Nobody ever went broke underestimating the average DIYer's desire for easier, faster, and cleaner tile solutions. Through the introduction of new tiling technologies in the last few decades, tile work has gone from being a mysterious artform practiced only by skilled artisans to a craft that even reluctant DIYers can take on. Sure enough, tile does needs its experienced practitioners. But there are tile projects that don't require a high level of competence, and backsplashes are one of them.
To make this already-easy job easier, peel and stick backsplashes don't require traditional mortar and grout to make them stick to the wall. Peeling away a paper backing exposes a sticky adhesive on the back of the tile somewhat like the adhesive on floor tiles.
The reason you're looking for peel and stick backsplash is because you don't want to deal with messy mortar or epoxies. Check. Yet only mortar and epoxy provide reliable adhesion. Can you expect self-adhesive to really last? I wouldn't do it. This self-adhesive system doesn't work work well, especially on slick surfaces like Formica. Some customers report being woken in the middle of the night to the "slap slap" sound of these self-adhesive tiles falling onto the counter.
The problem is merely annoying when dealing with non-grouted vinyl backsplash tiles falling off (C&H Peel 'n' Place). But the problem is thornier when dealing with self-adhesive glass or ceramic tiles that get grouted.
I recommend installing any kind of "Peel and Stick" with Liquid Nails instead of trying to depend on the adhesive backing.
© Backsplash Ideas
Another attractive option, Aspect tiles are real metal. Unlike vinyl, they do not pretend to be anything but metal. Aspect tiles install either with double-sided tape, which you can separately purchase, or with construction adhesive. As mentioned before, I would not recommend the tape and instead go straight for the adhesive. Aspect tiles come in honeycomb (octagonal), subway, or square styles and retail for about $17 per square foot.
© Scripps Networks Inc.
One of the more attractive options, DIY Networks' Mosaic Tile Backsplash Kit is entirely self-contained. In addition to the obvious (15 square feet of glass mosaic and liners), it includes bags of pre-mixed grout, a grout float
, cutter, and tape measure. Peel the backing from the mosaic, press to the wall with the dry grout float, then follow up by grouting. Price runs around $100 for 15 feet, and many style options are available.
© Backsplash Ideas
Fasade panels are made of thermoplastic and measure 24.5" wide and 18.5" high. Since they are bigger than the Aspect tiles, you have fewer pieces to lay. The downside of that is that cutouts for outlets and switches can be tricky, since you may need to cut out of the center of a panel. From a distance, Fasade panels really do look like the metals they try to imitate: bronze, tin, stainless steel. One downside is that if you purchase a highly textured panel, you need to apply a strip of J-trim along the edges to cover up the gap between the panel and the wall.
C&H Peel 'n' Place Backsplash Tiles
© C&H Inc.
These 4"x4" vinyl tiles are basically floor tiles for the wall. These tiles have protective paper backings which peel away to expose an adhesive which is supposed to hold the tiles in place. In my opinion, these are not attractive tiles: they don't look good and the fake grout is a dead giveaway.