Can You Put Peel and Stick Backsplash on Textured Walls?

What is Peel and Stick Backsplash?

Peel and stick backsplash, also known as self-adhesive backsplash tile, is a vinyl or plastic backsplash tile with an adhesive backing. The adhesive allows you to stick the tiles directly onto the wall without using mortar or grout. Peel and stick backsplash tiles come in a variety of materials, styles, colors, and patterns to suit any design aesthetic.

Some of the benefits of using peel and stick backsplash tiles include:

  • Easy “peel and stick” installation – no mortar or grout needed
  • Removable and reusable if you want to change the look later
  • Waterproof and resistant to moisture damage
  • Affordable compared to ceramic or stone tile
  • Allows do-it-yourself installation without expertise

Challenges of Applying Peel and Stick Tiles to Textured Walls

Textured walls, such as those with an orange peel, knockdown, or other irregular surface, can pose some challenges for installing peel and stick backsplash tiles:

  • Uneven surfaces – The adhesive backing needs a smooth, flat surface to adhere properly. The bumps and valleys in textured walls do not provide an even foundation.
  • Reduced adhesion – The textured surface has less contact area for the adhesive backing to stick to, making the bond less effective.
  • Air pockets – Grooves and indentations in the texture can trap air underneath the tiles, causing them to pop off over time.
  • Irregular grout lines – With uneven walls, it’s hard to get straight grout line spacing between tiles.

Preparing Textured Walls for Peel and Stick Tiles

While textured walls are not ideal for peel and stick tiles, there are ways to prepare them to improve adhesion:

  • Skim coat the surface – Applying a thin layer of plaster or drywall joint compound can smooth out the texture. Allow to fully cure before installing tiles.
  • Use a wall primer – Priming helps seal the surface and creates a more uniform foundation. Look for primers designed for tile.
  • Apply a Leveler – Spread a thin self-leveling underlayment to coat bumps and smooth the surface. Monitor thickness.
  • Use backerboard – For heavily textured walls, install new backerboard over the existing surface to create a smooth, flat foundation.
  • Remove the texture – As a last resort, scraping or sanding down high points in the texture can make it flatter. Be careful not to damage the drywall.

Tips for Installing Peel and Stick on Textured Walls

If you decide to install peel and stick backsplash directly onto a textured wall, follow these tips:

  • Use a roller or press firmly over all tiles to flatten them against the surface. This helps improve contact.
  • Consider smaller tiles like mosaics. More grout lines and smaller tile sizes flex better over uneven surfaces.
  • Use planks instead of tiles on highly textured walls. Their larger size can bridge small gaps and unevenness.
  • Apply silicone caulk around edges and between tiles. This helps fill in small voids where tiles meet textured walls.
  • Check for lifting tiles during the following days and weeks. Re-adhere any loose edges or corners promptly.
  • Avoid heavy items on backsplashes over textured walls. The weight may cause tiles to release over time.


While peel and stick backsplash tiles adhere best on smooth, primed surfaces, it is possible to install them on textured walls with proper preparation and care. Skim coating, priming, or installing backerboard helps create a more even foundation. Take steps to improve adhesion, use smaller tiles or planks, and frequently check for lifting edges. With extra work, you can achieve long-lasting peel and stick backsplash results on textured walls.

Can You Put Peel and Stick Backsplash on Textured Walls? – Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions about installing peel and stick backsplash tiles on textured walls:

What preparation is needed for textured walls before installing peel and stick backsplash?

Some options to prepare textured walls include skim coating with joint compound, priming the surface, applying a leveler, or installing backerboard over the existing texture. These help create a smoother, more uniform surface for the adhesive backing to stick to.

What kind of primer should be used on textured walls for backsplash tiles?

Look for tile primer or adhesive primer designed for backsplash installation. These products help seal porous textured surfaces and improve adhesion for the peel and stick tiles.

Can you apply peel and stick tile directly to orange peel or popcorn textured walls?

It’s not recommended to apply peel and stick tiles directly on heavy orange peel or popcorn textures. The bumpy surface prevents good contact between the adhesive backing and wall. Smoothing or removing texture is best.

How well do peel and stick backsplash tiles hold up on textured walls long term?

On properly prepared textured walls, peel and stick tiles can hold up well for years with proper installation and maintenance. Check for lifting corners or edges periodically and re-adhere them promptly for best results.

Is there a size limit for peel and stick tiles on textured walls?

Smaller sized tiles like mosaics or thin planks tend to conform better to textured walls than large format tiles. The grout lines and smaller surface area flex more easily over uneven textures.

Can you install both peel and stick backsplash and floating shelves on textured walls?

Yes, with proper prep and primer you can install peel and stick tiles and complimentary floating shelves on the same textured wall surface. Just ensure the shelves are properly anchored and use silicone adhesive.