Peel and stick tiles are a great way to give your floors, bathroom walls, and kitchen backsplash an affordable makeover. “They’re pretty easy and quick to install and don’t require any special tools, so they can be a great project for homeowners,” says Elizabeth Burns, designer and owner of Elizabeth Burns Designs in Raleigh, NC. “I think peel and stick tiles are a great product for those who want the trendy look but not the commitment or price of traditional tiles.”
Although a convenient and cost-effective option, peel and stick tiles aren’t always the best long-term solution. Here’s what you need to know about using peel and stick tile in your home.
- The advantages and disadvantages of peel and stick tiles.
- Peel and stick tiles come in a wide variety of designs and materials.
- Can I DIY and glue tiles?
- Where can I buy peel and stick tiles?
- How much does it cost?
The pros and cons of peel and stick tiles
- It is convenient.
- It’s easy to install.
- It’s affordable.
- There are a wide variety of materials and designs to choose from.
- It is removable and can be used in houses or rental apartments.
- No professional is required for installation.
- It doesn’t exactly look like real tile.
- There are adhesion issues if not installed properly.
- The adhesive may degrade over time.
- Glue can be messy.
- It may seem like you’ve cut corners if you decide to sell the house.
Peel and Stick Tile is available in a wide variety of designs and materials.
Similar to traditional tiles, peel and stick tiles come in a variety of materials and designs. What you choose depends on your personal preference, the room it’s installed in, and the level of durability needed.
“There are tons of models, sizes, patterns, and material options available now,” says Burns. “In addition to geometric patterns, you can find peel and stick tiles that mimic the look of popular tile options like marble, glass, wood, mosaic, and subway tile.”
You can find peel and stick tiles in different finishes – like matte, metallic, and pearlescent – and material options can also range from thin, sticker-like tiles to thicker, stiffer tiles.
Peel and stick tiles are also available in different sizes. “Sizes can range from small individual 4 x 4 inch tiles for a backsplash or fireplace surround to larger 18 x 18 inch floor tiles,” she adds.
“I think it varies depending on the prior preparation of the surface and the quality of the product purchased. It is essential that the surface is thoroughly cleaned before installation for good adhesion,” says Burns. “The peel and stick floor tile we installed in a bathroom 2 and a half years ago still looks brand new, but since many of these products haven’t been around very long, it’s hard to talk about their long-term durability.”
Where you install the tile can also affect its durability. For example, exposure to water and steam in the bathroom and kitchen can impact the durability of the tile material and adhesive. However, some products may be more water resistant than others.
Can I DIY peel and stick tiles?
Peel and Stick Tile is a great DIY project even for home improvement beginners. “If you have a tape measure and a box cutter or scissors, installing peel and stick tile is relatively simple,” says Burns.
Before gluing the tile to the wall, floor or backsplash, you will need to ensure that the surface is prepared. A clean, flat surface allows the tile to stick. You will also need to be wary of the type of surface, as some products cannot be installed on certain surfaces.
“We’ve had the best success installing them over very smooth, non-porous surfaces like existing sheet vinyl or drywall. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions on installation and placement,” advises Burns. “Some products cannot be installed over existing plywood, concrete or tile where others can.”
You will also need to measure the entire area before you begin. The measurement lets you determine how many tiles you will need and if there will be any tiles you will need to cut to fill small gaps. Be sure to use a sharp knife to make precise cuts.
Where can I buy peel and stick tiles?
Peel and stick tiles can be found at many online and brick-and-mortar retailers, but Burns recommends buying from a reputable manufacturer and getting samples or a test box when possible.
“As with any product, I would try to test the scratch resistance and adhesion strength via a sample prior to installation. A sample is also a great way to check the color and style of your space. I would also suggest to read online reviews to see if others are happy with the quality,” she suggests.
How much does it cost?
The cost of peel and stick tiles is largely dependent on the quality and style of the material and is priced per square foot and sold by the piece or case.
“Because peel and stick tiles typically replicate the design of more expensive tiles like cement tile or marble, the price is often much lower,” says Burns. “You also don’t have to buy backerboard, mortar, tile spacers and grout, which means additional savings.”
Peel and stick is not always the most economical choice. “On the other hand, real subway tiles are very inexpensive, usually around $2 per square foot for the most basic version, while the peel and stick version can cost upwards of $10 per square foot” , explains Burns.