Thought peel-and-stick tile was just for renters? It’s for homeowners too, and we have the scoop on if you should use them and how to do it.
Want new tile but can’t justify chipping up your existing tiles and spending days wielding a putty knife and trowel with grout in your hair? (Just a random example, really …)
Maybe it’s time you gave self-adhesive tiles a try in your home. You can’t beat a room makeover that takes hours, not days!
These magical little tiles don’t require a tile splitter or a contractor — all you need is a straight edge, level, and simple utility knife. Best of all, you won’t have to use a demo hammer while wearing noise-cancellation headphones because they can be installed over your existing tile.
To answer that burning question: yes, you can. Not only can you tile over real tile, but you can also use peel-and-stick on linoleum and even painted walls. Choose your brand of peel-and-stick carefully, though, as some will adhere to every indentation or lump on the tiling surface. See if the manufacturer recommends spackling over grout lines and imperfections in your surface.
That may be a deal breaker for some. If you don’t want to fill in the grout lines, read reviews and inspect your new tile carefully to ensure it will lay smoothly over your existing tile. Go for removable tiles that you can test out first. If you don’t like the look, aim a blow dryer on it until the adhesive releases. (It really does work!)
When you hear about peel-and-stick tiles, you may think of the more affordable vinyl and gel type that is often removable, like peel-and-stick wallpaper. However, peel-and-stick tiles come in all sorts of other materials: glass, PVC, metal, and even stone. Many look like ceramic or handmade glass tiles.
Not all self-adhesive tiles are removable, and when they aren’t … they really aren’t. So you’ll want to use your level and apply them with care. Trying to pry the permanent type up could damage the tiled surface.
Most peel-and-stick tiles aren’t very water-resistant, so take extra care when using them in areas where moisture is a possibility. You can prep your surface with a sealant before laying the self-adhesive tiles.
It may pay to spring for real tile in areas with more likelihood of mildew or spills and use peel-and-stick for low-maintenance spots, like walls. Remember that tiles that are not hard-wearing may not be the best choice if you plan to sell your home soon, though some sources say it increases the value when done well.
Every manufacturer has its own instructions, but this is the general process for applying self-adhesive tiles to surfaces in your home,
Let your tile acclimate to the room where you will install them for 48 hours. Prep your surface to be tiled by cleaning it well with a degreaser. You can remove any outlet covers before you get started.
Begin laying your tiles from a bottom corner edge, using a level to ensure they don’t slowly slant as you progress. Remove the adhesive film from the back of the tile and slowly press it to the surface. Use a credit card to smooth the tile on the surface and remove any air bubbles.
Use a straightedge and a utility knife when cutting tiles to fit in tight spots. When the new tile is down, don't use harsh chemical cleaners that might damage its bonding agents. Instead, use a solution of water and dish liquid or water, white vinegar, and dish liquid.
Peel-and-stick is a low-commitment way to try something new in a room that seems a little blah.
If you want to try peel-and-stick tile out on a small area at first, try tiling your mudroom walls or the inside of a coat closet. Even applying a peel-and-stick tile to the back of your bookshelves is an easy way to add pattern and color to your home library.
Trying to plan out where to put your tile? You may have seen the TikTok trend of laying down blue painter’s tape before applying floor tiles for easy removal. However, some have found that even tape that is meant to be removed can leave a sticky residue on floors. Ditch the tape and use Spoak’s Design Suite to plan your project instead.
Peel-and-stick backsplash tiles are the renter’s choice for giving old apartment kitchen tiles a facelift. They’re also a wonderful way for homeowners to experiment with bolder designs or colorful mosaics without committing to a big home renovation project.
For your peel-and-stick backsplash, you can go classic with subway tiles to cover the existing eye sore in your kitchen. Try something a bit different with fresh pink subway tiles, or give your kitchen a mid-century feel with geometric tiles, like chevrons or hexagons. Even a white tile backsplash can have one colorful tile here and there for a charming feel.
Traditional tile will always wear better and last longer than peel-and-stick, but for such a small investment, peel-and-stick is a great way to try new things with your home’s flooring.
Do you have an old desk that could use a facelift? Try laying peel-and-stick tile over the top of it. It may make a smoother work surface. Use a rainbow of colorful tiles for a child’s desk. Better yet, let them help you install it.
The peel-and-stick tile trend is sticking around, and it’s not just for renters! Are you itching to try peel-and-stick tile in that one neglected room that seems to need something more? Complete your home renovation with design inspiration from Spoak.
Photo Credit: (Left) Oh My Tiles
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