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Last modified: 2022-11-16 | Approximate reading time 7 mins
The kitchen backsplash plays a role that is both practical and aesthetical. It is used to protect the walls that are often exposed to our creative culinary impulses (who hasn't sent tomato sauce flying all over the walls before?). A backsplash is also a visual element that can be used to create a cohesive look in the room, bringing together the upper and lower cabinets, as well as the counter.
Therefore, we want to be sure to choose the right material for a kitchen backsplash. Most people will opt for a tile backsplash, whether it's made of ceramic, porcelain, or vinyl. However, there is a wide variety of materials that can be used for this purpose.
In this article, we will discuss the characteristics of the materials that are most often used to build a backsplash, as well as their average prices.
You could get away with a budget of $240 to $480, or pay up to $4800 for your backsplash. Indeed, it should be noted that since there is a wide selection of materials that can be used as backsplashes, there is something for all tastes and all budgets. However, on average, people pay between $1,800 and $3,000 for their backsplash, including labour and materials.
It should also be noted that some materials can easily be set up by people with little to no renovation experience, while others must be installed by contractors.
The prices that we are going to present in this article will be a general reflection of the current material costs on the market, as well as the costs of installation by an expert. However, it is difficult to take into account all the factors that can affect the final amount you will pay, because each case is very different.
For example, you may need to repair and prepare the wall surface before installing the backsplash. Please note that the amounts indicated in this article are for information only. To make it all clearer, we have gathered the data in a chart:
|Material||Average price (material only)||Cost of labour||Total cost for an area of 50 square feet (taking into account 20 hours of labour, with exceptions*)|
|Ceramic||$1 to $12 per square foot (some high-end models can go up to $22 per square foot)||For installation by an expert, count $40 to $60 per hour.||Materials: $50 to $600
Installation: approximately $800 to $1,200
Total: 850 to 1,800$
|Porcelain||$5 to $15 per square foot (some more luxurious models can go up to $24 per square foot)||For installation by an expert, count $40 to $60 per hour.||Materials: $250 to $750
Installation: approximately $800 to $1,200
Total: $1,050 to $1,950
|Glass tiles||Approximately $15 to $30 per square foot||Approximately $15 to $30 per square foot||Materials: $750 to $1,500
Installation: $800 to $1,200
Total: $1,550 to $2,700
|Glass panels||Approximately $48 per square foot||For installation by an expert, count $10 to $15 per square foot.||Materials: 2,400$
Installation: $500 to $750
Total: 2,900 to 3,150$
|Marble tile backsplash||Approximately $36 to $48 per square foot||For installation by an expert, count $40 to $60 per hour.||
Materials: 1,800 to 2,400$
Note: It is also possible to install a marble slab backsplash, but the price will be much higher (we are talking between $2,400 and $12,000 for 50 square feet)
|Slate tile backsplash||Approximately $12 to $36 per square foot||For installation by an expert, count $40 to $60 per hour.||Materials: $600 to $1,800
Setup: $800 to $1,200
Total: $1,400 to $3,000
|Adhesive tile backsplash (example: Smart tiles, Speedtiles)||About $12 to $22 per square foot||For installation by an expert, count $40 to $60 per hour.||Materials: $600 to $1100
Installation: $400 to $600 * calculating a 10 hour installation
Total: 1,000 to 1,700$
We could also have talked about other types of backsplash materials for the kitchen or the bathroom, but the prices are more difficult to present without having more information about your kitchen. Here are some other materials you might consider:
An example of a stainless steel backsplash (Source: Unsplash)
It is also possible to install a backsplash in a bathroom. Of course, the square footage of this backsplash will generally be smaller (unless you decide to cover an entire wall). Most of the time, bathroom backsplashes are ceramic or porcelain.
Here are the approximate prices for a 20 square foot bathroom backsplash (including installation):
Bathroom backsplash (Source: Unsplash)
You will need to do a calculation that gives you a figure in square meters or square feet. Here is the equation to follow to measure square feet:
Length x width (10ft x 15ft) = 150 square feet
Next, measure the obstacles to avoid (cabinets, mouldings, electrical installations). You will then need to subtract this figure from the previous number (ex: 150 square feet - 35 = 115 square feet).
Finally, you don't want to run out of material, so you'll need to have some in backup. This means that you have to calculate 5 to 15% for losses. For example:
10% of 115 square feet = 11.5, so a total of 126.5 square feet
To make your life easier, once you have this number, you can take it to a hardware store rep (or specialty store) and they'll help you purchase the right amount of material.
It's not for nothing that ceramic is often used to build a backsplash in a kitchen or bathroom. This material is generally affordable, quite easy to maintain and versatile in terms of style. Indeed, ceramic blends just as well with contemporary decor as with a more classic environment.
On the downside, it should be noted that ceramics can be complicated to install, so it is strongly advised to hire an expert. Moreover, even if the maintenance of the surface is easy, it is sometimes difficult to clean the joints between the tiles. And if the grout is of poor quality, you may need to fix it eventually.
The advantages and disadvantages of porcelain are quite similar to those of ceramic. The main difference between these two materials is that porcelain is denser and stronger than ceramic. So its lifespan can be longer. Also, porcelain absorbs less water than ceramic, which can be an interesting advantage in a humid room like the kitchen or the bathroom.
Finally, porcelain is a little bit more expensive than ceramic, but when compared to other materials such as marble or slate, it remains a very accessible option.
In a kitchen or a bathroom, marble is perceived as a luxurious and durable material. Its surface is smooth and soft, which makes the marble easy to wash.
Among the disadvantages, note that marble is one of the most expensive backsplash materials. You'll also have to apply a sealant from time to time to protect the surface from stains (especially in the kitchen). Finally, marble can be a heavy material, so if you opt for a marble slab, you may need to reinforce the wall's structure.
If you are looking for a backsplash that is easy to install, affordable and simple to maintain, consider buying adhesive tiles! Adhesive tiles have the great advantage of being able to reproduce other more expensive materials such as marble, stone or mosaic at a low price. There's something for everyone on the market, from bright colours to more neutral hues, to funky and classic patterns!
These tiles are designed to be easy to lay, even if you don't have experience with this type of project. Of course, for an impeccable result, it is always better to hire a contractor. As for the disadvantages, adhesive tiles can be less resistant to heat and wear (depending on the surface finishing material).
Slate is a natural stone that is rich in textures. It works especially nicely with contemporary decor. A sealant must be applied to the surface, after which the slate will be impermeable.
Its main disadvantage is the price because it is one of the high-end options in terms of backsplash. However, if you've opted for a slate counter, it can give a magnificent result!
There are two options for a glass backsplash, either the glass panel backsplash or the glass tile backsplash. In either case, it is best to hire a specialized contractor to carry out the installation. Even though the glass is very strong, you don't want to break your glass panel trying to install it!
Once properly in place, the glass provides a beautiful surface that is easy to clean and bright. You will be able to choose from different colours and glass surface textures.
Yes and no. It really depends on the material, your skills and the time you have to devote to the project. If you really want to install your own backsplash and you have no experience in the matter, opt for adhesive tiles. These are easier to install and require less equipment, products and time.
You could also try installing ceramic or porcelain tiles, but be aware that an impeccable result will be more difficult to obtain. Finally, trying to install a marble, slate or glass backsplash yourself is not recommended.
Would you like to know more about the different types of backsplashes? Here are some interesting articles to read on our blog:
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