How to Install Vinyl Backsplash

Installing a vinyl backsplash is an easy and affordable way to upgrade your kitchen or bathroom. Vinyl backsplashes come in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and textures to complement any decor. With a few simple tools and these step-by-step instructions, you can install a vinyl backsplash in just a few hours.

Choose Your Vinyl Backsplash

When selecting a vinyl backsplash, consider the size of your space and your own personal style. Here are some tips for choosing the perfect vinyl backsplash:

  • Color – Select a color that complements your cabinetry, countertops, flooring, and other finishes. Neutral colors like white or beige work well in many kitchens.
  • Pattern – Vinyl backsplashes come in solid colors, faux tiles, stone and brick designs. Choose a patterned backsplash for visual interest.
  • Finish – Matte or glossy? The finish impacts the look and feel of the backsplash. Matte is more subtle while glossy is reflective.
  • Material – Vinyl options include plastic and PVC. PVC vinyl is more durable for high-traffic areas.
  • Measurements – Measure the area to get the right amount of vinyl sheets needed for full coverage.

Once you’ve selected the perfect vinyl backsplash, order enough sheets to cover your backsplash area with a little extra.

Gather Your Supplies

Installing a vinyl backsplash requires just a few supplies:

  • Vinyl sheets
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Lint-free rags
  • Masking tape
  • Utility knife
  • Straight edge
  • Squeegee
  • Caulk and caulk gun

Make sure you have all these supplies handy before starting the project. You may also need a step stool or ladder to reach the entire backsplash area.

Prepare the Surface

Proper surface preparation is key to a successful vinyl backsplash installation.

  • Clean the surface thoroughly with rubbing alcohol to remove any dirt, grease or soap residue. Let the surface dry completely.
  • Fill any cracks, holes or uneven areas on the surface with caulk. Allow the caulk to dry completely.
  • Make sure the surface is smooth. Sand down any bumps or rough areas.

Preparing the surface allows the vinyl to adhere tightly for a seamless installation.

Measure and Cut the Vinyl

Once your surface is prepped, it’s time to cut the vinyl:

  • Lay your first sheet of vinyl on the countertop. Position it where you plan to install the first sheet.
  • Measure the space and mark the vinyl with a pencil, allowing for a 1/8” overlap on each side.
  • Use a straight edge and utility knife to cut along the lines. Use a smooth, continuous motion to get a clean edge.
  • Repeat this process to cut all the needed vinyl sheets to size before starting the installation.

Precise measuring and cutting results in a professional-looking finished product.

Apply the Backsplash

Now it’s time for the fun part – applying the vinyl backsplash! Follow these steps:

  • Peel back 2-3” of the paper backing and fold it over. Position the vinyl where you want it.
  • Keeping the vinyl sheet straight, slowly peel back the rest of the paper and smooth the vinyl against the wall with your hands.
  • Once aligned, use the squeegee to smooth the vinyl. Work from the center outward to push out any air bubbles. Use firm, even pressure.
  • Overlap seams by 1/8” and repeat the squeegeeing process to bond the vinyl sheets together.
  • Use a utility knife to carefully trim any excess vinyl at the edges and corners.
  • If needed, finish the edges with coordinating caulk for a seamless look.

Take your time during application to get a professional install free of bubbles and wrinkles.

Maintaining Your Vinyl Backsplash

Caring for your new vinyl backsplash helps keep it looking fresh:

  • Use a soft cloth with warm water and gentle soap to clean. Avoid abrasive scouring pads.
  • Reapply caulk if seams start cracking or pulling away from the wall.
  • Avoid using very hot items directly on the backsplash surface.
  • Protect from sharp objects that could puncture or scratch the vinyl.

With proper care, a vinyl backsplash will retain its beauty for years before needing replacement.

Installing a vinyl backsplash is an easy DIY project that makes a big impact. With the right preparation and materials, you can upgrade any kitchen or bath with this affordable and stylish backsplash option. Use these how-to steps for a seamless installation that transforms the look of your space.

Frequently Asked Questions About Installing Vinyl Backsplash

What kind of vinyl is best for backsplash?

The best vinyl backsplash material is polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PVC vinyl is durable, waterproof, and easy to clean. It comes in a wide range of colors, textures, and patterns.

Does vinyl backsplash need to be sealed?

Vinyl backsplash does not require any sealing. The vinyl material itself is waterproof. As long as the backsplash is properly installed over a clean, smooth surface, sealing is not necessary.

What’s the best way to cut vinyl backsplash?

To cut vinyl backsplash, first measure and mark the vinyl. Use a straight edge and very sharp utility knife. In a smooth, continuous motion, cut through the vinyl along the lines. Make long, even cuts instead of short chops for the cleanest edge.

How do you install vinyl backsplash around outlets?

Carefully measure and cut the vinyl around any outlets in the backsplash area. Cut holes just a bit larger than the outlets. After applying the backsplash, use a utility knife to trim the vinyl evenly around the outlets. Finish the edges with color-matched caulk.

What do you put under vinyl backsplash?

Vinyl backsplash should be installed over a clean, smooth surface. Drywall, plywood, tile, laminate, or existing backsplash can support vinyl installation. Ensure the surface is free of residue, cracks, and holes before starting.

Can vinyl backsplash get wet?

Yes, vinyl backsplash is waterproof. It can withstand splashes and spills. Just wipe the surface with a damp, soapy cloth to clean. However, avoid prolonged exposure to moisture. Re-caulk edges and seams if moisture penetration occurs over time.


Installing a vinyl backsplash is a relatively easy DIY project that can make a big visual impact in your kitchen or bathroom. With the right preparation, materials, and safety precautions, you can achieve a stylish, professional-looking backsplash in just an afternoon. Carefully measure and cut the vinyl to size, properly clean and prep the surface, then use a squeegee for smooth application. Maintain the backsplash by cleaning gently and reapplying caulk when needed. With this comprehensive guide, you’ll gain the confidence to tackle this affordable upgrade.