When we purchased our home 4 years ago the kitchen had beige laminate countertops, a high island, and no backsplash (other than a small laminate edge). I spent a good deal of time deciding our new backsplash because #smallbudget, and along the way discovered several interesting backsplash ideas. In the end we went with a peel & stick subway tile. A friend showed me this tile material in grey and I was impressed with the tile texture and glossy finish.
I am a visual person and need to see examples to make a decision. I wrote this post with that in mind—hopefully the pictures will help you decide if a peel and stick backsplash is right for your kitchen. Scroll down for pictures of our peel and stick subway tile backsplash with 5 practical installation tips!
You don’t need construction experience to install a peel and stick backsplash. But from reading reviews and watching my husband—you do need a perfectionistic eye for detail. For example a few times he laid the tile along the wall and the faux-grout line looked too thick. Thankfully the tile can be removed and adjusted for the first 24 hours or so. If you do need to make adjustments, do it right away so it doesn’t mess up the overall tile pattern. This DIY took us 3-4 hours to complete, and we split it up over 2 days on the weekend.
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Peel & Stick Subway Tile Cost Breakdown
-Peel & Stick Tiles. I purchased 30 tile sheets (three packs of 10 12x12” sheets) for $107.91
-Plastic Lattice Molding, $3.85
-Level and a basic pencil (already owned)
- Utility knife and scissors (already owned)
-Paint brush, painter tape and spackling paste (already owned)
Each kitchen is unique. Please measure your backsplash area and order material accordingly! I used an online backsplash calculator to figure out how many 12”x12” tiles I needed.
If you buy a different brand of peel & stick subway tile—our directions might not 100% apply. Follow the directions you will receive with the peel & stick tile from the manufacturer. With that said I want to give several helpful tips for installing your peel and stick subway tile!
Before installing the tile sheets, use a level with pencil to develop guidelines for sticking your faux tile against the wall.
Cut out a cardboard template for the outlet (if your outlets are the same size, this can be reused). Then pencil in dots of the general size/placement on tile paper. Finally, draw the full rectangle on tile paper and carefully cut out hole with a utility knife.
When smoothing on the peel & stick tile sheets, press across the middle first. Then work your way down and up until you have pressed out all air bubbles.
Make the most of your tile sheets. We had 18 inches in height to cover from countertop to cabinet, and were able to do a full row of 12”x12” sheets, then cut and use 1/2 of the tile sheets for the upper 6”.
We selected thin plastic lattice molding to edge our new backsplash. My husband cut the molding to size (use a saw or dremel) and hammer nails to the wall (countersink so they go in past the molding). I filled the holes with spackling paste and sanded after it dried. Then I painted the molding with leftover white paint from our walls.
Overall we are thrilled with how the new backsplash looks, especially since it cost under $125 to install! According to the manufacturer it is heat resistant. We haven’t needed to wipe the tiles much yet, but they are glossy so I don’t think it will be a problem.
Peel and stick tiles will show small seams. I don’t find it distracting and you have to get pretty close to see it. If you are concerned about the seam I would order 2 sample tiles. Attach the 2 sample tiles then step back and see what you think.
I’m happy we went with the white subway tile with grey grout look. It feels very neutral and timeless, but still adds character and texture to the kitchen.
I hope you’ve found this article related to how we added a peel & stick subway tile backsplash, helpful!
Please let me know if you have any further questions and I will answer them in comments. And I will also update the article as needed!