Looking to upgrade your kitchen with a stylish new backsplash? Finding the right backsplash and installer can be a challenge if you’re not familiar with the options available. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about buying kitchen backsplash tile near you, from materials and patterns to proper installation. Follow our tips to choose the perfect backsplash that matches your design aesthetic and budget.
Introduction to Kitchen Backsplashes
A kitchen backsplash is a vertical surface area located directly behind a stove, sink or countertop. Backsplashes are typically made of tile or metal sheets. The main purpose of a backsplash is to protect the walls from splashes, spills and stains. Backsplashes also serve as an opportunity to infuse color, texture and personality into your kitchen décor.
When shopping for backsplash tile, you’ll find there are lots of options available in terms of materials, styles, colors and patterns. Ceramic and porcelain tile tend to be the most popular choices for backsplashes because they are affordable, easy to clean and come in a wide range of colors and textures. Glass, metal and stone tile provide a more high-end, custom look but tend to cost more.
No matter what material you choose, make sure the backsplash complements your existing kitchen cabinets and countertops. For a cohesive look, match your backsplash color and style to other features in the kitchen. Keep reading to learn all about the various backsplash materials and installation options available near you.
Where to Shop for Backsplash Tile Near Me
When you’re ready to shop for backsplash tile, you’ll find there are several options available in your local area:
Home Improvement Stores
Big box home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes offer a wide selection of ceramic, porcelain and glass backsplash tile at affordable prices. Browse the tile aisle to view sample boards of different tile styles. Home improvement stores typically have knowledgeable staff who can help you estimate how much tile you’ll need.
Specialty tile stores have a vast selection of unique and high-end backsplash tiles. Products from leading manufacturers around the world are available. Expect to pay more for premium materials like marble, metal and mosaic tiles. Tile showrooms are a great place to view large samples and get expert design advice.
Order backsplash tile conveniently online from e-commerce sites like Wayfair and Build.com. Browse their collections to find discounted prices on popular tile materials, styles and colors. Read customer reviews to guide your buying decision. Many online stores also offer free shipping.
Local Stone/Tile Suppliers
In many areas, there are specialty stone and tile providers that import, distribute and sell directly to homeowners. Visit their warehouse showrooms to hand select tile and speak with knowledgeable customer service reps. Check the Yellow Pages for local suppliers.
Kitchen Design Studios
If you’re undergoing a full kitchen remodel, visit a kitchen design studio. Design experts will help you select the perfect backsplash tile to match your customized cabinets and layout. They often have access to exclusive collections you won’t find at big box stores. Installers on staff can provide full service.
How Much Does Backsplash Tile Cost?
Backsplash tile is sold by the square foot, so your total cost will depend on the size of your backsplash area. In general, you can expect to pay:
- Ceramic or Porcelain Tile: $5 – $25 per sq. ft.
- Glass Tile: $15 – $40 per sq. ft.
- Granite Tile: $40 – $80 per sq. ft.
- Marble Tile: $50 – $100 per sq. ft.
- Metal Tile: $30 – $100 per sq. ft.
- Mosaic Tile: $10 – $50 per sq. ft.
- Stone Tile: $15 – $50 per sq. ft.
Keep in mind that pricing can vary depending on factors like brand, quality, pattern, color variation, finish and grout color. Get quotes from several tile suppliers in your area to find the best value. Also budget for additional supplies like grout, mortar and sealant when calculating your total backsplash installation cost.
Measurement and Layout
Once you’ve selected your backsplash tile, the next step is measuring your space and mapping out the tile layout. Avoid frustrations down the road by taking precise measurements before installation day. Here are some tips:
- Measure the height and length of the backsplash area. Remember to account for any outlets, windows or appliances.
- Decide if you want the tile to run vertically or horizontally. This will impact layout.
- Purchase 10-15% extra to account for broken tiles and pattern matching during install.
- Play around with tile pattern ideas using the square footage measurements.
- For geometric or mosaic patterns, draw the layout to scale on graph paper first.
- Consider hiring a professional installer experienced in measuring and mapping backsplashes.
Plan for special edge pieces like bullnose tile trim and decorative tiles that frame the outer edges of your backsplash installation. This finishing touch gives a clean, built-in appearance.
DIY Installation vs. Hiring a Professional
Installing a tile backsplash is considered an intermediate DIY project that requires some skill with setting tile and using specialty tools. Review these considerations to decide if you should tackle the project solo or hire a professional:
DIY Backsplash Installation
- Cost: DIY is less expensive but requires purchasing/renting tools
- Time: Set aside a full weekend or longer depending on tile size
- Skill level: Comfortable using a tile cutter, grout float and level
- Results: Quality depends heavily on your tiling abilities
Professional Backsplash Installation
- Cost: More expensive but yields expert results
- Time: Installers can complete quickly, in just one day
- Skill level: Done perfectly by an experienced contractor
- Results: It will look like it was done by a pro
Many homeowners attempt DIY installation only to regret it later. Unless you have tiling experience, hiring a backsplash installation company is worth the investment.
Hiring a Local Tile Installation Contractor
Seeking professional help for your new backsplash? Follow these tips to find a qualified local tile installation contractor:
Search “kitchen backsplash installation near me” and read through company reviews on Google, Yelp and industry sites like Angie’s List or Houzz. Verify they have a track record of top-notch workmanship.
Ask for Referrals
Friends, neighbors or realtors who have had backsplashes installed recently are great resources. Referrals can vouch for contractors’ quality of work firsthand.
Make sure the company holds active and valid contractors’ licenses in your state. Ask to see proof. Unlicensed contractors often do poor work and are difficult to hold accountable if problems arise.
Get Multiple Quotes
Interview at least three contractors and get written estimates. Compare their pricing, experience and timeline. A very low quote may indicate problems ahead.
Look for Specialization
Search for tilers who specialize in backsplash installation. Ask how many backsplash jobs they’ve completed in the past year. Specialists have the right skills.
Doing due diligence cuts down on nightmare backsplash installation stories. Take time to choose a top pro.
Backsplash Tile Patterns and Designs
One of the most exciting parts of selecting a new backsplash is choosing a tile pattern that matches your personal style. Let’s look at some of the most popular backsplash tile design options along with examples:
Brick Pattern Backsplash Tile
The classic brickwork pattern creates visual interest and texture. Stagger the tile offsets for a timeless look. Use different size rectangular tile for contrast. Brick patterns work especially well behind stoves.
Subway Tile Backsplash
Subway tile backsplashes have a clean, contemporary look. They feature 3×6 inch glossy rectangular tiles lined up in an offset brick pattern. Go for dramatic contrast with bright white subway tiles against dark grout.
Herringbone Pattern Backsplash
A herringbone design immediately draws the eye with its elegant, geometric style. It works beautifully with marble, stone or wood-look tile. Tip: Choose tile with beveled edges to make the pattern really stand out.
Mosaic Tile Backsplash
Tiny mosaic tiles clustered together in eye-catching patterns create focal points over sinks or ranges. Vary the color of mosaic tiles for striking effects. Keep surrounding backsplash tile simple to avoid an overly busy look.
Moroccan Fish Scale Tile
Inspired by Moroccan architecture, these intricate tiles layer in an overlapping pattern resembling fish scales. The play of light over the tiles is mesmerizing. Pair with simple cabinetry to let the tiles shine.
Hexagon Tile Backsplash
The six-sided hexagon shape allows for gorgeous geometric designs. Mix varying sizes for visual intrigue. Tip: Use large-format tiles on the wall with a mosaic of small hexagons on the focal area behind the range.
There are endless ways to combine tile materials, colors, patterns and textures to create your ideal backsplash. Spend time looking through photos online and in showrooms to hone in on your perfect style.
Popular Backsplash Tile Materials
From gleaming metal to rustic stone, there are so many options when it comes to backsplash tile materials. Consider where the backsplash is located along with your overall kitchen aesthetic when selecting. Here are some most popular backsplash tile materials:
Affordable and easy to maintain, ceramic tile comes in a enormous range of colors, textures and finishes. Use glossy ceramic subway tile for a classic look or textured ceramic tile for rustic charm.
Denser and more durable than ceramic, porcelain tile stands up well to heavy use and cleaning. Porcelain comes in myriad patterns, making it ideal for decorative backsplash tile. Mosaics work beautifully.
Glass tile lends eye-catching brilliance and vibrant colors, especially when lit from below upper cabinets. Use translucent glass tile to create shimmering accents behind sinks or stoves. Glass tile costs more but makes a statement.
For natural elegance, granite tile backsplashes harmonize beautifully with granite countertops. The dense stone resists stains and heat. Available in diverse patterns from speckles to swirls to mottled looks.
Prized for its timeless beauty, marble tile evokes sophistication. The stone’s veining results in lots of variation between tiles for organic appeal. Since marble stains easily, seal it well and avoid placing it behind cooktops.
Metal tiles like zinc, copper, stainless steel or tin create industrial charm. The sleek dimensional tiles have a contemporary, eye-catching look. Just make sure your design aesthetic aligns with the metallic aesthetic.
There are no set rules – get creative mixing and matching different tile materials to design your dream backsplash!
Factors that Impact Cost of Backsplash Installation
Many factors beyond just the tile itself impact the overall installation cost for a kitchen backsplash. When budgeting your backsplash tile project, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Size of the backsplash area (in square feet)
- Tile material chosen – ceramic, porcelain, glass, metal, stone
- Tile finish – gloss, matte, textured
- Tile shape – square, subway, hexagon, mosaic
- Tile size – large tiles tend to have a higher material cost
- Specialty tiles like handmade, custom or marble
- Pattern complexity – simple patterns are quicker to install
- Grout color – natural grout blends in, darker grout stands out
- Specialty trims and edging
- Accessories like backsplash outlets, light rails or shelving
- Amount of tile cutting required – outlets and corners increase cuts
- Removal of existing backsplash – adds demo time and costs
- Condition of existing wall – any repairs needed add labor time
- Geograhic location – contractor rates vary across regions
To get an accurate installation estimate, tile suppliers and contractors will need the measurements, tile selections and accessories chosen for the space. Get a breakdown of material costs vs labor costs so there are no surprise add-ons halfway through the job.
Hiring a Tile Installer Checklist
Follow this checklist when meeting with prospective backsplash tile installation contractors:
- Review portfolio: Ask to see photos of past kitchen backsplash jobs. Assess the quality of work.
- Check reviews: Search online for reviews for the contractor on multiple sites. Look for repeat happy customers.
- Verify licensing/insurance: Ask for license numbers. Make sure workers’ comp and liability insurance is active.
- Get quote details: Obtain a detailed quote listing the tile, grout, trim and installation costs separately.
- Discuss timelines: Ask how long the job will take and the installers’ work availability. Build in buffer time.
- Check warranties: Confirm whether workmanship and tile/grout product warranties are included.
- Understand expectations: Review backsplash design drawings together and communicate any customizations.
Taking time upfront to vet tile pros ensures you’ll have a positive backsplash installation experience. With the right contractor, you’ll love admiring your new backsplash for years to come.
Backsplash Tile Frequently Asked Questions
Looking for quick answers to common questions homeowners have about backsplash tile? Here are some frequently asked topics:
How is backsplash tile installed?
Tile installers first prepare the surface by cleaning, then applying mortar adhesive. Tiles are cut to fit, set in the mortar and spaced evenly. Grout is applied last to finish and seal tile joints.
What tile is best for kitchen backsplash?
Porcelain, ceramic and glass tile are best for backsplashes. Porcelain is most durable. For high heat areas near stoves, avoid natural stone which can crack.
How high should a backsplash be?
Standard backsplash height is 4 to 6 inches above countertops. Backsplashes may extend to bottom of wall cabinets for a full wall look. Building codes limit height over electrical outlets.
How much does it cost to install a tile backsplash?
You can expect to pay $6 – $15 per square foot for DIY ceramic tile backsplash installation. Hiring a pro typically starts at $25 per square foot or more depending on tile type and complexity.
Should backsplash match countertops?
It’s recommended to use matching or coordinating tiles on backsplashes and countertops. For example, both could incorporate white marble tile. Consistent materials create a seamless look.
Can you put tile backsplash over existing tile?
If the existing tile is in good shape, new tile can be installed over it to save the demolition work. Use caution with this shortcut – old grout lines may eventually show through.
Can backsplash tile go all the way to ceiling?
Yes, you can install backsplash tile from countertop to ceiling for a full designer look. Building codes prohibit electrical outlets being covered. Plan outlet adjustments.
With the right tile, layout and installer, installing a backsplash in your kitchen will take it from bland to beautiful! Use this guide to find the perfect backsplash tile for your home near you.