How to Use Peel & Stick Tiles on Countertops

Written by sal marco
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Peel-and-stick tiles offer homeowners an economical option to dress up old or distressed countertops. Peel-and-stick tiles allow decorators to show off their creativity, add a splash of colour or mimic stone and other costly countertop surfacing materials. Vinyl tiles provide a durable and easy-to-maintain surface in high traffic kitchens. Peel-and-stick tiles allow all levels of do-it-yourselfers an opportunity to revamp their kitchens beautifully on a budget.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • De-greasing detergent
  • Scrub brush
  • Rag
  • Adhesive
  • C-clamps
  • Weight
  • Epoxy repair putty
  • 100-grit sandpaper
  • Sanding block
  • Grease pencil
  • Utility knife
  • Metal straight edge
  • Rolling pin

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  1. 1

    Remove all items from the existing countertop. Spray the surface of the existing countertop with a degreasing detergent. Scrub the countertop with a scrub brush to remove grease, oils and surface dirt. Dry the countertop thoroughly with a rag.

  2. 2

    Secure loose old countertop material in place with the appropriate adhesive. Clamp the lifted pieces with a C-clamp or place weights on the area to bond the existing countertop to the substrate.

  3. 3

    Fill in divots and low spots with epoxy repair putty. Fill the depression so it sits slightly above the existing countertop. Let the epoxy putty dry for two to three hours.

  4. 4

    Sand down high spots and the epoxy repair putty surface with 100-grit sandpaper wrapped around a sanding block to make the surface even.

  5. 5

    Rub 100-grit sandpaper over the entire surface of the countertop to rough it up slightly so the peel-and-stick tiles adhere well.

  6. 6

    Lay the peel-and-stick tiles on the countertop and arrange them in any configuration you find desirable. Fit the tiles tightly up against each other. Continue to arrange or rearrange tiles until you are happy with the layout. If all whole tiles do not fit within the confines of the countertop space, mark them with a grease pencil for cutting later.

  7. 7

    Peel the protective paper backing off the first tile and set it in place on the countertop. Begin along an edge and carefully align the peel-and-stick tile to the edge of the countertop. Rub a rag over the surface of the set tile while pressing it in place on the countertop. Continue to peel off the protective paper, set tiles tightly abutted to each other and affix them firmly in place. Make cuts as necessary with a utility knife. Use a metal straightedge to keep cuts straight.

  8. 8

    Roll a heavy rolling pin over the peel-and-stick tiles to press them in place and gain good adhesion on the countertop.

  9. 9

    Measure the height of the countertop edge and write down the measurement. Cut peel-and-stick tiles into strips that equal the height of the countertop edge with a utility knife and metal straightedge. Peel the protective paper off the back of the peel-and-stick tile strips and attach them one-by-one to the countertop edge. Rub your hand over the edges to press the tiles in place.

Tips and warnings

  • Change the utility knife blades often to prevent ragged edges on tiles from dull razor blades.
  • Do not allow excess water to puddle on peel-and-stick tile countertops; the water can break the adhesive bond and cause tiles to lift.

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