Your 2023 Cost Guide to Installing a Marble Backsplash

Ginny Bartolone
Written by Ginny Bartolone
Reviewed by Robert Tschudi
Updated August 17, 2022
Kitchen marble backsplash
Photo: drewhadley / iStock / Getty Images


  • The average range to install a marble backsplash is $900–$3,500.

  • Marble tile and slab backsplash varieties range from $7–$300 per square foot.

  • Labor costs include removal of old material, cutting, finishing, and installation.

  • You can consider installing marble tile yourself, but not a marble slab backsplash.

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Whether you're a reality-show-worthy home chef or a takeout champion, your kitchen style is an opportunity to invest in the finest materials and long-lasting styles. Marble backsplashes check all the boxes: durable, unique, and easy to match with your countertops or pristine white cabinets

If you're considering installing a marble backsplash, labor and materials cost an average of $20 and $130 per square foot, or about $900 to $3,500 for a standard 30-square-foot backsplash.

National Average CostMinimum CostMaximum Cost

How Much Does a Marble Backsplash Cost?

You're not imagining it—the average price range of installing a marble backsplash in your kitchen is quite wide. Here's the thing: There are many types of marble from around the world in a range of colors, patterns, and finishes. Calacatta marble, for example, only comes from just one quarry in Italy. This is just one reason marble is one of the most popular and fashionable backsplash materials and why you'll find costs from $7 per square foot all the way up to $300 per square foot.

“We always do kitchen backsplashes, as the wow factor always justifies the cost,” says Bob Tschudi, Expert Review Board Member and general contractor in Raleigh, NC. “A marble backsplash turns an ordinary kitchen into an experience. We did a kitchen with very expensive tiles from Ephesus, Greece, and the result was not only a great backsplash, but something that our client could talk about.”

Labor Costs

Transporting, sculpting, and sealing marble is also no small feat, adding to the labor cost to install a marble backsplash compared to other materials. According to HomeAdvisor, you'll pay between $40 and $60 an hour for tile installation. If your contractor charges by size, expect between $10 and $30 per square foot—which we'll outline more below.

You will also have the option between tile marble backsplashes—which are a bit easier to install, and thus less expensive—and single slab marble backsplashes, a trickier endeavor to cut and position. Additionally, if you opt for unique tile shapes or backsplash patterns, you may pay more for labor.

Average Marble Backsplash Cost: Labor and Materials

The standard size of a kitchen backsplash is 30 square feet. Let's take a look at the average cost of materials and labor for both tile and slab backsplashes of this size. Tiles are attached individually as well as easier to shape and transport.

Slab backsplashes, on the other hand, are cut to size to sculpt around your outlets, the curve of your kitchen wall, and sometimes to blend right into your countertops.

“When you do a backsplash, you need to do some work on all of the electrical outlets that are affected,” says Tschudi. “To make the switch plates work, we use outlet extenders and other products to make the final product perfect.”

Tile versus slab cost comparison, including materials and labor, with tile costing the least

How Much Does a Marble Backsplash Cost per Square Foot?

The easiest way to calculate the cost of your marble backsplash is by square footage. Sure, your contract may charge an additional base fee for labor or change by the hour, but they often charge by the square foot to cover all their bases. 

As mentioned above, the average cost of materials plus labor ranges between $20 and $130 per square foot on average. However, highly precious marble is an outlier, and you'll find per-foot rates as high as $300 per square foot with higher labor costs of about $30 per square foot

Marble Variety by Square Foot

The type of marble you choose will have the largest effect on your bottom line. Here are some of the most common average per-square-foot costs for each type of common marble.

  • Makrana: $12 per sq. ft.

  • Pink: $25 per sq. ft.

  • Carrara: $40 per sq. ft.

  • Statuatrio: $50 per sq. ft.

  • Cultured: $65 per sq. ft.

  • Travertine: $75 per sq. ft.

  • Danby: $80 per sq. ft.

  • Calacatta: $180 per sq. ft.

Marble Finish by Square Foot

Let's say that you choose a white Carrara marble tile to line the back of your sink and countertops, but want to give the tiles a bit of a weathered or polished look. Finishes either add shine, texture, or unique shape to the edges of your tiles or marble slab. This service may come at an extra cost on top of the material base rate and cost of labor.

Here are the costs to add to your final bill for special finishes:

  • Caressed: $30–$35 per sq. ft.

  • Honed: $10–$40 per sq. ft.

  • Leathered: $20–$30 per sq. ft.

  • Tuscan: $12–$40 per sq. ft.

  • Tumbled: $150–$40 per sq. ft.

Marble Backsplash Cost Breakdown

There are many pieces of the puzzle to consider when budgeting for your marble backsplash. But don't let this deter you. The range of prices really just make room for customization. Let's go over the potential lines on your bill when completing the project from start to finish.

Cost to Remove the Old Backsplash

If adding a marble backsplash is just one part of your kitchen renovation, remember to account for the costs of removing the old backsplash and hauling away debris. Add between $3 and $6 per square foot for this service.


Yet again, the base cost of the marble itself runs from $7 to $300 per square foot depending on the variety and whether you opt for tiles or a single slab.


For a truly unique look, you may opt for tumbled tiles or a slab with leathered effect. Add between $12 and $40 per square foot in addition to your basic material rate.


Whether you work with a team of marble specialists and tile contractors or a single expert who covers it all, you will pay anywhere between $10 and $30 per square foot for labor. Labor includes cutting, transporting, fitting, and installing the slab or tile in addition to sealing the marble from damage. 

Cost to Install a Marble Backsplash Yourself

We'll be straight with you: Working with marble is not an easy or recommended task. If you want to cut and install a slab backsplash, this DIY is a no-go. Marble slabs for the average backsplash will weigh up to 200 pounds, and if you drop it, there is a good chance it will chip or break.

Installing marble tile is more plausible, but only cost-effective if you already have the tools and supplies. If not, the cost of backer board, spacers, caulk, grout, trowel, float, and saw rental can cost around $300—before the cost of materials.

Cost to Install It Yourself vs. Hiring a Contractor 

Lay the two project costs side by side, and they're about the same. If the cost of labor for your contractor is $10 per square foot for a 30-square-foot backsplash, then it is exactly the same as the cost of tools and supplies for the DIY project. Additionally, contractors may have exclusive access to bulk prices for marble slabs and tiles.

3 Ways You Can Save Money on a Marble Backsplash

Installing marble tile backsplash
Photo: ronstik / iStock / Getty Images

If sticker shock scares you away from your marble backsplash dreams, remember that there are some ways to keep things under control. 

1. Find the Right Pro

Just like any home contractor, working with the best professional will save you money in both the short and long run. Speak with at least three local tile installers to compare estimates and what they include in the price. A great tile installer or local kitchen remodeler can look at your unique space and suggest the best material and layout.

2. Opt for Tile

Choosing tile over a slab of marble may be an obvious tip, but costs significantly vary both for materials and labor. Also, if part of your backsplash does become damaged or stained in the future, you can replace a single tile with ease.

3. Consider an Imitation 

There are more budget-friendly backsplash options that look like marble, but don't come with the same price tag. For example, consider peel-and-stick "marble" tiles, repurposed tile in a mosaic, or ceramic tile that imitates the marble pattern.

Marble Backsplashes Questions and Answers

Opting for this sought-after material may require a more flexible budget, but there are plenty of reasons homeowners choose marble. Let's look at some common questions about pairing marble and your backsplash design.

Is marble a good material for backsplashes?

Much like granite, as long as you properly seal your marble slab or tiles, it makes an excellent stain-resistant option for backsplashes. Marble is also durable, heat-resistant, and, of course, stylish.

What should I consider when choosing a marble backsplash?

The backsplash will take up a fair amount of your kitchen wall, so it's important to consider your cabinet colors, countertop materials, and kitchen paint colors. White marble backsplashes can open up a space and reflect light, but keep in mind that each piece of marble is unique, so you may not get consistency throughout the room.

What other projects should I do at the same time?

A new backsplash can either be a side project or part of a larger kitchen remodel. Some homeowners install new countertops that match the marble backsplash or update their kitchen cabinets to make sure the new backsplash will fit with any new additions.

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