Kitchen renovations can be expensive.
So after binge-watching home renovation tutorial videos on YouTube, I was determined to revamp the hideous splashback in my kitchen without breaking the bank.
With no DIY experience, I discovered an affordable (and seemingly easy) way to overhaul my outdated, bright-coloured red backsplash for just $108.94 – simply by using peel-and-stick vinyl white subway tiles with grey grout.
It’s one of the latest DIY interior trends that’s going viral – so I decided to tackle the kitchen makeover to see if it actually worked.
What my kitchen looked like before: I started the process by painting the edges of the unsightly red splashback with white paint
After: The DIY job took us about two to three hours to complete – but it was totally worth it
Each sheet of tiles have grid lines with ‘overlap here’ so you know where to overlap the vinyl
What are vinyl stick-and-peel tiles?
The DIY peel and stick tiles are self-adhesive with a shiny finish that’s ideal for anyone looking to renovate the space on a budget.
The tiles are thin and light, and can be installed over a clean and sleek surface without any mess, grout or specialised tools.
The eco-friendly materials are resistant to heat and moisture and easy wipe to remove any stains.
Where the tiles can be used: Kitchen splashbacks, bathroom walls and laundry rooms.
Recommended surfaces: Smooth ceramic tiles backsplash, glass tiles backsplash, acrylic wall panel, stainless metal, mirror, laminate and wallpaper.
Not recommended on oily painted wall, brick, stone wall, unfinished wall (gypsum or plaster) and unpainted plywood.
I purchased 20 self-adhesive tiles, which come in a pack of 10 sheets from Amazon, and had them shipped to Australia all the way from the US – and it only took one week to arrive on my doorstep.
Similar peel and stick tile options in Australia can cost up to $9.95 per sheet.
Before sticking on the tiles, I decided to paint three coats of white paint around the edges of the red acrylic splashback so it blended in well with the tiles.
After wiping down the splashback, I got started on my first sheet. The DIY videos made the process look easy, and so I went ahead and stuck the tile over the surface. I would be lying if I said the peel and stick tiles were easy to use – but they were a complete nightmare to work with, especially if you’re doing it alone.
The tiles are super sticky, which made it extremely hard to position them neatly over the surface. Once it hit the surface, it was quite tricky to peel off and start over.
After damaging the first tile, I called in my boyfriend for assistance; I wished I’d asked sooner.
With our hands on each corner of the tile, we were able to stick the sheet on with ease. Our installing method involved cutting the bottom half of the backing, then using the top half to line the tiles perfectly along where we wanted them to stick.
Once the tiles were in line, I gently pushed the bottom half into the wall, then I peeled the backing off the top half, and applied the rest to the surface. I smoothed out the creases using a flat object as well as my hands.
To stick on the next sheet, the trick was to overlap the grout lines, side by side for a seamless appearance. Each sheet of tiles have grid lines with ‘overlap here’ so you know exactly where to overlap the vinyl.
The tiles are very easy to cut. I actually bought a craft knife and cutting board to cut the tiles – but I found a pair of scissors was much easier to handle.
Before sticking on the tiles, I decided to paint three coats of white paint around the edges of the red acrylic splashback so it blended in well with the tiles
To stick on the next sheet, the trick was to overlap the grout lines, side by side for a seamless appearance
With no DIY experience, I discovered an affordable (and seemingly easy) way to overhaul my outdated, bright-coloured red backsplash
The tiles do a great job at brightening up my space, and it adds so much character and depth to my kitchen without having to fork out thousands of dollars
The DIY job took us about two to three hours to complete – but it was totally worth it.
It’s not perfect because there are some bubbles – but it’s not noticeable unless you’re looking for them. I used kitchen appliances to hide up the flaws but overall I am very pleased with how the tiles turned out.
The tiles do a great job at brightening up my space, and it adds so much character and depth to my kitchen without having to fork out thousands of dollars.
Obviously, you won’t get the exact look of real tiles and grout but these are a great alternative that no one will take the time to notice.
Whether you’re a DIY amateur like me or a pro renovator who just wants a quick fix, these tiles are the perfect low budget decorative solution.
If you’re looking to update your kitchen splashback, remember to measure twice cut once, get someone to help – and whatever you do – just be patient.
Thousands of customers have shared their glowing reviews online – with one sharing before and after pictures of her kitchen splashback looked like after the budget makeover
Another customer decided to revamp their kitchen space by using the stick on tiles
What a difference: The tiles offer a modern look in just hours – and doesn’t break the bank
While the tiles are renter-friendly, leave no damage or messy residue and will allow you to revert your property back to its original state, I wouldn’t recommend sticking them over a painted wall as they can damage the surface.
There are more than 3,600 near-perfect reviews of the tiles on Amazon, with thousands sharing their verdict after they completely transformed their kitchen, laundry and bathroom spaces.
‘Pros: Professional looking finish, excellent price, vinyl is easy to cut with sharp scissors. Cons: can be difficult to install, once it is in place it’s in place,’ one wrote.
‘Pulling it off wall will take paint and possibly some plaster as well. Also, lining the tiles up to ensure they are level and even can be time consuming. If done right, the end result is quite a reward.’
Another said: ‘Just installed in our laundry room. Love how it turned out. We laid out the entire area to line up squares and match grout lines before cutting. Applying to the wall takes caution and patience to get it right but it’s beautiful in the end.’