A spur of the moment kitchen update got kicked into high gear when I stumbled upon an awesome product, Smart Tiles. Have you all heard of them? They aren't real tiles, but a peel-and-stick alternative.
Believe me, I had absolutely zero plans to update our kitchen. We're currently saving for an extensive kitchen renovation and spending money to update our current space seemed like a waste of money. That was until I got the urge to paint our dingy, chipped base cabinets. It was a spur of the moment decision I made while my husband was out of town. Of course one thing always leads to another and painting the cabinets got me thinking about adding a subway tile backsplash. I've installed tile before and knew I could do it, but didn't want to go through the trouble of renting a wet saw, buying grout an adhesive and making an absolute mess in my already messy kitchen.
I started looking into other options and found a peel-and-stick alternative. Believe me, I was skeptical about using peel-and-stick tile and convinced they would look cheap. I ended up going to Home Depot to check out their styles of Smart Tiles and was amazed at the quality. They are made of a gel type material that gives them a 3D appearance like real tile. Ultimately, I decided to give them a try and went with the white subway tile. Keep in mind these tiles are MUCH smaller than normal subway tile. If you are looking to mimic true subway tile they won't give you the exact look, but will still look amazing.
The only supplies I used to "install" the tiles were a cutting mat, level (for a straight edge), laser level and razor blade.
I found it easiest to start at the corner of the wall, cutting off the left side of one sheet where the tabs stick out.
I am very much a perfectionist, so it took me a few tries to get the first sheet exactly where I wanted. Lucky for me the tiles are easy to peel off if you make a mistake and need to readjust your sheets. Once I was happy with the placement of the first sheet the rest of them went up fairly quickly. My laser level made it super easy to make sure my lines were straight.
I wasn't too concerned about the corners since I planned on caulking them anyway.
Once I got to the outlets and window ledge, I just measured where I needed to cut. The great thing about these tiles is there's no need to extend your outlets. Your outlet covers will still screw on as they did before.
(This is a during picture and not how I finished the wall)
After I had all my tiles installed I caulked the seems in the corners, around the window frame and where they met under the cabinets. It gave them such a clean and finished look.
I've had them installed a few weeks and even after whipping them off many times I've had no issues with them peeling. I'm pretty confident they'll hold up just fine in my abused kitchen.
If you're looking for a quick update and don't want the mess and fuss of tile you must check out smart tiles. They do peel a bit of paint off the wall, so if you plan on using them in a rental please check with your landlord first.
***Thank you to Smart tiles for generously offering product for this post. All favorable opinions are my own!***
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