How to Choose a Kitchen Tile Backsplash on a Tight Budget

A tile backsplash can help you add style to your space on a budget.
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A tile backsplash can save you thousands of dollars by preventing you from having to replace water-damaged walls behind your sink. They also add style to the space. Although designer backsplashes are available, you can make your own attractive backsplash without breaking the bank by being versatile in the materials and installation strategy you use.

Budget and Plan

Figure out how much money you are willing to spend on this stylish addition to your kitchen and make a firm commitment not to go over this amount. The amount that you spend will be based on many factors, including the length, width and layout of the backsplash. It's easy to forget about the money when you find the "perfect" tile that matches your kitchen, but if you are committed to the budget, you can keep the costs down. Carefully measure the length and width of the space that you want to cover and note any light switches, electrical outlets or other obstructions on the wall. More obstructions can cause your backsplash area to be more difficult and expensive to cover because tile may need to be cut.

Cost of Tile

You have many elegant and modern options for tile. Ceramic tile tends to be one of the most affordable types of tile. You can grab some ceramic tiles for $1 to $2 per square foot. . A classic look can be achieved with a natural stone tile, such as granite, marble or travertine, but these tiles tend to be more expensive. You can stay on budget and may be able to get a deal on these high-end materials if you purchase a tile product that has been discontinued or you purchase a surplus of tile that was intended for another job but didn't get used. Glass tile is a beautiful option that provides a reflective surface and grabs your attention once you enter the space. You can install individual glass tiles or get mosaic glass tiles supported by a mesh backing for as low as $5 per sheet. Consider adding a faux tin tile backsplash to match stainless steel appliances or countertops.

Size of Tiles

In general, the bigger the tile you use, the more expensive it will be. However, if you purchase fewer tiles, you may save more money. For example, if you are covering a 10-foot-long, 12-inch-high area and you purchase 4-by-4-inch tiles for $2 each, your total cost for tile will be $60. The same area that is covered by 6-by-6-inch tiles for $2.50 each will run $50.

Material and Installation Costs

The cost of tile is not the only expense associated with installing a tile backsplash; you also have to pay for grout, thinset, trowels and possibly adhesives. You may also need to rent a saw to cut tiles. The tile saw rental alone can run you about $40. Factor in the cost of each installation method; for example, if you use individual tiles, you may have to pay for more materials than the scissors and adhesive that are required to install tin tiles. You can save a big portion of your budget by doing the work yourself. If you have to hire someone to do it, multiple cuts or a complicated layout will increase the cost, so keep the design simple to save money.

Tile Layout

Before purchasing your tiles, figure out how you plan to install the tile. Laying the tile in a diagonal pattern can help make the space seem bigger, but it will cost you more due to multiple cuts. You may prefer to use cheaper, simpler tiles for the majority of the backsplash and more expensive tiles for the trim or a focal point. Covering less area with tile can also help you stay on budget.

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