Top 12 Kitchen Backsplash Ideas on a Budget

Stacey Marcus
Written by Stacey Marcus
Updated September 20, 2021
Modern kitchen with quartz backsplash
Bmak - stock.adobe.com

A beautiful backsplash is more affordable than you might imagine

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Dreaming of designing a beautiful backsplash for your kitchen? Combine a dash of creativity with a dose of DIY determination to design a brand new backsplash on a budget. You can find many of the items you need in your home, at a hardware or crafts store, or your local lumberyard. Open your imagination, roll up your sleeves, and check out a dozen ideas for creating a kitchen backsplash on a budget.

Tools You May Need

If you're looking to create a backsplash, you may have to purchase or rent a few tools. Expect to spend about $300 on the tools needed for a DIY backsplash project, including:

  • A trowel

  • Rubber float

  • Cement backer board 

  • Grout

  • Caulk

  • Spacer

Material Costs Will Vary

Material costs will vary based on the type of backsplash you select for your kitchen. You can repurpose materials from your home or opt for a simple application like peel-and-stick backsplash tiles, designed for easy DIY installation. Peel-and-stick backsplash can start at $4 per square foot, while quality tiles or more complex designs can cost $30 per square foot. Compare costs of materials.

1. Peel-and-Stick Backsplash

Peel-and-stick backsplashes offer an inexpensive option for your kitchen and are easier to install than tile. Like with contact paper countertops, there is a wide range of patterns that can cost-effectively mimic tiles, including mosaics and subway tiles. One of the best things about designing your backsplash with peel-and-stick tiles is that it has a self-adhesive backing and you do not need to use grout to install and transform your kitchen

2. Painted Plywood

A little imagination and a fresh coat of paint can transform plain plywood into a snazzy backsplash. Plywood allows you to cover up imperfections in your wall and create a bespoke backsplash for your kitchen. All you need is:

  • Plywood

  • Construction adhesive

  • Caulk

  • Primer

  • Paint

  • Finishing nails

3. Repurposed Tile Backsplash

Is your kitchen backsplash in need of a little TLC? Update your current tiles with epoxy paint or stencil a fun design on the tile. Giving your current tile backsplash an update can refresh your kitchen cost-effectively and creatively. 

4. Wallpaper Backsplash

Wallpaper your kitchen backsplash with a motif that mimics tile without the expense of the tiles and installation. Be sure to select a waterproof wallpaper to protect against splashes and stains.

5. Vinyl Decal Backsplash

Having trouble committing to an expensive backsplash? Vinyl decals are budget-friendly and easy to maintain and install. Whether you want to create a fun, non-symmetrical design or a classic pattern, vinyl decals allow you to simply cut, stick, and enjoy. The beauty of vinyl decals is that if you change your mind, it’s simple and cheap to start over. They are best when placed on smooth, painted walls.

6. Beadboard Backsplash

Looking to add a classic backsplash for your cottage kitchen? Beadboard is a DIY dream that is cost-effective and a cinch to install. You can paint the beadboard the same color as your cabinets to create seamless surroundings or cheer up the kitchen by painting the beadboard your favorite hue.

7. Mosaic Tile Backsplash

Kitchen with mosaic backsplash
Wollwerth Imagery - stock.adobe.com

Go to your local home improvement store to discover sheets of mosaic tiles. Available in a plethora of patterns and designs, mosaic tiles are budget-friendly and easy to install. You can install a square foot at a time.

8. Family Photo Display Backsplash

When looking at your phone for backsplash ideas for your kitchen, swipe to your photos to unlock a treasure chest of ideas. Want to see your family’s faces when you’re cooking dinner? Create a gallery of the gang. Be sure to use high-resolution photos, a digital printer, and the proper concrete paper and vinyl.

9. Jagged China Pieces Backsplash

Breaking your grandmother’s china plates may be the inspiration you need to create a beautiful bespoke backsplash. After you wipe your tears and sort the glass, carefully play with the pieces on cardboard to balance color and pattern before you begin adhering them to the wall. Once you place the pieces, grout the backsplash and polish with soapy water on a sponge.

10. Chalkboard Kitchen Backsplash

If you love the magic of chalkboard paint, you’ll adore creating a chalkboard paint backsplash. Scribble your grocery list, write yourself a love note, or create a weekly menu board complete with recipes and ingredients. Keep the chalk and eraser in a secret drawer!

11. Tin Tile Backsplash

The farmhouse-chic trend is always in vogue, affordable, and attractive. A tin backsplash is an easy-to-maintain and cost-effective option that is rustic and reliable. 

12. Subway Tile Backsplash

Kitchen with subway tile backsplash
Luoxi - stock.adobe.com

Subway tile is one of the most cost-effective and simple ways to create an interesting kitchen backsplash. You can create a clean look by laying the tiles horizontally in staggered rows, or get creative and design a chevron or herringbone pattern.

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