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These peel and stick wallpapers and tiles can spruce up your rental apartment 

Peel and stick is a cost-friendly way to redecorate your apartment.
 Peel and stick wallpaper can be installed yourself.
Peel and stick wallpaper can be installed yourself. Getty Images

Staring at bare white walls when you first move into a new apartment can almost feel like looking at an empty canvas. Should you repaint, invest in wallpaper or just hang up a large tapestry? If you’re just as indecisive as I am, something like peel and stick wallpaper or peel and stick tile might be the ideal solution for you. 

“Rather than being somewhat permanent like traditional wallpaper, peel and stick is easily removable and DIY friendly,” says Jennifer Hunter, an interior designer from New York City, NY.

Peel and stick is easy to install and renter-friendly, according to the experts we interviewed. We rounded up the best peel and stick options below and answered important questions you might have, like how long will peel and stick wallpaper last and what you need to do to prepare your walls to hang it. 

SKIP AHEAD The best peel and stick options of 2023 | How to shop for peel and stick wallpaper and tiles | How to prepare your walls

Our top picks

How we picked the best peel and stick options

We spoke with interior design and DIY experts about the best peel and stick wallpaper and tiles as well as what to look for when shopping. We also considered Select staff favorites. Here are some features to keep in mind when sourcing top picks: 

  • Type: You can get both peel and stick wallpaper and peel and stick tiles (also known as backsplash). We included options for both. Tiles are more suitable for kitchens and bathrooms, whereas wallpaper is specifically designed for spaces like your living and bedroom.
  • Design: Depending on the style of your space and your personal aesthetic, you might want a solid-colored option or a funky geometric or floral print. We made sure to include a variety of options and recommend brands that sell different colors and prints.
  • Material: Most peel and stick wallpaper is made from vinyl, according to our experts. Some are also made from other recyclable materials like paper. Tile or backsplash peel and stick, on the other hand, can be made from vinyl, glass or metal. (We explain the different materials below.)

The best peel and stick wallpaper and tiles of 2023

To help you narrow down your options, we rounded up some recommendations from  Select staff and the experts we interviewed. We’ve included both wallpaper and tile peel and stick choices, depending on what you’re looking for. 

ColoRay Wallpaper Pastel Art

This is a favorite of NBC Select SEO editor Nikki Brown, and she’s had it on her walls for around four years. She was able to install it herself but recommends getting a friend’s help. “I think peel-and-stick installation should always be a two-person job, even if the wall space is small, because it decreases the possibility of air bubbles,” she says. In the years she installed it, she’s seen no major wear and tear, except for a few air bubbles.  The wallpaper is humidity-resistant, so you can hang it in kitchens or bathrooms, according to the brand. You can customize the pattern density and size as well, tailoring it to your space. If you’re in doubt about the design, you can order a swatch first to test it on your walls. 

Smart Tiles Blok Chevron

These chevron-style peel and stick tiles “truly changed the entire look of my kitchen, and it was the best design decision I could have made,” says Zoe Malin, NBC Select associate updates editor. “Everyone assumes it’s real when they first see it.” Installation was time-consuming, but the brand’s instructions are pretty straightforward, she says. Malin says she’s had the tiles up for many months now, but they are still in perfect condition. There’s a calculator on the brand’s website where you can input your space’s measurements, and it tells you exactly how many packs of tile to buy, according to Malin. 

Spoonflower Danicka Herrick Wallpaper

A favorite of Hunter, this peel and stick wallpaper is both easy to install and remove. The self-adhesive woven fabric is available in multiple patterns and sizes. Each roll is made to order, and you can order a swatch first to see if it’s the right fit for your walls. Spoonflower wallpaper is also washable with mild soap and water, according to Hunter. 

Garden Floral Peel and Stick Wallpaper

Tempaper and Co. makes high-quality, durable wallpaper in a variety of textures and patterns and comes recommended by Melissa Fields, founder and CEO of Shades of Gray Design Studio, based in San Antonio, Texas. This floral option is made from vinyl, which can prevent tears and mold, according to our experts. You can clean it by wiping it down with a damp cloth, and it can even install it in bathrooms or other areas with high moisture, according to the brand. 

Scenic Tree Toile Removable Wallpaper

This wallpaper is recommended by Hattie Kolp, a NYC-based home design expert. It comes in two sizes, and it’s made of durable polyester fabric that can be wiped clean with a damp cloth, according to the brand. It looks like real wallpaper once it’s installed, says Kolp. 

Smart Tiles Hexago

A favorite of Select editorial director Lauren Swanson, these hexagonal tiles are extremely durable — her landlord asked her to leave them up after she moved out, and then they listed the apartment as recently renovated. “Putting up the backsplash makes the after-cooking clean-up much easier — if you’ve ever tried scrubbing tomato sauce off a painted wall, you know what I mean,” says Swanson. The tiles are easy to install and can be used in your kitchen or bathroom, says Swanson. You can also order a sample for $3.99 if you want to see how it looks on your walls first. 

Frequently asked questions

If you’re looking to redecorate your apartment, our experts recommend keeping the following in mind while shopping for peel and stick wallpaper and tiles:

  • Wall size: The size of your walls will determine how much peel and stick wallpaper you actually need. Our experts recommend measuring your room or space and always buying a little bit extra in case of errors or measurement mistakes.
  • Material: Peel and stick wallpaper is usually made from vinyl or may have a vinyl backing. Vinyl is durable, versatile and easy to clean, according to Fields. “It’s typically installed in wet and humid spaces such as bathrooms and laundry rooms because it will endure those wet conditions,” she says.
  • Peel and stick backsplash tiles can be made from vinyl, glass, and metal, and choosing which style is best is just a matter of personal preference, according to Fields. Some tiles can even be made to look like stone, in case you want to refurbish your fireplace, says Kolp. No one material is better than the other, it just depends on the kind of finish you want for your space.
  • Style and design: There are nearly endless choices of patterns and styles for both backsplash tiles and wallpaper and choosing one is also a personal preference. “Rather than being somewhat permanent like traditional wallpaper, peel and stick is easily removable,” says Hunter. Because of this, you can easily change your wallpaper if you decide you don’t like it or your aesthetic changes. Most brands will allow you to order swatches for a small fee, if you want to see how the wallpaper or tile looks in your space first.
  1. Before installation, you’ll want to measure the space and order a little extra in case of installation mistakes or mismeasurements. You’ll also want to make sure your walls are non-textured, as it’s hard to get peel and stick wallpaper or tiles to stick to textured surfaces, according to Hunter. “If the walls have a lot of wear and tear, this may not be the best idea for you, as it will not apply smoothly,” she says.
  2. Next, you need to prep your walls. Our experts recommend you start by wiping them down. “Remove any old adhesive or protrusions like lumpy grout that may prevent the new tile from lying completely flat, then clean the wall or floor using a degreaser to ensure there is no greasy residue present,” says Fields.
  3. There are a few tools that can help you install peel and stick wallpaper and tiles. You want to make sure you’re installing each wallpaper panel in a straight line. A leveling tool can help you ensure that the panels are straight.
  4. Repeat this until you’ve covered all your walls. Work in small sections, and stretch the wallpaper tightly to avoid any air bubbles altogether, says Kolp.
  5. Once you’ve put the wallpaper on, use a squeegee or a credit card to smooth out any remaining air bubbles.

“As long as they are installed properly and maintained well, peel and stick wallpaper can last anywhere from three to five years and sometimes longer,” says Fields. The most common problem with peel and stick wallpaper is that the corners will start peeling off the wall after a few years of exposure to heat or humidity, according to Kolp.

“Peel and stick tiles can last from 5 to 25 years if installed correctly and well-maintained.” If it’s exposed to water though, that will greatly reduce the lifespan, says Fields.

Meet our experts

At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.

  • Jennifer Hunter is an interior designer and owner of Jennifer Hunter Designs, a boutique firm based in New York City, NY. Hunter is not affiliated with any of the brands she recommends. 
  • Melissa Fields is the founder and CEO of Shades of Gray Design Studio, based in San Antonio, Texas. Fields is not affiliated with any of the brands she recommends. 
  • Hattie Kolp is an NYC-based home design expert, DIY pro and content creator who rose to social media fame after going viral for renovating her childhood apartment in NYC. Kolp is not affiliated with any of the brands she recommends in this piece. 

Why trust Select?

Nishka Dhawan is an associate commerce editor at Select. For this article, she spoke to Select staff about their favorite peel and stick wallpaper and tile options and also interviewed interior designers about what to keep in mind while shopping. 

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