A kitchen backsplash can be installed as a focal point above the stove, along the countertop walls, or run the full length and breadth of the kitchen, depending on your budget and desired look. Kitchen backsplashes not only add an aesthetic element to the kitchen but also make the kitchen easier to clean and ensure its durability.
- Stainless steel and natural stone are the most expensive backsplashes
- Glass sheets and tiles are easy to clean and match almost any kitchen design
- DIY options like mosaic tiles and painted backsplashes are less hygienic
How Much Does a Backsplash Installation Cost in Canada?
A backsplash installation cost in Canada can be anywhere from $700 & to $1,200 depending on the materials chosen and the size of the backsplash, though there are cheaper options and more expensive ones that go up to $1,000 per meter excluding labor. Typically the labor portion of the backsplash installation can be around $30 – $150 per square meter depending on the specialized skills needed for each material type.
Backsplash Styles and Their Cost
A kitchen backsplash is most often installed behind the stove. It occupies the space between the bottom of the cooker hood and the stovetop. With built-in stoves, it ends at the counter level, but often with stand-alone cookers, it extends about 1-2 inches below the stove’s top, behind the cooking unit. A backsplash should at least be the width of the stove so that it looks proportional. Backsplashes need to be moisture and stain-resistant because food can sputter and splatter when it’s cooking on the stovetop. A good-quality backsplash needs to be easy to wipe clean and hard-wearing. Backsplashes can also be installed along the walls above the countertops to create a cohesive look.
Stainless steel kitchen backsplashes are usually only installed in areas of the kitchen where food or moisture splashes occur frequently, like the area between the cooker hob and hood, as well as the area behind the sink. It is unusual for stainless steel sheets to be installed in the whole kitchen, not only because of the astronomical cost but also because it makes the kitchen feel like a restaurant kitchen instead of a home kitchen. But if this is the look you want, you can expect to pay $165 – $360 per square meter excluding the labor fee.
Natural stone includes all types of stone that are extracted from stone quarries. These include marble, granite, quartz, and onyx backsplashes that can be installed when doing a kitchen renovation in Mississauga. Onyx stone backsplashes have grown in popularity recently because of their opulent and translucent appeal. Natural stone backsplashes like marble, onyx, granite, and quartz are naturally germ-resistant because they prohibit bacterial growth (1), which makes them ideal for areas in the kitchen where food and water might splash.
Onyx is the most expensive natural stone backsplash and will cost about $1,020 per square meter, while granite is the cheapest natural stone backsplash and will cost around $129 per square meter. You will need highly skilled professionals to install natural stone so the labor is going to add significantly more to the backsplash installation cost in Canada.
Glass backsplashes can be tinted in any color or frosted and make a great way to add charm and interest to a kitchen. Glass sheets have the added benefit of being seamless like stainless steel or natural stone backsplashes but without the heftier price tags. But it is still not cheap. You can expect to pay between $60-$80 per square meter for continuous glass sheets to be installed when doing a kitchen renovation in Toronto.
Expert installers have all the correct tools and transportation methods to ensure your glass sheets are installed without hassle. The one major downside to glass sheet backsplashes is that if something accidentally bangs too hard against it, you could have a huge crack or shattered backsplash that needs replacing, so take extra care with this one.
Porcelain or Ceramic Tiles
Porcelain tiles are more durable than ceramic tiles and absorb less water making them ideal for areas that have a lot of moisture like near the sink and cooker. They are more hygienic than other tiles because of their low porosity, also making them ideal for bathroom renovations in Toronto. High-end porcelain tiles can amount to $90 per square meter excluding labor when calculating a backsplash installation cost in Canada.
Ceramic tiles are easier to cut because of their lower density when compared to porcelain tiles, which means they can be cut into unusual shapes when tiling in awkward areas. Because ceramic tiles are more affordable and cost from $18 – $48 per square meter, you can tile all the walls in the kitchen to create a more cohesive look.
Mirror or glass tiles give you the shiny surface of glass sheets without the headache and for less money. Mirror tiles have a reflective surface that will make a smaller kitchen feel more expansive. Mirror tiles come in all sorts of shapes and sizes from small square mosaic-size tiles to large hexagonal-shaped tiles, but the most important thing to consider is how they will attach to the wall. Professional mirror backsplash installers have the correct adhesives that will keep the tiles firmly fixed and won’t cause strange discoloration on the mirror, so it is best to hire experts. Mirror tiles typically cost from $47 – $68 per square meter, with bevel edges costing slightly more than straight edges.
Laminate backsplashes come in continuous sheets for a seamless look or as panels that can be placed side-by-side with a barely visible joining line. They are a popular choice when doing a kitchen renovation in Vaughan because they are more cost-effective than natural stone but can often come in designs that mimic stone surfaces. Laminate sheet backsplashes can cost as little as $15-$21 per square meter and come in standard heights like 18 inches which is the typical distance between a countertop and the bottom of wall-hung cabinets.
Laminate might be cheaper but it is still imperative that it is installed by a professional kitchen installer. Because laminate is particle board that is covered by an outer laminate layer there is a chance that excess moisture from steam when cooking can cause the laminate layer to come loose—allowing water droplets into the particle board layer and causing warping. So laminate should be avoided right above the stove or sink areas.
Mosaic tiles offer a world of creative possibilities when used in kitchen backsplashes. If you are a mosaic artist you could even do the tiling yourself, but you should ensure the tiles are suitable for kitchen use. The ideal mosaic tile sheet should have a smooth surface that is easy to clean, non-porous, and resistant to staining, bacteria, mildew, and mold.
Glass mosaic tiles are more expensive than regular mosaic or wall tiles because they are more difficult to manufacture. When using mosaic tiles in a condo kitchen renovation in Toronto, you can expect to pay $177 per square meter for a glass herringbone mosaic sheet which excludes the grout and other tiling supplies.
Peel and Stick Tiles
Peel-and-stick tiles have been doing the rounds on social media posts and renter-friendly DIY videos lately because they are cheap and easy to find. The problem with peel-and-stick tiles is their temporary nature. While they might work for kitchen walls for a short period, they’ll start to come loose when exposed to steam from a boiling kettle and are not the ideal way to reduce a backsplash installation cost in Canada.
Peel and stick tiles come in a range of funky or neutral designs and can cost as little as $6 a square meter and up to $60 a square meter for slate-look tiles. But because their adhesive is low quality you’ll probably have to spend extra money on decent wallpaper glue to put them pack up when they slip off.
Homeowners on a budget often opt for painted backsplashes as a temporary solution while they save up for more elegant backsplash options. Provided the correct primer and paint are used a painted backsplash can work quite well in the interim. Gloss enamel paint, tile epoxy paint (for painting over tiles), or latex interior paint are all suitable options for a painted backsplash.
Epoxy paint is more durable than latex paint and will also be easier to clean, but is more expensive. It can cost $30 – $50 for a gallon of epoxy paint. You obviously won’t be eating off the backsplash but you should be aware that epoxy resin and similar products do have a health risk when contact is made with the skin (2), so be careful when painting.
In homes with exposed brick, it might be a budget-friendly option to leave a portion of the kitchen backsplash open to continue the aesthetic and reduce their backsplash installation cost in Canada. However, exposed brick is one of the most porous surfaces so it is advisable to steer clear of this backsplash option for the area above the stove. Homeowners who have exposed brick in their kitchen should use their extractor fans every time they cook to reduce the sticky build-up on the brickwork and grout lines.
How to Calculate the Cost of a Backsplash
|Material||Cost per square meter||Main Pros||Main Cons|
|Stainless Steel||$165 - $360||Durable and sleek||Expensive, can look clinical|
|Natural Stone||$129 - $1020||Easy to clean, attractive looking||Onyx is very expensive|
|Glass Sheets||$120 - $240||Seamless look means no grout lines to clean||One crack will ruin the whole look and the entire sheet will need replacing|
|Porcelain or Ceramic Tiles||$18 - $90||Ceramic tiles are cheaper||Porcelain is more expensive but has a lower water absorption rate|
|Mirror or Glass Tiles||$47 - $68||The highly polished surface makes a kitchen feel more spacious||Incorrect adhesive can mark the tiles and can cause them to fall and break|
|Laminate||$15 - $21||Cost-effective and easy to integrate into a kitchen design||Can warp from excess moisture|
|Mosaic Tiles||$36 - $177||Can give a kitchen a truly unique look||Specialized skills are essential for a professional look|
|Peel and Stick Tiles||$6 - $60||Very cheap and easy to find||They don’t adhere well|
|Painted Splashback||$30 - $50 per gallon||Looks less impressive||Not as hygienic as glass or stainless steel|
|Exposed Brick||$60 - $120||Gives the kitchen a grungy industrial look||Can be difficult to clean|
How To Save Money On a Backsplash Installation
You can save money on a backsplash by choosing paneled versions inseam of seamless sheets. The continuous stainless steel and glass sheets are extremely expensive to manufacture and maneuver. You could also use neutral porcelain tiles on the sections of the kitchen walls below the suspended wall cupboards and splurge a little on the backsplash above the stove to create a focal point.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is a backsplash so expensive?
Backsplashes consist of highly durable materials that can withstand splashes from cooking and moisture for condensation when cooking or doing dishes. Their stain-resistant surfaces and specialized installation requirements add to the cost.
Is tiling cheaper than installing a backsplash?
Tiling is slightly cheaper than a solid backsplash in the short term because it costs less per square meter. However, you might need to replace the tiles more often or at least regrout the area more frequently as the porous surface will become grimy over time.
What is the average cost for a backsplash?
The average cost for a high-quality backsplash is about $100 – $270 per square meter, while a cheaper backsplash can cost from $5 – $85 per square meter depending on the materials you choose.
A backsplash installation cost in Canada is largely dependent on the type of materials you choose and the size of the backsplash area. It is essential to install a backsplash on the wall behind the stove and sink areas because a lot of splashes occur here. The most effective backsplashes are ones that are non-porous because they are easy to clean.
- Tripathy. A, Sen. P, Su.B, & Briscoe. W. (2017) Natural and bioinspired nanostructured bactericidal surfaces. Retrieved from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001868616303542
- Hosein. H.R.(June 4, 2010) Some experiences with epoxy resin grouting compounds. Retrieved from: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15298668091425176