How to Install Peel and Stick Backsplash Over Tile

Installing a new peel and stick backsplash over existing tile can give your kitchen a fresh, updated look without the mess and expense of a full tile replacement. With the right preparation and technique, installing peel and stick backsplash over tile is a DIY-friendly project. Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to install peel and stick backsplash over tile successfully.

Prep the Surface

The key to a successful peel and stick backsplash installation is proper surface preparation. The backsplash needs to adhere securely to the wall surface in order to stay bonded over time. Follow these steps to prep the surface:

Clean the Tile Thoroughly

Use a degreasing cleaner or mix of vinegar and water to scrub the existing tile, removing any dirt, grease or soap residue. Rinse thoroughly and let dry completely.

Sand the Glossy Tile

If the existing tile has a shiny, glossy finish, you’ll need to scuff it up in order for the peel and stick backsplash to adhere properly. Use 100-150 grit sandpaper to rough up the surface of the glossy tile.

Fill Any Grout Lines

Check the existing tile for any wide or uneven grout lines. Use a sanded grout caulk to fill any grout lines wider than 1/8 inch. This provides a smooth, even surface for the backsplash.

Remove Loose Tile Pieces

Inspect the existing tile and remove any cracked, damaged or loose pieces. Re-adhere tiles if needed with tile adhesive, or fill any missing areas with spackle.

Clean With Denatured Alcohol

As a final prep step, wipe down the entire surface with denatured alcohol to remove any remaining dirt or residue. Let the surface dry completely before installing the backsplash.

prep the backsplash

Before installing the peel and stick backsplash, do a quick prep:

  • Unroll the backsplash and let sit flat for 24 hours to allow it to relax.
  • Cut the backsplash to the desired size if needed.
  • Dry fit the backsplash and make any additional cuts.
  • Peel back the adhesive backing and fold over, without removing the protective film.

Install the Backsplash

Once the surface and backsplash are prepped, it’s time for installation. Follow these tips for proper peel and stick backsplash installation:

Apply Adhesive Caulk

Run a bead of adhesive caulk along the top edge and down the sides of the area getting covered. This helps seal the perimeter for a watertight seal.

Remove Backing Film

Peel off the adhesive backing film, taking care not to let the sticky backing touch anything.

Apply From Top Down

Starting at the top, press the backsplash adhesive firmly to the wall with a smoothing tool. Remove air bubbles by smoothing from top to bottom.

Use Spacers at Bottom

Leave a small 1/16” gap at the bottom and use backsplash spacers. Don’t adhere directly to countertop.

Seal Around Fixtures

Cut around any outlets, switches or fixtures and seal with silicone caulk for a watertight finish.

Roll Entire Surface

Use a rolling pin or wallpaper roller over the entire backsplash to ensure strong adhesion, rolling side-to-side and top-to-bottom.

Tips for Getting It Right

Follow these tips and tricks to ensure your peel and stick backsplash adheres securely long-term:

  • Stick to smooth, flat wall surfaces. Avoid textured walls.
  • Only install on clean, dry surfaces free of grease, soap and oils.
  • Always prep glossy tile by scuff sanding first before applying backsplash.
  • In damp areas like near a sink, caulk the perimeter and seams for waterproofing.
  • Cut Outlets – Don’t install over electrical outlets. Cut around them neatly.
  • Allow adhesive to cure for 72 hours before applying any weight or stress.
  • For easier installation, apply on surfaces above 60°F.

With the right prep and application technique, a peel and stick backsplash brings stylish new life to an existing backsplash. Carefully follow the tips in this guide for best results installing over tile.

Frequently Asked Questions About Installing Peel and Stick Backsplash Over Tile

Can you put peel and stick backsplash over existing tile?

Yes, it is possible to install a peel and stick backsplash right over existing tile or laminate backsplash. The key is proper surface prep – sanding glossy tile and cleaning thoroughly before application.

How do you prepare tile for peel and stick backsplash?

To prepare tile for a peel and stick backsplash, clean thoroughly with a degreaser, sand any glossy tiles, fill any uneven grout lines, remove loose tiles, and wipe down with denatured alcohol just before installing the new backsplash.

What adhesive is best for peel and stick backsplash?

The adhesive already applied to the back of peel and stick backsplash is specifically designed for adhesion to surfaces like tile and laminate. For even stronger hold, applying adhesive caulk along the perimeter is recommended.

Can I put peel and stick backsplash in my bathroom?

Peel and stick backsplash can be installed in bathrooms as long as the surface is properly prepped and the backsplash sealed properly around fixtures for waterproofing. Avoid direct contact with standing water.

What surface is best for peel and stick backsplash?

Peel and stick backsplash adheres best on smooth, flat and clean surfaces like tile, laminate, drywall and painted walls. Avoid textured surfaces. Ensure the surface is cleaned thoroughly before application.

How long does peel and stick backsplash last?

With proper surface prep and application, peel and stick backsplash can last 3-5 years or longer before needing replacement. Ensure the backsplash is rolled firmly during installation for maximum adherence.


Installing peel and stick backsplash over existing tile or laminate backsplash can give your kitchen an affordable facelift. With careful prep and installation, it can provide a beautiful, easy upgrade. Be sure to thoroughly clean and scuff sand the existing surface, dry fit the backsplash, remove backing film and roll firmly during application. Seal perimeter and seams for a finished look. Follow the techniques in this guide and enjoy your upgraded kitchen backsplash.