A Smart Tiles Product Review – The Budget Way to Backsplash

The kitchen backsplash was the first thing to go from the budget when the renovation began running over on some of our projects. It's an easy enough thing to DIY, but given that I have not one, but TWO walls of my kitchen in need of some detail, it was going to be expensive either way.

Here are some of the looks I was lusting after on Pinterest.

kitchen ideal 2


Photo Credit: Young House Love (Click for Source)

Photo Credit: Young House Love

I wanted something simple, clean, and white, with a little bit of shine to it to add some sparkle to the kitchen. I was getting bids from contractors for 9-$1300, not including tile. This number is high because of the sheer size of both walls of backsplash.

Given that I am hoping to sell the home soon (think within the next year) and try to funnel more cash into my savings, I started looking at other lower cost options. This is where Smart Tiles comes in.

Here's the exact set of Smart Tiles that I used.

Simple, clean, white. 🙂

Just as a refresher, here is what I was working with before. It would have looked a lot better if I'd just continued painting that entire wall back when I painted the whole kitchen blue, but since I've wanted a backsplash from day one, I used that ugly gap of yellow to motivate me into action.

backsplash before

I chose the Plain Subway White. At first when I got them in the mail, I was unimpressed. Honestly, they looked really flimsy (and cheap) in the packaging.

photo of the tile

But once I applied the tiles to the wall and the light began to hit it, it actually looked GOOD. And not at all like peel and stick tile.

I know, I know. I should really learn to clean up my kitchen counters before I take photos.

WHY didn't I know about these when I had a rental? Super easy to use. They're perfect, because all you have to do is unstick them once you're done.

Related: 5 Resources for the “Accidental Landlord”

photo (49)

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

    • Even though Smart Tiles provides some great tutorials on their website for installation, I still had trouble with the corners and outlets. And in my kitchen there are four outlets and a weirdly uneven window sill (pictured above.) I had to do a lot of cuts and some of them came out better than others.
    • I also had a problem with the tiles and my stove side wall. Even after letting them “set in” for a day or so, the tiles would not hold up to my industrial grade exhaust hood. They didn't come off completely, but they did begin to buckle so I'll have to find something different to do for that wall.
    • But with that said….for the price point of this product and the time it takes to install (About 2.5 hours, again, because of all the cuts I was making) you really can't beat this product. Especially if you're on a budget. I'd recommend it to anyone who just had one wall with few outlets or cuts to make, or for people in rentals.

Related: 10 Steps to Building a Budget (#7 is Key) , What is 203k renovation loan? And is it right for me?

Ready to have your best year ever? Use Financial Best Life’s free goal setting worksheets. Download here!

The thing I could not get over though is how the light reflects off of the tile, making it look like the real deal. I was very excited once I got it up on my wall. Here it is again. Now that I actually have something nice on the wall. Now, the crackly paint on the windowsill is driving me mad. I'll have to do something about that next.

kitchen backsplash after

subway tile long shot

Here's a few before and afters. Loving how my DIY Roller shade looks in the photos 🙂

backsplash before and after

kitchen before and after 2

Total cost for project: $0. I received this product as compensation for my review, but if I were to purchase Smart Tiles the cost would have been around $300. Definitely more economical (and less of a headache) than a full on tile install.

Click here if you'd like to get started with SmartTiles. They also have lots of different colors and options available here. 

Like this? Please share on Pinterest?


My budget kitchen backsplash transformation, done with the help of Smart Tiles. Cheap, easy, and oh so effective. Here's my smart tiles product review.


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  • suse
    January 18, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    I saw these and it said $7.99 and gave the dimensions (about a ft. sq.). At that price, this isn’t a bargain for me. :/ Subway tile at Lowes is about 40 cents — at 3×6 — you would need 8 tiles to make a sq. ft. . . .($4, plus grout). What am I missing? Thanks!

  • Spencer Thomas
    May 25, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    U need to caulk the space between the smart tiles and the counter – as well as space between the cupboards and tiles – this will make a huge difference – making it look even more real .
    smart tile peel and sticks after I caulked

    • Lauren Bee
      May 25, 2015 at 10:48 pm

      You are right! That looks great! What about around the outlets?

  • Tiffany@BoldButtercup
    August 5, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    This looks really great! I am in a rental now and there is no backsplash (just a little extra counter material up on the wall). Our area to tile is very small and I am actually considering this as an option. It would make it look so nice!

    • Lauren Bowling
      August 6, 2014 at 9:10 am

      I definitely recommend. Just be damn sure when you stick it that you don’t want to move it. It’s easy to remove, but doesn’t look as seamless once you stick-unstick-and stick again. Feel free to email if you end up ordering and have any questions!

  • Naomi @ Rising Net Worth
    July 31, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    You did a lovely job on the diy peel & stick tile. The after photos are really stunning, definitely can’t tell the difference from a distance. Now you’ve got me thinking about possibly doing this to add a pop up color in my little apartment. Again, great job!

  • Lisa E. @ Lisa vs. the Loans
    July 31, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Next time I’m renting, I’ll look into these. They look great!

    • Lauren Bowling
      August 5, 2014 at 2:04 pm

      Thanks Lisa! I am still very happy with them!

  • debt debs
    July 29, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    It looks very good! I’m sure you’re really pleased with the look of it!

    • Lauren Bowling
      July 30, 2014 at 3:02 pm

      Thanks Deb! I am pleased 🙂

  • Thomas
    July 28, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    I’m impressed! To be honest I didn’t think they would look that good but it turned out quite well! We recently did out backsplash too but next time I’ll consider these.

  • Alicia @ Monster Piggy Bank
    July 28, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    They look so easy to use! I’m redoing a bathroom and thinking about something like this to save money.

    • Lauren Bowling
      July 30, 2014 at 3:02 pm

      I think around a sink area would be great.

  • Matt
    July 28, 2014 at 11:46 am

    Looks awesome! Especially that last “before and after” pic!

  • Michelle
    July 28, 2014 at 8:40 am

    Wow it looks great. I love those tiles!

    • Lauren Bowling
      July 30, 2014 at 3:02 pm

      Classic, white, subway tile. Plain and simple can be great!