Kitchen backsplashes protect wall materials agains potential damage from food spray and water seepage. In addition, a backsplash in a kitchen offers visual appeal and can change the dynamic of the entire room from a design aspect.
While the benefits are widely known, backsplashes can be an expensive investment if they're made with materials like natural stone or ceramic or glass tile. This DIY project, however, offers an inexpensive and easy-to-install solution that can be done in an afternoon with striking results.
Step 1 - Select Materials
You will be using basic vinyl flooring. Your supply can come from something you already have around the house or from a home improvement center or floorcovering store. Specifically you’ll want to use peel-and-stick vinyl flooring. Honestly, you can sometimes even find these at the Dollar Store. They are available in squares or planks, and either will work. We do suggest you choose flooring that is different from that on the floor in the same room in order to avoid too much of a good thing in the same space.
Think about the color and/or design that will have the biggest impact on the overall look. Draw in colors from the existing flooring or nearby cabinets and countertops for a cohesive design. Your results will be best if the print brings the elements together rather than standing out as a mismatched selection. For example, if you have a solid grey floor, select a backsplash that has a geometric design with grey and white. If your floor is a busy print, select a solid color for the backsplash instead.
Step 2 - Gather Supplies
In addition to the flooring, you’ll need a sharp box cutter and perhaps some extra blades, along with a straightedge. Also ‘grab’ some Loctite Power Grab, Liquid Nails, or other adhesive, and have your level handy to ensure straight lines as you work. You’ll also want a tape measure and a marking utensil to prepare your cuts.
Step 3 - Place the Initial Piece
Begin at one end of your kitchen, at the bottom of your backsplash area. Measure and mark the board for the size you need. Using a straightedge and sharp knife, score the board. Then bend the board to break it. Peel the paper off the back of the flooring. Then apply adhesive to the back of the board.
Typically you wouldn’t need additional adhesive if you were using it on the floor as intended, but gravity will pull it off the wall so the extra adhesive will hold it in place. Press the flooring against the wall and hold it for several seconds until it sticks.
Step 4 - Progress With Your Design
If you are using plank boards, stagger your design like you would on flooring so the seams don’t line up. Allow a minimum of four inches between seams. If working with squares or other shapes, lay out the design you choose and dry fit the pieces in advance of installation.
From your installed bottom piece, continue your row across the bottom and then move to the next row up. You can cut off the backsplash part way up the wall or continue until you meet into the bottom of the cabinets.
Step 5 - Complete Finishing Touches
Continue to cut, peel, and adhere until you’ve completed the space. As you work, remove switch plates and hardware such as towel racks. When you are done, you can remount these items directly onto the new backsplash.
While this DIY task is easy and provides a quick facelift to any space, perhaps the best part of the entire project is the low cost. For an average 10x10 kitchen, you will probably need less than one box of peel and stick vinyl flooring.
There are an increasing number of types and styles of flooring, but you won’t need the highest quality since you won’t be wearing it down with foot traffic and it’s unlikely you’ll scratch it while it’s on the wall. Find a pattern you like and you’ll likely find a box costs around $40-50. Even if you need some additional supplies to complete this re-do, it’s a very budget-friendly option with a big wow factor.