Average cost per sq. ft. to install backsplash tiles?

gopackMarch 5, 2008

I am having new granite countertops installed tomorrow!! I hired the same company to install basic 4" tumbled tavertine tiles on the diagonal for the backsplash. I am starting to question the labor cost for installing the backsplash.

I have 35 sq. feet of backsplash. The total for the labor is $844. He said the basic install price is $9/sq. ft. for backsplash tiles. Plus extra for the diagonal. Plus extra money for the sealer etc.

When I divide the total labor of $844 by 35 sq. ft., I get about $25/sq. feet for just the labor without the tiles. This does include the extra charge for diagonal and for the sealers. Does this sound reasonable?



They are charging $5 s. f. for the 4" tiles. That seems reasonable.

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Based on what it's costing us for a similar amount, that seems reasonable. But we may be getting overcharged too. Keep in mind that a small job is always going to be more expensive per sq. foot than a larger one. A backsplash is a small job per sq. ft. and requires a fair amount of detail and cutting as compared to, say, a large bathroom floor.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 12:26PM
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There are other threads on this issue if you search. I know I asked because our quote was at $50/sq ft (which included a $5/sq ft tile allowance). Given the very high labor cost, and the tile we chose (slate in a mini-brick style on 12x12 interlocking sheets which will be $15/sq ft but relatively easy to install) I decided to DIY the install (I have laid tile before on a couple other DIY projects).

If I recall from what Bill V told me, decent install costs start at $15/sq ft and go up from there. So your quote seems reasonable given the tile and the diagonal pattern

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 1:04PM
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this was asked fairly in the last month or so if i'm remembering right, $15/s ft for labor was considered "entry level".

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 1:04PM
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Our tile installer is at the house right now installing our backsplashes (x3)

One part is approx 10x2 with an area around the range that is 2 feet higher, so approx. 28 sq ft.

Another section is a small elevation between the main countertop and the 6" higher bar/counter. This area is probably 4 sq. ft.

The final area is approx 5 square feet at the kitchen desk.

Total area... approx 37 sq feet. Cost... $1200. So, we're around $32.50 per square foot. This includes the tile, however, which makes up around $10 / ft of the cost.

So, your cost sounds pretty in line with what we're paying.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 3:12PM
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I went with home depot. Got subways for a little over a dollar per sq/ft and paid around $7.50 for the installation. I paid $35 charge for the brick pattern. 41 sq.ft, after all the caulk and grout and everything I finished paying around $600. It looks great.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 3:38PM
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It might be a bit high, if all you're doing is turning tumbled marble diagonally, but it's not way out in left field, either.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 3:40PM
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A few years ago we tried to get someone to do the installation of the backsplash on our tumbled marble tiles. It was "too small" of a job for most. One wanted 800 per side--we had two sides of the kitchen, about 10' each side by 18 inches. I think the tiles were a couple hundred dollars max. So the only person that would consider it wanted 1800. My husband did it himself in a few weekends and it looks great!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 9:33PM
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Thanks for all the replies. This has helped a lot. When I posted my question, I had forgot that the total cost included the repairing/replacing the backboard that is completely destroyed after the demolition of the original backsplash. So now I feel like the price is probably very reasonable.

Thanks again,


    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 10:53AM
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Great thread. I'm just picking out the tile and design now. Our granite is "White Spring" with alot of burgundy veins it it. I had originally thought of light brown travertine, but am rethinking it now.

Thanks for the benchmark in cost of labor. Will definitely come in handy when I ask for quotes.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 3:09PM
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