What is the Cheapest Kitchen Backsplash?

Choosing a new backsplash for your kitchen can be an exciting project. With so many beautiful options to select from, it can also get expensive. If you’re on a tight budget, finding an attractive and durable backsplash that won’t break the bank can feel like a challenge. Fortunately, there are plenty of affordable backsplash ideas that can give you the look you want without costing a fortune.

Factors That Affect Backsplash Costs

Several key factors impact how much a backsplash will cost:


The material you select plays a major role in pricing. Natural stone, metal, glass, and ceramic tile tend to be more expensive than synthetic materials like plastic, resin, faux stone, and peel-and-stick. However, even within material types there is a wide range of prices depending on factors like quality, durability, aesthetics, and more.

Size of the Area

The overall square footage you need to cover will determine how much material you need to purchase and labor required for installation. Large kitchens with expansive backsplash areas will cost more than a petite backsplash in a small kitchen.

Pattern and Design Complexity

Simple, single color backsplashes are typically much more affordable than intricate patterns, mosaics, customized designs and special border treatments. The more elaborate the backsplash design, the higher the price tag.

Professional Installation

Installing a backsplash yourself will save on labor fees versus hiring a contractor or tile expert. However, if you don’t have experience with tile installation, a professionally installed backsplash ensures it’s done properly.


Features like decorative metal or glass tile trims and accents, customized lighting, designer faucets and sinks raise the budget for a backsplash project. Skipping costly extras can help reduce overall costs.

With all these factors in mind, here are some of the most budget-friendly kitchen backsplash ideas to consider:


The most affordable option is to simply paint the backsplash area. Use a semi-gloss or high-gloss paint formulated for kitchen and bath areas that can withstand heat, moisture and stains. A single color costs just a few dollars per square foot or less. Consider adding painter’s tape designs, patterns or borders using a contrasting color.


  • Extremely inexpensive way to transform the look
  • Fast and easy application with minimal mess
  • Endless color options to match your style
  • No special tools or skills required


  • Requires meticulous surface prep and priming
  • Not as durable as tile; may need frequent touch-ups
  • Limiting compared to texture and designs with other materials
  • DIY mistakes may show imperfections

Peel-and-Stick Backsplash

Peel-and-stick backsplash panels have adhesive backing so they can be applied right over existing surfaces. Many mimic the look of high-end materials like subway tile, marble, travertine and natural stone for a fraction of the cost.


  • Budget-friendly at $5-$10 per square foot, on average
  • Easy “peel and stick” application – no messy prep work
  • Realistic 3D designs and variety of colors/patterns
  • Removable and reusable if changing the look later


  • Durability issues if underlying surface isn’t smooth
  • Seams may be visible between panels
  • Limited tile size and shape options
  • Not ideal for areas exposed to lots of moisture

Vinyl Backsplashes

Sheet vinyl with a backsplash pattern provides a seamless, easy-to-clean option. Or, vinyl peel-and-stick tiles give the look of ceramic or stone tile without the higher price. Costs range from approximately $2-$8 per square foot.


  • Durable and water/stain resistant
  • Easy to keep clean
  • Seamless look with sheet vinyl
  • Quick and simple installation
  • Wide range of colors and patterns


  • Sheet vinyl requires professional installation
  • Peel-and-stick tiles don’t offer as many size/shape options
  • Seams may be visible between tile decals
  • Not effective at hiding imperfections or flaws


Laminate sheets provide the look of stone, metal or wood backsplash surfaces with more affordability and DIY-friendly installation. Prices range from $5-$15 per square foot.


  • Mimics high-end surfaces like quartz and stone
  • Scratch, stain, moisture and heat resistant
  • Low maintenance and easy to clean
  • Professional installation not required
  • Costs a fraction of real stone or quartz


  • Limited color and pattern options
  • Seams are visible between sheets
  • Not ideal for heavy-moisture areas
  • Provides a “faux” look, not natural materials

Glass Tile

While natural stone and ceramic tile can get pricey, affordable glass backsplash tile provides gleaming style. Mix glass with more budget-friendly materials like ceramic and porcelain for visual interest. Costs range from $5-$20 per square foot.


  • Reflective, lustrous finish
  • Blends well with other tile materials
  • Colors range from bold to neutral
  • Creates a focal point without huge expense
  • Adds depth and dimension to the space


  • Not as durable as natural stone tile
  • Grout lines may discolor over time
  • Glass tile itself does not provide texture
  • Dark glass shows less gleam and depth

Porcelain, Ceramic or Stone Tile

For a genuine tile backsplash that won’t cut into your budget, consider fired clay, porcelain or low-cost stone like slate. Prices range from $5-$50+ per square foot. Control expenses with simple designs, smaller tile sizes and neutral grout/mortar colors.


  • Most versatile in terms of colors, shapes, textures
  • Porcelain and ceramic are very low maintenance
  • Provides an authentic tile look and feel
  • Tile patterns can match any design aesthetic
  • More durable and competitive pricing than stone


  • Prepping the surface properly is crucial
  • Grout requires sealing to prevent staining
  • Stone tile increases cost over porcelain or ceramic
  • Professionally recommended for proper installation

Beaded Board

Classic beaded board offers cottage style on a budget at $3-$10 per square foot. Use white paint for an airy look or go bold with vibrant color. Add charm with contrasts like exposed brick.


  • Timeless farmhouse style and coastal appeal
  • Inexpensive compared to most materials
  • Distinctive beadboard texture
  • Fits neatly around corners and edges
  • Effective over damaged or outdated surfaces


  • Not water or stain resistant; requires sealing
  • Visible seams between boards
  • Limited color options beyond white/natural
  • Subject to dents and scratches over time


While rare for backsplashes, budget wood options like pine provide a warm, natural look. Use weather-sealed tongue-and-groove boards, shiplap or salvaged barnwood, costing $3-$20 per square foot.


  • Warm, inviting look at affordable prices
  • Vintage, rustic aesthetic
  • Fairly simple DIY installation
  • Distressed or painted finish options
  • Adds charm and character to kitchen


  • Not water or stain resistant
  • Requires thorough sealing
  • Visible seams between boards
  • Can warp or become damaged over time
  • Limited to certain design aesthetics


For a shiny and elegant statement, mirrored backsplashes cost $10-$30+ per square foot installed. Use affordable acrylic mirrors cut to size instead of heavy glass. Illuminate with installed lighting.


  • Visually doubles the space
  • Bright, reflective surface
  • Acrylic mirrors cost less than glass
  • Adds a touch of retro or modern flair
  • Creates illusion of more natural light


  • Glass is heavy and harder to install DIY
  • Can highlight imperfections on the surface
  • Not as durable as tile or stone
  • Appearance of seams between mirrors


Water-resistant fabric panels bring color, texture and creativity to backsplashes on a budget. Costs range from $3-$10 per square foot. Hang with liquid nails, double-sided tape or velcro.


  • Inexpensive, customizable and easy to install
  • Huge range of colors, patterns and textures
  • Conceals flaws and damages on underlying surface
  • Easy to remove and swap out patterns
  • Options like outdoor fabric withstand moisture


  • Not as durable long-term as tile or stone
  • Visible seams between panels
  • Absorbs steam, splatter and stains over time
  • Needs gentle cleaning and occasional replacing


For a fun, novel look, paint the backsplash with chalkboard paint or install chalkboard panels. Costs about $3-$10 per square foot. Let creativity shine by allowing for a changing display.


  • Inexpensive way to decorate and customize
  • Allows for constantly changing designs
  • Chalk can easily be erased for a fresh slate
  • Adds artistic flair and self-expression
  • Durable and easy to clean surface


  • Not as seamless-looking as tile or mirrors
  • Visible seams between chalkboard panels
  • Subject to staining and ghosting over time
  • Requires re-sealing every year or two

Galvanized Metal

Add edgy industrial appeal with budget-friendly galvanized sheet metal. Often $10 per square foot or less, it provides bold style on a budget. Use self-adhesive sheets for easy application.


  • Distinctive metallic aesthetic
  • Highly reflective surface
  • Durable and water-resistant
  • Affordable, especially for small spaces
  • Quick, easy do-it-yourself installation


  • Can dent and show imperfections easier
  • Limited color options beyond metallic
  • Visible seams between panels
  • Challenging for large installations
  • Painting metal reduces reflective properties

Faux Brick

Inexpensive faux brick veneers or panels offer the look of real brick for $10 per square foot or less. Use brick-patterned contact paper, wallpaper or stencils to create a focal point without big costs.


  • Budget-friendly way to get a brick backsplash
  • Peel-and-stick panels for quick installation
  • Vintage, industrial warehouse aesthetic
  • Visually adds texture and depth
  • Durable and easy to keep clean


  • Fake brick lacks imperfections of real brick
  • Visible seams between panels
  • Limited color/size options beyond red brick
  • Faux look may not be convincing from close up

Tin Ceilings

Vintage tin ceiling tiles lend historical charm and dimension. These affordable metal panels cost $6-$20 per square foot to install. Use tin in small sections as an accent.


  • Iconic, vintage architectural interest
  • Distressed patina adds character
  • Intricate embossed shapes and beaded design
  • Lightweight metal for DIY-friendly install
  • Painted options allow for color customization


  • Susceptible to scratches and dents over time
  • Visible seams between tiles
  • Metal conducts heat and cold
  • Damage or stains harder to repair or conceal
  • Full ceiling installs can get costly

Common Backsplash Cost Questions

How much does a basic backsplash cost?

For simple, budget-friendly materials like paint, faux panels or vinyl, expect to pay around $3-$8 per square foot including labor. The total cost for a small 8 sq ft backsplash could be $50 or less. For a larger 30 sq ft backsplash, costs may range from $100-$250.

What is the cheapest backsplash for kitchens?

The most affordable backsplash options are paint, removable peel-and-stick panels, vinyl, laminate sheets, and materials like tin panels or plastic tiles used in small doses. Expect to pay just $2-$10 per square foot for budget DIY-friendly backsplash projects.

How can I save money on my backsplash installation?

Using less expensive materials is the first way to save. Also, look for smaller tiles which take more time and labor to install. Do the demolition and prep work yourself, and don’t customize with intricate designs, borders or specialty accents that add cost.

What backsplash goes best with white cabinets?

White cabinets provide a neutral backdrop that works beautifully with nearly any color backsplash. Gray, navy, black, white, wood tones, stainless steel, and pops of color or pattern look fantastic against white cabinets.

What is the most popular kitchen backsplash design?

Subway tile remains one of the most popular and classic backsplash designs. It’s affordable, simple to install, and available in endless color options. Other top trends include marble and natural stone, geometric patterns, and brick or faux brick designs.

Get Creative with Cheap Kitchen Backsplash Ideas

With a little creativity and budget-savvy materials, you can achieve the backsplash look you love at a price you can afford. Take your time exploring the many beautiful, low-cost design options to find the perfect fit for your unique kitchen style and budget.