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Peel and Stick Backsplash: Is It Worth It?


Jun 09, 2020 by Liz Brumer

Want to update your backsplash, but not sure you're ready to commit? Peel-and-stick backsplash could be just the solution you are looking for. It's an affordable decor option that can give you a trendy, fresh look. But before you decide to install, determine if it's the right choice for you.

What is peel-and-stick backsplash?

Peel-and-stick backsplash is an adhesive tile that can be applied as a temporary backsplash or decor option. After cutting the tile to the correct dimensions for the space or design, simply peel off the backing of the tile and stick it to a properly prepared surface.

Peel-and-stick tile is most commonly offered in vinyl but can also be found in metal, glass, and even stone although you will need additional tools for cutting these options. There are just as many peel-and-stick backsplash options as there are traditional tile choices, coming in every imaginable color, shape, and style.

Pros of peel-and-stick backsplash

The biggest upside for most people considering peel-and-stick backsplash is that no special skills are needed to install it. This means you can save money by not hiring a professional on top of the potential savings on the cost of the peel-and-stick tile itself, which can range from $6-$25 per square foot. Peel-and-stick options are easy to install, require no demolition, and there's no dry time or major clean up necessary.

It’s also a great option for those who want a temporary and removable backsplash. A popular choice among renters who want to make their rental unit their own without causing damage to the wall or surface, peel-and-stick backsplash can be installed and removed easily, which is great for keeping up with trends and decor changes. While it can be a great temporary choice, it choosing a high-quality peel and stick tile can last several years.

When peel-and-stick backsplash first hit the market, it was made of a cheap, low-profile plastic material. Today it's improved the look by leaps and bounds. The vinyl options themselves are less fake-looking and they have created a gel variation that gives the tile more depth. There is also a wide variety of non-vinyl peel-and-stick options available which lend a very realistic look to the tile. This type of peel-and-stick backsplash is essentially real tile with adhesive backing. Do keep in mind though that if you choose a three-dimensional tile you will still have to grout it.

Cons of peel-and-stick backsplash

The biggest issue with peel-and-stick backsplash is that it's often viewed as inferior to real tile, especially if you use a lower quality peel-and-stick tile. For renters or for your personal residence it may not be a big deal, but when it comes time to sell your property, the peel-and-stick backsplash may be off-putting and lower your potential sale value.

While installing peel-and-stick is far less time consuming or involved than real tile, it still takes a careful eye ensuring each piece is cut and stuck to the wall properly and will require prep work for the walls in advance. Walls should be flush for the tile to adhere correctly, which is not something that is easily accomplished if you live in an old home or frame construction.

Another con is that the adhesive on peel-and-stick tiles can wear out in moist or high-heat environments leading to tiles peeling up or falling off. Both kitchens and bathrooms, common places for backsplash tile, experience these conditions. While it is supposed to be a temporary and removable option, sometimes the tile can cause damage to the drywall when you're removing it.

A Millionacres take on peel-and-stick backsplash

Even though this may be a budget decision for you, it is usually a good idea to purchase a high-quality peel and stick tile so that it offers a more tile authentic look. With the greatly improved look, it will likely come down to whether you're looking for a temporary or a long term solution.

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