A few months ago I decided – while my husband was away for work – that I would remove our 6″ granite backsplash and install subway tiles. I love white subway tiles. But I also love the look of gray marble hexagon tiles, penny glass tiles, and chevron patterned tiles. My style is varied. And I change my mind. a lot.
So when I saw these StickTiles, I figured it was perfect for me.
The tiles are actually made with a flexible epoxy material that is easy to cut (with a utility knife or scissors) so you can work around tricky spots, spaces and corners.
They really do look like tile. And they’re not a big investment. And since I’ve been slowly trying to brighten up our kitchen, I jumped at the chance to try these out.
Here’s my kitchen before with the backsplash:
First, I had to remove the granite backsplash. I’m a little glad my husband wasn’t home then – he would have tried to talk me out of it. I can hear him now, “Why would you throw away perfectly good granite?” And my answer would be, “because I don’t like it.” Totally reasonable, right?
I did some research online on how to remove a granite backsplash and the results were varied. Some said to use a blow torch (!) to melt the glue and caulking but that made me nervous so I went with a safer route. I used limited tools and it took me a little over an hour.
- Sharp utility knife
- Metal paint scraper
- DAP Patch and Paint Lightweight Spackling
1. Using a sharp utility knife, cut the caulking where the granite meets the wall and also along the bottom of the backsplash – where it attaches to the countertop. You might need to cut these areas a few times to get it undone.
2. After the caulking is cut, insert a metal paint scraper behind the backsplash as best you can and tap the handle with a hammer. You’ll need to do this a lot. And then a few more times, moving it down the granite as you go. You’ll notice that some spots are harder than others. This is where the glue is. Just keep at it but don’t try to pry it off or force it too soon though. That will only damage your wall.
3. You will start to feel the stone pull away from the wall more and more. Then it will just detach!
4. Once the backsplash is removed, you’ll need to remove all the excess caulking on the countertops. I used the same utility knife and paint scraper and gently scraped away the caulking. My caulking was clear so it was a little hard to see. I kept cleaning it up and kept scraping more off until it was all removed and clean.
5. My walls weren’t too bad but they did need a little repairing. I used this spackling. Someone recommended it on a YouTube video and it’s perfect. Before I applied it through, I used my paint scraper to scrape off any excess glue on the walls.
6. After that, I applied the spackling to any areas of the walls that needed to be repaired. Let it dry and sand as necessary.
Now your walls are ready for the “tiles.” I painted my walls first because I felt like the tiles would stick better to a clean, painted surface.
You’ll need the following tools:
- A sharp x-acto knife
- A ruler, scissors
- A thin sharpie.
- StickTiles – there are so many different styles and designs. I used these white subway tiles with gray grout. I love them but shop around and find what works best for your home. When figuring how much to order, add an additional 10% for waste. Also, even though each sheet says it’s 10.5”x10.5”, it doesn’t really cover that much area because the tiles come in an interlocking design. So even though each sheet is that size, there are tiles missing to accommodate the overlapping and this makes the coverage area less. make sense? I had to reorder 4 more packs because I didn’t factor this in to my measurements.
1. I started from the corner and worked my way out. Each sheet comes with a peel off adhesive backing and a plastic protective cover on the front. I peeled the backing off, adhered the tile sheet to the wall, made sure it was straight, and then rubbed it to adhere it really well. Then I removed the plastic covering. The plastic protective covering is really helpful because it’s easier to smooth out the tiles with this on. Plus, you can write directly on it with the sharpie.
2. I continued to adhere more tile sheets to the walls, interlocking them as I went.
3. If I had to cut any of the sheets, I simply measured them with my ruler, marked them up with the sharpie (on the plastic covering), and cut them with the x-acto knife (on a protective blotter underneath).
4. To cut around any odd spaces, I used sharp scissors – they were easier to work with. Someone on YouTube suggested making a template for odd shaped areas but that seemed more confusing to me.
Again, here’s how this area of my kitchen looked before:
And here it is after the backsplash was removed and the StickTiles added:
I love how these look and since I change my mind a lot on my design choices, this was a great solution for me.
This definitely made our kitchen brighter and a little more chic.
It also added over an inch to our counter depth since the old granite backsplash was so thick. I know this doesn’t seem like much but it really makes a difference.
I hope I covered all the details but be sure to send along any questions you many have. Or share your own DIY renovation story!
I’ve been dying to try stick tiles….they look amazing! Just like regular tile. Love it Lori!
Once again, you’ve inspired us with another awesome DIY project! You have a way of making it look so easy, Lori! What a beautiful addition to your kitchen….It looks fantastic!
Thanks Beth!! 🙂
My kitchen is somewhat enclosed and the small backsplash is on all four walls where there is a countertop. I only want the sticky tile on the wall where the stove is since it is the only continuous wall and countertop that does not end before the wall does. I am debating how it will flow if I remove the small backsplash on just that wall. I feel I would then need to remove it from the walls adjoining the stove wall.
That’s a tough call without seeing pics but I think I know what you mean. I thin removing the backsplash from that wall is the way to go. you could always get it recut and glued back on around the stove/sticky tiles if you thought it needed it after the fact.
Carol S Hubbard says
How did you know the granite countertop was finished beneath the backslash?
I’m not sure what you mean? We had the granite countertops installed so I knew how it was done and besides just a little glue, there wad nothing else there.
Such a great post! We have red granite that goes up the walls a few feet. The whole thing is a constant eyesore and makes me not cook a lot in this new home.
Replacing it with white marble is “goals” for me but daunting re stains and also it’s a whole process with a ton of people in the house for many days.
Replacing the backsplash with white marble and mirror wasn’t a solidified idea in my head until I read this blog post.
Thank you. Ever grateful. XOXO
Love this tutorial! Could you tell me what color your cabinets are? I was wanting to paint my dark cabinets similarly to complement my cre colored granite countertops
I think they’re Ben Moore Super White. Good luck!