How to Install Peel and Stick Backsplash in Kitchen

Installing a peel and stick backsplash is an easy and affordable way to update the look of your kitchen. With just a few tools and a bit of time, you can achieve a fresh new backsplash in a weekend. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to properly install a peel and stick backsplash in your kitchen.

Planning Your Peel and Stick Backsplash

Before starting the installation, take some time to plan out your backsplash design.

  • Measure the space to determine how many full sheets and cut pieces you will need. Allow an extra 10-15% for cuts and errors.
  • Create a layout plan for the tile pattern and arrangement. Mix up sheets for a random look or align seams for a grid pattern.
  • Gather all necessary tools and materials including tiles, utility knife, caulk, spray bottle, rags, smoother, gloves, painter’s tape, etc.
  • Thoroughly clean the backsplash area and remove any old caulk or grime. Ensure the surface is smooth, dry, and free of grease.

Preparing the Backsplash Surface

Proper surface prep is key to a successful installation. Take time to correctly prep the area:

  • Fill any holes or imperfections: Use spackle compound to fill holes and smooth over any bumps or uneven areas. Let dry completely and sand smooth.
  • Remove outlet covers: Take off any electrical outlet covers that are in the backsplash area. Set aside for later reinstallation.
  • Clean and dry the surface: Wipe down the entire backsplash surface with denatured alcohol or other degreaser. Allow to fully dry.
  • Prime painted surfaces: For glossy painted backsplashes, lightly sand to scuff up the surface and apply a coat of primer. Let the primer dry completely before installing tiles.
  • Measure and mark the center point: Find the center point of your backsplash and mark it with painter’s tape. This will be your starting point.

Applying the Peel and Stick Tiles

Now comes the fun part – installing the tiles! Follow these tips for proper application:

1. Dry Fit the First Tile

  • Align the first tile with the center point and dry fit it without removing the backing.
  • Use painter’s tape on the top edge to hold in place and ensure it is straight.

2. Slowly Remove Backing and Press Down

  • Once aligned, carefully peel away the backing and slowly stick the tile in place.
  • Firmly press from the center outwards to remove any air pockets. Use a smoother for extra adhesion.

3. Continue Applying Tiles

  • Work outwards from the center tile applying full sheets end-to-end or offset as per your design.
  • Always press each tile firmly after applying and rub entire surface with a soft rag or smoother.
  • To fit around outlets, carefully measure and cut tiles with a utility knife. Dry fit first before peeling off backing.

4. Finish Edges and Around Fixtures

  • For edges and gaps under cabinets/fixtures, measure and cut tile pieces to fit. Peel off backing and apply.
  • Caulk around edges, corners, outlets, and fixtures for a seamless look. Smooth with finger or wet rag before caulk dries.

5. Clean Surface and Reinstall Fixtures

  • Once all tiles are applied, wipe down the entire surface with a clean, damp rag. Use denatured alcohol for glossy tiles.
  • Reinstall outlet covers and any fixtures like towel bars, soap dispensers that were removed earlier.

And that’s it! With some patience and attention to detail, you can achieve a beautiful, trendy peel and stick backsplash. Enjoy your kitchen’s stylish new look!

FAQs About Installing Peel and Stick Backsplash

What tools do I need to install a peel and stick backsplash?

You’ll need a few simple tools: utility knife, straightedge, caulk gun, painter’s tape, rags, smoother/squeegee, spray bottle with water/alcohol mix, gloves, and a friend can be helpful too!

How do I cut the peel and stick tiles?

Use a sharp utility knife and straightedge as a guide to score and snap off clean edges. For outlet cuts, trace the outline and cut with utility knife. Always dry fit first before removing backing.

What surface prep is required for peel and stick backsplash?

Ensure the surface is clean, dry, smooth, and free of soap scum, grease, flaky paint or wallpaper. Fill any holes, sand, and use primer if painting glossy surfaces like ceramic tile.

What spacing should I leave between tiles?

Peel and stick tiles are designed to be installed edge-to-edge with no gaps or grout lines. The 3D foam backing allows for slight imperfections in the wall alignment.

Can I install peel and stick backsplash over existing ceramic tile?

It is not recommended. The grout lines and texture will likely show through the thin backsplash tiles. Best to remove old tile and start with a smooth surface.

How do I cut peel and stick around outlets and switches?

Use painter’s tape to secure outlet/switch cover in place. Place tile over top and carefully trace cutout outline with utility knife. Remove cover and cut just inside the traced line.

Can I install peel and stick backsplash in my bathroom?

Yes, it provides the same easy application and moisture resistance required for kitchen backsplash. Just ensure the wall surface is properly prepared and caulk well around fixtures.

How long does peel and stick backsplash installation take?

It can be installed in just a few hours or up to 1-2 days for a novice DIYer. Proper planning and surface prep takes the most time. Applying the tiles goes quickly.


Installing a peel and stick backsplash is an easy, affordable weekend project that can completely transform the look of your kitchen. With the right tools, proper planning, and careful application, you can achieve a high-end backsplash look in just a few hours. Focus on thorough surface preparation, dry fitting, slowly removing backing, pressing tiles firmly, and caulking edges for a seamless finish. In no time, you’ll be enjoying your kitchen’s fresh new stylish backsplash!