17 Budget-Friendly Backsplash Ideas that Only Look Expensive

kitchen with white cabinets and patterned backsplash
Photo: Kim Cornelison

Backsplashes can make a dramatic difference in kitchens, but they don't have to cost a fortune to install. With paneling, tile, wallpaper, and more, there are plenty of budget-friendly backsplash options to choose from. Use these cheap backsplash ideas to find the right material for your kitchen update.

01 of 17

Peel-and-Stick Backsplash

Kitchen with wooden cabinets and geometric wallpaper
Kritsada Panichgul

Peel-and-stick tiles provide a cheap backsplash idea that's easier to install than traditional tile. The self-adhesive backing can be applied directly to the wall with no grout needed. The wide range of patterns lets you recreate the look of a bold tile backsplash without the high cost.

02 of 17

Mosaic Tile Backsplash

kitchen counter with tile backsplash
Annie Schlecther

Save on backsplash installation and material costs with sheets of mosaic tile ($3, The Home Depot). You can find these at home improvement stores in a huge variety of tile patterns and designs, many for as little as a few dollars per square foot. Several rows of individual tiles are mounted to each sheet of mesh backing, so you can easily install an entire square foot at once.

03 of 17

Painted Tile Backsplash

kitchen with white cabinets and patterned backsplash
Kim Cornelison

Instead of splurging on a new kitchen backsplash, consider updating the one you've got. Paint is an easy way to add personality to bland tiles. Use a stencil to create perfect patterns that mimic the look of expensive cement tiles. For best results, use epoxy paint or a paint specifically intended for tile.

04 of 17

Wallpaper Kitchen Backsplash

small black and white kitchen corner with retro tile
Jay Wilde

Use wallpaper to add pattern to your backsplash without the hassle of installing tile. This terrazzo-motif wallpaper mimics the texture of the pricey material at a fraction of the cost. Look for waterproof wallpapers to guard against splatters.

05 of 17

Budget Shiplap Backsplash

green wood kitchen with pitched shiplap ceiling and rustic table
Tria Giovan

Horizontal boards with a white-washed finish create a neutral backdrop in a colorful kitchen. The boards add just enough visual interest to keep the wall from feeling boring. To make this backsplash idea budget-friendly, purchase sheets of plywood, and cut, paint, and adhere the boards yourself.

06 of 17

Beaded-Board Backsplash

sea foam backsplash in white kitchen
Jack Thompson

A beaded-board backsplash is a classic choice for a cottage-style kitchen. Make the backsplash fade into the background by painting it the same color as cabinetry, or make it pop by using a separate color for the beaded board. This cheap backsplash idea is easy to install yourself, too.

07 of 17

Subway Tile Backsplash

kitchen sink subway tile backsplash
Emily Followill

Thanks to classic subway tile, which can cost as little as $2 per square foot, your kitchen backsplash can be both functional and fashionable. These affordable backsplash tiles are typically laid horizontally in staggered rows. For a fresh aesthetic, create a pretty herringbone pattern by placing the tiles diagonally.

08 of 17

Cheap DIY Backsplash

kitchen vivid colors pattern backsplash
Blaine Moats

Evoke the look of encaustic tile for less than $10 using duct tape or washi tape in vivid colors and assorted widths. Use a piece of cardboard as a template and repeat the pattern several times in a row. It's best to only apply this cheap backsplash idea to an area that doesn't receive extreme heat or moisture.

09 of 17

Unique Kitchen Backsplash Ideas

The backsplash is a prime opportunity to add a little personality to your kitchen. Get creative with materials and designs to show off your style. These kitchen backsplash ideas make for one-of-a-kind installations.

10 of 17

Affordable Glass Tile Backsplash

kitchen ceramic mosaic tiles backsplash
Gordon Beall

Today's glass tile selection includes many affordable styles you can use to create a stylish yet cheap backsplash. Depending on the square footage of your space, you can achieve a shimmering glass tile backsplash for under $150. To minimize the cost, consider mixing them with inexpensive stone or ceramic tiles.

11 of 17

Map Backsplash Idea

kitchen vintage-style map backsplash
John Bessler

Backsplashes do not have to be restricted to just tile. Here, a vintage-style map of Paris is used for a cheap backsplash behind the cooktop. The vintage map echoes the Old World-style of the rest of the kitchen.

12 of 17

Learn to Tile a Backsplash

Installation can be easily the most expensive backsplash cost if you hire a professional to do it. Learn how to tile a backsplash yourself to save the cash. These simple tips make it easy.

13 of 17

Brick Kitchen Backsplash

kitchen reclaimed brick backsplash
Edmund Barr

A simple reclaimed brick backsplash is a perfect counterpoint to a kitchen full of sleek surfaces. If there aren't any bricks waiting to be revealed behind your kitchen walls, you can use brick veneer that looks like the real deal. Be sure to secure it properly to the wall, which might require wood or metal backing for extra support.

14 of 17

Cheap Wood Panel Backsplash

wood paneling white cabinet kitchen
James Yochum

Unpainted wood paneling brings a warm, natural element into a kitchen. When paired with white cabinetry, the affordable backsplash idea stands out as an organic accent. If purchasing from a hardware store, consider having the boards cut in-store; this eliminates the need for a table saw, and the cost is free or minimal.

15 of 17

Cheap Peel-and-Stick Backsplash Decals

ceramic tiles decorative backsplash
Cameron Sadeghpour

For an easy DIY backsplash idea, apply peel-and-stick decals ($17, The Home Depot) to a background of white ceramic tiles. You can save even more by adding decals only to specific tiles. Create a repeating pattern or place them randomly for a casual, eclectic vibe.

16 of 17

Chalkboard Backsplash Idea

chalkboard paint backsplash desk
Helen Norman

The versatility of chalkboard paint backsplash allows you to write a grocery list near your refrigerator, recipe ingredients above your stove, or an inspirational quote next to your sink. Be sure to prime before painting to ensure long-lasting quality. For a permanent design, use chalk markers, otherwise stick to classic chalk when drawing.

17 of 17

Cheap Backsplash Paneling

kitchen oven range white backsplash
Werner Straube

Tongue-and-groove paneling can also be used as a cheap backsplash idea. The paneling has a subtle farmhouse vibe to it and gives the entire kitchen a small dose of character. A small overlay of marble in an interesting shape adds elegance to this cottage-style space.

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