When Epicurious food editor Anna Stockwell moved into her new apartment, one of the first things she noticed was an accident-prone white wall in the kitchen where a tiled backsplash should have been.
“I had just moved into a new apartment and the wall behind the stove and sink was painted a flat (totally matte!) bright white and I just knew that was going to get gross so fast. I wanted to make the wall cleanable, and make it look better and more like a kitchen.”
Kitchen renovations are notoriously expensive, difficult, and unpredictable—especially if you live in an apartment. She had a lightbulb moment one day while browsing Food52.
“I came across mosaic tiles in their shop, and that introduced me to the idea of putting fake tiles up. I went down a several-day-long internet rabbit hole of searching every night for the best and most affordable option.”
There are plenty of reasons to love a tiled backsplash. In addition to adding aesthetic appeal to just about any kitchen, tile is super easy to clean. It doesn’t get stained, and splatters—whether tomato sauce or cake batter—wipe off easily. This is especially important if you’re a food editor. It turns out these adhesive pseudo tiles filled all the same criteria—and looked super realistic and stylish, too.
When it comes to design choices for stick-on fake tiles, there are thousands. It’s hard to not fall into a rabbit hole like Anna did. You can buy hexagon-shaped stickers at Wayfair, Tuscan-inspired tiles at Target, or Moroccan options at The Home Depot.
Anna looked at these retailers and more while searching for the best solution for her kitchen. After reading tons of reviews and comparing costs, she ultimately choose a classic subway tile design from Amazon.
“I liked that these ones came in big sheets rather than as individual tile stickers, and that they were textured to actually pop out like tiles do, and they looked pretty realistic in the pictures.”
After some measuring, she ordered two boxes of twelve 10x10 sheets, trimming some to perfectly fit the space. It only took about an hour and a half to install them by herself, though Anna admits it probably would’ve been easier with another set of hands. (Bribe a friend to help you with a batch of our favorite cookies.) You literally peel and stick them on with the adhesive on the back. They can be placed on drywall, of course, but also over existing tile.
Overall, Anna loves how her new backsplash turned out. And on a recent visit to her apartment, Associate Social Media Manager Andrew Spena totally mistook it for real tile. So, if you're looking for a quick fix for covering an ugly backsplash—this is it. All you have to do is choose the right tile for you: want a getaway to a Tuscan villa? Buy these. Want to eat, pray, love around the world? Get these. Want a contemporary look? Go subway tile like Anna. And, after all, they're cheap and easy to install, so you can buy a few and choices and change your backsplash to fit your mood.
Originally Appeared on Epicurious