An Easy Way to Update Your Backsplash! A Quick Revamp of our New Kitchen

an easy way to update your kitchen backsplash

We’re actually quite lucky as we’ve inherited a decent kitchen in our new house, although I wasn’t too keen on the backsplash. I don’t think it’s that old, with white gloss cabinets, real granite worktops, a breakfast bar and my favourite item, the pull out pantry! It’s fresh, bright and modern. Although, as you always find when you move house, things don’t work as they should!

Our new kitchen with it’s blue backsplash

The lights keep flickering and going off, the sink has seen better days and the modern appliances look smart, but the top part of our oven and microwave element do not work.

Integrated oven and grill with top oven and microwave… that doesn’t work

However, there is ample storage, the worktops are in fabulous condition and it is quite well thought out. Who knew I would get so excited about a pull-out pantry??

I never knew how much I needed a pull out pantry in my life!

It also has a neat little breakfast bar on the other side which is perfect for the kids in the morning when they are eating their breakfast. It’s a bit of a tight squeeze though and they’re constantly having to duck or get out of the way so I can get into the cupboards or fridge!

There’s a little breakfast bar on the other side of the kitchen with mini pull out pantry to the left. The previous owners had a TV installed here.

Eventually, this kitchen will be our guest bedroom as we are extending our house out into the garden and creating a huge kitchen/diner space like we had in our old house.

We love to entertain and I much prefer having the kitchen leading out into the garden as this is the space we use most as a family. So, this kitchen really doesn’t work for us. You can read more about our new house here

The potential floor plan for our renovations. The current kitchen is in the room in the bottom left hand corner.
We absolutely loved the kitchen in our old house, it was a huge sociable space.

Backsplash research

We’re hoping to renovate ASAP, so I didn’t really want to do anything to this kitchen, just update it a little. I didn’t like the blue glass backsplash so I started researching cheap ways to change it and came across peel and stick tiles!

How amazing is that tap? I also love the green cabinets and of course, the backsplash that Claire has used. Image credit: @ck_homestyle
This is a vinyl backsplash from jesrose.co.uk. Image credit: @jayneepops_
Emma has also used jesrose.co.uk vinyl to change her backsplash. Image credit: @stove_pipe_house
Shell blue self adhesive tiles from Dunelm
Subway peel and stick self adhesive tile from Homebase
Art Deco Grey Vinyl – jesrose.co.uk
Lisbon Blue self adhesive tiles – Dunelm

I wanted something simple and monochrome to fit in with the existing kitchen and as you probably all know by now, I absolutely love pattern, so I settled on these Algarve Black Self-Adhesive Tiles from Dunelm.

Algarve Black self adhesive tiles – Dunelm

But wait! Make sure you get the right ones first. I saw the above image online and knew I wanted those exact ones, but when I went to buy them from Dunelm, they were going to take about 10 days to deliver.

So I had a little shop around and found the same ones at Homebase. However, they were designated floor tile ones and not for the backsplash, so when I tried to put them up, they wouldn’t stick.

I tried to stick the thicker floor tile vinyl to the backsplash but it just wasn’t having it and kept falling off!

It wasn’t until I googled to find out why I was having such problems with putting them up that I realised I had bought the thicker vinyl tiles instead of the sticky plastic film so I had to go back to Dunelm and order them anyway.

Always check and double check you have got the equipment for the exact DIY project you’re about to undertake!

The Prep

They arrived a week later and I started the prep to put them up. Which consists of clearing the area and giving it a wipe down. That’s it! My kind of prep.

Cleaning with my favourite plastic free product, Raindrop!

What you will need – 

  • Peel & Stick backsplash tiles
  • Plastic smoother 
  • Sharp knife or scissors to cut excess
  • Tape measure and pencil
  • A bit of patience

I think the most important tool from the list above is to get yourself the best plastic smoother and sharpest knife you can! The plastic smoother will help you get all the bubbles out along the backsplash and a sharp knife make it really easy to cut along the edges.

Tools for the job.

You are ready to go! The peel and stick adhesive I bought came in one long roll so I started from the left-hand corner and worked my way across the backsplash. I would take off the backing about 12 inches at a time and smooth down the peel & stick tiles with the plastic smoother and it was a lot easier than I thought.

The smoother helps you get out all the bubbles and really helped keeping the tiles straight

There were a few times the tiles would look wonky along the backsplash and worktops, so I would just peel off and stick them down with the plastic smoother again. Make sure you get all the bubbles out as you go along and that’s really all there is to it!

backsplash, pattern, kitchen
This is one roll which comes in at £18

The tricky bits

We have sockets along this wall and it was a little tricky trying to cut around them. The first socket I could measure out on the tiles before I put them up, so that was easy to cut. But as the peel and stick tiles come in one long roll, you couldn’t really cut out the socket further on down the worktops.

I cut the hole out for the socket before I started to apply
A little bit closer. Not perfect but no one’s going to notice!

It’s exactly the same as wallpapering. I just wrapped the peel and stick tiles over the socket, marked out the corners of the socket and cut into the middle. Then fold back the four corners and use scissors to cut them.

The tiles can rip quite easily so be very careful with this!

I managed to rip part of the tiles on one corner, so had to cut out some more pattern and put it over the top.

You can just about make out where the tile overlaps above the socket, but again! Not noticeable.

The last bit is to try and match up the pattern if you run out of roll! Again, this was pretty simple to do but required a little patience to get it matched up. I lined it up first before taking off the backing and then slowly peeled it away, using the plastic smoother to straighten it out.

I had to cut out a separate section to fill in the tiles under the extractor hood.

A modern kitchen for £36

Well, maybe a little bit more. I started the backsplash next to our breakfast bar and ran out of roll so will have to order one more. But I reckon two rolls at £36 should do most kitchens.

It is 100% worth every penny!

I love how the tiles look against the granite worktops
It’s like they’ve always been there
Flowers and patterns. The wonderful tray is from glasshouseabstracts.com

I am extremely pleased how it’s turned out and took me around an hour. It has freshened up our kitchen no end and it looks and feels very durable.

The Breakfast Bar

I have started on the backsplash next to the breakfast bar and will need one more roll to complete it. The next project will be to install some scaffold boards above the breakfast bar and turn it into a little coffee bar area. Any excuse for shelves in the kitchen to display my stuff!

Looks so much better! Shelving next

It’s such a simple DIY to do and took me about 2 hours overall. I did get a few questions when I put this on my stories so I thought I’d answer some here –

  1. Will it go over my tiles?

As long as the tiles are relatively smooth, I don’t see why not? Our glass backsplash had several joints and you cannot see it through the peel and stick backsplash.

  1. How many rolls will I need?

The peel and stick tiles I bought from Dunelm are 108 x 18 inches and I needed 3 rolls to do the whole of my kitchen

  1. Does it come as one long roll?

Yes! It’s trickier to install but then you’re not trying to match up the pattern every time you run out.

  1. How do you apply?

It’s the easiest thing to do! A bit like wallpaper, but without the horrible paste, you peel the back of the tiles off and using a plastic smoother, slowly smooth it across the surface.

And that’s all there is to it really. I can’t believe I managed to get a whole 1200-word blog post out of this subject! But, as ever, I’ve got a lot to say!

Do you think you’ll give it a go?

Mel x

an easy way to update your kitchen backsplash

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