How to Place Peel and Stick Backsplash

Adding a peel and stick backsplash is an easy and affordable way to update the look of your kitchen or bathroom. Peel and stick backsplashes come on a roll or in tile sheets, and they have an adhesive backing so you can install them directly over existing tile, drywall, laminate, or other surfaces. Installing a peel and stick backsplash is a DIY-friendly project that can transform the whole look of your space in just a few hours.

Choosing Your Peel and Stick Backsplash

When selecting a peel and stick backsplash, you’ll first want to decide on the material, color, and style. Here are some of the most popular options:

  • Vinyl: Vinyl peel and stick backsplashes are waterproof and easy to clean. Vinyl comes in tile, stone, and solid color designs. It’s a budget-friendly option.
  • Metal: Metal peel and stick backsplashes can give a contemporary, sleek look. Aluminum and stainless steel are common. They are durable but tend to be on the pricier side.
  • Glass Tile: Glass tile peel and stick backsplashes add a shiny, elegant touch. The glass tiles come in various colors and sizes for visual interest. Durability can be a concern with glass.
  • Smart Tiles: These innovative backsplashes look and feel like real ceramic or stone tile. Smart tiles are made from durable polymers, and are stain-resistant and waterproof.

Consider colors and patterns that will complement your existing kitchen or bathroom color scheme. Neutrals like white, gray, and beige work well for a clean look. Bold colors or designs make more of a statement.

Think about special features like a subway tile brick pattern or metallic mosaic look. There are many options so you can find the perfect peel and stick backsplash for your needs.

Preparing Your Surface

The key to a successful installation is proper surface prep. Take time to clean and prepare your backsplash area so the self-adhesive backsplash sticks firmly in place. Here’s how to get your surface ready:

  • Remove existing backsplash if you have one. Scrape off old tile adhesive and grout completely so the new backsplash can adhere properly.
  • Wash the installation area thoroughly with soap and water to remove grease, dust and debris. Rinse and let dry completely.
  • Sand glossy surfaces like laminate countertops with 220 grit sandpaper to help the adhesive stick. Wipe away sanding dust.
  • Fill any cracks, holes or uneven areas with spackle or joint compound. Let repairs dry and sand smooth.
  • Prime painted walls before installation for better adhesion. Use a dedicated wall primer.
  • Apply painter’s tape around the outer edges of the installation area to protect surfaces.
  • Make sure the surface is fully dry before installing the peel and stick backsplash. Moisture will prevent proper bonding.

Proper prep takes a bit of time but it will ensure your new DIY backsplash stays firmly adhered for years to come.

How to Install a Peel and Stick Backsplash

Once your surface is prepped and ready, it’s time for the fun part – installing your new backsplash! Here is a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Plan Your Layout

  • Measure the area to determine how many full sheets and tiles you will need. Account for outlets and other obstructions.
  • Sketch out a layout to minimize cuts and waste material. Draw guidelines in pencil on the installation surface.
  • Plan for a 1/8″ gap between the countertop and bottom row. Use plastic spacers.
  • Dry fit tiles or sheets first to confirm the layout works before removing adhesive backing.

Step 2: Cut Tiles or Sheets to Fit

  • Use a utility knife and straightedge to accurately cut pieces to fit around edges and openings.
  • For outlets or obstructions, trace an outline on the tile then cut the hole slightly larger with a drywall saw.
  • For curved areas, use tile nippers to nibble small sections for a tight fit.
  • Save the leftover material in case you need to patch damaged tiles later on.

Step 3: Apply the Backsplash

  • Peel off the adhesive backing and stick tiles or sheets in place, pressing firmly.
  • Apply even pressure for at least 30 seconds over the entire piece to ensure good contact with surface.
  • Use a plastic putty knife to flatten any raised edges or bubbles beneath material.
  • For tile sheets, start at the bottom and work upwards, removing backing gradually as you go.
  • Continue applying pieces side-by-side, using spacers between tiles to keep gaps even.

Step 4: Seal Edges and Finish

  • To finish, run a bead of clear silicone caulk along all seams and above the backsplash area.
  • Use a wet finger to smooth the caulk evenly. Remove any excess.
  • Allow 24 hours for caulk and adhesive to fully cure before using the backsplash.
  • Finally, clean the entire surface with a soft cloth and mild soap and water.

And that’s it – transform your kitchen or bath in a few hours with an easy, affordable and stylish peel and stick backsplash!

FAQs About Installing Peel and Stick Backsplash

Still have some questions about working with peel and stick backsplash? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Can I Install Peel and Stick Backsplash Over Existing Tile?

Yes, you can install peel and stick backsplash right over existing tile or laminate backsplash. Just be sure the surface is smooth, clean, and well-prepped so the adhesive can bond tightly. Glossy surfaces should be sanded for the best adhesion.

How Long Does Peel and Stick Backsplash Last?

With proper installation and care, you can expect your peel and stick backsplash to last 3-5 years or longer. Avoid excessive moisture and immediately clean up spills. Over time, caulk and edges may need touch-ups.

What’s the Best Adhesive for Peel and Stick Backsplash?

The adhesive pre-applied to the back of the peel and stick backsplash is specifically designed for that product. Never use a separate adhesive, which could damage the material or result in a weak bond.

Can You Use Peel and Stick Backsplash in a Shower?

Peel and stick backsplash is water-resistant but not 100% waterproof, so it is not recommended for direct use in a shower. However, it can be installed above a tub surround or on bathroom walls outside the shower.

How Do You Cut Peel and Stick Backsplash?

Use a sharp utility knife and straightedge to score and snap off clean sections of peel and stick backsplash. For openings or curves, trace the shape and use a fine-tooth saw or tile nippers. Always wear safety goggles.

Can I Paint My Peel and Stick Backsplash?

Yes, you can paint over peel and stick backsplash to change the color or finish. Use a high adhesion primer meant for vinyl or tile, apply two coats of latex paint, and use a sealer for the most durable painted finish.

How Do I Remove Peel and Stick Backsplash?

To remove peel and stick backsplash, you’ll need to carefully pry or peel it off the wall. Avoid tearing the drywall surface. Use a hair dryer to heat the material which helps soften the adhesive. Goo Gone also helps remove any adhesive residue.

Tips for Installing Peel and Stick Backsplash

From preparation to final installation, these tips will help ensure your project goes smoothly:

  • Clean the surface thoroughly and let dry fully before installing. Dust, grease or moisture can impede bonding.
  • Prime walls before installing peel and stick backsplash for maximum durability and adhesion.
  • Use plastic spacers between tiles or sheets to keep consistent grout lines and prevent shifting.
  • Roll material firmly with a smoothing tool to create a strong bond between backsplash and wall surface.
  • Avoid excessive moisture on the backsplash by sealing edges with caulk and promptly cleaning spills.
  • For easier installation around outlets, remove cover plates and cut tile or sheet to overlap.
  • Purchase 10-20% extra material to allow for mistakes, adjustments and future repairs if needed.
  • Take your time measuring and laying out the tiles or sheets in advance for the most professional result.
  • Use sharp scissors or tile nippers to trim pieces around curves or corners for a tighter custom fit.

With the right prep and careful installation, a peel and stick backsplash can give your space an affordable, stylish facelift. Maintain it properly and it can last for many years of beauty and easy wipe-clean convenience.


Updating your kitchen or bathroom backsplash can sound intimidating, but a peel and stick backsplash allows anyone to DIY an elegant new look with just a few basic tools and some helpful tips.

With a wide variety of stylish and affordable options, peel and stick backsplashes make it easy to install a new backsplash over a weekend. Just take time to properly prepare your surface, carefully plan the layout, cut any custom pieces, apply the adhesive backsplash sheets smoothly and evenly, seal edges neatly, then stand back and admire your handiwork!

A high-quality peel and stick backsplash will resist moisture, stains and mildew while providing long-lasting durability. Maintain it properly and your new backsplash will upgrade your space with stylish charm for years to come.

So try out this simple, budget-friendly project. In just a few hours, you can totally transform the look of your kitchen or bath with a fresh new peel and stick backsplash!