How Much to Retile a Kitchen Backsplash

Retiling your kitchen backsplash can significantly update the look of your kitchen. However, it does require careful planning and budgeting. Here is a comprehensive guide on how much it costs to retile a kitchen backsplash.


The backsplash is one of the most visible parts of any kitchen. Over time, backsplashes can start to look dated, get stained, or become damaged. Retiling a backsplash is an impactful way to update the look of your kitchen without undergoing a full remodel. When considering how much it costs to retile a kitchen backsplash, there are several factors to take into account:

  • Size of the backsplash area
  • Type of tile material
  • Pattern and design complexity
  • Labor costs
  • Any electrical or plumbing changes needed
  • Prep work required

Understanding these elements will help you create an accurate budget and set realistic expectations for the project.

Factors That Impact Cost

Size of the Backsplash Area

The size of the area being tiled is one of the biggest factors in overall project cost. Measure the backsplash space in square feet to estimate how much tile and grout you will need. Standard backsplash dimensions are anywhere from 15 to 30 square feet. Larger kitchens or full wall backsplashes can be 50 square feet or more.

In general, expect to pay $5 to $25 per square foot for a contractor to install a new backsplash depending on tile choices.

Tile Material

Porcelain, ceramic, glass, metal, and stone tiles range dramatically in price from $1 per square foot up to $50 or more. More expensive tile materials will raise the total project cost. Keep in mind that natural stone or glass backsplashes require more skill to install, which also increases labor fees.

Design Complexity

Simple patterns like subway tile tend to cost less than intricate mosaics or artistic designs. The tile layout you choose also affects installation time and difficulty. Expect to pay more for diagonal layouts, mixing multiple tile sizes or materials, and precise border or accent elements.

Labor Costs

Contractor fees make up a significant portion of the total backsplash installation cost. Rates can range from $50 to $100 per hour or more based on your location and the pro’s experience level. Be sure to get an itemized estimate of labor hours and material costs.

Electrical and Plumbing

If any electrical outlets, switches, or plumbing lines are located in the backsplash area, they will need to be recessed or moved to accommodate the new tile thickness. This may involve extra installation fees.

Prep Work

Existing backsplashes need to be thoroughly prepped for new tile installation. This may involve caulking or repairing drywall, sanding, and priming the surface. Any costs for prep work should be included in the project estimate.

Cost Breakdown

With all these factors considered, what is the typical range of costs for a backsplash installation? Here is an overview of prices:

  • Economy Tile + Basic Labor: $300 to $700
  • Mid-Range Tile + Install: $700 to $1,500
  • Premium Tile + Complex Design: $1,500 to $3,000+

These numbers assume an average 10×10 kitchen with a 30 square foot backsplash. Prices could be double for larger kitchen spaces or full wall installations.

Keep reading for a more detailed cost breakdown with different backsplash scenarios.

Cost to Retile a Small Backsplash Area

For a small backsplash span of 10-15 square feet, using economical tile and a simple install, total costs can range from $200 to $500.

This assumes:

  • Contractor labor around $50/hour for 5 hours total.
  • Low cost ceramic or porcelain tile at $2 – $5 per square foot.
  • Minimal demo of existing backsplash.
  • Straightforward tile pattern like subway or single row standard size.

With a few added details like decorative listello or accent strips, glass tiles, niche, or mosaic design, the costs for a small backsplash project could reach $750 to $1,000.

Cost for Standard Mid-Size Backsplash

A typical backsplash covering 20-30 square feet of wall space will have total install costs in the range of $500 to $1,500.

The cost includes:

  • Contractor fees around $70/hour for 10 – 20 hours labor.
  • Tile prices from $5 – $15 per square foot like ceramic, porcelain or handmade.
  • Some electrical modifications if needed.
  • Demolition and disposal of old backsplash.
  • Mid-range grout, trim, and other materials.

Adding more intricate tile patterns, mixes of materials like glass and stone, ornate borders or accent tiles can increase costs to the $1,500 to $2,500 range.

Cost to Retile a Large, Full Wall Backsplash

For a full backsplash installation covering 40+ square feet of kitchen wall space, total costs typically span $1,000 to $3,000+.

This estimate includes:

  • Labor running $70 – $100 per hour for 25 – 40 hours.
  • Higher end tile material from $10 – $50 per square foot like marble or handpainted.
  • More extensive plumbing or electrical modifications.
  • Removal and disposal of old full backsplash.
  • Meticulous tile layout with decorative accents.

Completely upgrading a larger kitchen backsplash with semi-precious stone, intricate mosaics, or creative custom designs can cost $3,000 to $5,000 or more.

Factoring in Demolition Costs

If you decide to remove an existing backsplash instead of tiling over it, this will add demolition costs to your project budget. Typical range:

  • Basic Demolition: $200 – $500
  • Full Backsplash Removal: $500 – $1,500

Proper disposal of old tiles and underlying materials also needs to be included.

Additional Kitchen Updates to Consider

If you are going to the work and expense of backsplash installation, it is smart to consider related kitchen upgrades at the same time. Popular complementary projects include:

  • New faucet and sink
  • Paint or refinish cabinets
  • Improve lighting and electrical
  • Replace countertops
  • Upgrade flooring

Doing these renovations together maximizes savings compared to separate projects down the road. Be sure to factor these costs into your total kitchen remodel budget.

DIY vs Hiring a Pro

Some homeowners tackle backsplash installation as a DIY project to save on labor fees. This is possible for small areas using peel-and-stick backsplash panels or basic tile patterns.

However, tiling large areas or complicated designs has a steep learning curve. Unless you have experience with tile work, mistakes can happen and may end up costing more than professional installation.

Carefully consider your skill level and the complexity of the desired backsplash before opting for a DIY project.

Key Takeaways

  • Backsplash installation costs typically range from $300 – $3,000+ depending on size, materials, and design intricacy.
  • Labor makes up a significant portion of the total cost, from $50 – $100 per hour.
  • Tile prices range dramatically – from $1 to $50+ per square foot.
  • Additional electrical, plumbing, demo and prep work can add to the total cost.
  • Full wall backsplash installs cost $1,000 to $5,000+ for larger kitchens.

With proper planning and budgeting for all aspects of the project, you can successfully retile your backsplash and enjoy a beautiful, updated kitchen space.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to retile a small backsplash area?

For a small backsplash of 10-15 square feet, expect total costs of $200-$500 using economical tile and simple installation. With more intricate details, costs for a small backsplash can reach $750-$1,000.

What is the cost to retile a typical mid-sized backsplash?

For a standard backsplash spanning 20-30 square feet, total install costs typically range between $500-$1,500. This covers contractor labor, mid-range tile, demolition, and some electrical modifications as needed.

How much does it cost to replace a full backsplash in a large kitchen?

For a complete backsplash covering 40+ square feet, costs are usually $1,000-$3,000+. Using premium tiles and complex designs can raise the cost to $3,000-$5,000 or more. Labor will be a significant expense.

Should I do it myself or hire a pro?

DIY installation is possible for smaller backsplashes using peel-and-stick tile or basic patterns. For large or intricate backsplashes, hiring a professional tile installer is recommended unless you have experience with tile work.

Does the old backsplash need to be removed before installing a new one?

If the existing backsplash is in good condition, tiles can sometimes be installed over it. But removal is recommended for proper adhesion and to prevent thickness issues with outlets. Demolition and disposal costs need to be added to the budget.

What kitchen upgrades should I consider alongside a new backsplash?

Complementary updates to consider at the same time include new faucets, sinks, countertops, cabinets, lighting, and flooring. Doing upgrades together maximizes cost savings.


Retiling a kitchen backsplash can make a dramatic difference in your home’s style. With an understanding of the many factors that influence cost, you can plan and budget for a successful backsplash installation project. Typical costs range from a few hundred dollars for small projects up to $3,000 or more for large custom backsplashes. Get quotes from experienced contractors and review material options to make choices that work with your budget. With the right prep and planning, you can give your kitchen just the facelift it needs with a backsplash you will love.