Which peel-and-stick backsplash is best?
A peel-and-stick backsplash is an inexpensive way to change your kitchen’s look while protecting your walls from spills and splatters. These easy-to-apply wall coverings come in hundreds of designs and colors, and most are easy to apply.
Generally speaking, peel-and-stick backsplashes are made of very thin tiles stuck together on a flexible sheet with adhesive backing. If you are looking for a timeless look, check out the Art3D Thickened Peel-and-Stick Subway Tile Backsplash.
What to know before you buy a peel-and-stick backsplash
Types of backsplashes
- Peel-and-stick: Most adhesive tiles are made of thin, flexible sheets of vinyl that are easy to apply. Vinyl is inexpensive and easy to work with, but its thinness leaves it vulnerable to damage from tools, countertop appliances and general wear and tear. The thinner and more flexible the sheet, the harder it is to handle and apply.
- Stick-on: These are adhesive tiles, too, but with a stickier backing that stays permanently attached. The downside here is that they are hard to remove.
- Rolls: Like wallpaper, these peel-and-stick backsplashes come in standard widths and varying lengths. Make sure you choose the proper vertical or horizontal orientation.
- Slats and planks: Just like vinyl and wooden flooring, these backsplashes are several feet long and only a few inches wide.
What look do you want?
- Plastics: The least expensive peel-and-stick backsplashes are made of vinyl or polyurethane and resemble wallpaper.
- Wood: Reclaimed woods made in thin sheets that you peel and stick are great for farmhouse kitchens. You can choose from rustic looks including reclaimed barn wood, redwood, cedar and pickled and distressed woods. Just like real wood, wood look-alike backsplashes come in long planks.
- Brick and stone: These peel-and-stick backsplashes are made by layering adhesives, fiberglass and resin with a thin top layer of natural materials. Choose from marble, mixed river stone, fieldstone, slate and more.
- Metal: Backsplashes with the look of copper, chrome, bronze and stainless steel are great choices that give your kitchen a futuristic look.
- Ceramic: Ceramic-looking subway tiles are a popular New Retro look. Tiles that look like real glass are also colorful, some with mixed colors that look like real mosaic tiles.
- Glass: Adhesive-backed glass tiles are great looking, durable and easy to care for, but require the use of a special tool to trim the blocks to finish the edges at the top, bottom and sides.
- Mosaics: These are wallpaper-like sheets that are easy to apply and remove. They are among the most colorful of backsplash designs.
- 3D: Actual three-dimensional works of art can make your kitchen look stunning, but the irregular surfaces trap dust, dirt and grease and are hard to clean.
What to look for in a quality peel-and-stick backsplash
Potential trouble spots
- Sinks are the wettest area in your kitchen. Choose only waterproof backsplash tiles for the walls near your sink, where spills and splashes routinely occur when filling pots, rinsing produce and washing dishes and cookware.
- Stoves are the hottest spot in your kitchen and see their fair share of splashes, too. Make sure the peel-and-stick backsplashes you choose are made to handle heat, steam, moisture and humidity.
Most peel-and-stick backsplashes are made of thin sheets of vinyl. The thinner and more flexible the sheet, the more difficult it is to handle and the more vulnerable it is to nicks and tears. Thicker, heavier materials are easier to peel, align and stick. They provide a more durable surface with a solid feel and last longer, too.
Look for backsplashes made of anti-mold and anti-bacterial materials to keep your kitchen ultra-clean. Also, look for tiles that are scratch-resistant and wipe down easily with a damp cloth.
How much you can expect to spend on a peel-and-stick backsplash
Most peel-and-stick backsplashes cost $3-$6 per square foot. Special backsplash tiles, ceramics, metals and planking cost a few dollars more.
Peel-and-stick backsplash FAQ
How do I figure out how much backsplash I need?
A. Calculate your square footage by multiplying the height of the area you wish to cover by the length. When you have areas with different heights, do the same calculations for each area, then add them together. Buying 10% more backsplash than you think you need is a good rule of thumb.
How can I get a professional look?
A. Most peel-and-stick backsplashes have a straight vertical edge that must be aligned exactly with the next row of tiles for a good fit that hides the seam. Better ones have staggered edges that interlock like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle to avoid showing a seam.
Are all peel-and-stick backsplashes safe to use over the stove?
A. Only tiles labeled resistant to heat and humidity are safe to use over the stove.
What’s the best peel-and-stick backsplash to buy?
Top peel-and-stick backsplash
What you need to know: Any kitchen can look retro and modern at the same time with classic subway tiles.
What you’ll love: You get 10 1-foot-square tiles per box, all resistant to heat, water and humidity. This upgraded version is 2-3 times thicker than ordinary peel-and-stick tile for a solid feel, greater durability and a longer life. The added thickness makes the tiles easier to handle and install, too. You can choose from six colors.
What you should consider: These interlocking tiles are made to overlap, so one box of tiles covers only about 8 square feet.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top peel-and-stick backsplash for the money
What you need to know: The shiny copper-colored hexagonal design adds a modern look to a futuristic kitchen,
What you’ll love: These peel-and-stick sheets are about 1 square foot each and are made from thin sheets of aluminum with a brushed copper finish. The tiles are fire- and flame-resistant, waterproof and will not rust. The adhesive backing is commercial-grade for long-lasting service and the edges are staggered for a neat, clean look.
What you should consider: Some customers say the color is not as bright as they had expected.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: The top layer of natural redwood has the authentic look of wood weathered by sun, rain and snow.
What you’ll love: Start with a six-piece sample pack to see how they look and handle before fully committing to covering all your backsplash zones. The 5-inch-wide planks are durable, lightweight and easy to apply. You can also drill right through them without causing damage.
What you should consider: Weathered woods such as this vary widely in color and appearance.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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David Allan Van writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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