Saturday, February 2, 2013

How to Add Vinyl Tiles to Cabinets

Sometimes things spill under the counter... bottles of makeup, lotion... the pipes.  An easy and inexpensive way to protect the bottom of your cabinets (or cover up a previous tenant's mess) is to install... add vinyl tiles.  I hesitate to say "install" because it is far too easy to complete this project to use that nasty word.  Got 20 minutes?  That's plenty of time to do three cabinets!  {This is also a perfect project to keep you busy while waiting for your gel stain cabinet upgrade to dry.}

Box of 12" x 12" Vinyl Tiles {Used: $30 box from Home Depot... was more than enough to do two bathrooms and under the kitchen sink}
Utility Knife
Measuring Tape
Rolling Pin {if needed}

1.  Select your tiles.  We loved how these tiles would complement our newly updated cabinets.

 2.  Clean out the bottom.  Ensure the surface is dust free and complete dry.  Absolutely no moisture at all.

 3.  Start in the most visible corner of your cabinet.  My cabinets are half drawers and one half door.  You want your most visible part to be the cleanest {read: most seamless and straight}.  Place a full piece in this corner by simply peeling and sticking.  When laying tile down, press down from one edge to the other, rubbing with pressure to work out any air bubbles that may get caught under the adhesive.

 4.  Do you have more space for another full tile?  Lay it down in the same manner.

 5.  Now comes the "tricky" part.  Use your measuring tape to measure the distance from the edge of the cabinet to your applied tile.

6.  On the back side of the vinyl tile, measure the same distance and mark in three places down your tile.  Ensure your tape is right against the edge of the tile and not the edge of the paper on the back.  I also subtracted 1/8 inch off the measurement to ensure it would fit in the open space.

7.  Using a straight edge, draw your cut line connecting your three dots.  Check your measurements again.  And then again.  Make sure your line is straight.

8.  Using the utility knife and the ruler, cut your first line.  Now, unless you're a burly construction man, you are probably not going to cut all the way through the tile on the first try.  Focus on making a straight line.

9.  It will take a few tries, but you'll start to get a nice deep line in the tile.  I ran the utility knife down the line three times.

10.  Bend tile toward you.  It will snap.

11.  Turn the tile over and bend the tile toward you.  POP!  Separate pieces!
 Test the fit.  Make any necessary adjustments.

12.  Now, the goal is to get as many straight edges {read: non-cut edges} together.  So place with your cut edge to the back and your flat edge right up against your uncut tile.

 13.  Repeat the process until you've filled in all your open space.  VIOLA!  Gorgeous!

Don't lose your sanity over the cuts.  Not all cabinets are created equal.  Some wood will warp over time, so your cabinet may be exactly 18 inches deep on one side and then 17 7/8 inches deep on the other side.  Just make the necessary cuts and keep the ugly edges to the back or not-so-visible sides.  Looks custom and will make your life easier!


  1. Its really great post you have shared, which is informative and knowledgeable. I appreciate your great work. Keep me more updates. Kitchen remodeling Austin

  2. I want to do this in all of my cabinets but worry about toxins seeping from the tiles on our dishes and cookware!

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