How to Install Peel and Stick Backsplash Over Existing Tile

Installing a peel and stick backsplash over existing tile can give your kitchen or bathroom an easy makeover. With just a few tools and following some simple steps, you can apply a stylish new backsplash without having to fully replace the existing tile. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to install peel and stick backsplash over existing tile.


Peel and stick backsplash tiles, also known as self-adhesive backsplash tiles, provide an affordable and easy way to refresh your backsplash area. They come in a wide variety of styles, textures, and colors to match any decor.

The peel and stick backing allows you to apply the tiles directly over existing tile, painted drywall, or other smooth surfaces. There is no need for specialized tools or skills like with traditional tile. All you need is a clean surface and some basic DIY abilities.

Installing peel and stick backsplash over your current backsplash is much cheaper and easier than a full tile replacement. And it allows you to quickly update the look of your kitchen or bathroom in just an afternoon.

Benefits of Using Peel and Stick Backsplash Over Existing Tile

  • Cost savings: Peel and stick tiles are very budget-friendly compared to ceramic, porcelain or stone tile. No need to rip out and dispose of existing tile.
  • Time savings: Installs in a fraction of the time it takes to tile an entire backsplash from scratch. Easier for DIYers to complete in a weekend.
  • Easy installation: No special tools or skills required. The adhesive backing adheres right over existing tile or smooth surfaces.
  • Style flexibility: Available in countless colors, patterns, textures and materials like real metals and natural stone. Match any design aesthetic.
  • Damage forgiveness: Easily replaced if a tile becomes damaged. No need to match grout color.
  • Removable: Tiles can be gently peeled off without damage to existing backsplash if you want to change the look later.

Before You Begin Installing Peel and Stick Backsplash

Carefully prepare the surface for the best peel and stick backsplash installation results:

  • Clean the surface: Wipe away any grease, soap scum or other residue from existing tile with household cleaner and rinse.
  • Repair grout lines: Seal any open or cracked grout lines with silicone sealant. This provides a smoother surface.
  • Fill any textures: Use painter’s putty on heavily textured tile to create a flat, smooth surface.
  • Prime painted drywall: Lightly sand and apply primer before applying tiles to bare drywall to aid adhesion.
  • Allow proper dry times: Ensure sealants, putty and primer are fully cured before applying tiles. Check manufacturer instructions.

How to Install Peel and Stick Backsplash Over Existing Tile

Follow these key steps to properly apply peel and stick backsplash:

Gather Your Materials

  • Peel and stick backsplash tiles
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Utility knife
  • Spray bottle with water
  • Smoothing tool like a plastic putty knife
  • Paper towels
  • Denatured alcohol

Prepare the Surface

  • Clean existing tile thoroughly and make any repairs
  • Fill any textured tile and prime painted drywall if needed
  • Plan your layout – measure carefully to avoid thin edge tiles

Cut The Tiles

  • Lay tiles face down on cutting mat
  • Use sharp utility knife and metal ruler
  • Cut precisely just through the backing

Adhere The Tiles

  • Mist tile backing lightly with water before peeling off adhesive
  • Peel off backing and firmly press tile to surface
  • Use smoothing tool to flatten, removing any air bubbles
  • Don’t over-work tiles. Remove and re-apply if not sticking.

Finish The Installation

  • Apply tiles row by row from bottom up
  • Use razor to trim edges for perfect fit
  • Keep 1/8″ gap between tiles and 1/16″ from countertops
  • Seal perimeter edges with mildew-resistant silicone caulk
  • Clean any adhesive residue immediately with denatured alcohol

Tips for Installing Peel and Stick Backsplash Successfully

Follow these tips and tricks for a seamless installation:

  • Apply tiles in a staggered brickwork pattern for best results.
  • Use a level frequently to keep tiles aligned and prevent a crooked appearance.
  • Start with the bottom row along the countertop and work up to avoid resting tiles on unfinished edges.
  • Trim tiles with a sharp utility knife for precision cuts around outlets, corners, and edges.
  • Press tiles firmly into place immediately after peeling off backing and continue to smooth.
  • Check tile edges and seams carefully to ensure they are completely bonded. Reapply if any lifting occurs.
  • Wipe away excess adhesive immediately for easier cleaning.
  • Seal all perimeter edges with bathroom/kitchen caulk to prevent moisture damage.

FAQ About Installing Peel and Stick Backsplash

How long does peel and stick backsplash tile last?

Peel and stick tiles can last for years with proper installation and care. Avoid excessive moisture and immediately replace any damaged tiles.

Can you put peel and stick backsplash over existing ceramic tile?

Yes, peel and stick backsplash can be applied directly onto existing ceramic, porcelain or stone tile as long as the surface is properly prepared.

What surface is best for peel and stick backsplash?

Clean, smooth, flat surfaces work best. Painted drywall, tile, laminate, metal and glass can work well. Avoid heavily textured or porous surfaces.

Can you put peel and stick backsplash in a shower or behind a stove?

Peel and stick tiles are not recommended for direct contact with water or heat sources. Use traditional tile for those locations. They work great above backsplashes or on protected walls.

How do you cut peel and stick backsplash tile?

Lay tile face down on a cutting mat. Use a very sharp utility knife and metal ruler to cut through the backing. Make several passes for clean cut.


Installing peel and stick backsplash over existing tile is an easy and affordable way to update your kitchen or bath in just an afternoon. With proper prep, careful application, and these helpful tips, you can achieve a seamless finish. Just wipe clean your existing tile, measure precisely, trim tiles neatly, adhere the pieces properly, and smooth out air bubbles. In no time at all, you can enjoy a stylish new backsplash look without the mess and hassle of a full tile replacement.