Using Vinyl Smart Tiles to Update My Kitchen

Pinspired to DIY
by Pinspired to DIY
1 Material
6 Hours
My kitchen had a hideous green paint that looks like it survived a time machine trip from the 1970s! That paint, along with the Formica counter tops and oak builder grade kitchen cabinets made me cringe every time I walked into the kitchen.
Here are some pics of our hideous kitchen:
We do plan on remodeling the kitchen at some point in the future, once we have time and funds to do so, but in the meantime, I wanted to do something to make the kitchen look at least a little more up-to-date. As I was searching Pinterest and reading other blogs, I found quite a few people using Smart Tiles, which are adhesive vinyl back splash tiles. They looked easy to install and since they are just adhesive, they won’t be too hard to take down when we finally do remodel the kitchen someday, unlike a real tile back splash which would be much more time and labor intensive to put up and take down. So, off to Home Depot I went… And unfortunately my local Home Depot doesn’t carry them in-stock, only online. So… off to Lowe’s I went! And I found one pattern of Smart Tiles there that was on clearance, and luckily I liked the pattern, so….. SCORE! (Although even on clearance they were still around $7 for each 10x10 “tile”. I purchased what they had left in stock, and then the rest I had to purchase from the Smart Tiles website.

To start off, I wiped down the green walls with a wet cloth to make sure they were clean, and once dry, I started stickin’ up the tiles. They are very easy to put up, but I would DEFINITELY recommend taking the time to make sure the seams match up for each new tile, otherwise it will stand out quite a bit where the two mosaics meet up. Here’s what it looked like after I completed my first few rows:
Once I had most of the tiles up behind the sink, I realized the green molding above the Formica counters stood out big time, so I decided to paint the molding prior to finishing off the “tile” work (that way I wouldn’t have to tape off the walls, only the formica, since the walls would soon be covered in “tile”. I used a tan color Behr paint (same color we used in our front bathroom remodel), and it matched wonderfully!

I then continued on my “tiling” journey until all of the hideous green paint was gone, yay!!!!!! And I must say, the back splash has dramatically improved the appearance of our kitchen, even with the ugly oak cabinets and Formica counters. We have gotten many compliments on it and everyone has thought we put up real tile! It looks SO much better. Here are some pics of the finished back splash:
To “tile” the whole kitchen back splash, it cost about $300 total for all the tiles. It only took a few hours to complete the kitchen (I worked on it for a few hours over two days). But the difference in my kitchen is pretty dramatic and now I don’t have to cringe when I walk into my kitchen! To see more details on how I put up the back splash and for more pictures, please visit my blog at the link below!
Suggested materials:
  • Smart Tiles   (Lowe's and Smart Tiles website)
Pinspired to DIY
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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3 of 16 questions
  • Jun13209523 Jun13209523 on Oct 13, 2016
    Anyway to get rid of the gingerbread trim on the cabinets? I have it at the bottom of am my cabinets.

  • Chrystle Haacke Albrecht Chrystle Haacke Albrecht on Aug 15, 2017
    Now that it's been about a year how are they holding up still? Any issues with sticking around your stove/oven due to heat?

  • Pamela DeLuca Pamela DeLuca on Sep 02, 2017
    did you have to pull out the appliances (oven) or did you just work around them?

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