The Top 68 Kitchen Backsplash Ideas on a Budget
“The kitchen is where you put all the ingredients together. No matter what you do in life, you have to have a plan and put it together.” – Yo Gotti
A kitchen backsplash may feel like an afterthought, but it’s an essential ingredient in creating a well-designed kitchen. Bare walls can be stain magnets in a busy kitchen, but most backsplash materials are easy to clean. They also are a simple way to add a splash of color and style to your kitchen.
Whether you choose concrete, tiles, paint, or wood, it’s possible to create a beautiful kitchen backsplash without breaking the bank. Scroll through our best budget-friendly kitchen backsplash ideas and see how much pizazz an affordable backsplash can add to your home.
Chalkboard paint is a fun idea for a casual kitchen backsplash idea. Whether you go with classic black paint, old-school green, or another favorite color, a chalkboard kitchen backsplash is a functional use of wall space.
Use it for making grocery lists, updating the weekly dinner menu, or sharing daily inspirational quotes.
Once your chalkboard paint fully dries, prep the surface by rubbing a piece of chalk lengthwise against the entire wall. Then wipe the chalk dust off with a rag or paper towel.
Use a damp cloth for a clean surface or use a dry paper towel for more of a weathered, vintage look. This simple seasoning process prevents writing from burning into the newly painted surface.
Chalkboard paint has a matte finish that makes a dramatic backsplash idea even if you don’t want to write on it. However, because oil splatters can be difficult to remove, it’s probably best to limit a chalkboard backsplash to prep areas or accent walls away from the stove.
Concrete used to be an unlikely kitchen backsplash idea, but it’s become quite trendy in recent years. Its stony texture fits well into a rustic or industrial kitchen makeover, but it can also meld nicely with modern kitchen style.
Concrete is significantly less expensive than quartz or marble, and can be finished in a nearly unlimited number of textures and stains. It can even be embossed to mimic a subway tile backsplash or a herringbone tile surface. Because it’s prone to staining, a concrete backsplash must be sealed or covered with clear glass or acrylic panels.
Backsplash tile installation is usually the biggest cost associated with a tile backsplash renovation. Therefore, if you teach yourself how to lay backsplash tile, you will save hundreds—if not thousands—over hiring someone else to do it. As this video shows, it may be a lot easier than you think:
Glass tile, penny tile and mosaic tile look complicated to install, but they’re actually relatively easy DIY backsplash materials. Commonly sold in field tile sheets that easily attach to the wall, you only have to let them dry and apply the grout. They’re also a surprisingly affordable choice when you need a kitchen backsplash on a budget, retailing for a few dollars per square foot.
Did you know that you can save money by painting your existing kitchen backsplash tile? Use paint specially designed for tile or an epoxy paint. You must carefully mask your kitchen cabinets, countertops, and trim before painting the backsplash.
Go with a solid-color paint treatment, or use stencils or painter’s tape to create a pattern. You can also mimic the look of a mosaic backsplash by painting individual tiles different colors.
Painted brick veneer is another great painted backsplash option. Add a layer of plywood beneath to make sure the heavy panels are securely installed.
5. Peel and Stick Tiles
Peel and stick tiles are a great kitchen backsplash idea if you’re on a budget, in a hurry, or lack strong DIY skills. They are also a great backsplash idea if you’re renting your home and aren’t allowed to change any permanent structures.
These affordable tiles come in a huge range of sizes, colors, and styles to fit any style of home decor.
Look for peel and stick kitchen backsplash tile that has a realistic, dimensional appearance. If you can afford it, get stick-on tiles made from natural stone, metal, or glass. These may require you to apply grout, but most people find that task relatively easy.
6. Reclaimed Wood
Reclaimed wood, such as barn wood, pallet wood, or old flooring, adds a ton of interesting texture and earthy color to a backsplash. A rustic kitchen renovation practically begs for the inclusion of some type of reclaimed wood surface.
Leave the wood as-is, or paint it with a distressed, chippy finish. Like other porous backsplash surfaces, reclaimed wood needs to be sealed. You can also install a clear glass panel over the stove and sink to protect the wood from staining and water damage.
Whether you go with the vertical lines of beadboard or wide, horizontal shiplap planks, these kitchen backsplash ideas are easy to DIY. Use reclaimed wood if possible, and eliminate the need for a nail gun by using liquid nails instead.
Traditionally, these materials are painted white, but any pale or muted color can work equally well. Shiplap and beadboard backsplash are great paired with other farmhouse or cottage touches. Think of embossed tin ceiling tiles and a kitchen island with an old-fashioned butcher block countertop.
If you need to update your kitchen design on a budget, stenciling your existing backsplash tiles is an easy, if somewhat time-consuming task. Consider a stenciled backsplash if you’re having a tough time finding the right color and pattern combination on ready-made tiles.
Home improvement centers sell tile backsplash stencils that mimic the designs found on expensive imported painted tiles. Stenciling can be a huge cost-saving option over importing a style you love.
9. Subway Tiles
Classic subway tile is functional, fashionable, and surprisingly affordable. At around $2 per square foot for basic white ceramic tile, it’s a great budget touch in a predominantly white kitchen.
However, you can now find subway tiles in virtually any color and finish, from marble to colored glass. Look for subway tiles with beveled edges for an additional touch of texture.
Subway tile is usually laid in staggered horizontal rows or in a diagonal herringbone pattern. However, vertical tile placement is a rising trend, especially in modern kitchens. Further accentuate your chosen tile pattern by using dark grout instead of the usual white.
10. Vinyl Film
Vinyl film backsplash material is sold on rolls or peel-and-stick panels. It’s perhaps the most affordable backsplash option and easy for most people to install themselves.
You can find vinyl film in thousands of colors and styles, many that mimic real subway or mosaic tiles. Because it’s so inexpensive and easy to remove, you can update your kitchen as often as you wish.
Individual vinyl film designs can be applied to specific tiles to add a splash of color or contrast. Repeat the pattern for a traditional look, or randomly place them for an eclectic bohemian vibe. Also consider vinyl film if you love the look of a wood backsplash but need an easier way to achieve it.
Wallpaper may not be your first thought when considering kitchen backsplash ideas, but it’s an affordable alternative to tile. Look for natural stone or terrazzo motifs that mimic the texture of a real brick or stone backsplash.
Make sure you choose a waterproof wallpaper for easy clean-up. If you fall in love with a textured or non-waterproof wallpaper print, delegate it to non-prep areas of the kitchen. If your walls aren’t smooth enough for wallpaper, hang sheets of plywood first and apply the wallpaper on top.
A wood backsplash graces your kitchen with a rustic, cottage, or farmhouse charm. Plain wood planks add a warm, organic element to a kitchen with white cabinets. Composite or plywood tongue-and-groove paneling is more affordable than solid wood panels.
Pegboard is another good wood choice for a kitchen backsplash, whether paired with beadboard or installed alone. A pegboard backsplash turns a plain kitchen wall into extra storage space. Use it to display mugs, kitchen utensils, scissors, and other frequently-used items.
Kitchen Backsplash FAQs
Vinyl peel and stick tile is perhaps the most affordable way to easily update a kitchen backsplash. These inexpensive tiles are also one of the easiest DIY backsplash ideas. If you have an existing tile backsplash, look for adhesive tile decals that can add color and texture with little effort. Vinyl film is also available on easy-to-apply rolls.
If you install them on a clean surface, most people find peel and stick tiles durable. However, you do get what you pay for and the thinner, cheaper versions won’t last as long—or look as realistic—as thicker vinyl tiles. Stick on tiles made from real glass, stone, or metal resist fading and can be hard to distinguish from a professionally installed backsplash.