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DIY Renter Friendly Tiled Wall

6 Materials
4 Hours

Because I live in a PMQ, i.e a rented home, I’ve created renter friendly tiled wall for our small upstairs bathroom.

A while back I fell in love with Aspect Tiles’ peel & stick glass subway tiles. As a renter, I loved the idea of something I could quite literally peel and stick. However, as a renter, I did not love the idea of having to put fresh drywall in after removing them for our march-out. So what did I do then? Read on to find out.

diy renter friendly tiled wall


  • Foam core boards – I needed four (20″ x 30″)
  • Hammer and finishing nails (1″)
  • 20 square feet of Aspect Tiles – or any other peel and stick tiles
  • Glass tile cutter
  • GE Silicone 1
  • GE Silicone caulking in white
  • Wall trim – I had a colonial design, and then one they call the “sausage.” I got ’em all at Home Depot.
  • Black paint – I used Behr Limousine Leather MQ5-5o
  • Paint Brush

diy renter friendly tiled wall

Step 1: Measure the wall you want to cover. Your measurements are for the foam core that will be covering the wall, so make sure you include and counter tops that jut into the space, awkward angles and light fixtures.

diy renter friendly tiled wall

Step 2: Cut your foam core to specification. I used four panels, and numbered them before cutting them so that I knew which ones went where. Getting the cuts right was important at the edges of the wall, but not so much for where the mirror used to be since I would be covering it with a large circular mirror.

Step 3: Using a hammer and nails, nail the foam core to the wall. This will be a life-saver when you have to take them off to move. It will be as simple as pulling up the boards, not the tile.

diy renter friendly tiled wall

Step 4: Start laying tile! This will be most complicated part because you’ll have to make sure everything is plum and even, and that your spacing is on point.

Start by laying a blocking piece at the bottom if your floor trim isn’t even. If it is – you’re in luck! Use that. You always lay tile from the bottom-up.

diy renter friendly tiled wall

Step 5 – Optional – I used white caulking to fill any gaps between tiles that might have occurred due to error. I had a few, so I filled them with caulking.

Step 6: Cut your trim to go around the exterior of the wall, much like you would an edge tile. In my case, a few of my tile cuts weren’t completely straight, or particularly pretty, so the trim helped cover those up nicely.

Step 7: Paint your trim dark glossy black. The contrast is classic, and looks really polished. I used a paint sample that I got at the Home Depot, and then sealed them with a tough coat.

diy renter friendly tiled wall

Step 8: Using GE Silicone 1, I applied the trim to the tile not the wall. Run a bead of caulking down the back of the trim, and then press firmly, holding for 30 seconds before moving onto the next piece.

diy renter friendly tiled wall

Caulking takes up to 12hrs to dry, so I let is sit overnight.

Step 9: This is where I would say “hang your mirror” but I did it before applying the trim because I was tired of looking at the wall in the middle of the tiles. Because the mirror is large and heavy I didn’t tile over where I would attaching it.

diy renter friendly tiled wall

Enjoy your beautiful tiled bathroom! For more diy ideas check out my blog

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Khelli Boyd
    on Jun 24, 2019

    Before you do anything, ask your landlord! Peel and stick items are usually NOT welcome by management as they attract bugs. I don't care how clean you are, anyone can accidentally bring home bugs from shopping. It happens. They love adhesive glue on wallpaper, contact paper, adhesive backibgs, you name it. Cardboard boxes. . Just a warning.

    • Ariel
      on Jun 24, 2019

      Hi Khelli, if you read through the tutorial on my site, you'll see that I used foam core backing as the base for the tiles, they did not go directly on the wall.

  • Gail
    on Jun 24, 2019

    Did you just ask your landlord? Maybe he would have approved your style and you could have done the REAL thing and not had to worry about removing it after. It might have been a win-win.

    • Ariel Garneau
      on Jun 24, 2019

      we lived in military base housing, so everything had to be removed when we left i.e nothing permanent (sadly)

  • Lyn
    on Jun 24, 2019

    You nailed the foam to the wall? Which means holes in the wall? Will you fill them up when you leave?

    • Lyn
      on Jun 25, 2019

      Thanks for the reply! Some people are very sensitive about holes, even small ones.

Join the conversation

  • William
    on Jun 20, 2019

    That is a great solution. Genius idea. I have advised renters to use peel and stick tile on thin plywood and adhere it to walls with a few blobs of silicone caulk for backsplashes. Pops right off, caulk just peels and rubs off. Your is a simpler idea. Super share.

    • Ariel
      on Jun 24, 2019

      exactly! As long as it's not going on the drywall directly, it's easy to remove!

  • Kathrine Anderson
    on Jun 24, 2019

    Nice job. Thanks for sharing.

    • Ariel
      on Jun 25, 2019

      thank you! If we ever go back into a rental I'll be doing it again!

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