How to Install Faux Tin Backsplash

Installing a faux tin backsplash can add a stylish, vintage look to your kitchen or bathroom. Tin backsplashes date back to the late 1800s and were widely used in traditional kitchens. Today, authentic tin backsplashes can be difficult to find and expensive to purchase. Faux tin provides the look of traditional tin at a more affordable price. With some simple tools and materials, you can install a faux tin backsplash and transform the look of your space.

Choose Your Faux Tin Backsplash Materials

There are a few options when it comes to materials for faux tin backsplash:

Tin Wall Panels

Tin wall panels come in large sheets that mimic the look of authentic antique tin. The sheets have an adhesive backing for easy installation. Tin wall panels are affordable and provide a seamless look, as there are no grout lines between panels. Make sure to get tin wall panels made specifically for backsplash use so they can withstand moisture and heat.

Tin Ceiling Tiles

Another option is to use vintage tin ceiling tiles meant for walls or backsplashes. These 2 ft. x 2 ft. panels snap or hook together to create a faux tin surface. The tiles create more of a patchwork look compared to large sheets. Keep in mind that the grout lines between tiles must be maintained and periodically resealed.

Tin Backsplash Rolls

For a seamless appearance, consider faux tin rolls that are made specifically for backsplash use. The pliable rolls can be cut to size. Use rolls for a uniform look or get creative by cutting strips and patterns. Some brands have an adhesive backing while others require adhesive installation.

Once you’ve selected your faux tin material, follow the preparation steps below.

Prepare the Backsplash Area

Proper prep is crucial for successful faux tin backsplash installation. Follow these steps:

  • Clean the surface – Use a degreaser to remove dirt, oil or soap residue from the installation area. Rinse thoroughly and let dry.
  • Remove old backsplash – Take down any existing backsplash. Scrape off old adhesive or grout, if present. Fill any holes or imperfections with spackle and sand smooth.
  • Prime the surface – After cleaning, apply a primer to help the adhesive adhere to the backsplash area. Be sure the primer fully dries before installation.
  • Gather tools/materials – Have on hand the tin backsplash material, construction adhesive, grout (if needed), caulk, utility knife, grout float, sponge, primer, and painter’s tape.

Thorough surface prep allows the faux tin backsplash materials to properly adhere. Next, measure and cut your tin sheets or tiles.

Measure and Cut the Tin Backsplash

Carefully measuring and cutting the tin ensures a professional looking finished product.

  • If using tin panels, measure the backsplash area. Leave a 1/16” gap between the countertop and bottom of the first row. Cut panels to fit using a utility knife and metal ruler.
  • For tin tiles, lay tiles on the counter first to determine the layout. Mix tile sizes and orientations for a vintage look. Use spacers between tiles. Cut border tiles to fit with a utility knife.
  • With tin rolls, measure width and cut rolls to size with scissors or utility knife. Plan pieces so seams are inconspicuous.

Cut materials over scrap wood to protect your counters. Now it’s time to adhere the tin backsplash.

Install the Faux Tin Backsplash

Follow these steps to properly install your faux tin backsplash:

1. Apply Adhesive

  • For adhesive wall panels, peel off the backing to reveal the sticky surface.
  • For tiles/rolls, apply a thin layer of construction adhesive to the backsplash area using a trowel.

2. Press Tin in Place

  • Carefully press the tin sheets or tiles into place, starting at the bottom and working up.
  • Smooth firmly to ensure a good bond with the adhesive.
  • For tile, use spacers to maintain even grout lines. Do not get adhesive between tiles.

3. Allow Adhesive to Cure

  • Allow the recommended drying time before moving on, usually 24-48 hours.
  • Consult the adhesive manufacturer instructions.
  • Keep foot traffic away during curing so tiles don’t shift.
  • Do not move on until adhesive has fully cured.

Once cured, inspect the backsplash and make any necessary adjustments. The fun part is next – adding grout!

Grout the Faux Tin Tiles

For faux tin tiles or rolls, grouting is essential. Follow standard grouting steps:

  1. Mix grout – Use an unsanded grout recommended for walls. Mix powder grout with water to a thick, smooth consistency.
  2. Spread grout – Using a rubber grout float, spread grout diagonally across the tiles to fill joints completely.
  3. Wipe away excess – Let the grout set slightly, then hold the float at 90° to wipe excess grout off the tile surface.
  4. Clean with sponge – Use a damp sponge to wipe any remaining grout haze or residue. Rinse the sponge frequently.
  5. Allow to cure – Let the grout dry completely, usually 24-48 hours. Avoid getting the grout wet during this time.

Once cured, inspect the grout lines and touch up as needed with more grout.

Finish the Installation

Adding final touches finishes off your stunning new faux tin backsplash:

  • Caulk perimeter – Use silicone caulk to fill the gap between the tin and walls, countertops, cabinets etc. Smooth the bead with a wet finger.
  • Seal grout (tiles only) – Once the grout has cured, apply a grout sealer. This adds protection and waterproofing.
  • Clean surface – Use a soft cloth to wipe away any dirt or residue from the tin backsplash. Use mild cleaner and avoid abrasives.
  • Enjoy your upgrade! – Stand back and admire the vintage, industrial look of your brand new faux tin backsplash!

With the right materials and careful installation, you can get the antique tin look for a fraction of the price. Always refer back to the faux tin manufacturer’s instructions as well. Proper prep and care will keep your tin backsplash looking like new for years to come.

Faux Tin Backsplash Pros and Cons

Faux tin backsplashes offer the vintage appeal of antique tin at a more affordable price point. However, there are some pros and cons to consider:


  • Lower cost – Faux tin costs much less than authentic antique tin
  • Easy installation – Peel-and-stick panels and tile systems are DIY friendly
  • Wide availability – Can be found at most home improvement stores
  • Variety of looks – From classic to eclectic, several faux tin styles
  • Low maintenance – Just use mild cleaner and avoid abrasives


  • Not authentic – Does not have the aged patina and imperfections of antique tin
  • Prone to damage – Can dent or scratch more easily than real metal
  • Repeat pattern – Tiles may show obvious repeat patterns
  • Prone to moisture – Condensation or leaks can damage faux tin
  • Lifespan unknown – Long-term durability is still unknown

While not a perfect match for real antique tin, faux tin provides vintage appeal at a fraction of the cost. Proper installation and care is needed to keep it looking its best.

Tools and Materials Checklist

Installing a faux tin backsplash is an achievable DIY project. Here are the basic tools and materials you’ll need:


  • Utility knife
  • Metal ruler or straight edge
  • Carpenter’s square
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Level
  • painters tape
  • Sandpaper
  • Trowel for spreading adhesive
  • Grout float
  • Sponges
  • Clean cloths
  • Clean bucket
  • Eye protection
  • Work gloves


  • Faux tin backsplash panels, rolls, or tiles
  • Construction adhesive (liquid nails)
  • Grout and grout sealer (if using tiles)
  • Silicone caulk
  • Grout spacers (if using tiles)
  • Primer
  • Cleaners
  • Spackle paste

Gather all tools and materials ahead of time. Have extras like utility blades, adhesive, grout etc. to ensure you don’t run out mid-project. Assign an area to mix materials and cut tin pieces. Now you’re ready to install your beautiful faux tin backsplash makeover!

Preparing Walls and Countertops

A proper foundation is crucial for a long-lasting faux tin backsplash. Proper prep of the walls and countertops ensures strong adhesion. Here are some tips:

  • Clean surfaces – Use a degreaser and rinse thoroughly. Remove all residue and grime.
  • Repair imperfections – Fill any holes or cracks with spackle. Sand smooth. Address sagging drywall.
  • Remove old backsplash – Take down existing backsplash. Scrape off all old adhesive and grout.
  • Prime – After cleaning, apply a quality primer to enable adhesion. Allow to fully dry.
  • Protect countertops – Mask countertops with painter’s tape to avoid damage from adhesives and cutting.
  • Plan backsplash layout – Map out your faux tin layout. Measure and mark to guide installation.

Proper planning and surface prep allows for successful faux tin application. Invest time in these initial steps for best long-term results.

Helpful Tips for Faux Tin Backsplash Installation

Installing a faux tin backsplash brings unique challenges. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Cut tin pieces over scrap wood to avoid damaging counters or floor. Use a new sharp blade for clean cuts.
  • Stagger seams between rows and avoid lining up vertical seams for best appearance.
  • After applying adhesive, immediately press tin sheets into place. Adhesive dries quickly.
  • When applying grout, work in small sections for easiest application and wiping.
  • Wipe away excess grout before it dries using diagonal motions. Use minimal pressure.
  • Allow full curing times for adhesive and grout to properly set. Don’t rush the process.
  • A grout sealer adds protection and makes grout cleaning easier over time.
  • Avoid abrasive cleaners like powder cleansers that can scratch the tin surface.
  • Use a soft cloth and mild cleaner to maintain the backsplash over time.

Patience and care during installation results in a stunning faux tin backsplash you’ll enjoy for years to come.

Common Problems When Installing Faux Tin Backsplash

Even veteran DIYers can encounter issues when installing a faux tin backsplash:

Uneven application – Take time to properly space and align tin pieces. Use a level to check work.

Adhesive not bonding – Ensure adhesive fully cures. Prime surfaces before applying adhesive.

Grout haze – Wipe tiles diagonally before grout dries. Use minimal water to avoid haze.

Denting/Scratching – Use care when handling tin pieces. Be aware tin can dent more easily than real metal.

Moisture damage – Seal tile grout and caulk perimeter to prevent moisture ingress behind tin.

Discoloration – Use mild cleaners and avoid abrasives. Some faux tin may patina over time.

Adhesive bleeding – Apply adhesive sparingly between tiles. Immediately wipe away any excess squeeze out.

Patience and proper materials will help avoid common faux tin installation problems. Address any issues immediately to maintain appearance.

Faux Tin Backsplash Maintenance

Faux tin backsplashes aren’t maintenance-free. You’ll need to:

  • Periodically reseal grout lines – Recommended every 1-2 years. Resealing protects grout from stains/damage.
  • Touch up caulk – Check for any gaps at edges or seams. Reapply siliconized caulk when needed.
  • Clean regularly – Use a mild detergent and soft cloth to clean. Avoid abrasive scrub brushes or cleansers.
  • Rinse well after cleaning – Immediately dry any standing water or moisture.
  • Avoid moisture damage – Repair plumbing issues immediately and seal tile grout to prevent water ingress.
  • Use ** painter’s tape** when working near installed backsplash. Avoid scraping tools against the tin.
  • Check for warping/damage – Damaged pieces may need replacement over time.

Regular maintenance keeps your faux tin backsplash looking its best while avoiding costly repairs down the road.

Cost Breakdown of Faux Tin Backsplash Installation

What’s the total investment for a faux tin backsplash makeover? Here are typical costs:

  • Faux tin sheets/tiles – $15-$30 per sq. ft.
  • Adhesive – $25 per 10oz
  • Grout – $10-15 per lb
  • Caulk – $5 per tube
  • Tools/materials – $50-75
  • Total cost – $200-500 average install

The totals can vary based on:

  • Faux tin material chosen – tiles vs panels vs rolls
  • Layout – simple vs intricate tile designs
  • Specialty tools needed – tile cutters, snips etc.
  • DIY vs hiring a pro – contractor costs average $50/hour

The cost is very reasonable compared to real antique tin at $75-$200 per square foot installed. Careful planning helps avoid surprises and keeps your budget on track.

Hiring a Professional vs DIY Faux Tin Backsplash

Is installing a faux tin backsplash a DIY or hire a pro job? Consider:

DIY Pros

  • Less expensive
  • Learn new skills
  • Customize to your tastes
  • Sense of accomplishment

DIY Cons

  • Very time consuming
  • Mistakes are costly
  • Physical demands
  • May need specialty tools

Hiring a Pro Pros

  • Perfect results
  • Saves huge time
  • No hassle cleaning/hauling
  • Can fix tricky issues

Hiring a Pro Cons

  • More expensive
  • Wait for contractor schedule
  • Less control over choices
  • Communication issues

Evaluate your skill level and schedule when deciding between DIY or hiring a backsplash installer. For advanced designs or challenging spaces, a pro may be worth the cost.

Transforming a Kitchen with Faux Tin Backsplash

Want to see how faux tin can transform a kitchen? Here are some beautiful examples:

White Kitchen Faux Tin Backsplash
  • This white kitchen uses a simple faux tin backsplash panel behind the stove for a pop of vintage character. Tin adds visual texture without overpowering.
Blue Faux Tin Kitchen Backsplash
  • To complement blue cabinets, this kitchen pairs varied blue hues in a faux tin tile backsplash pattern. Notice how the backsplash ties together the lower and upper cabinets beautifully.
Neutral Faux Tin Kitchen
  • For a neutral kitchen, go for a worn, distressed faux tin backsplash. The light finish keeps the look soft, while the tin adds character. Resize as needed.
Bold Faux Tin Pattern
  • Make a bold statement with a vibrant colorful faux tin backsplash in a geometric Moroccan tile pattern. The vivid hues make the kitchen pop.
Farmhouse Faux Tin Backsplash
  • For farmhouse style, use square four-inch faux tin tiles. The small scale and gray color fits perfectly with rustic wood elements in this kitchen.

The possibilities are endless with faux tin backsplashes – match to any kitchen style!

Finding Inspiration for Faux Tin Backsplash Projects

Need inspiration for your faux tin backsplash makeover? Here are some great sources of ideas:

  • Browse home magazines and blogs – Kitchen and bath publications showcase stylish backsplash designs. Create an inspiration file of your favorites.
  • Search interior design sites – Houzz, Pinterest and Instagram have loads of beautiful faux tin backsplash photos to discover. Follow pros for ideas.
  • Visit showrooms – Tile and building supply showrooms display the latest backsplash trends and materials. Order samples to visualize designs.
  • Take notes from vintage spaces– Restored cafes, bars, and retro restaurants showcase antique tin backsplashes. Note elements you can recreate.
  • Study architecture books – Vintage tin ceilings and backsplashes are pictured in books