How to Put Up Stick On Backsplash

Installing a stick on backsplash is an easy and affordable way to update the look of your kitchen. With a wide variety of materials, colors, and patterns available, stick on backsplashes allow you to customize your space and protect the wall behind your stove and sink from water damage and stains. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know to successfully install a stick on backsplash in your kitchen.

Selecting Your Stick On Backsplash

When choosing a stick on backsplash, there are a few key considerations:


The most common materials for stick on backsplashes are:

  • Plastic – Plastic stick on backsplashes are lightweight, easy to install, and come in many colors and patterns. They are an affordable option but not as durable as other materials.
  • Stainless Steel – For a modern look, stainless steel stick on backsplashes are sleek and contemporary. They are easy to clean but tend to show fingerprints.
  • Glass – Glass tile stick on backsplashes add a touch of elegance with a wide range of colors and finishes. Glass is prone to cracking and chipping if hit hard.
  • Metal – Metal stick on backsplashes like copper or tin add old-world charm and are naturally bactericidal. They can be prone to denting.
  • Tile – Ceramic, porcelain, or stone tile stick on backsplashes offer the beauty of real tile in a convenient format. Grout lines need occasional sealing.


Consider the overall style of your kitchen and what look you want to achieve. Options include:

  • Solid – Available in many materials, solid colored backsplashes give a seamless look.
  • Patterned – From mosaics to moroccan tiles, patterns add visual interest.
  • Textured – Materials like stainless steel or embossed tiles lend depth and dimension.
  • Natural Stone – The elegance of materials like marble or slate bring natural beauty.


Stick on backsplashes come in a range of sizes including:

  • Full sheets sized up to 30×30 inches to cover large expanses
  • Smaller 12×12 sheets for easier handling
  • Mosaic tiles or metal sheets sized 3×6 inches or smaller for patterns


Prices range dramatically based on material and style from $5 per square foot to over $50 per square foot. Set your budget and choose the best material you can afford. Installation labor will be an additional cost.

Preparing Your Backsplash Area

Proper prep work is crucial for a long-lasting installation.

Clean the Surface

Thoroughly clean the wall area using a degreasing cleaner and rinse off any soap residue. Allow the surface to fully dry. This allows the adhesive to bond tightly.

Remove Outlets or Obstacles

If there are any outlets, switch plates, or other fixtures like ductwork in the backsplash area, remove them prior to installation. You can replace them over the stick on backsplash after installing.

Fill Any Holes or Cracks

Examine the installation area and fill any cracks, holes, or uneven sections using spackle or caulk. Allow time to dry completely. The backsplash needs a smooth surface to adhere to.

Prime Painted Surfaces

If the wall is painted, apply a coat of primer to improve adhesion. For glossy or greasy paint, lightly sand beforehand to rough up the surface.

Measure Precisely

Take careful measurements of the overall area and any sections around outlets, windows etc. Compare to the dimensions of your backsplash sheets and plan how they will fit, where seams fall, and where cuts need to be made.

Installation Process

With your prep work complete and materials on hand, you’re ready to install. Follow these steps for proper application:

Dry Fit the Sheets

Before peeling off any adhesive backing, do a dry run by placing the sheets on the wall where they will be installed. Check that seams and edges line up as planned and that outlet holes align properly. Make any needed adjustments.

Cut Out Any Openings

Use a utility knife to carefully measure and cut out openings for outlets, fixtures or other penetrations according to measurements, being sure to leave room for outlets or switch plates.

Apply the Adhesive

Once satisfied with the dry fit, peel off the adhesive backing and press sheets into place one at a time. Apply firm, even pressure across the entire sheet to maximize contact with the adhesive.

Roll the Surface

Using a J-roller, firmly roll over the surface of the sheets to fully adhere the sticker backing. Pay special attention to seams and edges.

Seal Around Edges

For the best moisture protection, apply a thin bead of clear silicone caulk around all edges and seams. Smooth with a finger for a clean finish.

Replace Fixtures

Reinstall any outlets, switch plates, soap dispensers etc using longer screws to accommodate the added thickness of the backsplash.

Fill Any Gaps

If there are any remaining gaps between sheets or around edges, fill with a small amount of caulk and smooth for a seamless look. Allow time to fully cure before using the backsplash.

Caring for Your Stick On Backsplash

To keep your new backsplash looking like new:

  • Avoid abrasive cleaners or scrubbing pads which can scratch surfaces.
  • For everyday cleaning, wipe with a soft sponge or cloth and mild detergent.
  • Rinse off any soapy residue which can lead to buildup.
  • Re-caulk any areas that show gaps or deterioration to prevent moisture getting behind the backsplash.
  • Limit direct heat exposure from pots and pans to prevent warping or cracking.

Tips for a Successful Installation

Follow these tips and tricks to ensure your stick on backsplash adheres properly and looks great:

  • Always start installation with a clean, dry, grease-free surface for best adhesion.
  • Apply even pressure and use a roller over the entire surface to create full contact between the adhesive backing and wall surface.
  • To avoid trapping moisture behind, leave a small 1/16″ gap between the backsplash and countertop and seal with caulk.
  • For easier installation around outlets, cut openings before removing the adhesive backing.
  • Use painter’s tape to mark layout lines on the wall for level alignment of sheets.
  • Arrange sheets so that seams and cuts are minimized, and seams fall aesthetically between tiles or in less visible spots whenever possible.
  • When making any cuts, take measurements carefully and use a sharp utility knife and ruler for clean cuts.
  • Work top to bottom and side-to-side in sections for easier handling, especially on larger installations.

With the right prep work and by following installation instructions, a stick on backsplash can be an easy, eye-catching upgrade for your kitchen. Properly cared for, it will provide a durable, water-resistant surface that looks great for years of daily use.

Frequently Asked Questions

What tools do I need to install a stick on backsplash?

You will need a few basic tools: utility knife, ruler, J-roller, caulk gun, painter’s tape, and clean rags. Use a yardstick and pencil to take measurements and mark reference lines. A drill with screw bits will be needed to remove and reinstall outlets or fixtures. Safety glasses and gloves are also recommended.

What’s the best adhesive for a backsplash?

For long lasting results, use a stick on backsplash that comes with a pre-applied acrylic adhesive backing. This adhesive is formulated specifically for backsplash installation. Alternative adhesives like liquid nails generally do not provide a reliable bond.

Can I install a backsplash over existing tile?

It is not recommended to install directly over existing tile. The layers of tile and grout will create too uneven of a surface for proper adhesion. Remove existing tile and prep the wall surface before installing a new backsplash.

Should I caulk around the edges?

Yes, applying a thin bead of clear silicone caulk around the top, bottom, and sides of the backsplash installation is highly recommended. This waterproofs and seals the edges. Pay careful attention to sealing any seams between sheets as well.

How do I cut openings for outlets?

Use a utility knife and ruler to measure and score the adhesive backing in straight lines. Cut through both the top vinyl layer and adhesive backing then snap along the score line to remove the section. Make openings 1/8 inch larger than fixture size.

Can I install a backsplash on textured or uneven walls?

It is best to install on smooth, primed surfaces. Lightly sand any high points and fill divots or texture with spackle to smoothen. This helps the adhesive stick tightly across the entire surface without gaps from uneven areas.

What’s the maximum size most backsplashes come in?

Many stick on backsplash sheets are sized around 30 x 30 inches for easy handling. Measure larger areas and plan seams accordingly. Mosaic sheets are much smaller around 12 x 12 inches and must be aligned carefully.

How do I clean metal or stainless steel backsplashes?

Use a soft microfiber cloth dampened with warm water and a couple drops of dish soap. Rub gently in direction of grain lines. Rinse and dry with a soft cloth. Avoid abrasive scrubbers or harsh cleaners which can damage the finish.


Installing a stick on backsplash is an achievable DIY project that can completely transform the look of a kitchen. With some careful planning and prep, these backsplash “stickers” can be applied to existing surfaces to affordably mimic the appearance of upscale tile or natural stone. Be sure to thoroughly research materials, proper installation methods, and read manufacturer instructions fully prior to beginning a project. Take care to properly clean, prepare, and measure the area to ensure the backsplash adheres tightly and looks amazing. With the right know-how, you can upgrade your kitchen with beautiful new backsplash.

How to Choose a Stick On Backsplash for Your Kitchen

Choosing a stick on backsplash for your kitchen is an exciting step in designing your dream space. With the wide variety of colors, patterns, textures, and materials available, you’re sure to find the perfect backsplash to match your personal style and complete the look you envision for your kitchen. Here are some tips to guide you in selecting the ideal backsplash.

Consider the Color Scheme

Think about the overall color palette you want to create in your renovated kitchen.

  • Does your cabinetry or countertop have strong colors or patterns that you want the backsplash to complement?
  • Do you want the backsplash to stand out dramatically or blend in subtly?
  • Is there an accent color you want to pull from your wall paint or décor into the backsplash?

Take inspiration from your existing elements so the new backsplash feels cohesive rather than random.

Complement Architectural Style

Traditional kitchens tend to look best with classic subway tile, stone, or intricate patterns. Contemporary spaces can handle bold solid colors or sleek metallics. Farmhouse designs look great with vintage inspired moroccan tiles or reclaimed wood plank backsplashes. Consider what style you’re wanting to achieve.

Assess Your Options

With a myriad of options, assessing what’s available can get overwhelming. Start by narrowing down choices:

  • Material – Ceramic, metal, glass, and plastic all have unique properties. Assess their pros and cons.
  • Finish – Glossy, matte, or textured finishes each make distinct statements.
  • Color – From pure white to bold hues, color can transform the whole vibe.
  • Pattern – Solid, mosaic, brick, moroccan, geometric. Align patterns with your preferred style.

Once you’ve narrowed down material and style options, browsing specific products will feel more focused.

Visualize It In Place

It can be hard to properly assess how a sample swatch or catalog image will look in your actual kitchen. Many manufacturers offer visualizers on their websites where you can upload a photo of your existing space and realistically overlay different backsplashes. This can give you a clearer idea of how options will look in the context of your kitchen.

Consider Maintenance

Think about ease of care based on material and texture. Smooth glass or ceramic beadboard is easiest to wipe down. Porous natural materials like travertine require resealing. Metallics like copper or stainless will patina over time. Make sure to pick an aesthetic you will be happy maintaining.

Prepare the Space

Don’t overlook proper prep. Removing old backsplashes, repairing drywall, and priming or smoothing surfaces will lead to better adhesion and visual results. Budgeting adequate time and cost for this important step will prevent frustrations down the road.

Seek Inspiration

Spend time looking at photos of backsplashes you are naturally drawn to. Note colors and styles you like best. Use these images to articulate your preferences to any kitchen designers, contractors, or specialty retailers you work with in choosing your backsplash.

By keeping these tips in mind, being open to inspiration, and doing your homework on materials and options, you’ll be equipped to choose a backsplash that truly completes your new kitchen design with flair. Soon you’ll have a space that not only functions beautifully but looks like it was torn from the pages of your favorite home magazine.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Stick On Backsplash

Installing a stick on backsplash offers the look of upscale tile without the hassle or mess. When selecting a product, keep these key considerations in mind:


Popular backsplash materials each have pros and cons:

  • Metal – Stainless steel, copper, and tin provide contemporary appeal, are naturally antimicrobial, and simple to clean. However, metal shows fingerprints, scratches, and can dent.
  • Glass – Elegant and glossy when clean, glass tile brings depth through color and finish variations. But it cracks if hit and grout stains easily.
  • Ceramic – Traditional subway tile is affordable and classic. Porcelain resists staining and wear. Avoid glossy tiles that show water spots.
  • Stone – Natural materials like marble, granite, or slate create a timeless yet modern look. But they are heavy, prone to staining, and require resealing.

Ease of Installation

Look for products with adhesive backing for true “peel and stick” application. Check instructions for prep needed – some may require wall smoothing or use of specialty adhesive.


Prices range from $5 to over $50 per square foot depending on material and style. Set a budget and choose the best quality product within it. Factor in installation costs if hiring a contractor.

Size of Sheets

Many backsplashes are sold in standard 12 x 12 inch tile sizes or up to 30 x 30 inch sheets for quicker coverage of larger areas. Measure your space and buy accordingly.


Consider glossy, matte, or textured finishes. Smooth is great for cleaning but shows imperfections. Honed finishes hide water spots and fingerprints. Distressed textures add depth.


With countless options, selecting a color, pattern, or design can be overwhelming. Consider the overall style you want and blend with your existing kitchen elements.


Proper prep is crucial. Walls must be cleaned, smoothed, primed, and dry for effective adhesion. Budgeting adequate time for this will prevent future product failure.

Evaluating these factors will ensure you select a backsplash suited for your goals, space, and budget for a stunning result.

How to Measure for a Stick On Backsplash

Carefully measuring the installation area is a key step to ensure your new stick on backsplash fits perfectly. Follow these steps:

Clear the Area

Remove anything mounted on the wall like artwork, towels bars, or switches. Take down upper cabinets if they impede access to the entire backsplash area.

Mark the Boundaries

Make an outline with painter’s tape indicating the height and width you want the backsplash to cover. Most extend 4-6 inches up the wall from counter or vanity top. Adjust to your preference.

Map the Layout

Mark plumbing locations, windows, corners, outlets, and any other fixtures or obstructions within the backsplash area. Indicate height above countertop for those not at standard placement.

Measure Length & Width

Use a yardstick to measure the length and width of each section as outlined, recording these measurements. For complex layouts, sketch a simple floorplan to log measurements by area.

Calculate Total Square Footage

Multiply the length by width of each section and convert to square feet by dividing by 144. Add all sections together to determine total square footage needed for purchasing materials.

Photograph Layout

Take clear, close up photos of the outlined backsplash area to reference when purchasing materials and laying out your installation.

Account for Cuts & Waste

Add an extra 10% square footage to order materials to account for outlet cutouts, corners, seams, and other non-standard shapes that will require cutting pieces.

Double check all measurements and photographs to ensure accuracy before selecting and purchasing your materials for a perfect custom fit.

How to Select Adhesive for Installing a Stick On Backsplash

Choosing the right adhesive is crucial to creating a long-lasting bond for your stick on backsplash installation. Consider these tips when selecting:

Opt for Pre-Applied

Many quality backsplash products come with pre-applied acrylic adhesive backing, eliminating guesswork and saving application time. This is strongly recommended over liquid applied adhesives.

Compare Strength

Check product details for the adhesive shear strength, which indicates bonding capability. Higher pound-force values represent stronger adhesives less likely to fail over time.

Ensure Water Resistance

Since backsplashes endure moisture from sinks and cleaning, the adhesive must offer complete waterproofing without breaking down over time. Verify water resistant properties.

Check Flexibility

The adhesive must remain flexible to handle temperature changes, humidity, minor wall movement etc. Review product details for flex properties and plasticizer additives.

Look for Mold Resistance

Mold resistance ensures the adhesive won’t degrade or stain