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June 2, 2023

How Much Does Backsplash Installation Cost?

Are you looking to upgrade your kitchen? A new backsplash can give new life to any kitchen. They not only add a touch of style and visual appeal to your kitchen but also serve a practical purpose by protecting your walls from splashes, stains, and grease. Like all home remodeling, it’s normal to worry about how much a new kitchen backsplash costs.

The total project cost of a kitchen backsplash depends on several factors. These include the materials you choose, the size and layout of your kitchen, and labor costs. By understanding these factors, you can make informed decisions about the budget and design of your new kitchen backsplash.

From classic materials like tile to modern materials like acrylic and quartz, we break down the material cost factors for the most popular types of kitchen backsplashes. Plus, we look at the advantages of hiring backsplash installation pros verse doing the work yourself.

How Much Does a New Kitchen Backsplash Cost?

Backsplash installation costs average between $750 and $1,750. The national average cost for installing a backsplash is $18 to $48 per square foot. However, the actual cost will depend on a variety of factors.

What Is the Average Cost of a Kitchen Backsplash?

The national average cost of backsplash installation is $1,150. However, your exact cost depends on a number of factors. Here are some average cost points and what to expect:

  • Less Than $750: If you are looking to keep kitchen backsplash costs as low as possible, consider tin tiles or economy ceramic tiles. Brick might also be an option.
  • $750 to $1,250: You can find a wide variety of affordable options in this price range, including mid-grade to premium tiles and most metal and solid surface options.
  • $1,250 to $1,750: At the high end of the price range for backsplashes, you can get premium tiles and natural stone slabs, luxury solid surfaces, and industrial stainless steel sheets.
  • $1,750 and Up: As with all renovations, the sky is often the limit. This includes ultra-premium materials, specialized installations, and other luxury options.

These price ranges are based on a standard 12-foot by 12-foot kitchen.

The best way to get an accurate price for your kitchen backsplash is to measure and price out materials yourself. Alternatively, have a kitchen remodeling company provide an estimate.

You should always compare different backsplash materials and prices to find options that fit your budget and style.

Look at the cost differences between materials, especially in the case of natural stone and solid surfaces. You can often get a similar style or pattern at a lower price point just by changing material.

Material costs do vary based on local availability and demand. However, you are unlikely to see a drastic price difference between stores in your area.

While you should shop around, it is rare you will see dramatic savings from place to place. And if you do, consider your options carefully. There is always a reason a price seems too good to be true.

What Are the Main Factors Affecting Kitchen Backsplash Costs?

The cost of a new kitchen backsplash is influenced by a few key factors. It is important to consider each when budgeting for your backsplash remodel.

  1. Material Selection: The type of material usually plays the biggest role in determining the overall cost of backsplashes. Popular options include ceramic, porcelain, glass, or natural stone tile, metal like stainless steel and copper, and solid surface materials like acrylic and quartz. Each material provides a different level of durability and style for the total cost.
  2. Size and Layout of the Kitchen: Another important cost factor is the size and layout of your kitchen. Larger kitchens typically require more materials, meaning higher overall costs. Complex layouts require additional cuts, which can increase labor costs.
  3. Complexity of the Design: The pattern and design also impact your costs. Simple designs and patterns are the most cost-effective because they are easier to install. Whereas, elaborate patterns, custom designs, or mosaic work takes more cuts and are more complicated to install. As a result, you can expect higher labor costs.
  4. Labor Costs: Labor is another factor in the cost of kitchen backsplashes. While hiring professional installers comes at a price, they also have the tools and expertise to finish the job quickly and efficiently. Doing the job yourself might cost less, but it could mean added work and stress.
  5. Additional Expenses: There are a number of other costs to consider. Removing the existing backsplashes, disposing of debris, moving or updating electrical outlets, and potential repairs to the wall surface can all increase the overall cost. While you cannot plan for unexpected repairs, it is helpful to add a little extra to your budget to cover additional expenses.

Considering these factors will give you a better understanding of how to budget your kitchen backsplash project. Carefully evaluating your options, material preferences, and design complexity will help you make informed decisions that align with your budget and desired outcome.

The Cost Breakdown of Different Backsplash Materials

Choosing a backsplash material impacts not only the look but also the cost of your remodel. Here are the average costs based on the most popular materials.

Prices are based solely on the raw materials and do not include installation costs or other items related to backsplash replacement. Actual costs can vary depending on your location, supplier, and other factors.

On average, add another $10 to $15 per square foot for the cost of labor and installation. However, the exact costs depend on the complexity of the process and the materials needed.

Cost of Tile Backsplashes

Tile backsplashes of the most popular, but the cost depends on the size and type of tile you choose. While the options vary by tile material, they usually come in a variety of colors, finishes, or patterns. Tile also resists heat and moisture and is usually easy to clean.

  • Ceramic: Ceramic tiles are a popular choice for backsplashes because they are usually budget-friendly. On average, ceramic tiles cost $2 to $20 per square foot.
  • Porcelain: Porcelain tiles are known for their strength and moisture resistance, making them ideal for kitchen backsplashes. Porcelain tile cost between $4 and $8 per square foot, but some styles may cost as much as $15 per square foot.
  • Glass: Known for adding a sleek and modern touch to any kitchen, the cost of glass tile ranges from $7 to $30 per square foot. However, the exact cost depends on the style and size of each tile.
  • Natural Stone: Natural stone like marble, granite, or travertine lends an elegant and timeless appeal to your kitchen backsplash. However, they are usually more expensive than other materials, with prices ranging from $15 to $50 per square foot or more.

The prices listed are estimates, but high-end options are also available.

Pre-made decorative tiles have gotten extremely popular over the last two decades. These tiles feature a pattern of different materials held together with a mesh backing. This allows you to create complex, decorative patterns quickly and easily.

They come in a wide range of styles and usually cost between $5 and $25 per square foot. The exact cost depends on the materials used and the complexity of the tile pattern. In most cases, they are less expensive to install than individual tiles. However, they usually cost more to install than solid tiles.

Cost of Metal Backsplashes

Depending on the type of metal, finish, and thickness, metal backsplashes cost from $5 to $90 per square foot. Metal backsplashes are long-lasting, easy to clean, and resistant to heat and moisture.

Stainless steel brings a contemporary and industrial look to your kitchen, while copper and tin give a more classic look. However, the metal finish will change the overall style.

Metal tiles are less expensive than metal sheets. However, tiles are often more expensive to install due to the added labor involved.

Cost of Solid Surface Backsplashes

Solid surface materials include acrylic and quartz. While they do contain stone and other natural materials, they are man-made products.

They offer a similar look to natural stone with increased durability and lower maintenance. Available in many different colors and styles, solid surface backsplashes cost anywhere from $20 to $80 per square foot or more.

Cost of Brick Backsplashes

Brick was a popular backsplash material in the 1970s and 80s, but it is much less popular now because it is difficult to clean. Expect a brick backsplash to cost between $12 and $45 per square foot.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Professional Installation?

The main benefit of professional installation is knowing the job will be done correctly. It is usually completely hassle-free and makes remodeling your kitchen quick and easy. However, professional installation does come at a cost. Here are the main benefits and drawbacks of hiring professionals for your backsplash installation.

Pros of Hiring Professionals

Here are the main reasons to consider hiring a pro to install your kitchen backsplash:

  • Expertise and Experience: Professional installers have the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to ensure superior results. This means more accurate installation and a much lower chance of installation issues or mistakes.
  • Time and Efficiency: They have the expertise to handle the process quickly, saving you time with only minimal disruption to your daily routine. While it might take weeks for you to install a new backsplash, they can usually complete the job in just a few days.
  • Professional Tools and Equipment: Installers have the tools and equipment required for precise measurements, cuts, and installations. You could buy or rent these tools yourself, but that drives up the DIY costs.
  • Installation and Labor Guarantees: Most pros back their work with a guarantee for added peace of mind. This is separate from any material warranties. If you install the backsplash yourself, the only guarantee is you have the make repairs yourself.

Cons of Hiring Professionals

Still, there are some drawbacks to hiring a kitchen pro for your backsplash installation:

  • Cost: While exact labor costs will vary, installation costs usually account for a third to two-thirds of the total price. Depending on the situation, this could cost more than getting the tools to do the work yourself.
  • Scheduling and Availability: Professional installers often have busy schedules. Depending on the demand, it can take weeks to schedule your installation. If you need work done by a certain time, you might need to pay more or do it yourself.

Other Things To Consider

In addition to these factors, you should consider your own skill level, available time, and willingness to take on the project. If you are an experienced DIYer, replacing your backsplash could be a great way to save money.

On the other hand, it can be stressful and time-consuming. It also means buying or renting specific tools. Not to mention that mistakes will cost you extra, limiting your overall savings.

Also, certain materials are hard to install yourself. Natural stone slabs are often heavy and require several people to install them properly.

Before you decide, research the exact installation process for the backsplash material. This way, you will understand the steps as well as the materials and tools you need to complete the job.

Price out the materials and tools to get an accurate price and compare it with professional quotes to see how much you can save. Then decide if the savings is worth your time and effort.

Tips For Saving Money on Kitchen Backsplashes

If you’re looking to save money on your kitchen backsplash project, there are several strategies you can consider without compromising on quality. Here are some cost-saving tips to help you achieve an affordable yet visually appealing backsplash:

  • DIY Installation: The most effective way to save on backsplash installation costs is to do the installation yourself. With a few tools and some patience, you can tackle the project yourself. However, make sure you research to process or you could make costly installation mistakes.
  • Budget-Friendly Material Alternatives: Look at all of the material options before making a decision. Consider the price, style, and durability before buying. Some ceramic or porcelain tiles mimic the look of expensive natural stone at a fraction of the cost.
  • Shopping Tips and Bargaining Techniques: When purchasing materials, be a savvy shopper. Compare prices from different suppliers and look for discounts or sales. Additionally, you should always negotiate to get the best price possible. Contractors may be willing to offer discounts, especially if you are buying in bulk or during slower business periods.
  • Repurposing Existing Materials: Take a creative approach by repurposing materials you already have. For example, you can use leftover tiles from previous projects or repurpose reclaimed materials like salvaged wood or vintage tiles. This not only adds a unique touch to your kitchen but can also save on your total cost.
  • Balance Cost and Quality: While it is easy to focus on cost, remember to find a balance between saving money and maintaining quality. Make sure the materials and installation methods you choose still meet your expectations. Saving money might not be worth it if you do not like the final product. You could even be wasting money if you cut corners on quality and durability.
  • Review Several Quotes: If you choose to hire a pro, get quotes from at least two different contractors. Then compare not only the price but also the materials they are quoting. Also, take into account customer reviews, product and labor guarantees or warranties, and your overall experience with each company.

With these tips, you can save a little on the total cost of a new kitchen backsplash or even get a slightly high-quality material for a comparable price.


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