How Much to Replace Backsplash


Replacing your existing backsplash with a new one can completely transform the look and feel of your kitchen. However, before diving into a backsplash replacement project, it’s important to have a good understanding of the costs involved so you can budget accordingly. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss the key factors that influence backsplash replacement costs and provide average price ranges so you know what to expect.

Whether you’re looking for an affordable makeover with ceramic tile or want to install high-end natural stone, understanding the backsplash installation cost per square foot for materials and labor will help you estimate the total expenditure. With careful planning and preparation, you can refresh your backsplash on a budget. Let’s get into the details!

Factors That Impact Backsplash Replacement Cost

When estimating your backsplash installation costs, there are several key factors to consider:

Type of Material

The material you choose for your new backsplash will be the primary driver of cost. Pricing can range dramatically based on whether you opt for:

  • Ceramic or porcelain tile: $5-$25 per square foot installed
  • Glass tile: $15-$30 per square foot installed
  • Stainless steel: $20-$50 per square foot installed
  • Natural stone: $40-$100 per square foot installed
  • Mosaic tile: $10-$50 per square foot installed

Material also affects labor time and difficulty, which impacts total installation costs. Porcelain, ceramic, and mosaic tiles are relatively easy for DIY installation if you have tiling experience. Materials like natural stone and glass tile require expertise to cut, install, and grout properly.

Size of the Backsplash Area

The overall size of the backsplash area (in square feet) will also factor into the total project price. Measure the backsplash space to get an accurate area. Even for small kitchens, the backsplash can measure 10-30 square feet when you account for multiple walls.

For larger kitchens with extensive counter space, the backsplash area could be over 50 square feet. The more surface area that requires tiling, the more expensive the project. Measure carefully when calculating square footage during budgeting.

Backsplash Layout Complexity

Simple backsplash layouts using large uniform tiles are cheaper to install than intricate backsplash patterns. Complex designs with mosaics, inlays, specialty trim, and mitered edges take more time and skill to install properly. This gets factored into the labor costs.

If your new backsplash uses many small tiles, varied materials, or tricky cuts around outlets and switches, expect to pay at the higher end of the price range.

Accessibility of the Area

The ease or difficulty of accessing the backsplash area also impacts install costs. A straightforward backsplash area against an empty wall is easier for a tile installer to work with versus a tight space between countertops and cabinets. Hard-to-reach layouts drive up project timelines and expenses.

Grout vs. No Grout

Grout fills in the seams between tiles, but some materials like stainless steel are installed without grout. Grout installation adds labor time and materials costs versus groutless finishes.

Additional Kitchen Modifications

If you’re doing a full kitchen remodel beyond just the backsplash, this allows tilers better access to the space and existing wall materials. Tiling an area that requires sink or appliance removal, wall repairs, or surface prep will cost more in labor and project scope.

Geographic Location

Contractor rates vary based on geographic region and local labor costs. Material prices also fluctuate based on distributor availability. Both should be factored into your backsplash replacement budget.

Average Backsplash Replacement Costs

Now that we’ve covered the major variables for pricing, here are some typical backsplash installation costs:

Ceramic or Porcelain Tile Backsplash

Ceramic and porcelain tile provide an affordable and durable backsplash option starting around $5 per square foot for materials. With professional installation, expect total costs between $10-25 per square foot.

While ceramic and porcelain tile are budget-friendly options, they offer plenty of style. Choose from glossy, matte, stone, or wood-look finishes. Opt for creative patterns and accent stripes. Or stick with classic white subway tile.

For a 10 square foot backsplash, you’d pay around $100-250 for an installed porcelain or ceramic tile backsplash.

Glass Tile Backsplash

Glass tiles make a gorgeous, shiny statement in contemporary kitchens. Glass tiles cost $15-30 per square foot installed. The glass material itself ranges from $15-25 per square foot. Professional installation adds at least $5-10 per square foot.

Glass tile comes in a huge range of colors, shapes, and sizes for ultra-custom designs. Expect to pay towards the higher end of the price range for specialty glass tiles like crackled, iridescent, and hand-painted. Distinctive layouts also drive up the installation work.

For a 10 square foot glass tile backsplash, expect to pay $150-300 or more.

Stainless Steel Backsplash

Stainless steel makes a modern, industrial look for kitchens. Stainless backsplashes typically install without grout. The material costs range from $20-50 per square foot. With professional installation, plan on investing $40-75 per square foot.

Stainless steel backsplashes require precision cutting and installation expertise. This specialty material has a higher labor cost than ceramic or porcelain tile. Costs also depend on the gauge, finish, and pattern of the steel you select.

Expect to pay $400-750 to install a stainless steel backsplash in a 10 square foot space.

Stone Backsplash

Natural stone like marble, travertine, or slate creates a high-end, luxurious backsplash. However, stone is also one of the priciest options. The material alone ranges from $40-100 per square foot. Professional installation brings the total investment between $80-150 per square foot.

Factor in the cost of sealing and re-sealing porous natural stone materials over time. There are also wide color variations in natural stone that add to the overall expense.

For a 10 square foot installation, a premium natural stone backsplash costs $800-1500 or more.

Mosaic Tile Backsplash

Mosaic tiles use small, individual tile pieces to form intricate patterns and pictures. Mosaic backsplash tiles cost $5-50 per square foot with professional installation bringing totals between $15-60 per square foot.

Handcrafted mosaic designs take time to arrange and install. You’ll pay towards the higher end of the price range for specialized mosaic work. Pre-fabricated mosaic sheets help lower the installation labor costs.

Expect to pay $150-600 for a 10 square foot mosaic backsplash installation.

Cost to Install Backsplash Yourself vs. Hire a Pro

For DIYers with tiling experience, installing a backsplash yourself can mean significant savings in labor costs. Basic materials like ceramic tile, subway tile, or mosaic sheets can be installed by an experienced homeowner.

However, beginners can easily compromise walls and finish results trying to install more advanced materials like natural stone and glass tile. The precision cutting and installation process requires skill.

Even with DIY installation of simpler porcelain or ceramic tiles, improperly preparing the surface and using the wrong tools can ruin results. Removing old backsplashes or kitchen walls is also tricky.

Professional backsplash installation averages between $200-500 for most kitchens. This represents 10-20 hours of expert work plus materials costs. While not cheap, you get craftsmanship and finish results that elevate the entire space.

Backsplash Installation Cost Per Hour

When hiring a professional tile installation contractor, here are average hourly labor rates:

  • Ceramic or Porcelain Tile: $35-$50 per hour
  • Natural Stone: $40-$65 per hour
  • Glass Tile: $45-$70 per hour
  • Mosaic: $40-$60 per hour
  • Stainless Steel: $55-$85 per hour

Rates factor in an installer’s expertise with specialty materials like natural stone and glass. Intricate backsplash layouts and tile patterns also demand higher hourly pricing. Expect to pay at least $200-500 for most professional backsplash installation jobs.

Cost to Remove Existing Backsplash

Taking out your old backsplash is an important first step for installation. This includes safely removing the existing tile and thoroughly cleaning the wall surface underneath. For DIY removal, you need a hammer, putty knife, pry bar, screws, and safety gear.

Professional backsplash removal has an average cost of $150-300. Contractors have specialty tools to protect walls and speed up the process. This represents 2-5 hours of labor at $55-85 per hour. Proper backsplash tear out prevents damage so new tile adheres smoothly and lasts.

Low Cost Backsplash Ideas

If your budget is limited, here are some affordable backsplash alternatives under $10 per square foot:

  • Peel-and-stick backsplash tiles or vinyl sheets
  • Painted backsplash mural
  • Wallpaper backsplash
  • Tin backsplash

Peel-and-stick removable tile provides a temporary facelift for just $3-7 per square foot. Backsplash paint in a solid color or mural design costs $2-5 per square foot. Even wallpaper starts around $5 per square foot and lets you change up patterns.

Backsplash Installation Cost Calculator

Use this backsplash calculator example to estimate your total project cost:

  • Backsplash area: 25 sq ft
  • Material: Porcelain tile at $5/sq ft
  • Tile cost for 25 sq ft: $125
  • Professional install at $15/sq ft
  • Labor cost for 25 sq ft: $375
  • Total cost: $500

Adjust the measurements and prices based on your kitchen backsplash size, material selections, and current local installer rates. Smaller backsplashes under 15 square feet can be installed professionally for $200-300 in total.

FAQ About Backsplash Installation Cost

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about backsplash installation costs:

How much does it cost to install a backsplash in a small kitchen?

For a small kitchen backsplash around 10 square feet, expect to pay $200-500 professionally installed. DIY installation just using ceramic tile and basic tools would be under $100.

How can I save money on a backsplash installation?

Choosing affordable tile materials like ceramic, porcelain, or mosaic sheets helps lower material costs. Doing the tear out and installation yourself also saves significantly on labor fees. Consider peel-and-stick tiles for temporary savings.

What is the most affordable backsplash?

Ceramic and porcelain tile are the most budget-friendly backsplash materials, starting around $5 per square foot. Classic white subway tiles keep costs low but provide clean style. Peel-and-stick backsplash tiles are even cheaper at $3-7 per square foot.

How much does it cost to install a kitchen backsplash UK?

In the UK, backsplash installation averages between £25-50 per square meter for labor. Tile materials range from £10-30 per square meter. For the average 30 square foot kitchen backsplash, expect to pay £200-600 total.

How much does a backsplash increase home value?

Adding a backsplash can increase a home’s value from 1-4% of the total project cost. So for a $500 backsplash installation, this boosts the value about $500-2000. Upgrading to stone and glass tiles yields a higher return versus ceramic tile.

Should I install backsplash before or after countertops?

It’s best to install backsplashes after countertops. This allows you to rest the backsplash tiles on top of the countertop for support. It also provides a cleaner transition between the two surfaces.

Enhance Your Kitchen With a New Backsplash

Installing a backsplash provides big visual impact and style to any kitchen. With an understanding of the material options and what impacts costs, you can plan a budget-friendly backsplash project that matches your needs. From affordable ceramic tile to luxurious stone, a new backsplash can modernize your cooking space.

Use our cost guide and backsplash calculator to estimate your total investment. Factor in sizing, materials, layout complexity, and professional versus DIY installation. With the right prep work and design plan, you can install an eye-catching backsplash that boosts your enjoyment of the kitchen for years to come.