Meta description: Looking to buy kitchen backsplash? We provide expert advice on the best places to buy backsplash tile, from big box stores to specialty tile retailers. Read our detailed guide to find the perfect backsplash at the right price.
Upgrading your kitchen backsplash is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to give your cooking space a fresh new look. With so many backsplash tile options available today in a variety of styles, colors, patterns, and materials, choosing the right backsplash can be both fun and challenging. However, finding the best place to actually purchase your kitchen backsplash can also be difficult given the number of retailers selling tile.
In this article, we will go over the pros and cons of different backsplash outlets so you can determine the best place to buy kitchen backsplash based on selection, price, quality, and service. We’ll cover big box home improvement stores, online retailers, specialty tile shops, warehouse clubs, and more. With the right information, you’ll be equipped to find beautiful, affordable backsplash tile for your upcoming kitchen project.
Big Box Home Improvement Stores
Home improvement big box stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s are convenient one-stop shops to purchase kitchen backsplash tile along with all your other remodeling needs.
Benefits of Buying Backsplash at Big Box Stores:
- Convenience: With hundreds of locations across the country, you likely have a Home Depot or Lowe’s nearby making it easy to shop for backsplash tile.
- Affordable pricing: As mass retailers, big box stores can offer backsplash tile at very affordable prices, often beating smaller specialty tile shops.
- Variety: Big box stores carry a large assortment of ceramic, glass, and stone backsplash tile in different sizes, colors, and styles.
- One-stop shopping: You can purchase backsplash alongside countertops, cabinets, flooring, appliances, sinks, faucets, and lighting all under one roof.
- Availability: With high volume sales, popular backsplash inventory is usually in stock ready for purchase and quick installation. Special order lead times are also reasonable.
Potential Drawbacks of Big Box Tile:
- Limited higher-end inventory: Unique, high-end backsplash tile is harder to find compared to specialty showrooms.
- Less knowledgeable staff: Sales associates may have limited design expertise compared to tile experts at specialty stores.
- No customization: Big box stores rarely offer customized backsplash services like specialty cutting.
Overall, Home Depot and Lowe’s are solid mainstream options for buying quality backsplash tile at everyday low prices. Just don’t expect exotic, rare tiles or highly personalized service.
Online Backsplash Retailers
Searching online opens up a world of backsplash tile options that may not be accessible at local brick-and-mortar stores.
Why Buy Backsplash Tile Online:
- Expanded selection: Online retailers have nearly unlimited inventory space allowing for an enormous selection of tile.
- Rare finds: Unique backsplash tile like handmade artisan tile is easier to source from online specialty shops.
- Order samples: Many online sites will mail you free samples to view tile quality and colors in person.
- Convenience: Tile can be shipped directly to your door so no need to haul heavy boxes home from a store.
- Better prices: Online retailers can offer very competitive pricing from high volume and low overhead.
Potential Online Backsplash Drawbacks:
- No in-person viewing: You can’t physically see, touch, and inspect the tile before purchasing. Color and quality judgement requires samples.
- Shipping costs/delays: Factor in shipping expenses and wait times when choosing online buying.
- Harder returns: Returning backsplash tile by mail if problems arise is more difficult than local store returns.
As long as you order samples first and inspect tile quality upon arrival, buying backsplash tile online can be a great option giving you the widest selection.
Specialty Tile Showrooms
For unique, high-quality backsplashes, visiting specialty tile showrooms may be worth the time.
Why Shop Specialty Tile Stores:
- Experts: Knowledgeable tile experts can provide product advice and design ideas tailored exactly for your kitchen.
- Large in-stock selection: Specialty retailers dedicate their entire showroom to tile so the in-person selection is unparalleled.
- Quality: Tile sold at specialty stores often comes from higher-end brands made from top materials.
- Customization: Get specialty tiles precisely cut or mixed into custom patterns for your backsplash.
- Full service: Specialists handle everything from design to installation so you get a crafted backsplash result.
Potential Downsides of Specialty Tile:
- Higher prices: Expect to pay more for specialty backsplash tile and customized installation services.
- Fewer convenient locations: Shopping at specialty showrooms may require a longer drive than a big box store trip.
The hands-on help, customized products, and premium materials available at specialty backsplash showrooms may justify the higher prices for some kitchen projects.
Warehouse Club Stores
For major bulk savings, warehouse clubs like Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s Wholesale Club offer backsplash tile options.
Benefits of Warehouse Store Tile:
- Affordability: Large quantity buys allow for lower per tile prices when purchasing full boxes.
- Inventory: Club stores sell popular, mainstream backsplash ceramic and porcelain tiles.
- Additional discounts: Warehouse members often get extra low pricing on backsplash tile specials.
- Buy in-store or online: Shop their local tile displays or order online for delivery.
Potential Warehouse Tile Drawbacks:
- Limited selection: Don’t expect unique tile finds shopping at warehouse clubs. Inventory leans basic and mass market.
- Membership required: You must pay for an annual membership to shop at club stores.
- Buy in bulk: Warehouse pricing is ideal for large projects but impractical for small backsplash installs.
For big kitchen backsplash projects on a tight budget, a Costco or Sam’s Club membership could make sense granting you access to major case quantity discounts.
Local Stone and Tile Distributors
Checking local stores that supply stone, tile, and slabs to flooring companies and contractors may reveal an excellent source for deeply discounted backsplash tile.
Why Shop Local Tile Distributors:
- Low prices: Bypassing retailer markups means outstanding savings on top quality tile.
- Surplus inventory: Stores often sell leftover tile and remnants at ridiculously cheap prices.
- Stone yards: Outdoor areas have boulders, cobbles, and stone slabs perfect for cutting unique backsplash tile.
- Inconsistent inventory: Local stores may not always have backsplash supplies as they focus more on contractors.
- Harder shopping: Stores structured around wholesale distribution can be more chaotic and difficult to shop than retail showrooms.
Once you locate reputable local backsplash distributors, bookmark them as go-to resources for future projects. The cost savings they provide could be significant.
Salvaged and Recycled Tile
If going green is a priority, look into backsplash tile made from recycled glass or purchase reclaimed tile from architectural salvage warehouses.
Benefits of Salvaged and Recycled Backsplash:
- Unique: Every reclaimed or recycled tile has an artistic one-of-a-kind character.
- Eco-friendly: Keep tile waste out of landfills by installing recycled and restored tile backsplash.
- Vintage appeal: Salvaged tile can provide antique, Old World charm instantaneously.
- Affordable: Recycled and reclaimed backsplash tile is often very budget friendly.
- Limited supply: Inventory of quality salvaged tile is not consistent and depends on donations or vintage building dismantling projects.
- Installation challenges: Working with irregular reclaimed tile may require cutting and fitting to make pieces work.
- No warranties: Recycled tile won’t come with manufacturer product warranties like new tile.
Finding, cleaning, and installing reclaimed or recycled backsplash tile takes more effort but creates a sustainable work of art.
Where is the Best Place to Buy Kitchen Backsplash?
Now that we’ve reviewed the different options for purchasing backsplash tile, where should you ultimately buy your kitchen backsplash to get the perfect tile at the right price?
The answer depends on your unique backsplash needs, kitchen style, budget, and project timeline.
For affordable basic backsplash tile in standard sizes and colors, big box stores offer convenience, availability, and the lowest prices. Home Depot and Lowe’s are great mainstream options.
Seeking a huge selection of popular to rare backsplash tile? Shopping online gives you access to hundreds of inventory choices that can be shipped to your door.
In need of specialty backsplash tile with custom design services? A specialty tile showroom has knowledgeable pros plus premium materials to create a high-end backsplash, although at a higher cost.
If you want major bulk savings for a large installation, check pricing from Costco, Sam’s Club, or BJ’s after getting a membership.
Locating a local stone and tile distributor could mean slashed backsplash costs if you come across surplus inventory or remnants in stock.
Finally, for a unique green backsplash, salvaged and recycled tile are great options justrequiring extra work sorting through eccentric pieces.
For most homeowners, we recommend starting your searchat larger retailers like Home Depot or Lowe’s to browsebacksplash in person and get design inspiration. Checkonline and specialty stores next if you want more variety or luxurytile selections.
Installing a new backsplash is a fast way to revitalize your kitchen. We hope this guide to the best places to buy kitchen backsplash tile assists you in finding your dream material and design at the right price point!
FAQs About Buying Kitchen Backsplash Tile
Q: What type of backsplash tile is cheapest?
A: The most affordable backsplash tiles are typically basic ceramic subway tiles starting around $5 per square foot. Mosaic sheets and some granite or marble remnants can also be budget-friendly backsplash options under $10 per square foot.
Q: Where can I find unique backsplash tile?
A: Online tile retailers will have the most diverse selection of unique backsplash tile including handmade, hand-painted, and custom engraved tiles. Specialty tile showrooms are also great for sourcing rare and exclusive backsplash tile you won’t find at big box stores.
Q: Should I buy backsplash tile locally or online?
A: If visualizing the tile accurately in person before purchase is important, shop local stores where you can see and touch samples. For maximum selection without the ability to view tiles first, online shopping gives you access to thousands of options that can be shipped.
Q: How much does it cost to install a backsplash?
A: On average, expect to pay $40-$75 per hour for professional backsplash installation, not including the cost of the tile. Simple DIY backsplash projects can cost under $200 while intricate professionally-installed backsplashes with pricey tile could be $5,000 or more.
Q: Where can I buy recycled glass backsplash tile?
A: Many major online tile retailers like Wayfair, Overstock, and Amazon sell affordable recycled glass backsplash tile. For unique recycled glass tile made by smaller specialty companies, Etsy sellers offer lots of handmade options.
Q: Should I get backsplash samples before deciding?
A: Yes, ordering backsplash tile samples is highly recommended so you can view the true color, texture, finish and quality before purchase. Samples help prevent disappointment from tiles that looked different online versus in person.
Finding the ideal backsplash tile to transform your kitchen no longer requires exhaustive visits to tile showroom after tile showroom thanks to the convenience of online shopping and big box home improvement stores. Together, the selection available across local and online outlets provides you every stylish, high-quality backsplash option imaginable.
We recommend carefully looking at backsplash samples before purchase so you know exactly what you’re getting. Understanding the different benefits of specialty shops, mass retailers, online sources, and salvage options allows you to buy beautiful backsplash tile at the right price point for your project.
With the expertise of passionate design specialists and the convenience of online shopping, your dream backsplash can become reality. Use our guide to set yourself on the right path as you embark on an exciting backsplash upgrade for your kitchen.