs and artistic backsplashes. Smaller tile size means more grout lines and a longer installation time. Mosaic backsplash costs start around $2000 and go up based on tile material and complexity of the design.

Peel-and-Stick Backsplash

Quick and easy peel-and-stick backsplash tiles cost just $2-$5 per square foot in materials. With DIY installation, you can refresh your backsplash on a budget under $200. Hiring a pro to install peel-and-stick tiles will add $500 or more in labor fees.

Additional Costs to Consider

Beyond the tile itself, consider these extra potential costs when budgeting for your backsplash installation:

  • Backing board – Cement, Durock board, or other backer materials improve adhesion and prevent moisture damage. This adds $100-$300 to materials.
  • Plumbing adjustments – Moving or working around pipes, drains, and fixtures adds complexity and labor time.
  • Electrical adjustments – Outlets or switches in the backsplash area may need to be moved or worked around.
  • Cabinet and countertop protection – Your installer should protect surfaces from damage, but accidents can happen. Repairs or replacement would add unplanned costs.
  • Removal of existing backsplash – Approximately $150-$300 to demo and dispose of old tile professionally. For DIY, you’ll need tools and a disposal method.
  • Trim, accent tiles, and edging – Decorative additions cost $2-$10 per linear foot for materials and extra install time.
  • Sealing and grouting – Sealers and specialty grout (like epoxy) improve durability but add $100-$300 or more to the project.
  • Permits – Your city may require special permits for electrical or plumbing changes, adding permit fees.

With a combination of materials, labor, prep work, protective measures, and finishing touches, most professional kitchen backsplash replacements cost $1500 to $4000 total.

Can You Replace a Backsplash Yourself?

With proper planning, tools, and skill, a DIY backsplash replacement is definitely achievable and affordable. Here are some tips:

  • Remove your old backsplash completely so the new tile has a smooth surface for ideal adhesion.
  • Plan your tile layout and purchase 10-15% extra to account for cuts, errors, and future repairs.
  • Follow all manufacturer instructions for proper installation and setting of adhesives, grout, and sealers.
  • Invest in a quality tile cutter, grout float, and mixing paddle for the materials you select.
  • Take your time cutting any specialty pieces or working around outlets and plumbing.
  • Seal, grout, and protect your finished project according to product specifications.
  • Expect the project to take 2-3 full days for an inexperienced DIYer.

With the right preparation and materials, an average DIY backsplash installation runs $500-$2000, saving thousands compared to hiring a pro. Make sure to do your homework before taking on a DIY backsplash replacement.

Backsplash Installation Cost: DIY vs Pro

For those wondering whether to DIY or hire a professional for your backsplash replacement, here’s an overview of the cost differences:

DIY Backsplash Cost

  • Materials only: $100-$2000
  • Able to save 40-50% on costs
  • Requires tools, equipment, expertise
  • High risk of installation errors
  • 2-3 full days of labor for an amateur

Professional Backsplash Cost

  • Total project cost: $1500-$6000
  • Expert installation for best durability
  • Smoother finish and precise cuts
  • Fixed costs and warranty on work
  • Completed in 1-2 days

Hiring a qualified pro to install your backsplash costs more upfront, but can save headaches, mistakes, and do-overs down the line. For DIYers with tiling experience, smaller backsplash projects under 50 sq ft can certainly be managed.

Ultimately, assess your skill level, budget, and project scope to decide whether to DIY or hire a backsplash installation contractor.

Factors That Increase Backsplash Replacement Cost

Several variables can quickly increase the cost of your backsplash installation:

  • Premium or custom tile materials
  • Intricate tile patterns and shapes requiring extra cutting
  • Outlets, plumbing, or uneven walls complicating install
  • Professional demolition and disposal of old backsplash
  • Edging, trim, accent tiles, and mosaics
  • Grout sealing and added accessories
  • Specialty grout or adhesives
  • spackling, repairs, or wall prep needed
  • City permits required

Even a DIY backsplash can quickly skyrocket from a few hundred dollars to $2000+ when choosing high-end tile materials or dealing with a problematic installation area. Be prepared for added expenses beyond just the tile itself.

Saving on Backsplash Installation

To keep your backsplash replacement affordable, consider these cost-saving tips:

  • Choose affordable tile material like ceramic, porcelain, or peel-and-stick
  • Opt for basic colors and simple tile shapes requiring fewer cuts
  • DIY the demo and disposal of your old backsplash
  • Do the installation yourself if experienced with tiling
  • Visit home improvement stores for discounted or clearance tile
  • Use white grout instead of more expensive colored grout
  • Skip additional trim, banding, edging, and accent tiles
  • Reuse your existing backerboard if still in good shape
  • Comparison shop materials and labor rates
  • Provide your own tools and materials to avoid markups

Even small changes like using basic white grout over epoxy grout can yield big savings. Prioritize the function and look you want rather than paying for unnecessary frills.

Backsplash Tile Ideas on a Budget

Here are some stylish backsplash ideas perfect for the budget-conscious:

Peel-and-Stick Backsplash

Self-adhesive peel-and-stick backsplash tiles make for an easy, affordable upgrade. At just $2-$5 per square foot, you can refresh your backsplash without the cost of a full tile installation.

Painted Backsplash

Give your existing backsplash or drywall a fresh look with high-quality kitchen paint for $50-$100. Choose a bright, glossy sheen for easy wipe-downs.

Basic Ceramic Subway Tile

Classic white 3×6” subway tiles are an ideal budget backsplash at just $5-$10 per square foot. Achieve the look for less with affordable ceramic.

Discount Porcelain Tile

Porcelain tiles offer superior durability and water-resistance compared to ceramic, often at a better price. Check home improvement stores for sales on quality discount porcelain tile.

Faux Tin Ceiling Tiles

For a vintage flair, install inexpensive tin-look ceiling tiles in place of a traditional backsplash for under $300.

With smart planning and savvy shopping, you can certainly install an attractive new backsplash on a tight timeline without blowing your budget. Focus on the size, layout, prep work, and installation process to control costs.

Backsplash Installation: DIY or Pro?

Deciding between a DIY backsplash project or hiring a professional comes down to a few key considerations:

DIY Backsplash

  • Better for smaller, simple layouts
  • Provides potential cost savings
  • Allows customization and creative choices
  • Requires tiling skill and proper tools
  • Risk of installation issues if inexperienced

Professional Backsplash

  • Recommended for large or complex layouts
  • Ensures proper installation and durability
  • No purchasing tools or learning curve
  • Allows focusing on materials and design choices
  • Provides warranties and risk reduction

Review your specific backsplash goals, installation area, skill level, and budget to determine if DIY or professional installation is the best route for your kitchen. A qualified contractor can advise on the complexity of your project and whether it falls within DIY capabilities.

Key Takeaways on Backsplash Replacement Costs

  • The most significant cost factors are tile materials, size, layout, and professional vs. DIY labor.
  • Ceramic, porcelain, and peel-and-stick tiles offer affordable options starting around $1000 installed.
  • Natural stone, metal, glass, and mosaic backsplashes cost $2000 to $6000+ installed.
  • Complex patterns, tricky installation areas, and specialty tiles raise costs quickly.
  • Experienced DIYers can save 40-50% but assume risk and labor time.
  • Most professional kitchen backsplash installations range $1500-$4000.
  • Focus on prep work, smart tile choices, and efficient installation to control your budget.

By understanding what impacts backsplash replacement costs, planning your materials and layout strategically, and deciding on DIY vs professional install, you can update your kitchen backsplash beautifully within your budget.

How to Choose the Right Backsplash for Your Kitchen (On a Budget)

Selecting the perfect backsplash tile can be overwhelming with so many options to consider from color and style to durability and cost. If you’re on a budget, here are some tips for choosing affordable, quality backsplash tile that enhances your kitchen’s style.

Consider Material Costs

Tile material impacts price significantly. Compare costs per square foot:

  • Ceramic: $5-$15
  • Porcelain: $7-$20
  • Glass: $15-$30
  • Mosaic: $10-$35
  • Stone: $40-$100

Ceramic, porcelain, and mosaic provide the best value. Look for sales to save even more on materials.

Focus on Simple Shapes

Brick, square, or subway-shaped backsplash tiles are the most budget-friendly. Intricate tile shapes and mosaics require more cutting labor and waste material, increasing costs.

Choose a Neutral Color Palette

Stick with white, off-white, gray, or black backsplash tiles. Vibrant colored or multi-colored tile is often priced at a premium. Neutral shades offer flexibility to change up accessories down the road.

Consider Peel-and-Stick Backsplash

Self-adhesive peel-and-stick backsplash tiles offer an affordable, DIY-friendly option starting around $2 per square foot. Use high-quality materials for longevity.

Check Big Box Stores for Deals

Home improvement warehouses frequently discount backsplash tile, especially if they are overstocked or discontinuing a line. Shop clearance sections and aim for 10-20% below retail tile prices.

Set Realistic Expectations

Avoid getting sucked into expectations set by design magazines and Instagram. Luxury materials are tempting but not mandatory for a beautiful backsplash that works within your budget.

DIY the Installation

Professionally installed backsplashes cost $2000+ typically. With proper planning and materials, you can install backsplash tile yourself over a weekend and save significantly on labor.

Skip the Extras

Fancy trim, listello, accent tiles, and mosaics look lovely but also drive up costs quickly. For budget backsplash projects, stick to the tile field and minimal extras.

Compare Contractor Quotes

Get 3+ quotes from qualified local contractors before committing. Be sure all bids reflect the same scope of work. Negotiate pricing and find the best value.

Focus your backsplash plans on simple, neutral, affordable tile styles and smart shopping strategies. With some savvy planning, you can certainly create a beautiful backsplash without blowing your kitchen renovation budget.

How Long Does It Take to Install a New Backsplash?

If you’re preparing for a new backsplash installation, whether DIY or hired out, an important consideration is the timeframe. Let’s look at what’s involved and how long your backsplash tile installation is likely to take.

Backsplash Installation Timeline

The total timeline to install a new backsplash typically spans 3-5 days:

Day 1:

  • Remove old backsplash and prep work area (~2-5 hours)

Day 2:

  • Install backer board, if needed (~2-4 hours)
  • Dry fit tiles and cut to fit (~4-8 hours)

Day 3:

  • Apply thinset and install tile (~6-12 hours)
  • Apply grout (~1-3 hours)

Day 4:

  • Seal and finish grout (~1-2 hours)