August 23, 2021

DIY: Applying Vinyl Backsplash Tiles

I'd like to change up a couple of my blog posts each week--right now, it looks like this:

Monday - running recap
Tuesday - Transformation Tuesday
Wednesday - Weigh-In
Thursday - whatever I feel like writing
Friday - Friday Night Photos
Saturday - recipe
Sunday - whatever I feel like writing

Ever since I started losing weight in 2009, I've considered my weeks to start on Wednesday (at least as far as weight loss and running is concerned). That's why I do my weigh-ins on Wednesdays (it's not just for the alliteration of Wednesday Weigh-In, although I do like alliteration!).

Anyway, I consider my running week to start on Wednesday. Because I write my running recap on Mondays, I have to get my third run done by Monday. Overall, it really doesn't matter much; but I would like to be able to finish my week on Tuesdays if needed.

So, I going to switch my running recaps from Mondays to Thursdays. That way, I can write about the running I did from Wednesday through Tuesday. I'm probably making this sound much more confusing than it is--but for the foreseeable future, I'll post my running recaps on Thursdays.

I was supposed to get in my third run today and I didn't end up doing it. I woke up feeling tired for whatever reason, and as badly as I wanted to lie down on the couch and do nothing, I actually ended up working on a pretty big project today--nothing physically exhausting, but it was time consuming.

As you know, I completely made over my house starting in August of 2017 (can you believe it's been THAT LONG?). From the ceiling to the floors, I worked on it every single day for nearly a year. I absolutely loved how it turned out. Here is a before and after of the kitchen:

One thing I never ended up doing was putting up backsplash. I knew I'd want to eventually, but I was intimidated at the mere thought of tiling and grout. Not to mention, it was very expensive.

I don't remember how I came across it, but I found some faux-tile vinyl backsplash sheets that are peel-and-stick. I wasn't sure how it would look or how durable it would be, but I figured I could at least try that out instead of committing to the tiles and grout. If I didn't like it, it would be much easier than tile to remove. I bought a single box (ten 12"x12" sheets) and set them on a shelf in the garage. Every once in a while, I'd see them and think that I really should try them but I never even opened the box.

A couple of days ago, I re-caulked the kitchen because the caulk was starting to look dingy. When I was getting the caulk from the garage, I saw the box of backsplash vinyl tiles on the shelf. I decided that it was FINALLY time to do it.

I knew the single box wasn't going to be enough for the kitchen, so I bought two more boxes. Thankfully, Amazon still had them! A few years ago, I'd only bought one box because I figured I could check them out to see if they felt like good quality before getting enough for the kitchen; I just never got around to it!)

I got some spray adhesive (it's not necessary according to the package directions, but it does say that if your wall is painted with latex paint and/or is glossy, to prep the wall by lightly sanding and then use an adhesive spray to stick them on).

Today, I cleaned the walls, went over them lightly with sandpaper, and then removed all the dust to prep the wall. I cut open a paper grocery bag to lay on the counter (to keep the spray from getting everywhere). Then I used a level and a pencil to draw a line that I could use as a guide while applying the tiles.

The first tile needs to be cut vertically (so it has a straight edge) and then placed in a corner. After that, you just overlap each tile in the spaces indicated. 

Since I was using the adhesive, it was a little messier, but I feel like it stuck the tiles on there really well. I sprayed a 12"x12" section of the wall, peeled the backing from the tile and sprayed the entire back of the tile, and then quickly (but carefully) lined up the "grout" lines. Then I pressed it down really well--running my finger along each line to make sure all of it was adhered. Finally, I removed the plastic from the front of the tile. Then repeat along along the length of the wall.

I had to cut out two spots for the electrical outlets. To do that, I just used one of the paper backings from a tile to use as a template. I held it against the wall and marked a rectangle where the hole needed to be. Then I cut it out to make sure it fit before I actually cut the sheet with the vinyl on it. I just laid the template on a vinyl sheet and traced the hole I'd made in the paper.  It worked perfectly! I was afraid I was going to ruin one of the vinyl sheets by making bad cuts, but the template was super helpful.

When I was done going across the wall, Noah asked me if I was going to put it all the way to the bottom of the cupboards. (The cupboards are up 18" from the countertops.) I told him no, I hadn't planned on it. But the more I thought about it, the more sense it made. And since the sheets were 12"x12", I could just cut them in half--stacked on top of the 12" sheets, it would be the perfect size to reach the cupboards--meaning I would only have to use half the amount of vinyl sheets on the second pass.

I LOVE how it turned out! It makes such a huge difference in the whole room.

This is what it looks like up close:

Not too bad, right? Here are a couple of before and after shots. My cupboards have not faded to an odd yellow-green; the lighting in the after photos makes them look that way! They are still the same blue from the before photos.

I have just enough tiles to do the wall behind the sink, so I'll probably get that done tomorrow.

From what I can see, I think the quality is good. It's obviously not going to be as durable as tile and grout, but I love the way it looks and it's cheap and easy enough that I can change it up every few years if I want. I'll have to update how well it stays on and if it cleans up well. But I really like it!

Here is an Amazon affiliate link to the particular vinyl tiles I bought. But there are tons of different ones to choose from. I'm going to get some for my bathrooms, too.

If you haven't seen the DIY renovation of our house, here is the page for that--there are tons of before and after photos on those posts!


  1. The backsplash looks great! I love seeing what you did with your kitchen. :)

  2. Looks beautiful! It has been fun to watch the whole process.

    I just started to cosmetically redo our upstairs bathroom and every step has been a hassle. I am not even done but I am DONE. I will be painting the room for a third time today. I just kept getting the wrong paint (my fault). Then I have to paint the marble counter which should be interesting and then vinyl stick tiles for the floor so this was a bit motivational LOL

  3. It almost makes your counter space look bigger! I love it, what a fun way to glam up the kitchen even more!!

  4. The tile looks so great!! I did peel and stick floor tiles in our basement bathroom recently and was surprised and how easy it was (and how good it looked!).

  5. I love this! It looks so good.

  6. I love the backsplash -- when you're done would be cool to see an update of the whole kitchen with the same view as the 'after' photo above to see what it looks like all together! Am always impressed by your ability to DIY. :)

  7. Love it! If you have any scraps left, you should see if you can do the little I set above microwave. It will tie it all together.

  8. Looks great! I painted my cabinets last year and got new counter tops, but just this summer put up a blacksplash. I think it makes the kitchen look complete.


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