How to Apply Stick On Backsplash

Adding a backsplash to your kitchen can completely transform the look and feel of the space. Stick on backsplashes provide an easy and affordable way to upgrade your backsplash without taking on a large remodeling project. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to properly apply stick on backsplash tiles in your kitchen.

Selecting Your Stick On Backsplash

The first step is choosing the right stick on backsplash tiles for your kitchen. Consider the following when making your selection:


Stick on backsplash tiles come in a variety of different materials including metal, glass, marble, travertine, and acrylic. Acrylic options provide a budget-friendly choice while natural stone varieties offer luxury. Pick a material that fits within your budget and matches your kitchen’s style.

Colors and Patterns

Stick on backsplashes come in every color and pattern imaginable. Choose something that coordinates well with your cabinetry, countertops, and flooring. You can match existing colors or make the backsplash a bold accent wall.


Select a glossy or matte finish. Glossy tiles provide more shine and illumination while matte is more subtle. Consider which would look best with your cabinets and appliances.

Size of Tiles

Large stick on tiles are faster to install while smaller mosaic tiles create a more intricate look. Choose the tile size that fits the aesthetic you want to achieve.

Waterproof Rating

Since the backsplash is installed around sources of water like the sink, opt for tiles rated for waterproof use. This will prevent any damage or discoloring over time.

Preparing Your Backsplash Area

Once you have the perfect stick on backsplash tiles picked out, you need to make sure your backsplash area is ready for installation:

  • Clean the Surface – Use soap and water to thoroughly clean the entire backsplash area. This allows the adhesive to stick properly.
  • Remove Appliances – Take out the sink, stove, dishwasher, or anything else along the backsplash to allow for full access.
  • Fill Any Holes or Cracks – Use caulk or spackle to fill any spaces, cracks, holes, or uneven areas so the backsplash will lay flush.
  • Prime the Wall – Apply a layer of primer to the backsplash area so the adhesive adheres better. Allow primer to fully dry.

Applying the Adhesive

Stick on backsplash tiles use a strong adhesive to bond to the wall. Proper adhesive application is key:

  • Use Recommended Adhesive – Use the exact adhesive recommended for the tile material you purchased. The adhesive needs to match the backsplash material.
  • Apply in Small Sections – Rather than adhesive the entire backsplash at once, work in smaller 2-3 foot sections. This prevents the adhesive from drying before tiles are applied.
  • Use a Notched Trowel – Spread on an even layer of adhesive using a notched trowel. This ensures proper coverage.
  • Follow Drying Time – Allow adhesive to dry to its tacky state which is usually around 10-15 minutes before applying tiles. Test a small area first before moving on.

Installing the Tiles

Once your backsplash is prepped and adhesive is applied, you’re ready to stick on the backsplash tiles:

  • Dry Fit Tiles First – Place tiles in the desired pattern without adhesive to ensure they fit properly around outlets and corners before permanently sticking them.
  • Apply Firm Pressure – Place tiles in the adhesive and press down firmly for 30-60 seconds to secure them in place, especially along the edges.
  • Use a Tile Spacer – Use small spacers between tiles to achieve even grout lines. Remove spacers once tile is set.
  • Check Alignment – As you install tiles, periodically step back and check that tiles are evenly spaced and aligned.
  • Finish Edges – For finished edges, use an edge trim designed for stick on tiles. Apply trim with adhesive.
  • Allow to Cure – Let the installed tiles cure following the adhesive instructions, usually 24 hours. Don’t expose tiles to water during this time.

Grouting Your New Backsplash

Once cured, your new stick on backsplash needs to be sealed and grouted:

  • Apply Sealant – Use a grout sealer to cover all the tile edges according to product directions. This prevents discoloration or damage from moisture.
  • Choose Grout Color – Select a grout color that complements your tile color. Contrasting shades look best. Apply grout release on tiles first for easier cleanup.
  • Grout Tile Joints – Holding the grout float at a 45 degree angle, work it deeply into the tile joints to fill any gaps. Remove excess.
  • Wipe Away Grout – Once grout is semi-dry, use a damp sponge in a circular motion to wipe grout haze off the tile surface. Rinse sponge frequently.
  • Use Grout Haze Remover – For any remaining haze or film, apply grout haze remover and wipe again until tiles are clean.
  • Seal Grout – Once grout is dried, apply a grout sealer to protect it from moisture and staining.

And that’s it! With proper prep and application, your new stick on backsplash can give your kitchen an affordable facelift. Maintain it by using gentle cleaners recommended for your tile material. Enjoy your fresh new focal point!

Frequently Asked Questions About Applying Stick On Backsplashes

What surfaces can stick on backsplash be applied to?

Stick on backsplash can be applied directly to any clean, smooth, and dry surface including drywall, plaster, wood, metal, laminate, glass, tile, granite, marble, and painted walls.

How long does it take for the adhesive to dry?

Adhesive drying times vary by product but most take 2-4 hours to initially set and 24-48 hours to fully cure. Always check manufacturer instructions.

What’s the best way to cut stick on backsplash tiles?

The best cutting tool for stick on tiles is a sharp utility knife. Measure and mark your cut line with a straightedge, carefully score the line a few times with the knife, and then snap the tile on the line.

Can you apply stick on backsplash around electrical outlets?

Yes, tile around outlets by carefully cutting the tile with a utility knife to fit around them. Make sure the power is disconnected first!

How do you treat the edges of stick on backsplash?

You can finish the edges with wall trim designed for stick on tile or simply have the tile sheets go straight to the wall with no border. Edge trim gives it a more polished look.

Can you apply stick on tile over existing tile?

In most cases, yes. As long as the existing tile is in good condition with no cracks, warps, or moisture damage, you can apply tile right over it after proper cleaning and priming.

How long does stick on backsplash tile last?

With proper installation and care, stick on backsplash can last 5-10 years or longer before needing replacement. Quality tile, proper prep, and sealing are key for longevity.


Installing a stick on backsplash is an easy DIY project that can completely change the look of your kitchen. With the right prep work, tools, and technique, you can achieve a high-end backsplash on a budget. Just take your time, follow the adhesive instructions, and properly seal and grout your new tiles. A stylish backsplash can be an afternoon project away. Upgrade your kitchen with the simple yet transformative addition of stick on backsplash tiles.