If I told you that subway tile backsplash was a peel-and-stick project, would you believe me?
We recently moved into a two bedroom apartment to get ready for our new baby on the way and we were so excited to be gaining some more space. One of the biggest places where we gained space was our kitchen – our new kitchen is about three times the size of our old one. Such a great find in a city known for tiny apartment kitchens! Our only problem was that the kitchen was old, outdated and patched together with all different materials. We will be posting a full kitchen makeover post sometime in the upcoming weeks, but let’s just say there were three different types of cabinets and two different types of counter top – in other words, less than pretty.
When we signed the lease for the new place I immediately started researching easy, inexpensive kitchen solutions and found Smart Tiles. Smart Tiles are essentially peel-and-stick backsplash options that you install yourself. As soon as I saw photos of the tiles and read the positive reviews, I knew they would be perfect in our kitchen.
Here is a photo of our kitchen about midway through our kitchen makeover project:
We were happy with our new sink, shelving, and butcher block counters, but felt that a backsplash would really make the space come together and feel ‘finished’. I checked out the tile options on their site and after some debate (they have a lot of beautiful options!) we chose to use their Metro Blanco Tile which is their larger version of a white subway tile – making all of my Joann Gaines dreams come true. Smart Tiles was kind enough to sponsor this post and I couldn’t wait to get started installing the tiles when the package arrived.
Though I’d already read reviews and knew that the tiles were thin, I was still shocked when I opened the package to find what seemed like large stickers. I was a little worried that the tiles wouldn’t look as real as I’d hoped, but we decided to press on and give the little textured stickers the benefit of the doubt. We made sure to wipe down the wall first to give the tiles a clean place to stick. Then we started the corner and Dave used a pencil and level to stick the first sheet of tiles down. We knew that the first sheet would be one of the most important pieces (the last thing we needed was crooked tiles) so he stuck them down loosely at first.
Once we were confident in our placement, we stuck the next sheet on. One of the ways that the stickers achieve their real-tile-look is by having the sheets overlap each other. After Dave got the first few sheets on the wall, he started flying through the first row. Then, once the first row was complete, I really started to see how the end result would look and I got very excited.
The second row went on even more quickly as we got the hang of the process, and we were able to move over to the other wall. I’d estimate the sticking of the tiles took less than two hours – a lot less time than grouting and placing ceramic tiles! A few of the tools that Dave found useful during the tile installation (installation seems like a hefty word for how easy the Smart Tiles went up, but tile-sticking doesn’t have the same ring…) He used the exacto-knife and cutting board to trim the tiles for our edges and the level was essential for keeping the tiles in a straight line.
We also decided to caulk the edges of the tiles to further create the illusion of a real tile backsplash. Dave used a tube of caulk and some painter’s tape to keep the edges nice and straight. I really think this extra step did wonders for the final look of the tile.
And ta-da! After only a few hours of work, we have a subway tile backsplash! I can’t believe how good it looks! When people come over and we tell them that the backsplash was a peel-and-stick project, they have to stick their heads under the cabinets and feel the tiles with their hands before they believe me. Yes, the seems are visible between each sheet, but you have to get close to really see them – and that requires ducking down under the cabinets. I think the magic of this product is the texture and shine that really makes it look so close to the real thing.
Isn’t it pretty? I could not recommend this product enough – especially if you have a circumstance that doesn’t allow for tiling. This works wonders for rental units, campers, boats, etc. If you are thinking of taking on a backsplash project, I suggest heading over to their website to see their designs. Some of my favorites are the Hexagon Penny Tiles, Subway, and Marble Herringbone – and you see now why I had a hard time choosing which tile I would use!
Can’t wait to show you all whole kitchen makeover post – it was quite the summer project!
A huge thank you to Smart Tiles for sponsoring this post! Although I received product in exchange for a review, all the opinions in this post are my own. I would never put my name behind something I don’t actually love!