Floor tile as cheap back splash?

43 Replies

Hello all,

I have a class C rental which I'd like to do some minor upgrades, will also give me an excuse to raise the rent later on!  Below is what the kitchen looks like, this is 1980 construction:

I was planning to replace the counter top but wasn't sure what to do about the back splash?  I don't want to keep the existing one but am afraid if I tear it off it might damage the existing wall.  Then it dawned on me, I could use the cheap vinyl squares that cost 75 cents at Home Depot to either stick on top or I can take off the existing back splash and stick on the wall behind?

Here's a picture of the vinyl I was thinking of using:

So what do you guys think, good or bad idea?  And I am planning to replace the flooring with the 57 cent ceramic tile from Home Depot as well.

Thanks so much!!

The small square ceramic bath tiles are cheap but if and when they peel you will be doing it twice . Thats what I use for back splashes , glue and grout . There are always a few cuts , I bought a harbor freight wet saw ( they are cheap but do the job) . Then its pretty much bullet proof , easy to clean and bright .  I bought a bunch off craigs list and its done back splashes  in 2 kitchens and 2 baths and I still have a bunch more . 

Frankly I think the current stuff looks better than that would. If you're doing ceramic on the floor, why not just do the backsplash as well?

I use 6" white tile for a backsplash in baths and kitchens. It's not expensive and it looks fantastic. Sometimes I'll throw in a strip of glass mosaic for an accent. I would never use peel & stick tile as a backsplash.

Originally posted by @Jean Bolger :

Frankly I think the current stuff looks better than that would. If you're doing ceramic on the floor, why not just do the backsplash as well?

What is that current stuff called?  I know there's a name for it but I can't think of it right now...  

I would do ceramic for the back splash but it'll cost about $2.50 a square foot not including grout and mortar.  I didn't mention this before but this is one out of six units so I'm trying to keep the cost down as low as possible.  Yes I could simply put vinyl on the floor as well but if you look closely  at the picture, you'll see if ripped before from the fridge so I prefer something a little more durable.  Perhaps I should try to remove the current back splash and see how much damage it will cause...

Thanks again! 

@Jay Y.  I looked at your profile and read your contact address: "....anothercheapguyblog...".  Aptly named!

Originally posted by @Account Closed :

@Jay Y. I looked at your profile and read your contact address: "....anothercheapguyblog...".  Aptly named!

 That's me!!!  =)

You can get ceramic that will look better for much less than $2.50 a square foot.  I am partial to white subway tile, which is frequently available for what amounts to about $1.50-$1.75 a square foot.  Other ceramic tiles in 6x6 sizes are even cheaper.  I bought 6x6 porcelain (better product than ceramic) for 22 cents apiece recently.

In a class C rental, you want it as bulletproof as possible. Ceramic tile on the floor, ceramic tile backsplash. Spend the extra dollars and use epoxy grout. Epoxy grout never needs sealing, won't stain, and is bulletproof. If epoxy is too much for you to spend, get the darkest grout they make - it will turn dark anyway in a class C rental.

Home Depot and Lowe's regularly run sales on ceramic tile for less than $.99 sq ft. Habitat for Humanity by my house has a ton as well, but it varies. Installing tile is easy, but takes time to do a good job. Get a wet saw if you are doing it yourself. Those score and snap things that look like complicated pliers are a waste of money. 

You could use the same tile on the floor as on the backsplash. Good luck!

Originally posted by @Mindy Jensen :

In a class C rental, you want it as bulletproof as possible. Ceramic tile on the floor, ceramic tile backsplash. Spend the extra dollars and use epoxy grout. Epoxy grout never needs sealing, won't stain, and is bulletproof. If epoxy is too much for you to spend, get the darkest grout they make - it will turn dark anyway in a class C rental.

Home Depot and Lowe's regularly run sales on ceramic tile for less than $.99 sq ft. Habitat for Humanity by my house has a ton as well, but it varies. Installing tile is easy, but takes time to do a good job. Get a wet saw if you are doing it yourself. Those score and snap things that look like complicated pliers are a waste of money. 

You could use the same tile on the floor as on the backsplash. Good luck!

 I agree with this.  You definitely want to go with something sturdy and matching the floor will be the way to go.

Originally posted by @Jay Y. :
Originally posted by @Jean Bolger:

Frankly I think the current stuff looks better than that would. If you're doing ceramic on the floor, why not just do the backsplash as well?

What is that current stuff called?  I know there's a name for it but I can't think of it right now...  

I would do ceramic for the back splash but it'll cost about $2.50 a square foot not including grout and mortar.  I didn't mention this before but this is one out of six units so I'm trying to keep the cost down as low as possible.  Yes I could simply put vinyl on the floor as well but if you look closely  at the picture, you'll see if ripped before from the fridge so I prefer something a little more durable.  Perhaps I should try to remove the current back splash and see how much damage it will cause...

Thanks again! 

 This is what drives me nuts, when people try to cheap out on repairs only to pay more in the long run by fixing things over and over again.  Even if you paid $2.50 per foot, big deal.  It's not like you're doing 100's of ft, how many sqft of backsplash do you have, 25?  You're looking at well under $100 in materials to do it right and have it last forever.  If you put that peel and stick crap up on the wall it will fall off pretty quick, even quicker if you stick it directly to the existing vinyl.  If you use a high quality construction adhesive it might stay up longer (the glue that comes on these tiles is terrible) but I still think you'll see peeling around the seams.

IMO peel and stick would certainly stick better to the existing vinyl or whatever that back splash is. Its a smooth surface, just make sure you clean/degrease it properly. I also don't see the point in doing the work to remove the current backsplash, buying adhesive just in order to get yet more vinyl to stick to painted drywall.

If it were me, I would remove it and do it for real. That being said, I personally don't like using the same exact product on the floor and back splash. In a sense it matches, but it also just looks 'wrong' to me, especially if its something like 12x12 ceramic for the back splash. I like much smaller tiles. Longer rectangles like subway tiles, or a mixture of small squares + rectangles. Matching the color scheme.

I don't think its wrong to use vinyl as a backsplash, so long as it looks great, and it certainly can. But I still wouldn't use the same for both. Find something that goes well with the floor, but is different. If you put vinyl up as the backsplash, just make sure you research to insure its adhered properly, and won't peel or fall off. And if you go with that picture of that 12x12 peel and stick, with the faux smaller tiles. I'd perhaps use a different pattern that looks like smaller rectangles, on the backsplash.

One thing is if you are really limited in your budget, I would do the vinyl for the floor and ceramic for the floor rather than the other way around.

I go a lot of c rental and I found out that bullet proof in the beginning is better than cheap. Because cheap will need to be redone again. The ceramic tile at 57cents is great for backsplash. Don't use vinyl around the stove- it can get hot and discolor.

All,

Here's what I did for my personal home:

They are 6" x 6" tiles that cost $.70 per tile.  But honestly folks, do you think this may be too nice for a class C rental?  I've seen houses with 12" x 12" tile for the back splash and in my opinion, it looks pretty bad...  

Also what do you think about replace the door knobs with the same brush aluminum ones above?  I don't remember how much they cost but they were pretty cheap when purchased in a bundle off Amazon.

Please keep the comments coming in!  :)

No, it is not "too nice" for a Class C rental.  If it is ceramic or porcelain (hard to tell in pic), it will last much longer than slapping peel-and-stick vinyl up, which you will have to do again soon regardless.

Ever hear the expression, "Penny wise, pound foolish?"

Here is a bathroom wall I tiled today.

The white 6x6 tiles were $24 for a box of 50 at Home Depot. The glass tile was $11.50. The metal edging along the top was $5. Thinset & grout was about $7. Total cost less than $50, perceptual value is HUGE!

I used the same white tile in a kitchen backsplash without the glass tile this last weekend. It looks fantastic! Crisp and clean, matches the white sink, and sets off the black appliances. The tile is very easy to use. It has nubs on the edges, so no spacers are needed for a 1/8" grout space. The snap type of tile cutter works very well with this tile, so I don't have to break out the wet saw in the winter. :-)

The kitchen looks to be in good shape.  I personally wouldn't destroy and create expenses...

Frank

You have a stove, and the backsplash there should be non-combustible ...

have you considered putting concrete on top of the existing countertop? It looks to be in good condition. I think the kits are about $35 at Home Depot/Lowes. 

You could also paint the countertop and backsplash. If they are in good condition and already indestructible (these appear so), then I say paint it! 

Home Depot always has a "sale" on glass backsplash. Several varieties for $5ish/sqft.  Looks great. I like to go over the top, in areas that don't dent the bottom line.  Fancypants looking glass tile backsplash costs me under under $100 for materials (8-10ft of countertop)  

I did that in one of my rentals. The tiles tended to slide down at first, I had to reposition them several times over a couple of weeks until the glue finally set. Looks OK, and still hasn't peeled off after 3 years. I do not have it by the stove though, only on the sink side. It is doable, however it was more hassle than I anticipated, and I am sure it will not last as long as ceramic or glass.

Originally posted by @Richelle T. :

have you considered putting concrete on top of the existing countertop? It looks to be in good condition. I think the kits are about $35 at Home Depot/Lowes. 

You could also paint the countertop and backsplash. If they are in good condition and already indestructible (these appear so), then I say paint it! 

 Good suggestion on the countertop.  It really is amazing how well those kits can change a countertop.  I would go with a tile back splash, I just think it will look a lot better and doesn't cost much.

The budget redo:

Tile backsplash

Vinyl tile for flooring - I would be most likely to upgrade this to tile(more durable)

Kit for countertop - I think it works for a few years, then replace with something durable

I agree that you need to do it right. Take off that ugly countertop and "backsplash" thing and replace it right. I also have C rentals. There were sales at HD and I took advantage and did a nice backsplash. The ladies who saw my place all went crazy for it!

@Jay Y.    I think that spending money on a durable nice looking tile backsplash is worth the money.  I would never use any peel and stick floor tile but only a ceramic tile of which will be timeless.  White subway tile at HD and Lowes is very cost effective however it can be time consuming with installation.   The most important factor after the tile is up in my opinion is the grout.  No matter what the class of rentals you have tenants will cook and stuff will splash and splatter.  Many will not clean up right away and grout has the tendency to stain over time.    HD used to sell TrafficMaster Stainproof grout.  It was fantastic for durability however a HUGE pain in the *** to install.   It just didn't go in well.  There are other grouts now, such as epoxy grouts which pretty much are stainproof and mold and mildew proof like the TrafficMaster was.  I think you can still special order TrafficMaster Grout from HD however a quick web search doesn't show the product (which was made by 3M) to have an active website.   Still, spending a little extra here, even in a class C rental will go a long way in getting a tenant and keeping them. 

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