A backsplash can dramatically increase the value of your home and improve its visual appeal. When planning a kitchen or bathroom remodel, the addition of a backsplash should not be an afterthought. A well-designed backsplash that complements your design style can be a worthwhile investment that pays off when it comes time to sell your home.
What is a Backsplash?
A backsplash is a decorative, protective wall treatment installed on the wall behind sinks, stoves, ranges, and countertops. Backsplashes prevent water damage, making them essential in kitchens and bathrooms. They also serve an aesthetic purpose, letting you add color, texture, and personality behind your cabinetry and fixtures.
Backsplashes are typically made from tile, stone, glass, metal, or other water-resistant materials. The most common location for a backsplash is behind the kitchen sink and stove. But they can be installed behind bathroom vanities and even used in other rooms as an accent wall.
Benefits of Installing a Backsplash
Here are some of the top benefits of adding a backsplash in your home:
Protects Against Water Damage
A properly sealed backsplash prevents water from penetrating and damaging the drywall underneath. Tile, metal, glass and other non-porous materials make an effective moisture barrier. This protection is especially important around sinks and stoves where frequent splashing occurs.
Easier to Clean
Backsplashes create a smooth, uniform surface that is easier to wipe down and keep clean. The materials used are resistant to oils, heat, and common cooking stains. This makes clean-up much simpler compared to an exposed wall which can harbor grease and grime in its uneven surface.
Adds Visual Interest
Backsplashes provide an opportunity to add eye-catching colors, textures, shapes, and patterns. They can complement your cabinetry, countertops, hardware, and overall design aesthetic. From sleek polished glass to intricate mosaics, backsplashes are a relatively simple way to make a big visual impact.
Personalizes the Space
You can choose a backsplash design that reflects your personal taste and complements your existing decor. Options range from classic white subway tile to bold, graphic patterns. The colors, textures, and styles available make it easy to find or create a look that is uniquely you.
Finishes the Room
A backsplash serves as a finishing touch, seamlessly integrating sinks or stoves into the design of the kitchen or bath. It conceals unfinished wall areas and gives the space a polished, intentional look. Much like trim and molding, it is a detail that pulls the whole room together.
Increases Resale Value
Upgrading to a backsplash is an affordable renovation that can greatly increase your home’s resale value. Stylish, well-executed backsplashes are expected in today’s real estate market. For a relatively small investment, you’ll make your kitchen or bath more enticing to potential buyers.
Popular Backsplash Materials
Backsplashes come in a vast array of materials, colors, textures, sizes, and patterns. Consider the pros and cons of each option as you select the right backsplash for your space:
Ceramic and Porcelain Tile
A classic choice, ceramic and porcelain backsplash tiles are available in endless colors and designs. They are water-resistant, easy to clean, durable, and relatively affordable. Subway tiles, mosaics, and decorative accent tiles are popular options.
Granite, marble, travertine, and slate backsplashes add timeless elegance. Each type of stone has a distinct veining and texture. While moisture-resistant, stone requires resealing over time.stone can also stain and etch.
Glass tile backsplashes have a reflective, jewel-toned effect. They create a sleek, modern look. While durable, glass tile scratches more easily than glazed ceramic and natural stone. Select textured or frosted glass for easier maintenance.
Metal backsplashes like stainless steel, tin, copper, and nickel provide an industrial modern look. Complementary metals can be combined for a varied effect. Metal backsplashes are very water-resistant but prone to scratches and dents.
Mosaic tiles combine small pieces of glass, ceramic, porcelain, or stone to form intricate patterns. Popular options include penny tile, hexagon tile, and mixed mosaic sheets. Professionally installed, they create a stunning focal point.
Cost to Install a Backsplash
The cost of a backsplash installation depends on the materials, complexity of the design, and the contractor fees. Here are some typical price ranges:
- Ceramic tile backsplash installation: $40-$75 per square foot
- Stone backsplash installation: $50-$150 per square foot
- Glass or mosaic backsplash installation: $50-$100 per square foot
- Metal backsplash installation: $50-$150 per square foot
- Backsplash demolition and disposal: $2-$5 per square foot
On average, expect to spend $1000 to $3000 for professional backsplash installation in a 10×4 foot kitchen area. High-end stone, detailed mosaics, and specialty metal backsplashes can be even more.
Labor accounts for 50-70% of the total cost on average. DIY installation can save significantly on the labor fees, but may take more time and require specialized tools.
How Much Value Does a Backsplash Add to a Home?
The exact added resale value will vary based on your specific backsplash design and materials. However, real estate agents agree — a well-executed backsplash remodel does increase a home’s value.
On average, expect a backsplash upgrade to add approximately 65-80% of the project cost to the resale value. The improvement demonstrates pride of ownership and modernizes dated kitchens and bathrooms.
For a $2,000 backsplash installation, you can reasonably expect to add $1,300 to $1,600 in value to your home. Higher-end backsplashes topping $5,000 would add even more value upon resale, assuming the design has timeless appeal.
Some materials add more value than others. For example, natural stone backsplashes typically add more perceived value than ceramic tile. Upscale designs and attention to detail also command top dollar.
Ultimately, a backsplash is an affordable renovation with an excellent return on investment. The project cost is recouped when you sell, while you enjoy the functionality and beauty during your ownership.
Should You Add a Backsplash?
For most homeowners, the benefits of installing a backsplash are well worth the investment. Before you renovate, consider the following:
What is your budget? Look for materials and designs within your desired spending range. Plan for added costs like demolition, plumbing work, etc.
What is your style? Browse backsplash design ideas until you find one that reflects your personality and complements your decor.
What are your priorities? Decide which factors — aesthetics, durability, ease of maintenance etc. — matter most as you choose materials.
Who will install? Comparing contractor bids to DIY cost can help you decide. Check that you have the skill, time and tools for DIY.
When will you sell? Choose versatile, timeless designs if you plan to sell soon. More daring choices work if you plan to stay put longer term.
If the benefits outweigh the costs for your situation, a backsplash can be a smart investment that both enhances your enjoyment of your home and improves its resale appeal.
Frequently Asked Questions About Backsplash Value
Does a backsplash increase home value?
Yes, a professionally installed backsplash adds value to a home by creating a more appealing kitchen or bath. Estimates range from recouping 65-80% of project cost at resale. Higher-end materials like stone may improve value further.
How much should I spend on a backsplash?
Budget $40-$150 per square foot for materials and installation. Ceramic tile averages $40-$75 per square foot. Stone and glass cost $50-$150 per square foot. Allow for added demolition, plumbing, etc costs.
What backsplash adds the most value?
Natural stone like marble and granite generally adds the most perceived value. Upscale, detailed designs in ceramic, glass and metal can also boost value. The style should have timeless, widespread appeal.
Should I install a backsplash before selling?
Yes, a backsplash is an affordable renovation proven to improve resale value. Choose versatile materials and colors. Save custom designs for your forever home. Appeal to the masses when selling soon.
How long does a backsplash last?
With proper installation and maintenance, a quality backsplash should last at least 15-25 years. Porcelain, ceramic, stone, metal and glass are very durable when sealed and cared for properly.
The installation of a backsplash is one of the best return-on-investment home renovations you can make. For a relatively reasonable price, you can protect your walls from moisture damage, simplify clean-up, boost visual appeal, and increase resale value.
Aim for timeless, high-quality materials installed professionally. Be sure to account for all additional costs in your budget. With strategic planning and smart design choices, you can add thousands to your home’s value while enjoying a beautiful new backsplash.