How to Put Peel and Stick Backsplash


Installing a peel and stick backsplash is an easy and affordable way to update the look of your kitchen or bathroom. Peel and stick backsplash tiles come with an adhesive backing, making them simple for DIY installation. This versatile backsplash option allows you to achieve the high-end look of ceramic or stone tile without the difficult installation and high costs.

With just a few tools and basic handyman skills, you can transform a dated backsplash area in just a weekend. Peel and stick tiles allow you to customize your design, choosing from a variety of materials like ceramic, metal, glass, and stone. Their stick-on adhesive backing lets you install over existing surfaces without having to remove your old backsplash. If you’re looking for an easy DIY project to quickly update your kitchen or bath, installing a peel and stick backsplash is a great choice.

How Peel and Stick Backsplash Works

Peel and stick backsplash tiles get their name from the installation process. The back of each tile has a peel-away adhesive strip, similar to a sticker. During installation, you peel away this adhesive backing and press the tile directly onto the surface. The peel and stick adhesive offers an immediate bond and holds the tiles in place.

The adhesive backing makes this type of backsplash so simple to install. There’s no need for mortar, grout, or special tools – just stick the tiles directly on the wall! While the installation is easy, most brands offer durable porcelain or ceramic tiles that can withstand heat, moisture, and daily wear-and-tear.

Peel and stick backsplashes come in sheets or individual tiles.Sheet styles allow you to cover large sections quickly. Individual tiles provide more design flexibility, as you can create patterns andcustomize areas like the space around outlets.

Preparing Your Backsplash Area

Installing a peel and stick backsplash is a relatively easy project. However, taking time to properly prepare your backsplash area will ensure the tiles adhere correctly and create a long-lasting finish. Planning this DIY kitchen or bathroom upgrade will help you achieve professional-looking results.

Clean the Surface

The most important step is ensuring the surface is clean before applying peel and stick tiles. Any debris, grease, or soap scum left on the wall will prevent the adhesive from bonding correctly. Here are some tips for cleaning the backsplash area:

  • Remove existing backsplash by scraping off grout and mortar.
  • Wash with an all-purpose cleaner and rinse thoroughly.
  • Go over the wall with a degreaser to eliminate any kitchen grease or residue.
  • Let the surface dry completely before installing new tiles.

Proper cleaning provides the smooth, grease-free foundation needed for the peel and stick adhesive to properly stick to the wall.

Evaluate the Surface

In addition to cleaning, check that your existing backsplash area provides an even surface for installing peel and stick tiles. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Peeling paint or wallpaper – Remove any loose material which could allow air underneath, preventing adhesion.
  • Holes, cracks, or uneven texture – Fill any holes or cracks with spackle. Sand bumps or texture to create a smooth surface.
  • Mold or mildew – Clean moldy areas with a mold remover and bleach solution before applying tiles.
  • Shiny or glossy finishes – Dull any shiny wall paint with sandpaper so the adhesive sticks better.

Fixing any surface flaws provides the smooth, consistent foundation needed for proper peel and stick installation.

Gather Materials

Collect all the materials you’ll need before starting your project:

  • Peel and stick backsplash tiles
  • Utility knife and blades
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Painters tape
  • Sealant/caulk
  • Sponge and bucket
  • Trim molding (if needed)

Make sure to have a damp sponge and towel on hand to wipe away any excess adhesive during the installation process. Having all materials ready beforehand helps the project run efficiently.

Installing Peel and Stick Backsplash Tiles

Once you’ve prepped the surface, you’re ready to install the peel and stick backsplash tiles. Follow these tips for proper application:

Plan the Layout

Take measurements and sketch a layout before sticking any tiles to the wall. Planning the design helps avoid mistakes. Consider these layout tips:

  • Measure the total area to determine how many full-sized tiles you need.
  • Draw a grid layout showing the tile arrangement, including any cut sizes needed along the edges.
  • Decide if you’ll use a brick pattern or install tiles in straight rows.
  • Account for the edges of cabinets, countertops, outlets, and switches in your plan.

Planning a layout helps ensure you have enough tiles and allows you to customize the pattern.

Cut Any Custom Sizes

For the perimeter tiles and any areas around outlets, you’ll need to cut peel and stick tiles to fit. Measure and trim as needed with a utility knife. To mark a straight cutting line, use a ruler and sharp pencil. Replace the utility knife blade frequently for smooth cuts.

Cutting tiles to the right size prevents leaving gaps between tiles or wall edges. Fit tile edges neatly against cabinets, countertops, and fixtures.

Start Installing in a Corner

Begin tile installation in a corner to anchor the layout. Peel away the adhesive backing and press the first tile onto the wall. Use a level to ensure it sits straight. Use a damp sponge to apply pressure and smooth out any air pockets or bumps.

Starting in a corner helps keep the first tiles aligned. Continue laying full tiles using this corner as a guide.

Work Out From Corner

Following your layout, add tiles across the wall from the corner tile. Use painters tape aligned with the bottom edge as a guide for keeping rows straight and evenly spaced. Continue carefully peeling back adhesive and sticking tiles, working horizontally and row by row.

Take time to press each tile firmly and smooth over the surface. Wipe away any excess adhesive that squeezes out from tile edges immediately using a damp sponge. Check level frequently and make adjustments if tiles start to drift.

Working methodically from a starting corner helps the backsplash stay aligned through the entire installation process.

Add Perimeter and Outlet Tiles

Once the field tiles are installed, carefully add any perimeter and outlet tiles you pre-cut. These should fit snugly against countertops, edges, and fixtures. Take time aligning and pressing these into place, wiping any adhesive that seeps out.

Trimming tiles precisely provides a professional edge and finish. Avoid small slivers of tile or gaps around edges.

Remove Tape and Tools

After all tiles are firmly in place, peel away any painters tape used during installation. Remove any spacer boards or tools. Wipe away residue or excess adhesive using a damp sponge and towel.

Thoroughly cleaning the surface prevents cured adhesive from creating a hazy finish on your lovely new backsplash. Your kitchen or bath should now show off your fresh tile design!

Tips for Choosing Peel and Stick Backsplash Tiles

Peel and stick backsplash tiles now offer many beautiful and practical options for DIY installation. Follow these guidelines when selecting materials:

Consider Your Design Style

Manufacturers offer peel and stick tiles in a range of materials, patterns, and colors to suit any design aesthetic. Options include:

  • Ceramic or porcelain – Offer a classic tile look in glossy or matte finish.
  • Glass mosaic – Provide a contemporary, sleek style.
  • Stainless steel – Gives an on-trend industrial vibe.
  • Faux stone – Replicates the look of natural materials like marble or travertine.

Narrow down choices to your preferred colors and patterns. Bring home samples to view choices in your space.

Mind the Maintenance

While peel and stick tiles are designed to be low maintenance, some materials clean up easier than others. Consider how the finish will wear in your space when choosing:

  • Glossy tiles show less wear but require frequent wiping to avoid smudges and spots.
  • Textured finishes don’t highlight messes and smudges.
  • Mosaic sheets have more grout lines to trap grime.
  • Metal or stone looks hide wear better than glossy ceramic.

Opt for tiles suited to your space’s use and the cleaning maintenance you want to take on.

Check Product Specifications

When comparing products, look for key specifications:

  • Adhesive strength – Check it adheres well and offers mold and moisture resistance.
  • Thickness – Thicker tiles provide longer-lasting performance.
  • Heat tolerance – Important if installing behind cooktops or ovens.
  • Sheet size – Bigger sheets cover area faster.

Selecting a quality product prevents headaches with lifting, cracking, or peeling later on. Stick with reputable brands that stand behind their products.

Maintaining Peel and Stick Backsplashes

Since peel and stick backsplashes do not use mortar or grout, maintaining them simply involves keeping the tile surfaces clean. Here are some tips:

  • For everyday cleaning, use a soft sponge or cloth with warm water and gentle dish soap. Rinse well and dry with a clean towel.
  • Vinegar-based cleaners help remove grease residue and hard water stains. Rinse any cleaner off thoroughly.
  • Avoid abrasive scrub pads and scouring products which can scratch and dull the finish.
  • Check for gaps where moisture could infiltrate over time and re-adhere tiles if needed with silicone caulk.
  • Avoid excess moisture buildup from steam or condensation by running vents or exhaust fans when cooking.

With proper care, a peel and stick backsplash can maintain its beauty for many years before needing replacement. The ease of installation also makes it simple to swap out for a fresh look down the road.

FAQs About Peel and Stick Backsplashes

Some common questions about working with peel and stick backsplash tiles:

Can I Install Peel and Stick Backsplash Over Existing Tile?

In most cases, you can install a peel and stick backsplash right over existing tile. However, the surface must be cleaned and sanded smooth before applying the adhesive tiles. Any grout lines or texture from the existing tile must be filled and leveled to create a uniform surface.

How Long Does Peel and Stick Backsplash Last?

With proper care and occasional re-adhering of loose tiles, a peel and stick backsplash can last 3-5 years or longer. Avoiding excess moisture and using gentle cleaners helps maintain the tiles. Quality porcelain or ceramic tiles last longer than thinner plastic or paper-faced versions.

Can Peel and Stick Backsplash Go Around Outlets?

Yes, it’s possible to install peel and stick tiles around outlets, light switches, and receptacles. Be sure to turn off the power at the breaker before working around electrical fixtures. Carefully cut tile pieces to fit neatly around each fixture. Remove plates and outlets to tuck tile in behind if needed.

Can I Get Peel and Stick Backsplash Wet?

Peel and stick backsplash is designed for kitchen and bathroom spaces, so it can get wet without damage. However, you don’t want pooling water sitting for prolonged periods. Wipe up spills and excess moisture quickly to prevent lifting or mold growth. Avoid directing a direct stream of water at the backsplash when cleaning.

How Do I Cut Peel and Stick Backsplash?

The easiest way to cut peel and stick backsplash tile is with a sharp utility knife and ruler. Measure and mark your cut lines, then carefully score the tile surface with the knife while holding a ruler edge as a guide. Snap pieces apart gently once score lines are deep enough. Change utility knife blades frequently for clean cuts.


Installing a peel and stick backsplash offers an easy and affordable way to transform your kitchen or bathroom’s look. With proper planning and surface preparation, even DIYers can achieve beautiful, professional-looking results. The key is taking time to clean and level the installation area before carefully applying the adhesive tiles.

With the peel and stick adhesive, you can install new backsplash tile right over existing materials without tear-out messes. And you avoid the hassle and dust of mortar, grout, and long cure times. Just wipe on your new tiles and enjoy your updated space. With minimal care, a peel and stick backsplash provides long-lasting beauty and can be changed out whenever you desire a fresh look.