Everything You Need to Know About Tile Stickers

Wondering if tile stickers are right your for the project you are working on? If you're looking for a quick and easy way to give your home a budget-friendly new look without a mess, tile stickers are a great option! But in my experience, people are very skeptical about using tile stickers in their own homes and they have a lot of questions about them.

In this post, I'm answering all of your burning questions about tile stickers. Are tile stickers any good? Are they easy to remove? Are tile stickers waterproof? How long do tile stickers last? We have used tile stickers in two of our bathrooms and in our laundry room, so I have a lot of experience with them. So I'm answering these questions and more! I even show you how ours are holding up in a video.

tile stickers on floor in girl's bathroom

That gorgeous floor you see above? Those are floor tile stickers! And since we have now used them in 3 different areas of our home, I get questions about them all the time. So I figured it was time for me to write a detailed post answering all of your questions about tile stickers.

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What are tile stickers?

Tile stickers, sometimes called vinyl tiles or tile decals, are very thin stickers (about the thickness of a playing card) made of waterproof vinyl.

close up of tile stickers being peeled off paper backing

Tile stickers are waterproof, scratch resistant and incredibly durable. No demo or grouting is required. Because of the easy peel and stick installation, tile stickers are also very DIY-friendly.

Do not confuse vinyl tile stickers with peel-and-stick tile–they are not the same thing. Peel-and-stick tile is much thicker (often made of a material called luxury vinyl). We used this peel-and-stick tile in our old laundry room and loved it, but it is entirely different than tile stickers/tile decals.

Vinyl tile stickers have become popular because they come in an endless variety of colors and patterns, including many that mimic the look of expensive cement tiles and moroccan tiles (at a fraction of the price). They are also popular with renters since they are removable!

vinyl tile stickers on floor of colorful modern laundry room
We loved the pattern and color on these vinyl tile stickers in our laundry room!

Where can I use vinyl tile stickers? What surfaces will they stick to?

Can you put tile stickers over tiles? Yes! But, can use tile stickers on lots of other surfaces as well. A popular seller of tile decals, Quadrostyle, explains on its website that tile stickers will stick to the following surfaces:

  • Smooth ceramic wall and floor tiles
  • Drywall painted in a satin or gloss paint
  • Laminated surfaces (e.g. Formica, melamine, IKEA furniture)
  • Linoleum, vinyl, and laminate flooring
  • Parquet and varnished wood
  • Sealed concrete
  • Sealed polished stone (e.g. granite, marble, terrazzo)
  • Glass
  • Metal
  • Plastic
  • Acrylic
  • Perspex

Tile stickers will not stick to:

  • Rough or textured wall and floor tiles
  • Irregular edged tiles or pocked surfaces (e.g. handmade tiles, tumbled marble)
  • Drywall painted in a matte, velour, or chalk finish 
  • Cracked paint
  • Old wallpaper
  • Unsealed subflooring, unsealed plywood, or raw wood
  • Waxed or oiled wood paneling
  • Unsealed concrete or stone tiles 
  • Ceramic tiles with a wax coating
  • Cork or any other porous surface
  • Damp or cracked surfaces 
  • Brick
  • Slate
teal and blue girls' bathroom with floor tile stickers
Tile stickers on the floor in Avery's bathroom

Kitchen Tile Stickers

You can use tile stickers to update an existing tile backsplash by sticking them on the tiles. If you don't have a backsplash and have only drywall behind your countertops, you can also install them directly on a wall to make it look like a tile backsplash. If you plan to use tile stickers behind anything with a heat source, make sure you purchase tile decals that are heat-proof (if you are worried about using them near a heat source, you could paint your tile backsplash instead)!

Source: Snazzy Decal

You could also use tile stickers to update a kitchen floor, though I wouldn't recommend this. Though our tile stickers have held up beautifully in our bathrooms, I personally think a kitchen floor would see too much traffic for tile stickers to hold up in the long-term (I would recommend installing a floating tile floor over your outdated floor instead). But if you want a short-term fix for a kitchen floor, they could be a great option.

Bathroom Tile Stickers

You can use tile decals to update an outdated tile floor (we've used them in both Avery's bathroom and Attley's bathroom). You can also use them on top of linoleum or sheet vinyl flooring to create the look of individual tiles. And of course, you could use them on a bathroom backsplash as well.

Most tile sticker companies also indicate that vinyl tile decals can be used in showers since they are waterproof. I have not personally used them in a shower, but I have a friend who rents in NYC and she installed some in her shower to cover a row of accent tiles she doesn't like and reports they are holding up beautifully!

vinyl floor tile stickers in bathroom
Vinyl tile floor stickers in Avery's bathroom

What are the pros and cons of tile stickers?

Pros: Tile stickers are budget-friendly, easy to install and come in an endless variety of colors and patterns. They are also renter-friendly since they can be easily removed without damaging underlying tile, linoleum, etc.

Cons: In my experience, they aren't suited for heavy traffic areas. You also have to be thorough in how you prepare your surface for installation. And most importantly, you have to be very careful about ordering the correct size tiles or the corners will peel up even if you install them correctly–more on this later. In other words, if you rush the installation or order the wrong size, you won't be happy with your results.

How do floor tile stickers hold up? How long will tile stickers last?

If you install the correct size tile stickers and prep your surface correctly, they should last indefinitely. Trust me… I speak from experience.

Our first experience with tile stickers was a fail. But it could have been avoided! Because we bought the wrong size tile stickers for our laundry room, we had issues with the edges peeling up and ultimately admitted defeat and installed a floating tile floor over the old tile.

floating floor tile installation in progress
We were SO SAD to cover the tile stickers in our laundry room that started peeling up with a floating tile floor, but it could have been avoided if we had ordered the correct size tile stickers!

Since our laundry room floor mishap, we have used correctly sized vinyl tile decals twice and I have zero regrets. The floor tile stickers in our daughters' bathrooms have been installed and subjected to daily use for over 16 months now and they are holding up perfectly. They are not peeling, ripping, etc. We are THRILLED. I explain how to size your tile stickers correctly a bit later in this post.

I highly recommend you watch the short video below to see how our tile stickers are holding up after 16 months for yourself :)

How do you install tile stickers?

Each manufacturer has its own installation instructions, which you should read carefully. But you can take a look at the general installation of tile decals in the short video below and in my post on how to update outdated tile without replacing it. The general process should be the same no matter which company you order from :)

More FAQs About Tile Stickers

What are tile stickers made of?

Tile stickers are made durable, adhesive-backed vinyl film that is then laminated for extra protection from fading, scratching, etc. When you purchase tile stickers from a reputable seller like Quadrostyle or Snazzy Decal, the material they print on is the same material that was developed for use on outdoor signage, car wraps, etc. The material is VERY sticky and durable and it is waterproof!

How do you choose the correct size tile stickers?

This is super important. When I ordered tile stickers for the very first time for our laundry room, I had them custom cut to the exact size of our ceramic tiles. This was actually a huge mistake that I didn't realize until I ordered from Snazzy Decal on Etsy for Avery's bathroom.

Snazzy Decal offered very specific instructions about how to measure for your tile stickers and explained you should order them about 1/8″ SMALLER THAN YOUR TILES on each side. That way it leaves a small border all the way around your tile and the sticker is adhering to a perfectly flat surface all the way around (not a slope or bevel which some tiles have slightly.)

The tile sticker should not go all the way to or over the grout line at all. You can see below how the tile stickers in Attley's bathroom don't go all the way to the edge. This is what you want!

Keep in mind that pretty much all tile sticker companies will custom cut the stickers for you. So even if you only see listings for set sizes (like 12 x 12) that won't work for you, just message them and ask them if they can custom cut your size. The answer will almost certainly be yes and they will explain how you should place your order.

floor tile stickers in bathroom

What kind of prep work is required?

Not much! Be sure to vacuum up and dirt, dust, debris. Then clean your surface really well, with something like TSP.

If you are installing floor tile stickers, you may want to paint the grout lines first (if your tile stickers don't go well with your existing grout lines). As I mention in the video (embedded earlier in this post), some of the paint on our grout lines has peeled off, but I'm not surprised since I rushed painting the grout lines with leftover wall paint. I should have used porch and floor paint. Oh well! It's not hard to touch up!

installing tile stickers on bathroom floor

Can you feel the tile stickers on the floor?

SO many of you asked this! They are thin enough that you don't register there is something sitting on top of your tiles. They are not perfectly smooth. The texture feels similar to the vinyl cover on a binder. Just the tiniest bit of texture. They aren't as cold to the touch as tile, but they don't feel like cheap, plastic either. They feel pleasantly soft and smooth.

What kind of floor can I use tile stickers on?

You can definitely use them on smooth ceramic tile (that's what we used them on) and porcelain tile. Many people have asked if tile stickers can be used on textured tile (think slate, travertine, etc). Based on the list of surfaces that tile stickers can and can't be used on that you can find above in this post, the answer is NO. The surface of the tile needs to be fairly smooth and the edges need to be straight.

You can use tile stickers on linoleum, vinyl or hardwood floors. If you do that, you can skip the grout lines all together by butting the tile stickers directly up to each other. If you prefer grout lines, you could paint the floor underneath and space them out to create any color grout lines you want.

Can you use tile stickers in showers?

Most tile sticker companies also indicate that vinyl tile decals can be used in showers since they are waterproof. I have not personally used them in a shower, but I have a friend who rents in NYC and she installed some in her shower to cover a row of accent tiles she doesn't like and reports they are holding up beautifully!

That said, I would not personally use them in a shower. Though I would not worry about them peeling off, I would worry about mold forming along the tiny edge of the tile stickers. Tile stickers are thin (about as thick as a playing card), but they aren't so thin that mold and mildew couldn't form on the edges.

How do you clean tile stickers? Can you get water on tile stickers?

I had several of you very concerned about the amount of water that will hit the tiles and if that is cause for concern. Vinyl tile stickers are waterproof! You can mop them with no issues at all. I just wouldn't use a super caustic tile cleaner. If water spills or splashes on them, just wipe it up like you would with a regular tile floor.

Of course, tile stickers should not be exposed to sitting water. If water sits on tile stickers for an extended period of time, water will eventually seep under the edges and loosen the tiles.

I found a tile sticker I love, but it doesn't come in the size I need. What can I do?

Nearly all tile sticker companies will custom cut the stickers for you. So even if you only see listings for set sizes (like 12″ x 12″) that won't work for you, message them and ask them if they can custom cut your size. The answer will almost certainly be yes and they will explain how you should place your order.

What tile sticker companies have you ordered from? Do you have a favorite?

Great question! We ordered the pink tile stickers in Attley's bathroom from Tile Stickers With Soul. We ordered the ones in Avery's bathroom from Snazzy Decal. And we ordered the tile stickers that we used in our laundry room from Mirth Studio.

My favorite tile decals to install were the ones from Snazzy Decal because each one was cut out separately. Those from Tile Stickers With Soul are equally great quality, but they came on one big roll of backing paper which made them a bit harder to work with.

You can see some of my favorite tile sticker options at the bottom of this post :)

Do tile stickers come off easily if you want to remove them?

Tile stickers can be removed, which is why they are renter-friendly. We actually had to remove 2 tile stickers from Avery's floor when we installed a new toilet (after the old one cracked) because the shape of the toilet base was different. You have to pull pretty hard to get them off (the adhesive is strong), but they came off cleanly and in one-piece! There was no residue or stickiness left behind. Fortunately, we were able to easily replace them with 2 leftover tile stickers we had.

What happens if you don't order the correct size tile stickers?

Well, since we ordered the wrong size tile stickers for our laundry room floor, I can tell you exactly what will go wrong. The corners of your tile stickers will start to peel up if they are too close to the grout line and/or if they overlap the grout.

Want to see what happened to our laundry room tile stickers? Just watch the short video below. This video also shows you how to install a floating tile floor, which is another option for replacing your tile floor without having to demo the old one :)

Is using tile stickers a better option than painting the floor?

I painted and stenciled the floor in our old kitchen. And I figured out how to paint a vinyl floor in our old laundry room. We really loved both of those painted floors. They looked great and held up beautifully. I used floor and porch paint for both floors.

You can achieve the same patterns you see on tile stickers using floor paint and a stencil, but I can tell you it will take you FOREVER and the lines you can get with a stencil are not as clean and crisp. Not to mention painting tile around the toilet, vanity, and tub would be very challenging with a stencil. I would only recommend a painted and stenciled floor more for open spaces!

Installing tile stickers is quicker, easier and just as durable as paint.

What do tile stickers feel like?

They aren't as cold to the touch as tile, but they don't feel like cheap, plastic either. They feel pleasantly soft and smooth.

Are floor tile stickers slippery?

They aren't slippery at all when they are dry, but just like most tile, they can be a bit slippery when wet. The tile stickers we have used are no more or less slippery than the tile we covered with them.

Can you use tile stickers on a fireplace surround?

Well, vinyl can melt if it gets too hot. So if you ever use your fireplace, I would not use vinyl tile stickers on the tile surround. If your fireplace isn't operational, then go for it!

Can you use tile stickers behind a kitchen stove or cooktop?

Most tile companies say that it should be fine if the tile stickers are at least 4-inches away from a heat source. It might depend upon the exact material they are printed on, so check with whichever company you are considering ordering from.

Shop My Favorite Tile Stickers

You can see some of my favorite tile stickers below!

Click on any image for full product details.

Phew! That was a lot of info, huh? I hope I answered your question. If I didn't, drop a comment below and I'll do my best to answer you.

Here are some other posts you may enjoy:

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photo and blog post signature of Tasha Agruso for Kaleidoscope Living

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  1. Hi, I have used tile stickers on my Kitchen wall tiles before and some of the corners curl after time. I’m going to put new ones up but looking to seal them this time. Do you think an outdoor varnish would work or will it go yellow? Will a sealant do the same job? I want to create a barrier over the stickers themselves. Thanks

    1. Hi Rebecca. I’ve never used a varnish or sealant on tile stickers, so I’m not sure. But I would be reluctant to try it. I do think both would yellow and they might be incompatible with the vinyl material and/or adhesive on the tile stickers.

  2. Hi Tasha. Great information! I need to cover my super ugly floors in my rental. How do these hold up to moving furniture around?

    1. Hi Ellen! I wouldn’t recommend scooting having furniture around on them because if a heavy piece got caught up on the edge of a tile sticker, it could cause it to peel or damage the edge.

  3. I have a boy who, either accidentally or on purpose pees on the floor by the toilet. We are renting and have luxury vinyl throughout the entire house. We’ve already been here over a year, but I’d like to protect the luxury vinyl as best I can from further pee damage I don’t want to Cover the entire bathroom with tile stickers- just near the toilet.

    What is also possible-a strategy -to protect the crack around the toilet since there’s no grout so that wetness doesn’t seep in underneath there -it can be an off label /unstandard or ugly use of the stickers- just anything to protect that area. TIA

  4. Hey Tasha,
    I have tiles of various sizes in my bathroom that I would like to cover. Is that even possible?

    So nice to see a hometown girl make it big! You’re super talented and I love the new name Kaleidoscope! Keep it up!

    1. Thank you, Melanie! You can order tile stickers in a variety of sizes, so yes, it’s possible. But as noted in the post, I don’t recommend tile stickers for shower tiles. I hope that helps!

  5. Do these work on cabinets? Is there a vinyl sticker that would work on/be removable from cabinets? (Renter with all dark kitchen. TIA)

    1. Hi PK! I don’t know that I would recommend these on cabinets. But I have seen other content creators cover their rental cabinets with contact paper. That may be an option you could look into!

  6. Tasha! I love that your are so thorough and honest about what works and what doesn’t. I’ve been loving this idea since you posted about it the first time but I have a question I haven’t seen you answer and I haven’t been able to find an answer other places either, so I’d love your thoughts.

    I have 12×24 tile and all of the tile sticker designs I see are square – would you recommend custom ordering 12×24 (but a lil smaller, see I read the info!) with 2 squares per sticker and “grout” printed in between, or painting the grout and the center section of tile, or finding a 12×24 tile sticker design? I don’t hate the 12×24 tile size but I haven’t really seen anyone offering that size… Thoughts on what you’d do? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Lorene! I would ask them to custom cut the 12 x 24 size (though as you know, slightly smaller) for you. We’ve had to have all of ours custom cut and they’ve never charge me more for it :) Best of luck!