DIY/Craft

5 DIY Kitchen Backsplash Ideas

If one element of your home is a natural do-it-yourself project, it’s the kitchen backsplash. Flooring, electrical, plumbing, doors, windows–call in the professional and never feel guilty about doing so–but backsplashes are practically made for DIY.

DIY backsplashes tend to be light-weight and made of materials that are easier to apply than the usual ceramic or glass. Many come with pre-applied adhesive backing, while others stay up with light brads or construction glue.

Laminate: Fast, Inexpensive, Easy

Lifestyle Blogger Katie Bower reasoned that laying laminate flooring on her backsplash would be the best way to get the wood look without the wood cost. Taking advantage of a clearance sale at her local home improvement store, she tacked up an entire wall’s worth of laminate on the cheap with a cordless brad nailer. It is wipeable and waterproof, as long as it is properly caulked at the bottom.

Eye-Catching and Unexpected Wallpaper Backsplash

New York-based designer Kiel Wuellner felt it would be “too expected” to lay real ceramic subway tile for his kitchen backsplash. So, to great Instagram acclaim, he used temporary wallpaper.

Yes, vinyl, self-stick products are a staple of DIY backsplashes. But this idea is different. Wallpaper comes in large sections, so you can roll it out across a wall in one strip instead of methodically assembling small pieces. More than anything, wallpaper opens your decor options to the max. Go for faux brick or subway tile, as Kiel did. Or throw care to the wind and try any number of other designs: art deco, nautical, ​Trompe-l’œil, geometric, floral. This woven polyester wallpaper is self-adhesive, lays down smooth and unlike paper-based wallpaper, can be easily removed.

Vibrant, Striking Tile Decal Backsplash

Installing ceramic tiles on a backsplash is hardly a novel idea. It is, in fact, one of the smartest ways to cover a backsplash, since tiles are sturdy, waterproof and easy to customize. They are also difficult to install accurately and well. Tile is heavy and its adhesive, thinset, can be hard to work with. Not only that, tile is permanent. This bars renters from ever changing out the dated harvest gold backsplash that they must confront every day.

Bypass this with the ultimate DIY backsplash: tile decals. Made of waterproof vinyl, tile decals come in large panels that are visually segmented into smaller tiles, from 2-inch squares on up to 12-inch square. With faux grout lines, these tiles look uncannily like the real thing. Spanning the design globe, from Portugal and Morocco to Mexico and, tile decals add vigor to your kitchen with minimal work.

Gorgeous, Easy-to-Apply Artificial Stone Backsplash

Natural stone lends a timeless aesthetic to any part of your home. Yet real stone is anything but a DIY-friendly material. Enter manufactured veneer stone, an artificial product made of Portland cement, aggregates and iron oxides. These materials are “baked” in molds created from real stone and they pop out of the oven looking amazingly realistic.

Best of all, manufactured veneer stone can be installed as a DIY backsplash with relative ease. Molly Wey, over at the design blog Stilettos & Diapers, literally stumbled upon this fact when she was at Lowe’s and saw an Airstone veneer stone display. She purchased Airstone for her kitchen backsplash and found that it was as easy to install as a puzzle. Even her 3-year-old son jumped into the game. And so fast! 8 hours later, she had a beautiful new kitchen backsplash.

Bespoke Artwork Influences Kitchen Backsplash

Design maven Nicole Block, who runs Brooklyn, NY’s The Nic Studio, specializing in stationery, design, and illustration, felt her own home was a “dirty, outdated pit.” So she did what any self-respecting designer would do in order to spruce up her kitchen: she created an entirely new product called Tyles.

Unlike other vinyl self-stick DIY backsplashes, Tyles is decidedly not faux. It does not aim to replicate the look of real tiles. Instead, it uses original artwork hand-drawn by Nicole to create utterly unique and fantastic backsplash designs. 

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