DIY Kitchen Backsplash Ideas

Bright kitchen with wood-like backsplash
Bulgac/Getty Images
  • 01 of 10

    Get Creative

    Brick backsplash in kitchen
    Roberto Westbrook/Getty Images

    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.

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  • 02 of 10

    Laminate

    Laminate Flooring DIY Backsplash
    Bower Power Blog

    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.

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  • 03 of 10

    Wallpaper

    diy backsplash
    @evenkiel/Instagram

    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.

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  • 04 of 10

    Tile Decal

    diy peel and stick tile kitchen backsplash
    Gypsy Yaya

    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 like Gypsy Yaya did above. 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 India, tile decals add vigor to your kitchen with minimal work.

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  • 05 of 10

    Artificial Stone

    Manufactured Veneer Stone Kitchen Backsplash
    Stilettos and Diapers

    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.

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  • 06 of 10

    Tyles

    Tyles DIY Kitchen Backsplash
    The NIC Studio

    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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  • 07 of 10

    Subway Style

    Subway Tile DIY Backsplash
    Addicted 2 DIY

    If you want to make your own tile backsplash, think along the lines of low-cost and uniform. Few tiles capture those qualities as well as subway tiles

    Subway tiles have a 1:2 dimension ratio. This means that for every inch high, it is 2 inches wide. 3 inches by 6 inches is a common subway tile size.

    Subway tiles are great for do-it-yourselfers since they tend to be inexpensive. Because every tile is uniform, there is no complicated mixing and matching of different colors and sizes.

    Katie at the design blog Addicted 2 DIY used subway tiles and discovered just how easy it is to do her own tile work by purchasing pre-mixed thinset mortar, instead of dry, powder thinset.

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  • 08 of 10

    Faux Brick

    diy whitewashed faux brick backslpash
    Bless'er House/Remodelaholic

    This could be a kitchen in a century-old rowhouse. But it's not. Instead, it's a wonderfully crafted duplicate made from a low-cost material that is easy to obtain: tileboard.

    Tileboard is medium density fiberboard with a hard melamine layer on top that gives it its look. Tileboard often, but not always, adopts the look of tile. You can purchase tileboard that looks like brick as did Lauren at Bless'er House. To disguise the material's faux origins, she applied faux whitewash: one part white semigloss paint to one part water, brushed on twice.

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  • 09 of 10

    Painted Ceramic Tile

    Painted DIY Tile Backsplash
    A Beautiful Mess

    If awards were being handed out for the most DIY of all DIY backsplashes, it would be this one: painting your ceramic tile backsplash. No tear-out is involved, no purchasing heavy materials or hauling them back home.

    As Laura Gummerman shows on her design blog A Beautiful Mess, transforming a dated, worn and downright ugly backsplash to one that is, in her words, fun and happy can be as easy as painting on a new coat. She used silicone epoxy paint (Top Secret Coatings, Clear Green shade) to give her earthen brown subway tiles a fresh, bright new color.

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  • 10 of 10

    Beadboard

    beadboard diy kitchen backsplash
    Ella Claire

    What's not to love about this wood beadboard backsplash? Yes, sinks and counters are wet areas, but properly sealed, wood beadboard can serve as a backsplash.

    Kristen from Ella Claire Inspired spent almost nothing to purchase quarter-inch pressed wood beadboard and tacked it to the wall with construction adhesive and a brad gun. Now her kitchen has a stately and classic feel. While she painted the beadboard traditional white, you can apply any color to it.