Inexpensive Kitchen Backsplash Ideas Budget Friendly Backsplash Options

A kitchen backsplash serves both form and function – protecting the walls from splashes and spills while also providing an opportunity to add style. Many homeowners dream of a high-end backsplash made of stone or ceramic tile, but such materials can be expensive. For those on a tight budget, there are plenty of ways to get a beautiful, functional backsplash without breaking the bank. This article explores inexpensive backsplash ideas perfect for any budget.

Painted Backsplashes

Painting the backsplash is one of the most affordable options. With a good primer and some acrylic paint in your color of choice, you can create a simple, classic look. Consider these approaches:

Solid Color Backsplash

A single color painted across the backsplash area creates a streamlined appearance. Be sure to use a kitchen-grade acrylic paint that can withstand heat, grease, and moisture. Matte finishes hide flaws better than gloss. Darker tones like deep reds, blues, and greens are great choices. Accent the wall color by painting the ceiling, window trim, or island the same hue.

Faux Brick Backsplash

Fake the look of brick with some simple sponge painting. Start by priming the backsplash area with masonry primer to help the paint adhere. Use a brick-colored paint as your base color. Once dry, dip a natural sponge in darker paint and dab on in random patterns to mimic brick mortar lines. Finish by dragging a small brush horizontally across the faux bricks for a grout-like effect.

Faux Subway Tile Backsplash

Subway tile is a classic choice but can be pricey. For a budget version, paint your backsplash white and use masking tape to grid off “tiles.” Use a small angled brush to paint thin blue, grey, or black lines over the tape to resemble grout. Peel the tape away carefully while the paint is still wet for clean lines.

Faux Travertine Backsplash

Travertine natural stone has an elegant, organic look. Replicate it with tan or ivory paint and a sea sponge. Dab on irregular circular patterns. Fill in gaps with a contrasting stone-colored paint and faint veining lines using a small brush. Seal with a clear glaze for sheen.

Painting allows endless possibilities for backsplash patterns and textures using simple materials.

Wallpaper Backsplashes

Wallpaper offers an inexpensive, adhesive-backed alternative to expensive tile. Today’s wallpaper is durable, scrubbable, and designed just for kitchens. Consider these wallpaper backsplash ideas:

Tile Look Wallpaper

Choose a wallpaper with a realistic ceramic or natural stone look. Subway tile, marble, travertine, and mosaics patterns are popular options. Use wallpaper that is peel-and-stick for easy application. Look for pre-pasted wallpapers rated for high-moisture areas.

Textured and Metallic Wallpapers

Options like textured vinyl, flocked, foil, or grasscloth wallpapers add unique visual and tactile interest. Metallic silver, gold, and copper wallpaper kick up the glam factor. These materials are often more affordable than real metal or stone tiles.

Removable Wallpaper

Removable, repositionable, or reusable wallpaper allows you to switch up your backsplash as often as you like. Many can be pulled off and re-adhered multiple times without damaging the wall underneath. Use it temporarily as a rental-friendly option.

Cut-Out Wallpaper

Self-adhesive wallpaper with cut-out shapes and designs creates a one-of-a-kind handcrafted look. Geometric patterns, floral designs, or artsy silhouettes let your creativity shine. Layer different patterns for extra pop.

Wallpaper backsplashes can have the visual impact of tile for less money. Best of all, you can install it yourself easily.

Peel-and-Stick Backsplash Tiles

Peel-and-stick backsplash tiles offer an easy, mess-free alternative to grouted ceramic or stone. Check out these peel-and-stick ideas:

Vinyl Tiles

Self-adhesive vinyl tiles come in all sorts of patterns from marble and travertine to geometric and Mediterranean. Cut to fit with scissors or a utility knife. Avoid very shiny or dark grout lines which show imperfections.

Fabric Tiles

Punchy printed or metallic fabric tiles lend eclectic flair. 100% cotton or vinyl options are durable and water-resistant. Use heat-set adhesive sheets between tiles for a smooth application.

Sticker Tiles

Tile stickers in ceramic, metal, mirrored, and mosaic styles instantly upgrade a boring backsplash. Use them selectively behind the stove or sink. Avoid large areas, as edges may lift over time.

Magnetic Tiles

Magnetic backsplash tiles offer endlessly flexible design. Mix solid magnetic sheeting with magnetic patterns. Cut tiles with metal shears. Move them around as often as you like.

Peel-and-stick tiles are easy for DIYers to install and create the look of high-end materials for less.

Sheet Backsplashes

For a seamless budget backsplash, consider using sheets of water-resistant materials:

Stainless Steel

A sheet stainless steel backsplash gives a sleek, industrial vibe. It’s waterproof, dent-resistant, and easy to wipe clean. Use strong adhesives or screws to affix sheets to the wall securely. Consider applying an accent trim for clean finished edges.


Beadboard paneling lends a crisp cottage look, often seen in white. Use moisture-resistant PVC or polyurethane sheets. Install panels horizontally, cutting seams to fit outlets and cabinets. Trim edges for a custom finish.

Plastic and FRP Panels

Plastic laminate or fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) panels are affordable, indestructible options, often seen in commercial kitchens. Look for textured or patterned sheets to mimic tile or stone. Cut-to-fit and adhere panels right over existing walls.

Galvanized Metal

Galvanized sheet metal adds an industrial edge with silver-gray color and visible screws. Overlap pieces slightly for a weathered tin roof effect. Use rust-resistant screws to affix sheets to wall studs securely.

Sheet materials make up for a lack of design with extreme durability and moisture resistance. Let cabinetry, counters, or accents provide style.

Inventive Materials Backsplashes

Think outside the box and consider using unexpected materials for your frugal backsplash:

Penny Tiles

Make a penny backsplash with adhesive foam sheets and actual pennies! Align coins in rows or a fun pattern on black foam. Seal with grout film or resin for durability. The reflective copper tones sparkle.

Wine Corks

Upcycle spent wine corks into an earthy backsplash. Adhere corks to mesh backing using construction adhesive or silicone. Space corks apart and add painted grout lines using acrylic caulk. Seal with polyurethane for protection.

Colored Glass

Crushed glass in clear and colored tones makes a shimmery splash when affixed to a wall. Purchase colored crushed glass or make your own by recycling bottles. Adhere glass pieces to mesh or burlap backing.


For beach cottage flair, attach weathered driftwood pieces to wall studs. Use wood slats up to 3” wide, spaced 1⁄4” to 1⁄2” apart. Mesh backing helps stabilize pieces before affixing to the wall with construction adhesive.

With a little creativity, you can transform almost anything into an artistic, savings-savvy backsplash.

DIY Concrete Backsplash

Concrete delivers the natural graytone look of stone on a budget. Consider these thrifty concrete backsplash ideas:

Concrete Skim Coat

Mix concrete resurfacing product with water per package directions to a thin, pourable consistency. Apply in thin layers to a primed backsplash using a trowel or flat plastering knife. Embed pebbles or shells for texture.

Concrete Tile

Make homemade concrete tiles using plastic molds. Mix concrete and pour into molds. Embed marble or stone pieces if desired, and smooth. After 24-48 hours, remove tiles from molds, allow to fully cure, then adhere to the wall.

Concrete Backsplash Panels

For a fab faux look, make faux stone backsplash panels. Cut rigid foam insulation boards to size. Spread concrete skim coat mix over boards in layers to look like natural stone. Use molds or carve patterns once partially dry. Adhere panels to wall with construction adhesive.

With the right techniques and products, concrete can give the look of expensive stone tile on a DIY budget.

Economical Materials Shopping Guide

Here is a handy shopping guide to help you find the most economical backsplash materials:

  • Backsplash paint – Look for 100% acrylic latex paints sold specifically for kitchen and bath. Check brands like Rust-Oleum and Behr. Match existing wall colors.
  • Peel-and-stick tiles – Dollar stores, big box stores, online retailers. Smart Tiles, Art3d, StickTiles popular brands. Buy a few extra tiles.
  • Wallpaper – Home improvement stores, online. Look for kitchen-rated, scrubbable, peel-and-stick wallpaper. Buy a little extra.
  • Sheet materials – Home improvement, hardware stores. Check plastic laminate, beadboard, metal, FRP panels. Measure carefully.
  • Recycled materials – Home, craft stores for adhesive backing, sealants. Recycle wine corks, bottles, coins, wood scraps. Check Etsy for artisan products.
  • Concrete materials – Home improvement stores. Look for concrete resurfacing compounds, mix, molds, pigments, pebbles.

Savvy shopping lets you achieve beautiful backsplash style on a budget!

Smart Money-Saving Backsplash Tips

These extra tips can help you save money on your inexpensive DIY backsplash project:

  • Only backsplash the most used and splash-prone areas. Use paint behind the stove and wallpaper only behind the sink to save.
  • Check home improvement stores and online for discounted or leftover paint, tiles, and wallpaper. Buying discontinued items saves.
  • Use what you already have – scattering existing ceramic tiles on a painted backsplash or upcycling redos like penny tiles.
  • Take accurate measurements to buy only the materials you need and avoid costly overbuying and waste.
  • Follow tutorials to do the job right. Rushed or improper backsplash installation wastes money from having to redo work.
  • Buy installation items like adhesive, grout, caulk, and sealants in bulk sizes for the lowest per ounce/pound costs.
  • Work with the existing backsplash and wall condition. You can paint, wallpaper, or apply peel-and-stick over existing tile or walls in good shape.
  • Set your budget and stick to it. Having clear limits helps fuel creativity and prevents “mission creep” where projects gradually go over budget.

With clever ideas and smart planning, you can have a stunning backsplash makeover that protects your budget as beautifully as it does your walls!

FAQs About Inexpensive Backsplash Ideas

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about creating a beautiful, budget-friendly backsplash:

What is the cheapest backsplash option?

Painting the backsplash area with acrylic latex paint is the most affordable option for many budgets. With sample-size paints and color matching, backsplash paint costs just $20-50 depending on coverage area.

What is the easiest affordable backsplash?

Peel-and-stick backsplash tiles make upgrading a backsplash easy. The self-adhesive backing sticks right to existing walls, allowing you to install them as DIY without messy adhesives or grout. Patterns like faux subway tiles are very convincing but cost a fraction of the price.

Can you use wallpaper as a backsplash?

Yes, wallpaper makes an excellent backsplash material as long as you choose one rated for kitchen use. Scrubbable, vinyl-coated options will resist moisture and grease splatters. Use caution behind stoves to avoid flammability.

How do you create an inexpensive concrete backsplash?

Making your own concrete backsplash is an affordable option. Skim coating concrete or pouring into molds for tiles cuts costs. Use found items like broken glass or seashells to embed. Make faux stone panels from insulation board covered in concrete.

What can I use instead of tile for backsplash?

Paint, wallpaper, paneling, or peel-and-stick materials are great alternatives to pricey ceramic tile. For example, try beadboard, plastic laminate, or metal sheets. Recycled and repurposed items like pennies, wine corks, or driftwood make artistic, budget-friendly backsplashes too.

With clever ideas and economical materials, you can install an eye-catching, budget-friendly backsplash makeover in any kitchen.

Elevate Your Kitchen Without Straining Your Budget

Updating your kitchen backsplash is one of the most effective ways to give the space a fresh new look. With so many inexpensive materials and innovative ideas available, you don’t have to break the bank to get beautiful, functional results.

Paint, peel-and-stick tiles, wallpaper, or recycled items are great budget-friendly options. Use smart shopping tips and install it yourself to further minimize costs. Don’t be afraid to mix materials or get creative with unconventional backsplashes.

The end result will be a kitchen backsplash you can enjoy for years, sparking inspiration and delight every time you look at it. And you can feel proud knowing your stylish splash added style without draining your wallet. With the right backsplash ideas, you truly can elevate your kitchen without straining your budget.