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Marble Backsplash Cost

Marble Backsplash Cost

National average
$800
(3x6-inch honed Carrara marble backsplash in a running bond pattern)
Low: $500

(12-inch polished marble Carrara tile backsplash in a straight set pattern)

High: $10,000

(Custom marble mosaic pattern with waterjet pieces using premium stone colors)

Cost to install a marble backsplash varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from kitchen designers in your city.

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Marble Backsplash Cost

National average
$800
(3x6-inch honed Carrara marble backsplash in a running bond pattern)
Low: $500

(12-inch polished marble Carrara tile backsplash in a straight set pattern)

High: $10,000

(Custom marble mosaic pattern with waterjet pieces using premium stone colors)

Cost to install a marble backsplash varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from kitchen designers in your city.

The average cost of installing a marble backsplash is $800​.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Marble Backsplash?

Marble is an instantly recognizable material that enhances the beauty of any place where it is installed. Marble is a metamorphic stone created from limestone that was subjected to enormous amounts of heat and pressure. This process means that the resulting stone is harder and more durable than limestone and can take a high polish. It comes in many colors, sizes, and finishes, which have different prices. This means that a marble backsplash has a wide range of costs.

The average range for a marble backsplash professionally installed is $600 to $2,000, with most homeowners paying around $800 for 30 sq.ft. of honed Bianco Carrara marble tile in a 3x6-inch subway pattern.

Marble Backsplash Costs

Marble Backsplash installation costs
National average cost$800
Average range$600-$2,000
Minimum cost$500
Maximum cost$10,000


Marble Backsplash Cost by Type of Marble

There are many different marble types. Some are relatively common and easily accessible, while others are rare and delicate. For this reason, each marble has a different set of costs. Prices are impacted by the grade of the marble and the size and finish, so each particular marble has a range of prices as well. These are some of the more popular marbles for installation on a kitchen backsplash:


Marble Backsplash Cost


Marble Backsplash Cost


MarbleAverage Cost Range
Bianco Carrara$5 - $30/sq.ft.
Crema Luna$7 - $30/sq.ft.
Giallo Sahara$7 - $30/sq.ft.
Ming Green$10 - $40/sq.ft.
Bianco Venatino$11 - $40/sq.ft.
Calacatta$20 - $50/sq.ft.
Azul Celeste$30 - $75/sq.ft


Bianco Carrara Marble Backsplash

Bianco Carrara is probably one of the most popular and instantly recognized marbles in the world. It is quarried in Carrara, Italy and is well known for its light gray to white background with darker gray veining. Carrara varies in appearance, with the whiter stones costing more than the grayer. It comes in many shapes and sizes and is readily available. It costs between $5 and $30 a square foot.

Crema Luna Marble Backsplash

Crema Luna is technically a limestone but is so hard and durable it is often sold as a marble. This is a light cream-colored stone with darker gold veining and fossils. It can be highly polished, honed, or tumbled and comes in a wide range of sizes. Prices range between $7 and $30 a square foot.

Giallo Sahara Marble Backsplash

Giallo Sahara or Sahara Gold is a varied stone with a lot of movement and personality. It ranges in color from light yellow to deep golds, and when polished, it is very vibrant. Honed or tumbled, it is more muted in color with softer movement. It comes in a wide range of colors and sizes as well and costs between $7 and $30 a square foot. Get samples from the current lot before you purchase this stone because its color and appearance vary too much to trust older samples or pictures.

Ming Green Marble Backsplash

Ming Green is technically a serpentine mixed with calcite and not a true marble. It is, therefore, known as a “commercial marble” sold and marketed as a marble, but with the needs and characteristics of a serpentine. It is a beautiful, light green stone that varies from yellow to blue in tone, often with white veins. It comes in many sizes and finishes, but because of the serpentine, it hones and tumbles differently than other stones. Always request samples. It must be installed with an epoxy setting material and costs between $10 and $40 a square foot.

Bianco Venatino Marble Backsplash

For those who like the look of Carrara marble but want a stone that is whiter with less prominent veining, Bianco Venatino is a good choice. It is a bright white stone with thinner, dark gray veins. It is not as readily available as Carrara, and if you want different shapes or sizes, you may have to pay your installer to cut them on-site. Prices range from $11 to $40 a square foot.

Calacatta Marble Backsplash

Calacatta or Calacatta Gold is a bright white stone that has both gray and gold veins. Depending on which variety you receive, it may have a lot of gold or very little, and the veins are prominent or thin. This is considered a premium stone and costs between $20 and $50 a square foot.

Azul Celeste Marble Backsplash

Azul Celeste, also known as Sky Blue, is a quartzite that is often sold as a marble. It is very light blue with a crystalline appearance and a white vein. It is sometimes paired with Ming Green and white marbles in a mosaic or installed on its own. It is expensive, with costs starting between $30 and $75 a square foot.

Marble Backsplash Cost by Finish

Marble comes in a few finishes that give your backsplash different looks. Not every marble is available in every finish, although some finishes are custom ordered if not readily available. Finishes impact the cost of the marble, but keep in mind that size and the marble type are the biggest factors in the price of the material.


Cost of Marble Backsplash

Cost of Marble Backsplash


FinishCost Range
Polished$5 - $15/sq.ft.
Honed$10 - $30/sq.ft.
Tuscan$10 - $30/sq.ft.
Tumbled$15 - $40/sq.ft.
Chiseled$17 - $40/sq.ft.


Polished Marble

Polished marble is the most common and readily available type. The surface of the marble is ground and polished to a mirror finish. This deepens the color of the marble and creates a more dramatic look. This is the least expensive marble finish with an average range of $5 - $15 a square foot.

Honed Marble

Honed marble has a flat or matte finish. Some marble is available in a high hone, which has a slight sheen to it, rather than a completely flat look. Most marbles are available honed at a cost of $10 - $30 a square foot.

Tuscan Marble

A Tuscan finish means that the marble has a slightly undulating surface and soft edge. The marble comes pre-sealed with a wax finish that gives it a very soft feel. This marble does not need to be sealed after installation and lasts longer between sealings. Only a few marbles are available with this finish, but Bianco Carrara and Crema Luna are usually available. Costs start between $10 and $30 a square foot.

Tumbled Marble

Tumbled marble is created by taking marble tiles and placing them in a drum with rocks, sand, and water. The tiles are literally tumbled over and over until they have a worn face and a rough edge. Tumbled marble is muted in color unless a color enhancing sealer is used, and it requires a larger grout joint because of the worn and sometimes chipped edges and corners. This marble is more expensive because the process often leads to more broken tiles, and the larger the tile you want, the higher its price will climb. It has an average cost of $15 - $40 a square foot.

Chiseled Marble

Chiseled marble is not as common but is found in several types. This marble has a honed surface but an edge that is rough and closer in appearance to tumbled marble. There are fewer fissures and visible pits on the surface, and the color is brighter, while the edge still has a rustic look. This finish costs between $17 and $40 a square foot.

Polished vs Honed Marble

When it comes to the backsplash, the finish you choose for your marble is purely aesthetic. There is no difference in the way that your tile will perform. Polished marble has a glossy surface that reflects light, while honed marble has a flat finish with a softer appearance. While on flooring and countertops, honed marble may hide wear slightly better, but backsplashes do not see the same type of traffic or use. Both finishes hold up equally well, so the finish you choose for this area is a purely personal preference.


Modern scandinavian kitchen 3D interior design


Marble Backsplash Tile Shape

Marble comes in nearly any tile shape or size as other materials. Some have to be special-ordered or cut to order either by a fabricator or company that specializes in marble patterns, either mosaic or waterjet.

It is easy to find several of the more popular marble colors in several sizes and readymade patterns. The shape of the marble does not have much impact on its cost. The size, type, and finish are the biggest contributing factors to the cost of the material. You may find various shapes with costs from $5 to $50 a square foot, depending on the material. Common shapes for marble regularly used on backsplashes include:

  • Squares (4-inch, 12-inch, mosaic)
  • Rectangles (2x4-inch, 3x6-inch, 2x6-inch, 4x8-inch)
  • Hexagons (2-inch, 3-inch, 4-inch)
  • Mosaics (⅜-inch, ⅝-inch, 1-inch, 2-inch, ½x1-inch, 1x2-inch)

Marble is also waterjet cut into a variety of interlocking shapes. Costs for these shapes start at closer to $30 - $50 a square foot regardless of the type and increase for more exotic marbles.

Marble Backsplash Patterns

Marble backsplashes are made from simple patterns of squares to very elaborate mosaic or waterjet designs. If the installer creates the pattern, expect to pay at least 20% more in materials and installation costs because more material is needed for cuts, and more time is required to lay the tiles. If the pattern is a readymade mosaic, purchase at least 10% more in materials, and your labor costs will be roughly 25% higher due to the extra steps needed. For example, a typical 4-inch straight set marble installation costs $600, a 3x6-inch marble backsplash installation costs $800, and a mosaic installation costs $850 to $900.

If the pattern is custom created for you, expect to pay at least $100 - $200 per square foot, with many costing $500 a square foot or higher. The installation costs will be roughly 25% more as well.

Typical patterns include:

  • Diamond/diagonal
  • Subway/running bond
  • Herringbone
  • Basketweave
  • Hexagon

It is common for marble mosaic patterns to contain a mixture of other materials, including glass, metal, or other stones like slate. These mosaics have starting costs of $30 - $50 a square foot on average, and some may cost as much as $100 a square foot for premium materials.

Labor Costs to Install a Marble Backsplash

Marble is installed by the square foot, with installers usually charging around $10 a square foot for labor. This cost is higher than ceramic or porcelain tile installation because marble requires sealing after setting but before grouting. The sealant is necessary to prevent the marble from staining during grouting and to help make the grout easier to release.

Marble must be set in a white latex additive thinset mortar to avoid staining or color changes to the stone. Green marble must be set in a white epoxy mortar, which increases the cost of installing green marble by around 20%, to $12 a square foot, because epoxy is difficult to work with.

Installing a backsplash in a pattern usually raises the costs to $12 a square foot as well. Mosaics typically cost around $12.50 a square foot to install due to the extra steps needed for smoothing key marks, back buttering, and face material removal.

The average backsplash size in the U.S. is around 30 sq.ft., so the average cost for labor to install a marble backsplash ranges from $300 to $375. If your installer bullnoses your edge tiles on-site, cuts larger tiles down to smaller sizes prior to install, or if your backsplash design is very complex, expect your labor costs to climb closer to $500.


Modern kitchen with marble countertop


Pros and Cons of a Marble Backsplash

Marble is a beautiful material with natural variation, color, and interest. No two pieces of marble are ever exactly the same, so it has a unique appeal. It also has many colors, sizes, and patterns to choose from.

The variation in marble is seen as a drawback by some people. Always ask to see pictures of the current lots to understand the exact color and vein pattern you are receiving, particularly with more variable stones. Otherwise, you may find that your backsplash does not look like what you intended.

Marble requires more maintenance than other materials, but the backsplash does not see frequent water like a shower does, nor does it get foot traffic. Keep it sealed so that any splashes from the counter or stove do not stain the material. Failure to seal the marble regularly results in stains, while using the wrong cleaning product changes the tile’s finish.

Marble Backsplash Maintenance

While marble is considered a high-maintenance material, backsplash maintenance is fairly low. The marble should be sealed prior to grouting, and when using a color enhancing sealer, this should be applied after the grouting is finished. Always wash the backsplash with a pH neutral cleaner designed for stone, and wipe up any splashes as soon as they are seen. Backsplashes need to be resealed once every few years, depending on how often they are cleaned to impede staining.

Marble vs Porcelain Backsplash

Marble is just one of many materials that is used on the kitchen backsplash. Porcelain is another popular material that may also be used. Marble is a natural material that comes in nearly endless colors, sizes, and patterns. Porcelain is a manmade tile that can mimic the look of marble, as well as other stones, fabric, wood, or metal.

Porcelain is lower in maintenance than marble and has less variation, so you will have fewer surprises between lots. However, porcelain does not have nearly as many choices for size, color, and pattern as marble does. Both materials have similar cost ranges, although you may have more difficulty finding the same patterns or sizes in porcelain. A porcelain tile backsplash costs around $800 - $900, making the cost differences negligible.

Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Old Backsplash Removal

If you currently have a backsplash, it needs to be removed before the new tile can be installed. Old backsplashes are fairly easy to remove, although this sometimes means the drywall must be repaired before the tile is installed. The cost to remove an old backsplash is usually around $50.

Drywall Repair

Removing an old backsplash sometimes damages the drywall, which will require repair before the new tile can be installed. This adds another $100 - $300 to the cost of the project.

New Countertops

Changing your backsplash is a great time to change your countertops as well because the two areas coordinate. A new countertop costs around $3,000 on average installed.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • If you like the look of marble but want consistency and lower maintenance, purchase porcelain that looks like marble. There are fewer options available for size and color, but the costs for the two are similar.
  • Your backsplash might match or coordinate with your counter or contrast it. If you try to match it exactly, keep in mind that unless you are installing a slab countertop with a slab backsplash of the same material from the same lot, they will not match exactly. Marble has too much variation otherwise. Most people choose granite counters and pick up a fleck of color from there to introduce into the backsplash.
  • Carrara marble is one of the most popular colors for backsplashes. If you choose this, consider using a light gray grout to blend it in.
  • If you decide to replace your existing backsplash, make sure it is removed carefully, one tile at a time to avoid damaging the wall. This keeps costs down.
  • The backsplash is the most decorative part of your kitchen design, but it is there for aesthetics only. Let it shine and take center stage by pairing a marble backsplash with a more sedate countertop.

FAQs

  • Is marble good for a backsplash?

Marble makes a beautiful backsplash, coming in many colors, sizes, and styles.

  • How much does a marble backsplash cost?

The average cost of a marble backsplash is around $800, but prices vary depending on the pattern and color.

  • Is a marble backsplash hard to maintain?

No, it should be sealed during installation, washed with a pH neutral cleaner, and resealed every few years.

  • Should I seal a marble backsplash?

Yes, it should be sealed during installation, and then resealed every few years to impede staining.

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Cost to install a marble backsplash varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

The interior of the modern kitchen is illuminated with a gray stone countertop

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Ada, MI
+20%
Alpharetta, GA
+9%
Annapolis, MD
+11%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Austin, TX
+13%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Boston, MA
+40%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Canton, GA
-5%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Clearwater, FL
-14%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Danbury, CT
+43%
Dayton, OH
-7%
Denver, CO
+1%
Euless, TX
+5%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Fresno, CA
-6%
Grand Rapids, MI
+7%
Haslet, TX
+20%
Houston, TX
+24%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Kansas City, MO
+4%
Katy, TX
+63%
Long Beach, CA
+16%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Massapequa, NY
+31%
Mentor, OH
-15%
Miami, FL
+1%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
New York, NY
+77%
Orefield, PA
+11%
Pensacola, FL
-19%
Peoria, IL
+2%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Pittsburgh, PA
+9%
Pompano Beach, FL
+2%
Princeton, NJ
+43%
Roanoke, VA
-18%
Sacramento, CA
+8%
Saint Paul, MN
+20%
San Antonio, TX
-4%
San Diego, CA
+11%
San Francisco, CA
+53%
San Jose, CA
+33%
San Mateo, CA
+44%
Seattle, WA
+9%
Labor cost in your zip code
Last modified:   
Methodology and sources