How to Cut Peel and Stick Backsplash

Installing a peel and stick backsplash is an easy and affordable way to upgrade your kitchen or bathroom. However, cutting the tiles to size can be tricky if you don’t have the right tools and techniques. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to accurately and cleanly cut peel and stick backsplash tiles.

What You Need

  • Peel and stick backsplash tiles
  • Utility knife or backsplash cutter
  • Metal ruler or measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Scissors (for mesh-backed tiles)
  • Masking tape (optional)

Measure and Mark the Tiles

  1. Measure the area you are covering with the backsplash and sketch out a layout to determine the size tiles you need to cut. It helps to make a cardboard template first.
  2. Use a ruler and pencil to mark straight cutting lines on the front of the tile. For mesh-backed tiles, mark the backside.
  3. For outlet cutouts or irregular shapes, trace the shape outline with a pencil instead of straight lines.
  4. If the tile has a decorative pattern, mark the lines in between the designs rather than across them.

Cut the Tiles

For vinyl, plastic, or ceramic tiles:

  1. Place the tile on a solid, smooth cutting surface.
  2. Position the utility knife on the pencil line and apply firm, even pressure as you slide the blade across the tile.
  3. Make several passes over the same line to completely cut through the tile.
  4. Snap off the excess tile segment along the cut line.

For mesh-backed tiles:

  1. Cut through the mesh backing along the marked lines using sharp scissors.
  2. Bend the tile gently to snap off the excess piece.
  3. Use scissors to trim away any rough edges or mesh strands.

Optional: Use masking tape along the cut lines to prevent chips and cracks as you cut. Remove it after the tile is cut.

Make Precise Cuts

  • Keep your utility knife blade fresh for clean cuts.
  • For circular outlets, drill a starter hole first and cut out from the hole to the edge.
  • Cut slowly and steadily while following marked lines.
  • Place a spare tile underneath to protect your work surface from damage.
  • For smaller tiles, use a mitre box to guide the knife at proper angles.

With the right tools, patience, and technique, you can achieve perfect cuts for your peel and stick backsplash installation. Precise tile cutting gives your project a refined, professional look.

FAQs About Cutting Peel and Stick Backsplash

How do you cut around outlets for peel and stick backsplash?

  1. Place the tile over the outlet and trace the outlet shape onto the tile.
  2. Drill a 1/4″ hole just inside the line.
  3. Insert your utility knife into the hole and slowly cut outward staying just inside the line.
  4. Use a rasp or file to smooth the edge of the cutout.
  5. Test fit the outlet hole before adhering the tile around it.

What tool is best for cutting backsplash tile?

For vinyl, plastic, or ceramic peel and stick tiles, a sharp utility knife is the best tool for precision cutting. Use a backsplash cutter for straight cuts across longer tiles. For mesh-backed tiles, scissors work well.

How do you cut small pieces of backsplash?

Use a mitre box to guide your utility knife at the proper angle when cutting thin strips or small pieces of peel and stick backsplash tile. A mitre box ensures straight, accurate small cuts.

Can I use a wet saw to cut peel and stick backsplash?

Wet saws are not necessary for peel and stick tiles. The water will compromise the adhesive backing. A utility knife or backsplash cutter is the recommended cutting tool.

What blade do I need to cut backsplash tile?

Use a new, sharp utility knife blade for every backsplash tile cutting project. The blade must be sharp enough to fully cut through the tile in just a few passes without dragging or tearing. Change blades as soon as they dull.


Cutting peel and stick backsplash tiles takes the right cutting tools, careful measurements, and steady hands. Following the techniques for your tile material will result in a clean, professional DIY backsplash installation. Precisely cut tiles allow for flawless arrangements and a seamless look. With some practice on tile scraps first, anyone can master cutting peel and stick backsplash.