Installing a peel and stick backsplash is an easy and affordable way to upgrade your kitchen or bathroom. With just a few tools and a little time, you can achieve a high-end backsplash look without the hassle and mess of tile. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to properly hang peel and stick backsplash.
- Make sure the wall surface is clean, dry, smooth, and free of grease before starting. Wipe it down with a damp cloth and let it dry completely.
- If the wall has glossy paint, sand it lightly with 100-150 grit sandpaper to help the backsplash adhere better.
- Measure the area to determine how many full sheets and cut pieces you will need. Leave a 1/16” gap between sheets for expansion.
- Have all tools assembled – tape measure, level, utility knife, smoother/roller, scissors, and pencil.
Installing the Backsplash
Step 1: Cut the Pieces
Using the measurements, cut any outlet openings or irregular edges that need shaping. Cut sheets face up with a sharp utility knife and ruler.
Step 2. Prepare the Backsplash Pieces
- Peel off the backing about 2 inches from the top edge only.
- Apply strips of masking tape to the top to prevent premature sticking.
Step 3. Prepare the Wall Surface
- With a damp cloth, wipe off any dust or debris from the installation area.
- Determine a straight reference line about 1/8” above where you want the top edge. Use a level and pencil to mark a light line across the entire surface.
Step 4. Apply the First Row
- Line up the first sheet just below the reference line.
- Carefully peel the backing down and press firmly across the surface.
- Use the smoother/roller across the sheet to ensure strong adhesion.
Step 5. Continue Installing Full Sheets
- Peel, stick, and smooth each piece in order. Maintain the 1/16” gap between sheets.
- Use the reference line to keep the top edge straight and level.
- Smooth and press each piece firmly as you go up.
Step 6. Apply Cut Pieces and Finish
- Measure and cut any custom pieces needed to finish.
- Fill in the top row and any gaps, smoothing carefully.
- Press all edges firmly with the roller to seal.
- Remove all masking tape and smoothing tool marks.
- Step back and enjoy your finished peel and stick backsplash!
Tips for Getting Great Results
- Take your time measuring and cutting – accurate cuts make installation easier.
- Allow the adhesive to cure for 72 hours before cleaning for maximum bond.
- For outlets and switches, carefully cut around just the outer edges leaving interior attached.
- In corners, cut pieces to size and overlap rather than butt seams.
- Use a paint edger near the ceiling and seams for a polished look.
- To remove air bubbles, gently heat with a hairdryer and press down.
FAQ About Hanging Peel and Stick Backsplash
What kind of wall surface works best?
Peel and stick backsplash adheres best on smooth, cleaned surfaces like primed drywall, painted walls, glossy tile, or laminate. Avoid textured walls.
Can it be installed over existing tile?
Yes, as long as the old tile is in good condition with no cracks or missing grout. The surface should be roughened up first so the backsplash can adhere.
How long does peel and stick backsplash last?
With proper prep and installation, it can last for years. Avoid excessive moisture and clean with mild soap and water only. Reapplying adhesive ribbons yearly can extend its life.
What’s the best way to cut outlet and switch holes?
Use a sharp utility knife to carefully score and cut out just the outer edges around switches and outlets. Leave the interior box attached to preserve adhesion.
Can you apply peel and stick backsplash on textured walls?
It is not recommended. The textured surface prevents proper adhesion. To apply on textured walls, use a skim coat first to smooth it out.
How do you attach under cabinet lighting?
Install lighting before the backsplash. Then cut around the fixtures precisely to within 1/8” of the fixtures to allow space for the lights.
Installing a peel and stick backsplash is an easy weekend project for most DIYers. With proper preparation, measurement, cutting, and installation, you can completely transform the look of your kitchen or bathroom. The key is taking your time on the prep work and following the manufacturer’s instructions. The end result will be an affordable, stylish backsplash with the high-end look of expensive tile. With a variety of materials like metallics, stone, and patterned designs, peel and stick backsplash is a budget-friendly way to update your space.