Will peel and stick backsplash stick to textured walls?

Peel and stick backsplash tiles are a convenient and budget-friendly way to upgrade your kitchen or bathroom. However, their application on textured walls can be tricky. Here is a detailed guide on whether peel and stick backsplash will adhere to textured walls and tips to ensure proper installation.

What are Peel and Stick Backsplashes?

Peel and stick backsplash tiles, also known as self-adhesive backsplash tiles or vinyl backsplashes, are thin tiles with an adhesive backing. They come in various materials like vinyl, plastic, or real stone veneer.

The adhesive backing allows you to install the backsplash directly onto the wall without any extra glue or mortar. Peel and stick backsplashes are easy to cut and shape as per your design needs. They are available in different colors, patterns, finishes and sizes.

Some of the benefits of using peel and stick backsplash are:

  • Easy and quick installation – no messy mortar or glue required
  • Budget-friendly option compared to ceramic or stone tiles
  • Variety of designs and textures available
  • Can be installed over existing backsplash
  • Temporary solution – can be removed without damage
  • Lightweight and easy to handle

Challenges of Installing on Textured Walls

Textured walls have an uneven bumpy surface which makes installing peel and stick backsplash tricky. The adhesive backing may not stick well to the uneven contours of a textured wall.

Some of the common textured wall finishes are:

  • Popcorn ceiling texture
  • Knockdown texture
  • Orange peel texture
  • Skip trowel texture
  • Stucco texture

The bumpy nature of these textures can make it hard for the peel and stick backsplash to form a tight bond. The tiles may start peeling off or become crooked over time.

Moisture is also a concern with textured walls. The grooves and contours can harbor moisture which can compromise the adhesive. This will make the tiles peel off quickly.

How to Install Peel and Stick Backsplash on Textured Walls

Installing peel and stick backsplash on textured walls requires some additional preparation but it is possible. Here are some tips:

1. Clean and dry the surface thoroughly – Remove any oil, grease, dust or residues from the textured wall using degreasing cleaners and let it dry completely.

2. Lightly sand the area – Use 120-150 grit sandpaper to lightly sand the textured surface. This will smooth down any extremely bumpy areas and allow for better adhesion. However, do not sand down completely as you still want the tile to grip the texture.

3. Use a multipurpose primer – Apply 2-3 coats of a quality multipurpose primer on the sanded wall and let it dry completely. The primer will seal the surface and provide a smooth layer for the adhesive backing to stick to.

4. Apply adhesive enhancer – Adhesive enhancers like silicone caulk further improve the bonding strength of the backsplash tiles. Apply a thin layer of caulk on the primed textured wall and spread evenly.

5. Measure and cut tiles – Measure the area and cut the peel and stick tiles according to your design. Ensure the tiles fit properly on the wall before peeling off the backing.

6. Test stick a tile – Stick a test tile after at least 24 hours of applying primer and caulk. Press firmly for 60 seconds. If it sticks properly, go ahead with installation.

7. Peel off backing and install – Slowly peel away the adhesive backing from the tiles and firmly press onto the prepared textured wall. Apply even pressure for at least 30 seconds per tile for optimal hold.

8. Use a grout liner – Once the tiles are installed, use a grout liner in between the tile joints to get a finished look. This also seals any gaps.

With the right preparation and technique, it is certainly possible for peel and stick backsplash to adhere strongly to textured walls. The key is thorough cleaning, light sanding, priming, and using adhesive enhancers. Take time to prep the textured surface prior to adhesive tile installation for best results.

Frequently Asked Questions About Peel and Stick Backsplash on Textured Walls

Here are some common queries about installing peel and stick backsplash on textured walls:

Can you put peel and stick backsplash over textured walls?

Yes, it is possible to install peel and stick backsplash over textured walls. But additional preparation such as cleaning, light sanding, priming and using caulk or adhesive enhancer is required to help the tiles stick properly.

What primer is best for peel and stick backsplash?

A multipurpose primer or drywall primer works best before installing peel and stick backsplash. They provide a smooth surface for the adhesive backing to grip onto. Primers like Zinsser Bulls Eye 123 are popular choices.

Do you have to remove textured walls to install backsplash?

You do not need to remove the textured walls fully. Lightly sanding down any extremely bumpy areas prior to priming is usually sufficient for the peel and stick backsplash tiles to adhere properly.

Can you use caulk instead of primer for backsplash on textured walls?

Applying just caulk without primer may not work well. It is best to use both – apply 2-3 coats of primer, let it dry, followed by a layer of silicone caulk spread evenly on the surface before installing the backsplash.

Does liquid nails work for backsplash on textured walls?

You can use liquid nails as an alternative adhesive enhancer instead of caulk. But do not rely on just liquid nails without priming for textured walls. The combination of primer and liquid nails will provide a strong bond.

Can you use backsplash adhesive instead of caulk or primer?

Peel and stick backsplash already have a pre-applied adhesive. Using additional adhesives is usually not required. A good primer followed by caulk or liquid nails works better for textured walls.


Installing peel and stick backsplash on an uneven textured wall surface can seem daunting. But with some simple preparation using primer, light sanding and adhesive enhancers, it is quite possible to get it installed correctly. The key is taking time to get the textured surface ready so the self-adhesive tiles can stick properly for a long lasting finish. With a little patience and the right techniques, you can transform your textured walls with beautiful backsplash tiles.