cost to install tile backsplash

$28.85 / Square Foot Installed

The average tile backsplash cost is about $28.85/sqft for professional installation. The full range is $18.35 to $37.50 per square foot depending on the material used and other cost factors.

Average Pro

$28.5 / Square Foot

Typical Range

$26.15 – $31.00 / Sqft

Low End

$18.35 / Sqft (DIY)

High End

$37.50 / Sqft (Pro)

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 12, 2022

How Much Does a Tile Backsplash Cost Installed?

Low Estimate

$18.35 – $23.50/s.f.

Average Cost Estimate

$26.15 – $31.00/s.f.

High Estimate

$33.35 – $37.50/s.f.

Material Ceramic Ceramic or Porcelain Porcelain
Tile Size Medium to Large Small to Large Small to Medium
Mixed Tiles No No or Yes Yes
New Drywall No Yes or No Yes
Job Complexity Easy to Moderate Moderate to Difficult Moderate to Difficult
Job Size 50 or more s.f. Up to 50 s.f. Up to 40 s.f.
Remove Old Tile No No or Yes No or Yes
Installer Handyman Licensed Contractor Licensed Contractor

Sections: Overview | Product Costs | Installation Cost | DIY or Pro

Overview of a Tile Backsplash

A tile backsplash can breathe new life into an older kitchen and is an essential component of a complete kitchen remodel. They are often integrated into bathroom design, as a feature that compliments a shower tile project.

This Costimate gives pricing details for the tiles, installation supplies and labor. The itemized tile backsplash costs allow you to evaluate the savings of DIY installation, but see our DIY Yes or No recommendation before deciding.

We have included prices from other cost estimating sites for you to compare. There’s a place for homeowners to share the scope and cost of their projects too. Please consider returning to Business Finance News once your project is complete to share its details with other readers!

Project Cost Details

Backsplash Cost Factors

These backsplash cost factors will help you narrow a price estimate for your project.

  • Tile Type – You have an appealing array of options when it comes to tile. The most common sizes used as backsplash tile range from about 1-inch square to large-format tiles of 12-inches square. Rectangle tiles including popular subway styles are available in small to large sizes too. All but stainless steel tiles are produced in many colors and patterns. Many homeowners choose a combination of tile styles and colors to complete the backsplash.
  • Tile Size – Since large tiles cover more space, they install more quickly. A field of large tiles requires less grout work too. Materials and labor costs are slightly lower when using larger tiles.
  • Job Size – The cost per square foot goes down slightly as the size of the job increases.
  • Job Complexity – Obstacles such as GFCI outlets, corners, windows and exhaust vent hoods all cause costs to rise because they demand more cutting and precision setting of the tiles.
  • Who Installs the Tile – See details below.
  • Removing Old Backsplash – In remodeling jobs, an old backsplash would be removed during the demolition phase. This isn’t an issue for new construction either. If necessary, the cost of removing an old backsplash with disposal is $3-$5 per square foot.
  • Drywall Repair or Replacement – Backsplashes can be installed over drywall, since the kitchen sink isn’t a wet area in the same way a shower is. If the drywall must be replaced, it will raise your cost by $1.00 to $2.25 per square foot.
  • Cost of Living – Like all goods and services, tile backsplash price is affected by the cost of living for your area. It is highest in large cities, especially in the Northeast, East Coast and Northwest. Other metropolitan areas have average cost of living, and it is lowest in small towns and rural areas.
  • Artistic Work – The costs here are for basic tile installation including decorative combinations of tiles, borders and similar common designs. It does not include artistic mosaic work, which can cost $30 and up per hour for the labor.

Cost of Installation Supplies

If you like to know where your money is spent, this itemized list will help. It also explains what your potential costs are if you handle the installation.

  • $3.25 – $7.50 per square foot | Ceramic backsplash tile.
  • $5.95 – $10.15 per square foot | Porcelain backsplash tile.
  • $10.00 – $12.50 per 4×8 Sheet | Mold-resistant drywall, 32 square feet each.
  • $15 – $22 per bag | Thinset tile mortar, sold in 50lb bags. Coverage is 50square feet per bag when spread with a trowel with ½” notches. It is up to 90 square feet when applied with a ¼” notch trowel.
  • $2.00 – $3.25 per square foot | Miscellaneous accessories including drywall screws, tile spaces, caulk, etc. Material and tool lists like this one from the Home Depot are available are available from home improvement stores and websites.
  • $50 – $150 | Miscellaneous safety gear and hand tools, based on the quality of the products you choose and what you might already have. These include safety goggles, hearing protection, gloves, straight edge, tape measure, notched trowel, grout float, manual tile nippers, bucket and sponges.
  • $55+ | Drill and mixing paddle for thinset mortar and grout (can be rented)
  • $185+ | Powered tile saw with tile blade (saw can be rented, but not the blade)

Permits, Inspection, , Related Costs and Installation Time

Permits and Inspection Cost

  • $0 | No permit is required for this work.

Related Costs and Installation Time

Here is what you can expect in labor costs – or how much you may save by doing the work yourself.

  • $8.75 – $20.00 per square foot | Backsplash tile installation cost. That’s a wide range. An unlicensed handyman will charge less than a licensed, insured contractor.

Cost might be even higher if the tile installer is selected by a general contractor, since GCs charge fees to hire and schedule subcontractors such as tile installers. Just be sure that whoever is hired to do the work is an experienced installer with proven capabilities.

Tile Backsplash Install Time Schedule

Backsplashes are usually installed by one or two people. Here is a typical time frame for one person to install a backsplash. You can expect the entire project to take 1-3 days, depending on the complexity of your project.

  • 1-3 hours | Remove old backsplash
  • 2-4 hours | Install new drywall, if necessary
  • 1-2 hours | Plan and lay out the installation
  • 4-12 hours | Install the tile, grout the tile and clean up the job area

DIY or Hire a Pro?

The adage is that installing a tile backsplash isn’t hard. What is difficult is making it look like a pro did the work. If you have good skills and are meticulous about every step, it’s possible to get a finished look you’re very happy with. Learn all you can before starting the work including watching detailed tutorial videos.

For most homeowners, hiring a professional tile installer is the best approach. It ensures that the proper thinset mix and grout are used, important to the backsplash’s longevity, and most importantly, you’ll get professional results you’ll enjoy for many years to come.

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