The Easiest and Cheapest Backsplashes You Can Install

Kitchen backsplashes can be very impressive, but that doesn't mean they have to be expensive or hard to install. Sometimes they can be cheap but require patience, and a little work. Case in point:  the beautiful hand-painted backsplash listed below from Beth Sywassink definitely falls into the "cheap" category, running under $15 by my estimation.  But any project involving running strips of perfectly parallel painter's tape is anything but easy.  Check out the projects below for...MORE beautiful backsplashes that won't break your budget.

Cost estimates are for ten linear feet of counter, and difficulty runs from 1 (easiest) to 5 (hardest).

  • 01 of 05

    Artistically-Painted Backsplash

    Artistically Painted Backsplash
    Artistically Painted Backsplash. Beth Sywassink

    Iowa-based Bethany Sywassink, who runs a home remodel blog called Sawdust & Embryos, replaced her kitchen's nasty beige diagonal backsplash tile with gorgeous long glass tiles.  Wait, that's no glass.  That's paint!  Right-o.  Beth ran long strips of 1/4" painters tape in perfect horizontal lines, followed by short vertical strips to create the look of separate tiles.  Then, as Beth says, she

    ...wanted very contrasting colors, so I did some light(ish) natural...MORE ‘travertine’-looking tiles. I decided to throw in some solid colors that would look like ‘glass’ tiles… so I went with solid black, silver, and dark teal (using some leftover wall color).

    I'd say that this falls more in the "cheap" than "easy" bin because I can't imagine myself doing all that taping.  


    About $15.00

    Difficulty Factor:


  • 02 of 05

    Faux Metal Backsplash Rolls

    Faux Tin Backsplash Roll
    Faux Tin Backsplash Roll. Milan Jara

    You read it right.  For people who find installing separate faux tin tiles too difficult, it's possible to purchase those tiles in a big, continuous roll.  These rolls are 25 inches high, to reach from the counter to the bottom of the cabinets, and range from 15 to 30 feet long.  Even though they are made of PVC (plastic), they have metallic finishes and look like real copper, aluminum, tin, brass, and other metals.  Because this is not real metal, you can easily cut to size with a pair of...MORE scissors.

    Milan Jara (pictured) of Decorative Ceiling Tiles currently has 47 different styles of faux metal rolls in stock.  His site is a go-to destination not just for purchasing the rolls but for information on how to install them as ​a backsplash.


    About $75.00 ($64 for a roll of 10 ft. backsplash, plus glue).

    Difficulty Factor:


  • 03 of 05

    Real Metal Backsplash Panels

    Antique Style Metal Tin Backsplash
    Antique Style Metal Tin Backsplash. American Tin Ceiling Co.

    You can repurpose metal ceiling tiles for use as a backsplash, but the sizing might be all wrong.  Optimal cabinet height, from counter to bottom of cabinets, is 18 inches.  Where does that leave you with 12-inch tiles?  Short.  How about ​24-inch tiles?  Too long.  But at least it's better to cut than to add onto.  Tin snips readily cut these real metal tiles, with the cut side nearly tucking below the cabinets.  Also, if you decide to run the tiles behind the stove, you will need those...MORE larger tiles.

    I'm a big fan of real metal ceiling tiles because of the heat factor behind the stove.  Faux metal tile makers say that their product is CLASS I fire-rated, meaning that it should be able to withstand close proximity to stove heat.  Still, I feel more comfortable with metal.


    About $65 for stainless steel, real metal, six-inch patterned backsplash at 10' long and 24" high.  From American Tin Ceiling Co.

    Difficulty Factor:


  • 04 of 05
    diy network mosaic tile backsplash kit
    DIY Network's Peel and Stick Mosaic Backsplash. Scripps

    The peel and stick ceramic backsplash is one idea that has not yet come of age, in my mind.  The issue is that ceramic tiles tend to be too heavy for the peel-and-stick adhesive.  DIY Network has been selling glass mosaic tile kits for the last several years that have a backing that peels off, and which require the application of grout.  

    Along the same lines, you can purchase a sticky mat called Bondera in lieu of thinset mortar, and use with your own ceramic tiles.

    With both products, homeowners...MORE often report that the tiles eventually fall and that they end up sticking the tiles to the wall with premixed ceramic wall tile adhesive--negating the whole idea of peel-and-stick.


    $100 for a box covering 15 linear feet.  From DIY Network.

    Difficulty Factor:


    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Painted Wall Backsplash

    Painted Backsplash
    Painted Backsplash. Glow Decor/Getty Images

    Don't forget that a painted wall acts as a backsplash, too.  This is both cheap and easy, and if you're about to discount this as a flimsy, cheap-and-not-in-a-good-way idea, think again:

    1. Latex paint is waterproof.
    2. Caulk applied to the intersection of the wall and counter prevents water from migrating behind ​the counter.

    So, if moisture protection is your only goal, paint can provide this.  I'll point out, though, that the caulk needs to be occasionally touched up.  No matter how firmly...MORE the counter is mounted to the base, and the base mounted to the wall or floor, separation between counter and wall will occur.  


    About $5.00, if that.

    Difficulty Factor: