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How Much Does It Cost To Install A Tile Backsplash?

Typical Range: $592 - $1,317

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April 14, 2021

Reviewed by Robert Tschudi, Home Building & Remodeling Expert.
Written by HomeAdvisor.

Backsplash Installation Cost

Installing a backsplash in your kitchen costs an average of $1,000. You could pay as little as $600 or as much as $1,350. Your local tile contractor could charge you a minimum fee of $160 for labor, or add $10 per square foot to your material estimate. If not, they may quote you roughly $40 to $60 per hour for labor.

Price factors include finish types, amount of tile needed, pattern complexity, and the level of difficulty. This could depend on whether the area has an electrical socket, door, or window.

Pro Tips: Save roughly $100 on sealant when you use glazed finishes. Stainless steel prices fluctuate, so buy when pricing is low. Get a metal look at a lower price; buy backsplash with metal veneer.

Average Backsplash Cost

Average Cost$1,000
High Cost$1,350
Low Cost$600

Cost to Install a Tile Backsplash

Tile Backsplash Installation Cost Per Square Foot
Type of TilePer Square Foot20 sq. ft.30 sq. ft.40 sq. ft.
Stainless Steel$36$734$1,025$1,317

What you pay also depends on:

  • Tile Needed: A few countertops come with built-in tile, but some people need backsplash too.
  • Complexity: Angles, hard -to-reach-spaces, and a pattern requiring many angle cuts would cost more.
  • Electrical Outlets: Costs may increase to cut around fixtures or finishes like this. Because the tiles add depth, the outlets will need to be extended with spacers and longer bolts so they're flush with the new tiled surface. A handyperson, electrician or even your tile installer should be able to do this.
  • Transportation Costs: Some retailers forward material transfer costs to buyers.
  • Contractor Rate Adjustments: This changes with seasonal wage fluctuations.

Backsplash Labor Cost

The average cost to install backsplash is $40 to $60 per hour. Peel-and-stick installations are simpler and would rate closer to $40 per hour. If you opt for more detailed design, your pro may quote a higher rate.

For instance, elaborate mosaic and herringbone patterns will require additional cutting, time, and effort. Some contractors may charge up to $100 per hour for complex designs. You could spend $400 to $500 per day, depending on the size of the area or work scope. Even the smallest job can take up to 2 days. On the first day, contractors do prep and installation. They usually do the grouting, cleaning, and sealing the second day. This stage takes at least half a day to complete.

Cost to Remove Backsplash

The cost to remove tile could range from $300 to $650. The average cost to remove backsplash is $3 to $6 per square foot. You could also pay an additional $100 to $150 for debris disposal. The task size usually determines your quote.

Leave the grout work to a pro. Hire a Tiler to Install Your Backsplash.

Backsplash Prices

FinishPrice per Square Foot
Mid-Range Ceramic$3-$5
High-End Marble or Granite$7-$10
Stainless Steel$20

Here's what you should know about these materials:

  • Ceramic: These are easy to cut to fit corners and awkward shapes, low maintenance, durable, basic, and cheap, but should only be installed by a professional.
  • Natural terracotta ceramic: Can be glazed in many different colors.
  • Porcelain: A bit costly, but durable and secure as it requires a setting material to secure to walls.
  • Glass: Comes in a variety for every style, and patterns are pre-assembled
  • Slate: Water resistant and easy to clean but brittle and can crack on impact, and needs sealant to repel stains.
  • Stainless Steel: Simple to clean, complements many design schemes, but can lose its sleek, clean appearance if not properly
  • Mid-range Tiles: Traditional, mostly ceramic or comprised of natural stone such as slate or limestone.
  • Higher-end stone tiles: Often comprised ofmarble or granite.
  • Metal tiles: Pricey, available in different materials and finishes, including brushed aluminum, matte stainless steel, bronze and copper.

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Slab Backsplash Costs

Granite$42 per square foot
Stainless Steel$80 per square foot
Vinyl Wallpaper$1 per square foot
Beadboard$1 per square foot and $40 and $85 per panel
Thermoplastic Panels$18 to $20 per 18.5”x24.5” panel

Here's a bit more on the alternatives:

  • Granite, Stainless Steel, Marble: Ideal because it's seamless; find thecost of marble countertops here.
  • Vinyl: Inexpensive and available in a wide variety of colors, styles, and prices, although it shouldn't be used near the stove as it's not heat resistant.
  • Beadboard: Previously sold in slats but now in panels, easy to install, found in durable, medium-density fiberboard, or PVC.
  • Thermoplastic panels: Durable and easy to clean, variety of patterns and colors, easily cut with scissors or snips, making them an ideal DIY choice.
Get Your Backsplash Professionally Installed.

Kitchen Backsplash Cost

The average cost for kitchen backsplash is roughly $400 to $600 per 16 square foot, excluding labor. You could pay about $300 to $400 per 16 square foot for cheaper ceramic variations, or between $650 and $1,000 per 16 square foot for high-quality types. Expect to spend more than $1,000 per 16 square foot for stylish designs like mosaics. Backsplash adds a notable cost to remodel a kitchen.

Price factors include tile size, material type, finish, pattern, size of the area covered, and your contractor's fees. Here's a bit on some of the most popular trends for this space.

Herringbone Subway Tile

The cost of subway tile ranges from $0.15 per square foot to $15 per square foot. Herringbone is recognized by its distinctive V-shapes with 45-degree or 90-degree angles. Its shape also bears a striking resemblance to the bones of a herring. This layout is multi-functional as it protects your walls from splatters and can provide an attractive focal point, especially above your cooking area.

Adding A Contrasting Pattern

There's no need to stick to just one pattern. Adding a contrasting pattern can make your aesthetic more eye-catching and your focal point more dramatic. For instance, you could have a framed arabesque pattern in the center of subway tile, above your sink. Or center a small herringbone inset around ceramic subway tile. You could also center a framed mosaic tile, with a contrasting pattern as a backdrop.

Tiling Up the Wall and Behind Your Stove Top

Installing tile behind your stove can provide texture, warmth, and tone, not to be mention protection from excessive heat. Tiling up your wall or from your counter to ceiling may be a bit more expensive but gives a more seamless, cleaner look.

Kitchen Backsplash Cost Comparison

Here's a glance at some of the best tile for this, with average costs:

  • Mosaic: $3 per square foot. Eye-catching as they are tiny and more condensed, and have more light reflecting off them.
  • Subway: $7-$13 per square foot. Provides a crisp look, easy-to-clean, and complements most decor schemes
  • Natural Stone: $50 per square foot. Stones like marble is aesthetically superior and adds a polished look.
  • Glass: $7-$30 per square foot. Very customizable and the simplest to clean.
  • Stainless Steel: $20 per square foot. Perfect for protecting your walls from grease splatters, and often used in industrial kitchens.

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Bathroom Backsplash Cost

Installation for this averages at $1,000 but you could pay between $600 and $1,350. Pricing does not differ per room. Backsplash is a significant factor in your cost to retile a bathroom or shower.

Peel-and-stick or self-adhesive types are more common than slabs, as it's easy to install, and you won't need mortar or special cutting tools. You can remove them easily, too, if you want to change designs and colors often. To remove, simply heat with a hairdryer for 2 minutes to loosen the glue and peel off.

Here are some typical self-adhesive and slab types, with costs:

  • Aluminum Self-Adhesive: $16 per square foot. Impressive range of designs, heat-resistant, and long-lasting.
  • Stone Peel-And-Stick: $15 per square foot. Provides a natural-looking aesthetic, and is impact and stain- resistant.
  • Gel Self-Adhesive: $9 per square foot. Comprises 3-D gel material, mosaic designs work great in the shower and are not damaged by steam.
  • Glass Peel-And-Stick: $25 per square foot. Can be applied within minutes over dry ceramics, and creates a contemporary look.
  • Vinyl Panel: $8 for eight panels. Does not get cold in winter, resilient; can be maintained by washing with hot water and a soft cloth.
  • Glass Slab: $40-$60 per panel. Transparent, reflects ample light which can make your bathroom look bigger, and has no mildew growth.
  • Marble Panel: $25 per panel. Timeless, ideal for a focal point above your bathroom vanity, and should be sealed regularly to preserve.
  • Wood Slab: $38 per panel. Provides a warm, rustic look; can be cleaned with mineral oil and vinegar.

DIY vs. Hiring a Tiler

A contractor could charge you a minimum fee of $160, plus $10 per square foot, in addition to your material costs. They may also charge $40 to $60 per hour for labor. While this may be expensive, hiring a pro is the fastest, safest way to get the job done with minimal waste. Your walls may need special cleaning and preparation before tiling — especially if you have to remove old tile first. Pros will have the tools and experience to tackle the whole job quickly.

For DIYing, prepare to spend about $300 for tools and materials. DIYers may struggle to cut complex patterns and may not have the line laser they need for detailed designs. There’s also a risk of buying too much material and wasting money. Professionally installed or DIY, it’s up to you how much of a splash to make with your backsplash.

Get the job done faster. Call a Tiler.


How long does it take to install a backsplash?

It takes a professional tiler an average of 2 days to install a backsplash. They may take longer, depending on the size of the tiling area and pattern. A DIY tiling job can take 2-3 days if the you have all the necessary tools and training.

Can you put new backsplash over old?

Yes, you can put new backsplash over the old. If you are going this route, you'll need to make some adjustments and use liquid nails. Take note of your spacing and always ensure that the old grout and tile lines are invisible. If they show, make your spaces smaller or remove the old tiles. You'll also need to extend any electrical outlets so they're flush with the new tile surface. This can be done with spacers and longer bolts by a handyperson, electrician or even your tile installer.

How much does it cost to tile a bathroom wall?

It costs about $13 per square foot to tile a bathroom wall. You could pay as little as $11 per square foot, or as much as $15 per square foot. Pricing varies according to the material and size of the area.

How do you prepare a painted wall for tile?

  1. Remove any loose paint before filling cracks and tiny holes. Use sandpaper to even the surface.
  2. Ensure that the surface is completely dust and grease-free.
  3. Vacuum the wall before cleaning with trisodium phosphate.
  4. Fill a bucket with half a cup of trisodium phosphate and a gallon of hot water.
  5. Dip a sponge into the solution, before scrubbing your wall with it.
  6. Allow the solution to sit on your wall for about 2 minutes.
  7. Rinse the solution off with a clean sponge and hot water.
  8. Allow the wall to air-dry completely before tiling.

Can you glue backsplash tile?

Yes, you can glue backsplash tile. Do this with cement-based mortar, also called thin-set mortar. Or use Mastic, an organic adhesive used specifically for securing ceramic tiles. Thinset mortar works best with glass and stone tile.

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