When J.O and I decided to take on the project of doing a major renovation/redecorating our 5th wheel, we knew that we had wanted to add a backsplash to the kitchen. Our layout is very open, so the kitchen basically flows into the living room. I wanted to somehow make it its own space and adding in a tile backsplash seemed like a good fit.
As you may have read in our post discussing our entire 5th wheel revamping project, we went with an overall beach theme. Because used sea glass as accents throughout the living room we wanted our backsplash to have some type of “beach” feel to it as well. First thought that came to mind was doing a glass mosaic.
We went to various stores to look for something just right and although we found a lot of beautiful designs, we kept running into the same issues over and over again. Weight and flexibility. Installing things in a RV or 5th wheel poses for a few obstacles:
- 1. You have to consider the added weight your putting in (hello, gas milage)
- 2. You have to remember that you’re not dealing with a stationary object. This is a homestead that moves. Things will crack under pressure, so flexibility is important.
With these two things in mind, we decided against tiles. I was really bummed because I did not want to do a wallpaper border like I had before and I didn’t want just paint. We did a little bit more research and ended up finding the perfect solution: SmartTiles.
Smart Tiles is a company out of Canada and their product is pretty cool. It’s a peel and stick, three dimensional, made out of gel, faux tile product. Each sheet is just under a square foot in size and is made to look like glass tile mosaic’s. Since they are made out of gel, they are super flexible (Yay!), you can use a scissors to custom cut edges, they are really light weight (30 sheets weighs 5 pounds) and best of all the ACTUALLY look like glass tiles! I read up a little more on them and found out that they can also be removed from a surface by simply heating them with a hair dryer.
We decided to give it a while and ordered 30 square feet directly from their website, www.thesmarttiles.com. We read that some Home Depot locations carry them, but we were unable to find any. With shipping, the cost averaged out to around $11/sqft. We found out that our product was on backorder for a month, so we just had to wait. When it finally came in (after a wrong order was sent to us), I had my mom ship the tiles out to us in California right away.
I couldn’t believe how easy these babies were to install. I washed all the walls and let them dry. Then, I literally peeled off the backing, made sure the tiles were lined up straight and then pressed and smoothed the sheet onto the wall. Due to the fact that our windows have rounded corners, I had to do a lot of measuring and cutting, but that was more tedious than difficult. Plus, if I cut too much out, I was able to cut in a smaller piece to fill in the gap; you can’t even tell!
Once all the tile was up I simply screwed back in our curtain hooks and hammered a nail in the wall for our clock, right through the gel tile!
I’m really happy with how it turned out. The kitchen is certainly it’s own space now and yet it still flows with the rest of the living room.
I can’t recommend this product enough for anyone that wants to do a quick and easy, yet dramatic DIY update! It’s so perfect for RV’s, boats, campers, and 5th-wheels and so easy to do! The entire project took me about 4 hours and all I needed was a scissors and my hands.