The first time I stepped inside my studio apartment in New York City, I knew it was perfect. It had three closets (big find for NYC). It had an alcove, so the bed wasn’t, like, in the sink. And it was only up one flight of stairs. Overall, a huge real estate win. But you know what would have made it even more perfect? A backsplash.
The kitchen, which is also kind of the living room, happened to have a plain piece of wall space between the cabinets and the counters that really, really irked me. Listen, I’m a reasonable person, and I don’t need a backsplash in order to live. Obviously, I did not pass up an otherwise amazing living situation because of something as minor as its lack of decorative wall tiling. Instead, obviously, I signed the lease and set out to find a way to get my backsplash without forfeiting my security deposit or necessitating that I learn how to grout.
Luckily for me, Amazon is the land of things I didn’t know existed, and it was there that I found the miracle that is Tic Tac Tiles Premium Anti Mold Peel and Stick Wall Tile, or as us tiling newbs call them, sticker tiles. The 3-D self-adhesive faux tiles are pretty much glorified wall decals made out of an easy-to-clean plastic-like material — but trust, they look real as hell. And best of all, they require little more than scissors and an X-Acto knife to properly install. I opted for a soothing mint hue in a thematically appropriate style known as “Subway Design” for my humble urban abode, but Tic Tac Tiles truly has a lewk for every kind of home in every color on the spectrum. And while I literally just started slapping the very, very sticky sheets of these babies one right after the other onto my wall (the stickers come in big swaths with ends that are designed to overlap, which really drives home the illusion that they are individually placed tiles as opposed to glorified puzzle pieces), if you’re covering a more expansive space, I’d recommend doing a little more planning — maybe with a ruler? — before embarking on this DIY project.
The result, I can assure you, is nothing short of stunning, in my opinion, or at the very least, objectively convincing, and now, my sticker tile backsplash is by far my most treasured apartment feature. Admittedly, if you really zoom in on the thing, a few edges aren’t completely stuck down, and some of my knife work abides by a more nontraditional definition of straight — more an indication of my skills than the product itself — but that doesn’t stop me from happily screaming at all my house guests “The backsplash is stickers!” as soon as they cross my threshold. Perfection is overrated anyway.
You, too, can adorn your kitchen walls (or bathroom walls, for that matter!) with sticker tiles, which are sold per sheet for $4 to $6, in packs of five sheets for about $20 to $40, or in packs of 10 for no more than $45. Check out a few of their many designs, from tiny taupe squares to faux sea-glass rectangles to graphic black-and-white damask shapes, at the links below, or by visiting their Amazon storefront.