Laminate is an inexpensive material often used in place of tile. Available in an endless variety of colors and styles, laminate mimics the appearance of stone, ceramic and granite. It is sold in sheets and can be installed directly over drywall or any other flat surface. You can create a professional looking, easy-to-clean backsplash for your kitchen or bath at a fraction of the cost of tile. Each piece must be cut perfectly to fit into the designated space; the use of a cardboard template takes a bit of extra work but prevents costly cutting mistakes.
Things You'll Need
- Paint primer
- Measuring tape
- Masking tape
- Utility knife
- Laminate adhesive
- Laminate roller
Paint the drywall where the backsplash is to be installed with paint primer. Allow to dry overnight.
Measure and mark the perimeter of the area to be covered by the backsplash with a pencil. Draw a rough outline with measurements for each edge on a sheet of paper. Include light switches and outlets.
Transfer the measurements to a large piece of cardboard or tape smaller pieces of cardboard together if necessary. Mark each line against a straight edge such as a ruler or the edge of a level. Cut the cardboard to the exact dimensions of the backsplash with a pair of scissors to create a template. Press the template to the wall and check for accuracy. Adjust as necessary.
Flip the template over and tape it to the back of the sheet of laminate with masking tape. Make sure the template is positioned so that when the laminate is cut it will line up with the space correctly. Mark the laminate along the edge of the template.
Cut the laminate along the marked edges with a utility knife. Use the cardboard edge to stabilize the utility knife or remove the template and cut along the lines with a pair of shears.
Clean the surface of the wall where the backsplash will be installed. Remove outlet and light switch covers and any loose materials or wallpaper from the area.
Spread laminate adhesive over the back of the sheet, stopping at least 2 inches away from the perimeter.
Position the longest straight edge against the corresponding line on the wall and press the laminate against the drywall. Slide the laminate into place and roll over it several times with a laminate roller to distribute the glue and remove any lumps or bubbles.
Wipe excess glue from the edges of the laminate immediately with a damp rag. Allow the glue to dry overnight before cleaning, scrubbing or touching the laminate.
Tips & Warnings
- Laminate may not fully adhere to drywall, especially if it is painted, greasy or dirty.
- Alan Vryhof; A&A Carpentry Services; Syracuse, NY
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images