How to Do a Kitchen Backsplash on a Budget

Doing a kitchen backsplash can greatly improve the look and feel of your kitchen, but backsplash materials like tile or stone can be expensive. With some clever planning and budget-friendly materials, you can create a beautiful backsplash without breaking the bank. Here are some tips for doing an affordable kitchen backsplash on a budget.

Choose Budget-Friendly Materials

Tile and stone backsplashes look amazing, but can cost a small fortune. Instead, consider more budget-friendly materials like:

  • Peel-and-stick backsplash tiles – These come in vinyl, metal, or real stone and install just like stickers. Easy to cut and apply yourself. Cost effective option.
  • Discount or recycled tile – Check home improvement stores for discounted or recycled/returned tile. Mix and match for an eclectic look.
  • Sheet backsplash – Comes on a roll for easy application. Can mimic look of tile or natural stone. Easy DIY install.
  • Laminate panels – Inexpensive and easy to install with liquid nails adhesive. Cut to size. Get stone or tile look.
  • Paint – Use specialty primer and backsplash paint for easy, affordable option. Great for shabby chic or cottage look.
  • Wallpaper – Self-adhesive, peel-and-stick wallpaper is easy to apply. Gives a custom look for less.

Limit the Area

Backsplashes traditionally go 4-6 inches high behind a counter or stove. To save money, you can limit it to just the stove area or just a small strip behind the sink. This concentrated area will still protect the wall and make a statement.

Consider DIY Installation

Professionally installing a backsplash adds to the cost. With beginner-friendly materials like peel-and-stick tile or wallpaper, you can easily handle the installation yourself watching online video tutorials. For more complex tile patterns, focus on designs that are simple to install like a basic grid or stacked rectangular pattern.

Shop Discount Stores

Check discount home improvement stores like Habitat for Humanity ReStore for donated materials like tile, accent pieces, or lighting fixtures to incorporate into your backsplash design. Thrift stores can be another source for interesting plates, utensils, or containers to mount onto your backsplash as decoration.

Reuse Materials

Use materials you already have on hand for your backsplash like old china plates or unused ceramic tiles. You can break china plates to create a mosaic design. Mix and match old ceramic tiles from previous projects for an eclectic look.

Incorporate Accent Pieces

While you may want an affordable material for the majority of the backsplash, you can incorporate a few special accent tiles, mosaic pieces, or medallions that make a statement and draw the eye. This allows you to create visual interest while saving money.

Make a Focal Point

Consider doing a full backsplash on just one section of the kitchen like behind the stove or sink. This focal point is more cost effective than tiling an entire wall but still makes an impact. Finish off the rest of the backsplash with paint or wallpaper.

Install It Yourself

Doing the physical installation yourself as opposed to hiring a contractor can lead to major cost savings on your backsplash project. Watch online tutorials to learn proper techniques for your material and necessary tools.

Take Your Time

Working slowly and intentionally can result in a better quality finished product. Don’t feel rushed throughout the process. Measure carefully, cut precisely, and install meticulously. Pay attention to detail and alignment.

Start Small

For a first backsplash project, start with a small area like behind the faucet. Get comfortable with the techniques on a mini backsplash before moving onto larger sections. This allows room for error.

Use Remnants

If you don’t purchase enough tile or materials for the entire backsplash, use remnants, extras, and overstock pieces in small filler areas to make everything you purchased go farther. Mix and match remnants for eclectic look.

Shop Sales and Clearance

Check home improvement stores weekly for sales, clearance items, and discounted or overstock materials suitable for backsplash like tile, peel and stick, stone, laminate panels, etc. Buy when prices hit rock bottom.

Final Thoughts

With some savvy planning and budget-friendly material choices, you can absolutely create a beautiful, custom kitchen backsplash without going over budget. Limit the area, use discount materials, install it yourself, and take your time for best results. Get creative with reuse and remixing of materials. The end result will transform the look of your kitchen.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cheapest material for a backsplash?

The cheapest backsplash materials are peel-and-stick vinyl tiles, recycled tiles, wallpaper, paint, laminate panels, or tile remnants. Focus on just a small area to save money.

What is the easiest backsplash to install yourself?

The easiest DIY backsplash options are peel-and-stick tile, wallpaper, paint, or laminate panels that use a simple adhesive and don’t require heavy duty cutting or tile work.

What backsplash materials look expensive but are budget friendly?

Materials like sheet backsplash, metal peel-and-stick tile, and wallpaper can mimic the look of expensive tile, stone, or metal backsplashes on a budget.

What should I avoid for an inexpensive backsplash?

Avoid large-format tiles and natural stone, which require professional installation. Skip backsplashes that cover multiple walls or the entire kitchen.

What are creative inexpensive backsplash ideas?

Creative budget backsplash ideas include using china plates or thrift store items, mixing remnant tiles, installing only behind the stove, or using peel-and-stick tiles in patterns.


With smart planning and budget-friendly materials, you can absolutely transform your kitchen with a beautiful new backsplash without spending a fortune. Take advantage of affordable products like peel-and-stick tile and wallpaper, limit the area, install it yourself, and get creative with materials to make a big visual impact for a low cost. Focus your efforts, look for deals, and work carefully for a successful budget backsplash project.