Where to Buy Backsplash Tiles for Kitchen

Adding a backsplash to your kitchen can completely transform the look and feel of the space. Backsplashes not only look beautiful but also serve the practical purpose of protecting your walls from splatters and spills. When choosing a backsplash, one of the most important decisions is where to buy the tiles. With so many options available, it can be difficult to know which is best. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the pros and cons of various places to buy backsplash tiles so you can make an informed decision.

Home Improvement Stores

Home improvement mega-stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s offer a wide selection of backsplash tiles to choose from. Here are some of the key benefits and drawbacks of purchasing tiles from home improvement stores:


  • Convenience. With hundreds of stores across the country, a home improvement store is likely close to where you live. You can easily pop in to browse options and buy tiles and accessories in one trip.
  • Affordable pricing. As mass retailers, home improvement stores can offer backsplash tiles at relatively low prices. Their buying power allows them to purchase large volumes from manufacturers at discounted rates.
  • Wide product range. You’ll find a vast array of backsplash tile options at home stores, from classic subway tile to intricate mosaics in an unlimited array of colors, sizes, materials, and finishes. This makes it easy to find something to match your kitchen’s style.
  • Abundant stock. The warehouse-style stores keep high inventories. This makes it easy to purchase enough tile for your project without worrying about the product being out of stock.
  • Return policy. Most home improvement stores allow you to return unused tiles if you purchase too many or change your mind. Make sure to check return policies before purchasing.


  • Limited assistance. With many customers and only a few staff, home improvement stores may not be able to provide you specialized guidance with planning your backsplash installation. You’re on your own to determine how much tile you need.
  • No customization. The tiles they carry are mass-produced. You can’t request custom colors, sizes, or designs.
  • Lower quality. Some of the tiles may be imported or made with cheaper materials. Be sure to inspect them carefully for defects before purchasing.
  • Damage risk. Large stores often don’t package tiles safely for transport. Corners can get chipped or tiles can crack if not handled carefully.

Tile Showrooms

Tile specialty showrooms offer unique, high-quality tiles for backsplashes and everything else. However, their selection comes at a price. Here are the main upsides and downsides of buying backsplash tile from a tile showroom:


  • Expert guidance. Tile showrooms have extremely knowledgeable staff. They can answer questions, provide design ideas, recommend grout colors, calculate how much tile you need, and give advice to set your project up for success.
  • Unique and high-end tiles. From handpainted tiles to marble mosaics with gold inlays, tile showrooms offer one-of-a-kind tiles not found anywhere else. You can find the perfect backsplash tile to fit your design vision.
  • Customization options. Many showrooms can order or specially create custom tile sizes, shapes, materials, and finishes. This allows you to get an entirely custom backsplash.
  • Specialty tools and materials. Tile showrooms stock specialty tiles, grouts, adhesives, trim pieces, and installation tools used by professionals. This gives you everything you need in one place.
  • Better quality. The tiles found at showrooms often come from smaller, specialized manufacturers focused on quality craftsmanship. The tiles will typically be higher-grade than big box stores.


  • Higher prices. Unique, high-end tiles command a higher price point. Be prepared to pay more for specialty backsplash tiles at a showroom compared to home improvement stores.
  • Limited selection. Each showroom only carries what is on display or in their catalog. If you don’t see what you want, you can’t simply walk down the aisle to more options like at big box stores.
  • Inconvenient locations. Tile showrooms are not as common as home stores. You may need to drive out of your way to visit one. Many only have a single location, not large chains.
  • Need for planning. To customize tiles or order enough of a style, you’ll need to plan further ahead and may not be able to purchase tiles the same day you visit the showroom.

Online Stores

Thanks to e-commerce, you can now buy backsplash tiles online and have them conveniently shipped to your door. Should you purchase tiles online? Here are some key factors to weigh:


  • Convenience. The ultimate convenience is having backsplash tiles shipped to you so you don’t have to visit any stores. Online shopping allows you to browse whenever and make purchases 24/7.
  • Wide selection. Online tile stores have a wider selection visible at once since they don’t have physical showroom limitations. You can access many more styles by browsing online.
  • Discounted pricing. Online tile retailers tend to offer backsplash tiles at lower prices than local stores due to reduced overhead costs. You can find great deals, especially if buying in bulk.
  • International options. When shopping online, you have access to imported tiles at your fingertips. This greatly expands your options geographically.
  • Efficient research. You can read tile specs, check dimensions, zoom in on photos, and read buyer reviews to efficiently research your options online before purchasing.


  • No touch and feel. You can’t physically touch and examine tiles when shopping online. Colors, textures, and finishes can look different in person than on your computer screen.
  • Potential damage. Tiles may crack or chips during shipping. Be sure to promptly inspect deliveries and file claims for reimbursement if necessary.
  • Extra costs. You’ll need to pay potential shipping costs when buying tiles online. Return shipping is also on you if you need to send any back.
  • No guidance. Shopping online means no salespeople to consult. You’ll need to rely on your own knowledge for how much to purchase and how to install the tiles properly.
  • Installation delay. Shipping takes time, so you’ll likely wait 1-2+ weeks after ordering tiles online before you can install your backsplash. Plan accordingly.

Big Box Home Decor Stores

In addition to home improvement stores, options like Walmart, Target, and IKEA also sell backsplash tiles. Should you consider purchasing backsplash tile from one of these general home merchandise retailers? Here are some key factors to weigh with big box home decor stores:


  • Affordable pricing. Mass retailers like Walmart and Target can offer low backsplash tile prices by buying large volumes from manufacturers. This can save you money.
  • Convenient locations. With thousands of stores, you likely live near one of these major retail chains. You can shop for backsplash tiles while running other errands.
  • Faster than shipping. Since they have local stores, you can take home tiles the same day rather than waiting on delivery like with online orders.
  • Return policies. Most major chains allow you to return unused tiles within a certain window if you buy too many or change your mind.
  • Some unique looks. Retailers like IKEA offer some exclusive backsplash tile styles you won’t find at typical tile stores.


  • Lower quality. Tiles sold by general merchandisers are typically not high-end. They prioritize affordability over specialized materials and manufacturing.
  • Limited selection. While the major home goods chains sell backsplash tile, their selection is smaller than home improvement stores since tile is not their primary focus.
  • Minimal guidance. Sales associates may have limited tile knowledge. You’ll likely need to rely on your own judgment instead of expert tile advice.
  • Stock issues. Because tile is a side category, stock can be hit or miss. Popular tiles may sell out or not be consistently available.
  • Damage risks. General retailers typically don’t have packaging optimized to prevent tile damage. Take caution when transporting these tiles.

Direct from Tile Manufacturer

Some tile manufacturers sell tiles directly to consumers through their websites or showrooms. Here are some perks and drawbacks of skipping the middleman and buying backsplash tiles straight from the source:


  • Better prices. By purchasing tiles directly from the manufacturer you can avoid markups from retailers that drive up costs. This can translate to significant savings.
  • Larger selection. Manufacturers produce more tile varieties than any store can stock. Buying directly opens you up to their whole product line.
  • Customization. Many manufacturers are willing to create custom tile sizes, shapes, materials, colors, and finishes if you contact them directly about specialty needs.
  • Quality assurance. When you buy directly from the source, you know you’re getting an authentic product, not counterfeits or defects retailers missed.
  • Expert support. Tile makers know their products best. They can provide guidance on how to install their tiles properly to help your project go smoothly.


  • Inconvenient. Unless a tile manufacturer has a local showroom, you likely can’t see and pick up tiles in person. This means ordering blindly online.
  • Potential damage. Like any tiles shipped to you, tiles sent from manufacturers can break or get chipped in transit if not packed correctly.
  • Production delays. It may take manufacturers longer to produce and deliver custom or specialty tiles than buying in-stock items from a store.
  • Higher minimums. For custom orders, manufacturers typically have minimum order requirements that are higher than buying a few tiles off a store shelf.
  • No returns. Most manufacturers don’t allow tile returns or exchanges. You are stuck with any tiles you don’t end up using.

Local Tile Stores

Local tile shops operate in many towns and cities. Buying your backsplash tile from a store in your community has these potential upsides and downsides:


  • In-person service. Store associates can examine your kitchen, make recommendations, and provide other personalized guidance to get you the perfect backsplash tile.
  • Quick project turnaround. There’s no wait for delivery when you purchase tiles locally. You can start your installation right after buying supplies.
  • Convenient returns. Local stores are more likely to allow you to return or exchange any extra tiles. This gives you flexibility if your plans change.
  • Unique finds. Local tile shops may carry tiles from local artists or smaller manufacturers you won’t find at big retailers.
  • Support small business. Your money stays in your community when you shop local. This supports local jobs and your neighbors.


  • Limited selection. Stores can only stock so many tile options onsite. Selection is narrower than large online retailers or chains.
  • Higher cost. Smaller stores don’t get the same wholesale discounts as big retailers. Pricing on tiles is often higher than home improvement stores.
  • Inconvenient locations. Since they are neighborhood businesses, local tile store locations are less common. You may need to go out of your way to visit one.
  • Variable quality. Product quality can be hit or miss depending on the brands and types of tiles each local shop carries. Do your research before purchasing.
  • Shorter hours. Local stores have limited hours, unlike big chains. It may be harder to fit a visit into your schedule.

Surplus Tile Stores

Surplus tile stores sell excess tile stock from various manufacturers at a steep discount. Here are some key factors to weigh when considering shopping at a tile surplus store:


  • Huge cost savings. Surplus tiles can be up to 70% off retail prices. This is by far the most budget-friendly tile option.
  • Large volumes. If you need a lot of tile, surplus stores stock many square feet of identical tiles perfect for large projects.
  • Unique finds. You may stumble upon interesting closeout tile designs and colors you won’t easily find elsewhere.
  • Environmentally friendly. Buying surplus reduces waste instead of tiles ending up in landfills. It’s a great way to be eco-friendly.


  • Limited selection. Stores only have whatever overstock tiles manufacturers couldn’t sell. You have to search for something you like vs. choosing from many options.
  • Inconsistent stock. Once a surplus tile style sells out, stores likely won’t get more of the same tiles. You have to buy everything you need at once.
  • No returns. Surplus tile sales are final. Make sure to buy the right amount the first time.
  • Potential damage. Surplus tiles may have small defects, chips, or cracks since they didn’t pass quality inspection for full retail sale. Inspect carefully before purchasing.
  • Use caution for walls. Heavily discounted tiles are best only used for flooring. They may not hold up on walls long-term.

Salvaged and Reclaimed Tile

If you want a truly unique backsplash, you can use salvaged and reclaimed tiles. Here are some key considerations if you plan to upcycle old tiles for your project:


  • Unique, rustic look. Old tiles have a charming, weathered appearance you can’t replicate with new materials. It brings a sense of history and character to kitchens.
  • Eco-friendly. Using salvaged tiles is a sustainable choice since you aren’t creating demand for new tile production. It reduces waste.
  • Potential cost savings. Depending on the source, you may be able to get vintage tiles for an affordable price or even free.
  • Conversation piece. Salvaged tiles make for an interesting conversation starter. You can tell the story of how you sourced the vintage tiles.


  • Installation challenges. Old tiles often have uneven thicknesses and require extra prep work. Handling them can be tricky.
  • Limited supply. Once a source of salvaged tile is gone, you can’t get more. You must be efficient with what you have.
  • Inconsistent sizing. Vintage tiles likely won’t be uniform sizes and shapes. This can complicate installation and spacing.
  • Durability concerns. Reclaimed tile may not be as durable or water resistant. Evaluate tile condition carefully before installing.
  • Unsafe materials. Old tile adhesives and backing can contain harmful materials like asbestos. Proper safety precautions must be taken.

Where to Buy Backsplash Tiles for the Best Value

When analyzing all these options for where to buy backsplash tiles, you likely want to balance beautiful design and great value. Here are some tips for getting the most mileage for your money:

  • Compare prices across local stores and online retailers. Look for sales and discount outlets.
  • For affordable variety, home improvement stores likely offer the best bang for your buck.
  • Buy in bulk from online retailers or big box stores to get volume discounts.
  • Scout for closeout and surplus tiles to potentially save 50% or more off typical costs.
  • Mix pricier designer tiles from specialty shops sparingly as accents amidst affordable tiles.
  • Install tiles yourself rather than paying a premium for installation services.
  • Focus spending on tile quality rather than quantities. Less pricey tiles let you stretch your budget further.

With some savvy shopping at the right places, you can create a beautiful, high-end backsplash within almost any kitchen remodeling budget. Let the above options guide you in finding the ideal source for your perfect backsplash tiles!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) About Where to Buy Backsplash Tiles

As you shop for backsplash tiles, chances are you’ll have plenty of questions pop up along the way. Here we answer some of the most common FAQs about where to purchase backsplash tiles:

Q: Where can I buy affordable backsplash tile?

A: Home improvement stores and online retailers typically offer the most affordable pricing for backsplash tiles since they buy in high volumes. Big box discount stores can also offer low costs. Check sales and clearance sections both in stores and online.

Q: Where can I buy high-end designer backsplash tile?

A: Tile showrooms and specialty retailers will have the best selection of unique, high-quality tiles not found in regular stores. Be prepared to pay designer prices, or mix in high-end accent tiles sparingly.

Q: Where’s the best place to buy backsplash tile locally?

A: Home improvement stores and independent tile shops in your area are your best options for conveniently buying tiles locally. Visit them in person to view products before purchasing.

Q: Where can I buy salvaged or reclaimed backsplash tile?

A: Check antique stores, salvage yards, online auctions, and classified ads for old tiles being re-sold. Sites like Craigslist may have sellers getting rid of tiles during renovations.

Q: Where should I avoid buying backsplash tiles?

A: Discount or dollar stores often sell low-grade tiles that won’t hold up well. Also be wary of shady online sellers with extremely cheap tiles that seem too good to be true.

Q: Where can I buy backsplash tiles that will ship quickly?

A: Large online retailers like Amazon or direct-to-consumer tile brands typically offer fastest shipping. Local stores provide immediate tile pickup. For custom tiles, order well in advance.

Q: Where can I return unused backsplash tiles?

A: Most major home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s allow unused tiles to be returned within 30-90 days. Tile showrooms and smaller retailers have more variable policies.

Q: Where can I buy discounted or surplus backsplash tile?

A: Check for surplus building supply stores in your area that sell leftover tile stock at steep discounts. Also browse eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook for people selling extra tiles.


The search for the perfect backsplash tiles begins with determining the best place to buy them. With a wide spectrum of options from home improvement megastores to custom