Peel and stick backsplash tiles are among the easiest and greatest kitchen or bathroom additions you can make in your home – you don’t need professional knowledge or experience to accomplish the task.
Besides, their installation doesn’t require grout or mortar. Here is a step-by-step guide on cutting the glass peel and stick tiles and their installation.
Having tiled multiple projects the traditional way, I was excited when I learned about this new tiling technique. I knew it would be fun from the word go – a perfect way to give your space a modern and sophisticated touch.
- Thin Metal, Plastic, and Vinyl Tiles
- Measuring tape
- Heavy sniping shears
- Hard ruler or straight edge
- Sharp scissors, box cutters, or craft knife
- Washable marker or eraser
- Latex caulk –kitchen and bathrooms
- Paint and supplies – optional – the paint should be the same color as the tiles.
- Real stone and glass peel and stick tiles
- Glass cutter – exclusively for glass tiles and should have a snap helper
- Wet saw – For intricate cuts like around outlets (stones and glass tiles)
- Eye goggles
Types of Peel and Stick Tiles
Peel and stick tiles come in a wide variety, including sheets and individual tiles made from glass, metal, vinyl, and stone.
The individual tiles are my favorite choice – they allow me to customize the patterns and develop something to match my requirements or needs.
How to Prep the Wall
Surface preparation is a critical step in any DIY project. If your surface is in perfect condition —no structural issues, mold, water damage, and not freshly painted — all you should do is clean out any stains, dirt, and grease.
I always recommend painting the wall the same color as the tiles, even though it is optional. Tiles stick effectively on non-shiny surfaces, making sand or flat paint suitable. Besides, you shouldn’t install these tiles on fresh drywall.
Check for Straightness
Before making your first cut, you must ensure that the countertop and the cabinets are straight and relative.
Accuracy is critical mainly because any difference is noticeable, no matter how small. Measure from both ends and the center to identify any height differences.
While the level and square may not be as important, if you experience a height difference, you can always hide it at the top under the cabinets.
Planning is crucial for any DIY project, including installing your glass peel and stick tiles. It involves the following steps:
- Layout the pattern before applying them to the wall – You should practice because they come with a sticky backing and will easily stick in the wrong place.
- Work from the bottom going up. That way, it is easier to hide imperfections underneath your cabinets. Besides, you can also start from one end to the other, in the middle of one corner, depending on how straight your working surface is.
- It would be best to have a wet saw and a glass cutter when handling your glass or stone tiles. Set out your tools and cover the countertops with plastic covering for protection.
- Pro Tip: working with peel and stick tiles is not as messy as the traditional tiles – mortar. However, I still advise you to protect your countertop with some towels. Also, place a piece of cloth beneath the tile cutter – to collect the tile fragments from the cutter.
How to Install the Peel and Stick Backsplash
The backsplash comes with a manual instructing you to peel off the backing and stick them to the walls – which is pretty simple. However, cutting the tiles and handling the trouble spots can be challenging and require extra tips.
Start by marking a vertical reference line that will guide you in ensuring straightness throughout the project.
Some products come with a powerful adhesive that doesn’t allow room for errors – the trick is getting it right the first time when sticking the tiles on the wall.
If you must remove it, which should be rare, use a putty knife to pry it up gently.
Since the backsplash doesn’t require mortar, which takes a long to dry, I find it easier to install all the tiles on the wall before coming back to the ones that require cutting and evening. That way, you eliminate a lot of mess from your way while framing all sides for accurate cuts.
Check your tile pattern periodically to ensure straightness and prevent dipping or bowing.
Using spacers or leaving a gap between tiles is unnecessary.
Strong scissors or heavy-duty snips are handy for cutting vinyl and silica tiles.
A simple glass-cutting tool allows you to cut the tiles around the corners and outlets easily. I recommend using a wet saw with a diamond cutting blade with no issue for intricate cuts.
An intricate cut allows you to make a template out of paper for perfect fitting before cutting the sheet.
Pro Tip: Always use a washable marker or dry erase to draw your cut lines – they are easy to see, and you can wipe them off after cutting the tiles.