Kitchen backsplashes not only protect walls from water damage and stains but also add visual interest and personality to the space. When considering where to buy backsplash tiles for your kitchen remodel or upgrade, you want lots of options, excellent customer service, and competitive prices. With some research and planning, you can find the perfect backsplash tiles from a retailer near you.
Benefits of Installing a Kitchen Backsplash
Backsplashes serve both practical and aesthetic purposes in the kitchen. Here are some of the top benefits of installing a kitchen backsplash:
Protects Walls from Stains and Damage
The backsplash safeguards the walls around sinks, stoves, and countertops from water splashes, sauces and oil splatters, and other messy mishaps that can stain or degrade drywall and paint. Tiled backsplashes repel water and are easily wiped clean.
Adds Visual Interest and Personality
Backsplash tiles come in a vast array of colors, patterns, textures, and materials. They provide an opportunity to add visual flair and interest to the kitchen. You can choose backsplash tiles that coordinate with your cabinets and countertops or make a bold statement.
Provides a Focal Point
The backsplash draws the eye, creating a focal point in the kitchen. You can use the backsplash tiles to complement the style you want to achieve – whether modern, homey cottage, minimalist, or traditional.
Since the backsplash is its own defined space, you have lots of room for creativity in choosing the perfect tile for your kitchen aesthetic. You can mix and match colors, patterns, and textures.
Increases Resale Value
A quality backsplash is an investment that can increase the value of your home. Backsplashes are expected in today’s kitchens and choosing trendy or timeless materials and colors can appeal to buyers.
Where to Shop for Backsplash Tiles
You have many options when it comes to where to purchase backsplash tiles for your kitchen remodel or upgrade. Consider both local and online retailers.
Home Improvement Stores
Large home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s have a wide selection of backsplash tiles available. Pros of shopping at home improvement stores include:
- Convenience of one-stop shopping for all backsplash tile needs and kitchen remodel materials.
- Ability to see product samples and textures in person.
- Knowledgeable staff that can provide design advice.
- Special order larger quantities of tile needed for full backsplash projects.
- Return policy for any unused/defective tiles.
Tile specialty retailers have a huge variety of backsplash tiles on display. Customers can browse the showroom to view product samples up close. Tile showrooms also offer:
- Larger selections of unique, specialty tiles not found in standard home stores.
- Design expertise to help match tiles to your kitchen style.
- Custom ordering for specialty tiles and large projects.
- Contractor discounts available.
Online tile stores allow you to shop for backsplash tiles from the convenience of home. Benefits include:
- Huge assortment of tiles, colors, designs beyond local inventory.
- Ability to filter and search for specific backsplash tile types and attributes.
- Discount prices, sales, and bulk order options.
- Convenience of tiles shipped directly to your home.
- Easy to coordinate tiles that complement your existing kitchen elements.
Big Box Stores
In addition to home improvement warehouses, many big box stores carry backsplash tiles. The tiles at stores like Walmart, Target, and Costco offer:
- Affordable pricing in store and online.
- Tiles sized for small DIY backsplash projects.
- Lots of neutral colors/textures suitable for backsplashes.
- Ability to feel and inspect tiles in person before purchase.
If you’re looking for unique, one-of-a-kind tiles at bargain prices, check out architectural salvage stores. Pros include:
- Vintage, mosaic, and handmade tiles lend cottage or old-world charm.
- Deeply discounted prices compared to new tile.
- Enables creative use of recycled materials.
- Adds eclectic personality with mixed tile designs.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Tile Retailer
Once you know your general backsplash tile style, taking the following factors into account can help you select the best option for purchasing the tiles:
The retailer should offer plenty of colors, designs, textures that appeal to your style. Specialty stores will have a wider range of products than big box stores.
Compare pricing across retailers, and look for sales and discounts when available. Setting a backsplash tile budget will also help narrow options.
Consider the retailer’s tile inventory and ability to special order more if needed. Local stores allow you to verify availability.
For online orders, compare shipping charges. Some sites offer free shipping over a minimum order amount. In-store pickup can avoid shipping fees.
Check policies in case tiles are damaged or the wrong number ordered. Home centers tend to have more flexible return policies.
Reviews and experiences of others can indicate helpfulness of sales staff and service satisfaction. This is especially key for online retailers.
Distance to a brick-and-mortar store can affect convenience and costs if making multiple trips for design help or tile returns.
Where to Buy Backsplash Tiles Locally
Shopping for backsplash tiles at local retailers near you has many advantages. Here are some of the best places to check out tiles in person rather than buy online sight unseen.
Home Improvement Stores
Familiar home improvement warehouses are a prime spot for backsplash tile shopping.
The Home Depot offers an excellent selection of backsplash tiles including glass, ceramic, stone, and mosaics tiles. Their website lets you sort by material, shape, color, finish, and price point. Stores have display boards showing available tile choices. The Home Depot also has an online design tool called Tile Studio that helps you visualize your backsplash.
Lowe’s carries a wide array of backsplash tile styles and brands. Their website categorizes options by material, color, shape, finish, and pattern for easy browsing. Lowe’s provides 4×4 tile samples so customers can see small tile sections in person. Their staff can advise you on quantities needed.
Tile showrooms have a wide breadth of unique and specialty tile products.
Tile Shop showrooms offer over 4,000 varieties of ceramic, porcelain, glass, metal, and stone backsplash tiles. You can get advice from design experts on selecting the perfect tile for your kitchen. They will provide samples to take home.
Bedrosians Tile & Stone displays an extensive collection of backsplash tiles in their stores. They have interest-free financing available if your purchase exceeds $1500. Check their website for online ordering and store locations.
Marble & Granite Depot is a specialty retailer with a focus on natural stone tiles for kitchen backsplashes and beyond. Their stores enable you to browse materials like marble, travertine, quartzite, slate, limestone, onyx, and granite tiles in person.
Big Box Stores
For excellent value and convenience, big box retailers close to home carry quality and affordable backsplash tile options.
Walmart offers a good variety of peel-and-stick, ceramic, glass, and marble backsplash tiles in smaller packs suitable for DIY installations. Their Every Day Low Prices help keep projects on budget. Verify tile stock at your local store.
Target sells backsplash tile collections like the Threshold Ceramic Tile and Mosaic Peel + Stick Tile lines. Their assortment includes subway tile, marble, and metallic designs at low prices. You can purchase online and pick up tiles at your neighborhood Target.
Costco warehouses sell backsplash tile packs at members-only low prices both in-store and online. They carry ceramic, glass, and granite options including some extra-large format subway tiles. Their tiles often come in money-saving multi-pack sets.
Architectural Salvage Stores
For unique vintage tiles, visit an architectural salvage retailer.
The ReStore by Habitat for Humanity sells donated home improvement items including recycled and overstock tile. Their inventory varies by location but can yield fun finds for small backsplash projects. You’ll get quality materials at bargain prices.
Second Use Building Materials stores have discounted antiques, lumber, fixtures, and tiles diverted from landfills. Search their stock for mosaic, hand-painted, or accent tiles to intersperse with new tiles for a one-of-a-kind backsplash design.
Urban Remains offers reclaimed building materials at their Chicago warehouse and online shop. They salvage architectural artifacts, vintage tiles, decor, and hardware that add vintage flair to backsplashes.
Buying Backsplash Tile Online
Purchasing backsplash tile from online retailers gives you more variety and customization options. Keep the below tips in mind when deciding where to order tiles online for delivery to your home.
Evaluate Return Shipping Policies
Carefully check return policies which can vary by retailer. Many subsidize return shipping costs for defective or damaged tiles. Choose retailers with warehouses near you to reduce return shipping expenses.
Read Customer Reviews
Read reviews on independent sites like Trustpilot in addition to seller reviews. This helps reveal potential issues with tile quality, shipping damage, customer service, or incorrect orders.
Online searches, filters, and comparison tools make it easy to price compare backsplash tiles across websites. Look for free shipping thresholds and coupon codes to maximize savings.
Order Samples Before Purchase
Many online tile stores let you order samples or small packs first. View tiles you’re considering in person before purchasing cases for entire projects.
Allow Time for Deliveries
Delayed shipments or damage can happen. Make sure to order tiles weeks in advance of planned installation date in case replacements are needed.
Shop With Established Retailers
Stick to reputable online retailers that specialize in tiles and have been in business for many years. They typically have the best selections and most streamlined ordering, shipping, and returns.
Here are some top online sources for purchasing backsplash tiles:
Wayfair offers over 50,000 options from subway tile to intricate mosaics. Their website has excellent search tools and filters to find the ideal tiles for your kitchen. Shipping is free over $49.
TileBar specializes in artisan, handmade, and decorative backsplash tiles in a huge variety of colors, shapes, and patterns. Their Looks tool simplifies the design process.
Overstock features affordable pricing on premium backsplash tile brands. Find great sales on ceramic, glass, and other quality tiles with $2.95 flat shipping.
eBay connects you with professional sellers and distributors for brand name and discount tiles. Sort by popular backsplash tile materials and colors using their navigation.
Etsy provides handmade, custom, and vintage backsplash tiles from independent artists and small businesses. Great for finding unique accents and mosaics.
Factors to Consider When Selecting Backsplash Tiles
Beyond deciding where to shop, consider these factors when choosing kitchen backsplash tiles:
Select backsplash tile colors that coordinate with your cabinetry, countertops, appliances, and kitchen decor. Neutral colors offer the most versatility.
Common options like ceramic, porcelain, glass, metal, and stone each have their own properties. Material impacts price, durability, and ease of maintenance.
Match the tile shape and design style to your kitchen’s aesthetic – whether modern, farmhouse, traditional, industrial, etc. Subway, mosaic, marble, and penny tile designs work well.
The texture and finish (glazed, honed, or textured) affect the visual appeal, ease of cleaning, and light reflection. Satin or matte finishes help hide imperfections.
Measure the backsplash area and set a tile budget. Material, size, special shapes, and quantity impact overall cost. Allow extra for grout, supplies, and professional installation if needed.
Size of Tiles/Patterns
Smaller tiles like mosaics create busier patterns. Larger tiles are better suited to minimalist designs. Mixing tile sizes and laying out creative patterns adds interest.
Ease of Cleaning
Some backsplash tile materials like polished stone require sealing and are prone to staining.Tiles with grout lines also require more maintenance than seamless materials.
Options like porcelain and glass tiles better withstand moisture, stains, scratches, and heat from cooking compared to softer natural stones.
Hiring a Professional Tile Installer
Installing backsplash tile involves careful preparation, precision cutting, level installation, and proper grouting. For flawless results, hiring a professional tile setter is worth the investment.
Benefits of Hiring Tile Installation Experts
Correct process: Professionals are trained on all the proper steps of surface prep, layout, precise tile cutting, level installation, and grouting for clean finishes that won’t deteriorate prematurely.
Proper tools: Tile contractors have specialized tools like wet saws to accurately cut materials to size – especially important for jobs involving intricate designs and tile shapes.
Efficiency: Experienced tilers have the skills to work faster and complete jobs in far less time than DIYers. The project duration is shorter.
Problem solving: Pros have seen it all and know how to troubleshoot unforeseen issues like uneven walls and tiles that crack or arrive damaged. They have the products and solutions to remedy any scenario.
Clean job sites: Contractors contain mess and dust effectively and keep the rest of the home protected during the installation process. They thoroughly clean the space afterwards.
Warranties: Many professional tile installers provide warranties on their workmanship that protect against defects.
How to Hire a Tile Installation Contractor
Follow these tips to find the best tile pro for your backsplash project:
- Seek referrals from family, friends, realtors or builders who’ve had great experiences with local tile installers.
- Search online directories like HomeAdvisor that offer reviews and allow you to compare multiple contractors.
- Verify the company has an active contractors license, insurance, and Workers Comp coverage.
- Ask how long they have been specializing in tile work and backsplash installation specifically. Look for 5+ years of experience.
- Request 3-5 examples of completed backsplash projects and talk to past customers.
- Get an itemized written estimate detailing project scope, materials, timeline, permits needed, costs, and payment terms.
- Opt for tile setters who provide manufacturer warranties on installations.
DIY Backsplash Installation Tips
Installing a backsplash yourself can save money with extra effort and care. Follow these tips for a successful DIY tile backsplash project:
Gather supplies – Make a list of all required tools, tile materials, backer board, thinset mortar, grout, grout sealer, tape, spacers, etc. Having everything on hand prevents delays.
Prepare the surface – Remove existing backsplash material, then clean and sand the area for proper adhesion. Seal porous drywall before adding cement board.
Measure precisely – Precision is key. Measure the total backsplash area and each tile section to calculate the exact materials needed and how tiles should be laid out.
Start with a focus area – Apply tiles in the most visible spot first. This allows you to solve any problems before tiling the entire backsplash.
Dry lay tiles – Place tiles on the countertop in the final pattern before installing to ensure you have the layout and spacing right.
Use leveling tools – Invest in tile spacers and a leveling system to keep rows even and achieve professional-looking results as a novice.
Seal natural stone – Seal porous travertine, marble, and other natural stone tiles before installation to prevent staining and discoloration.
Grout properly – Always follow directions when mixing and applying grout. Wipe tiles thoroughly before it dries, and seal grout once cured.
Watch online tutorial videos to learn each step in the backsplash tiling process before starting your project.
Frequently Asked Questions About Buying Backsplash Tiles
Where can I view backsplash tile samples?
Tile showrooms, home improvement stores, and some big box stores typically have sample boards to see and touch small backsplash tile sections. Or request free samples from online retailers.
Should I order extra backsplash tiles?
Order 10-15% more tiles than measurements show are needed to account for tile cuts, potential breakage, or the need for future repairs. Extras are especially helpful for handmade or specialty tiles that may be hard to reorder later.
How much do backsplash tile installations cost?
Backsplash installation costs range from $25-$50 per square foot depending on tile material, complexity of the design, and professional labor fees. Simple subway tile patterns tend to be the most budget friendly.
What tools do I need to install backsplash tile?
Basic tools needed are tile cutters, mixers for thinset mortar, trowels, grout floats, sponges, buckets, tile spacers, razor knives, and grout sealer. Many can be rented if you won’t use them often.
Should backsplash tiles match countertops?
Backsplashes can match countertops but don’t have to. Contrasting colors, textures and shapes can make the backsplash pop. Just ensure colors complement each other, like light counters with darker tile.
What backsplash tiles are easiest to clean?
Ceramic, glass, and porcelain tiles resist stains the best and are easiest to keep clean. Textured tiles collect less grime than smooth tile. Stay away from unsealed porous natural stones that require frequent resealing.
How are backsplash tiles installed?
Tiles are adhered to cement