How to Put Up a Stainless Steel Backsplash

Installing a stainless steel backsplash in your kitchen can add a modern, sleek look while also being very practical and easy to clean. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to put up a stainless steel backsplash yourself.

Choose the Right Stainless Steel Backsplash Material

There are a few options when it comes to stainless steel backsplash materials:

  • Stainless Steel Sheets – These come in standard sizes and thicknesses. They offer a smooth, uniform look.
  • Stainless Steel Tiles – These are individual tiles, usually 12″ x 12″, that you assemble like a mosaic. Tiles offer more flexibility for custom designs.
  • Stainless Steel “Shingles” – These interlocking panels simulate a shingle pattern. They are quick and easy to install.

Consider the look you want and how much cutting and shaping will be required for your space. Sheets require fewer seams while tiles and shingles allow more custom designs.

Gather the Necessary Materials

You will need:

  • Stainless steel backsplash materials
  • Sheet metal snips for cutting
  • Silicone or construction adhesive
  • Screws and washers
  • Hot glue gun (for tiles)
  • Marking tools like pencil and tape measure
  • Level
  • Drill

Make sure to get the appropriate screws for the thickness of your stainless steel material and the type of wall you are installing onto.

Prepare the Installation Surface

The wall surface must be smooth, clean, and dry for the backsplash installation. Remove any old backsplash or wall covering. Fill any holes or imperfections with spackle and sand smooth. Clean the wall thoroughly.

Tip: For easier installation, apply painter’s tape at the bottom edge of where you want the backsplash to end. This creates a straight guide line.

Plan and Measure the Layout

Hold your stainless steel sheets, tiles, or shingles up to the wall to visualize placement. Most backsplashes end 4 inches from the counter. Make sure to measure and account for outlets, switches, and other fixtures.

Cut a cardboard template to size if helpful. Mark all measurements with pencil directly on the wall. Having a plan minimizes mistakes.

Cut the Metal to Size

Use sharp snips to cut your stainless steel material to size based on your template and measurements. Cut pieces so seams fall at the corners or edges, rather than the middle of walls.

Tip: Allow an extra 1/8″ gap between pieces to account for expansion. Snap chalk lines to ensure your sheets line up evenly.

Attach the Backsplash

Always start with the bottom row first. Apply a bead of silicone adhesive along the guideline. Press the metal piece into place and hold firmly for 30 seconds.

Use washers between the screws and metal to prevent pulling through. Drill pilot holes if needed to prevent buckling. Work from the center outwards. Continue applying silicone and screws every 4-6 inches.

Repeat this process to install each row. Make sure seams are tight. Cut around outlets, leaving a 1/8″ gap. Apply silicone along the top edges, sides, and around fixtures. Remove any adhesive residue immediately with mineral spirits.

Finish the Job

Once all pieces are secured in place, inspect the backsplash for any gaps, loose areas, or need for additional adhesive. Let the adhesive fully cure for 24-48 hours before use.

Pro tips:

  • Use a grout sealer on tile backsplashes.
  • You can create a decorative accent by applying food-grade oil to the metal to darken and enhance the grain.
  • Use care when cleaning to avoid scratches and damage to the finish.

With the right materials and careful planning, installing a stainless steel backsplash can take your kitchen design up a notch! The modern style will add visual appeal and make cleanup a breeze.

Frequently Asked Questions About Stainless Steel Backsplashes

What are the benefits of a stainless steel backsplash?

Stainless steel backsplashes offer many advantages:

  • Highly water resistant and easy to clean
  • Resists stains, mold, and bacteria
  • Very durable and scratch-resistant
  • Modern, sleek, contemporary look
  • Many styles and finishes to choose from
  • Relatively affordable and easy DIY installation

What tools do I need to install a stainless steel backsplash?

You’ll need basic tools like a tape measure, level, pencil, snips, screws, drill, and silicone adhesive. Make sure to use backsplash-appropriate screws. Other helpful tools include a hot glue gun, painter’s tape, and mineral spirits.

Should I hire a pro or can I install it myself?

Installing a stainless steel backsplash is definitely a DIY-friendly project! With the right materials and preparations, you can likely handle this yourself in a weekend. But for very large, intricate tile designs, hiring a pro can be worth the cost.

What’s the best way to cut and shape stainless steel backsplash sheets?

It’s best to use very sharp snips designed specifically for cutting metal. Move slowly and make straight cuts for clean edges. You can also use a jigsaw with a metal cutting blade or score and snap cutters. Avoid using household scissors.

How do I attach a stainless steel backsplash securely?

Construction adhesive or silicone works best. Apply in beads first, then use backsplash screws and washers every 4-6 inches across the entire piece to firmly secure it. Drill pilot holes if needed and work from the center out.

Should I seal or finish a stainless steel backsplash?

Typically no sealing is required, since stainless steel has a protective finish layer already. But you can apply a food-grade oil to darken and enhance the grain if desired. Avoid abrasive cleaners and use care to prevent scratches.

What’s better – stainless steel backsplash tiles or sheets?

It depends on your design needs. Sheets involve fewer seams and faster installation. Tiles allow more custom shapes and patterns but take more time to install. Combine both for an accent effect.


Installing a stainless steel backsplash can take a functional kitchen to the next level in terms of style and ease of maintenance. With some careful planning and prep work, this is a project many DIYers can tackle successfully. The end result will not only look beautiful but make your life easier by protecting the walls from splashes and spills. Just be sure to carefully measure, use appropriate adhesive and screws, and take your time to achieve a professional finish. A stainless backsplash is sure to become a focal point you’ll love seeing while cooking for years to come.