How to Change Kitchen Backsplash

Changing your kitchen backsplash can completely transform the look and feel of your kitchen. With so many backsplash options to choose from, like tile, stone, metal, glass, and more, it’s an easy way to update your kitchen’s style. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you change your kitchen backsplash.

Assess Your Current Backsplash

Before picking out a new backsplash, take a good look at your current one.

  • What material is it made of? Ceramic tile, glass, metal?
  • What color/pattern is it? Neutral, bold, busy?
  • Is it in good condition or does it need to be repaired/replaced?
  • What do you like and dislike about it? This will help guide your choices.

Make note of measurements – the size of the backsplash area, including height and width. Measure any focal points like the range or sink.

Choose a New Backsplash Material

With your current backsplash in mind, start exploring material options. Consider aspects like:


  • Ceramic or porcelain tile is durable and easy to clean.
  • Natural stone like marble requires sealing to prevent stains.
  • Metal can scratch but is very sleek and modern.


  • Ceramic tiles tend to be the most budget-friendly.
  • Natural stone and metal run on the pricier end.
  • Consider hiring a pro if you choose a more complex material.


  • Tile comes in endless colors/patterns for any look.
  • Stone adds natural texture and elegance.
  • Glass or metal backsplashes create a sleek, contemporary vibe.

Narrow options down based on your budget, lifestyle and the look you want.

Choose a Backsplash Design

With your material selected, now focus on the backsplash design:


  • A neutral tile color/pattern can provide a clean, simple look.
  • Bold colors or designs make the backsplash the focal point.


  • Choose a look that coordinates well with your counters, cabinets, and flooring.
  • Accent colors in the backsplash can tie the whole space together.


  • Subway tile in a brick pattern is a classic choice.
  • Large format tiles create a sleek look.
  • Mosaic tiles can form intricate designs.
  • Mixing tile sizes, materials or colors creates interest.

Focal Points

  • Use an eye-catching tile behind the range or sink.
  • Frame focal areas with a border or niche.

Decide on the look you want, then select tiles/materials. Gather samples to visualize choices in your kitchen.

Prepare and Plan for Installation

With your new backsplash design finalized, now prep for installation:

  • Deep clean the backsplash area and make any repairs to walls or plumbing.
  • Remove existing backsplash carefully to avoid damaging drywall or tile underneath.
  • Map out the tile layout and make cuts if needed – measure twice!
  • Gather supplies like adhesive, grout, spacers, sealer, tools.
  • Set a timeline for the project, allowing adequate drying/curing time.

If installing yourself, review detailed video tutorials to ensure you tackle all steps correctly. Consider help from an experienced tile pro for more complex designs.

Install the New Backsplash

When ready, it’s time for the fun part – installing the fresh new backsplash!

  • Prepare the surface – apply adhesive, spacers, and laying out tiles.
  • Place tiles row by row using a level to ensure evenness.
  • Let adhesive fully cure before applying grout.
  • Grout the tiles, wiping away excess. Seal grout once fully dry.
  • Seal natural stone or porous tiles with a penetrating sealer.
  • Finish by caulking edges and cleaning entire surface.

Work methodically and patiently to get tiles aligned and spaced properly. Allow adequate drying time between steps.

Achieve the Look You Want

As you step back and admire the finished transformation, enjoy how your stylish new backsplash takes your kitchen to the next level!

With the right planning and preparation, changing your backsplash is very doable as a DIY project. Just take it slowly and focus on creating the fresh new look you want. A dramatic new backsplash can completely change the vibe of your kitchen!

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to change a kitchen backsplash?

The cost to change a kitchen backsplash can range from $500 to $2000 or more, depending on the size of the area and materials used. Tile and paneling tend to be the more budget-friendly options, while stone and metal run higher. Hiring a pro will also increase costs.

Can I install a new backsplash over the old one?

It is possible to install a new backsplash over an existing one, but it is generally recommended to remove the old backsplash first. This allows you to inspect the wall surface, make repairs, and have a smooth surface for the new tiles to adhere to properly.

How long does it take to change a backsplash?

For an average sized kitchen, changing the backsplash will take 1-3 days from start to finish. Removing the old backsplash, prepping the surface, laying the new tiles, and grouting/sealing all take time. Allow additional drying time between steps.

What tools do I need to change a kitchen backsplash?

Basic tools needed are a tile cutter, trowels, spacers, grout float, mixing bucket, sponges, and a sealer. You may also need a drill, level, painter’s tape, and hole saw for any outlet or fixture cutouts needed. Rent additional specialty tools for easier installation.

How do I cut the tile for outlets and fixtures?

First turn off power to outlets to be safe. Measure and mark openings, then use a hole saw bit on a drill to cut openings for outlets or fixtures. Use a tile saw, wet saw, or grinder to carefully notch/cut tiles around openings.

Can I change the backsplash without removing kitchen cabinets?

In most cases, yes – you can change the backsplash without fully removing the cabinets. Appliances and upper cabinets can stay in place. Just remove any items on lower cabinets so you can easily access the backsplash area behind them.


Changing your backsplash is one of the simplest ways to instantly give your kitchen an updated look. With some planning and preparation, it’s easy to tackle this project yourself. Just take it slowly, follow all safety precautions, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed. Soon you’ll have a stunning new backsplash that makes your kitchen shine.