How to Install Sheet Metal Backsplash

Installing a sheet metal backsplash in your kitchen or bathroom can add an elegant, unique touch to the space. Sheet metal backsplashes come in a variety of metals like copper, stainless steel, galvanized steel, and aluminum, allowing you to customize the look. Installing them requires careful planning, measuring, and some DIY skills. Follow this comprehensive guide to learn how to install a sheet metal backsplash in your home.

Choose the Sheet Metal Material

The first step is deciding what type of sheet metal material you want to use for your backsplash. Here are some popular options:


Copper backsplashes provide a beautiful, warm glowing accent to kitchens and baths. Copper is antimicrobial so it helps keep the space hygienic. The material is soft and flexible, making installation easier. Over time, untreated copper develops a stunning blue-green patina.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel backsplashes have an ultra-modern, industrial chic look. The material offers superior durability and stain resistance compared to other metals. Brushed stainless has a soft, matte finish while polished stainless boasts a shiny, reflective surface.

Galvanized Steel

Galvanized steel backsplashes have a raw, rustic aesthetic. They are made of steel coated with a protective zinc layer to resist corrosion. Galvanized steel comes in a range of greyish-silver hues that patina over time.


Aluminum splashes provide a contemporary, lightweight option. This affordable metal is available in various finishes like diamond plate, smooth, or perforated. Aluminum comes in silver, black, bronze, and other colors.

When selecting the sheet metal, consider the overall style you want to achieve and how the material will age. Talk to your local hardware store or metal supplier about the best type of sheet metal for your project.

Determine the Needed Materials

Once you’ve chosen the ideal sheet metal type for your backsplash, determine what materials you will need for installation:

  • Sheet metal – Make sure to buy enough to cover the backsplash area. Consider extra for any errors or pattern matching. For custom shapes, work with a metal fabrication shop.
  • Metal snips – You’ll need metal shears to cut and trim the sheet metal to size. Get aviation snips for easier cutting.
  • Metal bending brake – This tool bends the sheet metal to fit your backsplash area. You can find home models sized for DIY use.
  • Drill – A power drill helps attach the backsplash with screws. You’ll also need drill bits suited for metal.
  • Screws – Self-tapping metal screws are specially designed to install metal backsplashes. Stainless steel screws avoid corrosion.
  • Adhesive – Liquid nails or construction adhesive secures the metal to the wall between screws.
  • Backsplash edge trim – Edge trim finishes the sides for a clean look. Choose coordinating colors and metals.
  • Silicone caulk – Waterproof silicone caulk seals all seams and edges. Match the caulk color to your grout.
  • Grout – Unsanded grout fills any gaps between sheet metal pieces for a smooth appearance.

Make sure to have all necessary materials before starting the installation. Safety gear like gloves and eye protection is also recommended when working with sheet metal.

Prepare the Installation Area

Proper preparation of the backsplash area is crucial prior to installing a sheet metal backsplash:

  • Remove existing backsplash if there is one. Scrape off all old adhesive and grout residue.
  • Fill any holes or imperfections in the drywall with drywall compound. Let dry completely.
  • The wall surface should be as smooth as possible for good adhesion. Sand down bumps.
  • Clean the entire backsplash area thoroughly with soap and water to remove dust and oils.
  • Mark the height and boundaries of the backsplash area with tape or chalk to guide your cuts.
  • Plan the sheet metal layout – measure to determine how many pieces you need.
  • Cut a piece of cardboard as a template to test fit your sheet metal pieces prior to cutting the actual metal.

Prepping the back wall ensures your sheet metal sticks properly and looks perfectly flush.

Cut and Shape the Sheet Metal

Once your backsplash area is prepped, its time to cut and shape the sheet metal:

  • Wear safety glasses and gloves when handling sheet metal to avoid cuts.
  • Measure and mark your sheet metal pieces per your planned layout.
  • Use metal snips to cut the sheet metal to size. Aviation snips cut metal cleanly and efficiently.
  • Smooth any rough edges with a metal file.
  • Make curved cuts by drilling a series of small holes first, then snipping between the holes.
  • Use a metal brake to bend the pieces as needed to fit around outlets or other obstructions.
  • Double check all your cuts and bends against the cardboard template before installing.

Work slowly and carefully when cutting the sheet metal. Refer to your template frequently to ensure proper sizing. Ask a helper to hold pieces while cutting for safety.

Install the Sheet Metal Backsplash

Once your sheet metal pieces are cut, shaped, and test fit, follow these steps for installation:

Step 1 – Apply Adhesive

Squeeze a generous bead of liquid nails, construction adhesive, or spackle onto the back of each sheet metal piece. Spread it evenly across the entire backside. The adhesive will hold the metal to the wall as it sets.

Step 2 – Attach Metal Pieces

Working piece by piece:

  • Press the adhesive-covered sheet metal piece firmly onto the backsplash area. Hold for 30 seconds.
  • While holding in place, drill pilot holes through the sheet metal every 4-6 inches.
  • Place metal screws into each pilot hole and screw into the wall using a drill. Be careful not to overtighten.
  • Repeat this process to attach each metal piece, wiping away any excess adhesive as you go.

Step 3 – Add Edge Trim

For a finished look, attach coordinating metal edge trim pieces:

  • Measure and cut edge trim to fit along the sides and top of the backsplash area.
  • Apply adhesive on the back of the trim pieces.
  • Press the trim firmly onto the perimeter of the backsplash overhang.
  • Drill pilot holes and drive trim screws to attach the edge trim every 4-6 inches.

Step 4 – Seal Seams and Edges

Once all metal pieces are securely mounted:

  • Run a thin bead of clear silicone caulk along every seam where metal meets metal.
  • Also caulk along the bottom edges and sides where the metal meets the countertop or wall.
  • Use a wet finger to smooth the caulk into any gaps or edges. Remove excess.
  • Allow the caulk to fully cure for 24-48 hours.

Sealing all seams waterproofs your sheet metal backsplash installation.

Finish the Backsplash

Apply the finishing touches for a complete backsplash installation:

  • Wipe away any metal dust or debris. Clean the entire backsplash surface.
  • Use unsanded grout to fill any slight gaps between metal pieces. Let the grout dry completely.
  • Polish and seal the metal if desired to protect the surface. Copper can be sealed to prevent patina.
  • Run a damp microfiber cloth over the entire backsplash. Buff dry with a soft towel.
  • Reinstall any outlets, switch plates, fixtures, or accents onto the new backsplash.
  • Caulk around sinks, faucets, or other obstructions to seal gaps.
  • Enjoy your stunning new sheet metal backsplash! Be sure to wipe spills quickly to maintain the finish.

With proper planning and care, installing a sheet metal backsplash as a DIY project can totally transform the look of your kitchen or bath. Always work safely and get help lifting large pieces. Take your time to do careful layout and cuts. The end result will be an eye-catching focal point you’ll love enjoying for years.

FAQs About Installing Sheet Metal Backsplash

What tools do I need to install a sheet metal backsplash?

You’ll need metal shears or aviation snips, a drill with metal drill bits, a metal bending brake, silicone caulk and caulk gun, self-tapping metal screws, adhesive, protective gear like gloves and eye wear, and other basic tools.

What is the easiest way to cut sheet metal?

The easiest and most effective way to cut sheet metal is using aviation snips. Measure carefully and use sharp snips to cut smooth edges and curves. A drill with a metal bit can help start inside cuts.

How do you create bends in sheet metal?

Use a metal bending brake to create crisp 90 degree angles or other bends in sheet metal. Place the sheet metal in the brake, line up your measured bend, and bring the handle down to form an exact fold.

What screws should be used to install sheet metal backsplash?

Self-tapping metal screws are specially designed to attach sheet metal to wood or drywall. They tap their own threading into the metal.Choose stainless steel screws to prevent corrosion or finish with screws that match the backsplash metal.

Should liquid nails be used to install sheet metal backsplash?

Yes, liquid nails or another construction adhesive helps attach the sheet metal pieces to the wall. Apply adhesive to the back of each piece before pressing onto the wall and screwing into place. The adhesive secures the metal while the screws provide stability.

How do you get a smooth finish on a cut metal edge?

For smooth edges, carefully cut the sheet metal with sharp snips, shears, or an electric nibbler. Use an emery board, metal file, or sandpaper to soften any rough edges, burrs, or snags created while cutting. Deburr metal edges for ease of installation and safety.

Can you solder pieces of sheet metal backsplash together?

Soldering is an option for joining sheet metal pieces, but requires some metalworking skill. For most DIY backsplash projects, silicone caulk between seams and using grout or spackle for small gaps provides sufficient bonding without soldering.

How do you attach sheet metal edge trim?

Cut edge trim pieces to fit along the perimeter of the backsplash area. Apply adhesive to the trim backs, align trim over the edges, drill pilot holes, and attach with trim head screws every 4-6 inches. Make sure the trim sits flush against the wall.

What type of caulk should be used with a sheet metal backsplash?

A silicone caulk is best for use with sheet metal backsplashes. Silicone provides flexibility, water resistance, and durability on metal. It comes in colors like clear, white, and metal tones. Match the caulk color to your grout.


Installing a sheet metal backsplash brings eye-catching texture and dazzling styles to your living space. With some planning and effort, the process can be manageable as a DIY project. Always wear protective gear when cutting metal for safety. Measure twice and cut once for the best results. For a stunning accent wall that lasts, apply silicone caulk generously to seal the installation. With the right materials and care, you can create an industrial-chic or elegantly rustic sheet metal backsplash.