How to Create a Colorful Laminate Backsplash

This clever idea lets you use laminate to transform your backsplash.


This digitally printed laminate adds instant personality.

This digitally printed laminate adds instant personality.

HGTV teamed up with rock 'n' roll designer Scott Sicari to create eight hip, budget-friendly and totally customizable kitchen backsplashes. These clever projects will give your kitchen its own personal style.

Materials and Tools:

large sheets of paper or cardboard for a template
digitally printed laminate
1/2" medium density fiberboard (MDF)
contact cement
construction adhesive
pencil with eraser
router (available for purchase or rent at home improvement stores)
flush-trim router bits (available for purchase or rent at home improvement stores)


1. Measure the dimensions of your backsplash. Using a large sheet of paper or cardboard, transfer the measurements to the paper, then use scissors to cut a template. Set the template in place and tweak it until it fits the backsplash area perfectly. Be sure to cut spaces for the outlets.

2. Lay the template over the MDF and trace it onto the surface.


A router is used to notch space for wall outlets in the backsplash.

A router is used to notch space for wall outlets in the backsplash.

3. Use the router to trim the MDF to fit the footprint of the backsplash.

4. Do the same with the laminate, overlaying the template and then cutting it to fit the backsplash area. If you would prefer not to cut the MDF and laminate yourself, take them, along with the template, to a hardware store where it can be cut for you.

5. Sand the surface of the MDF to roughen it up so the glue will adhere. Clean the surface completely.

6. Apply the contact cement to the back of the clean laminate sheet and the clean MDF; let both surfaces dry. The cement should be dry to the touch before gluing the laminate sheet and MDF together.


Metal rods aid the process of smoothing the laminate.

Metal rods aid the process of smoothing the laminate.

7. Use extreme care when laying the sheets. Remember, 50 to 75 percent of the bonding strength of contact cement is present in the first contact. Make sure the pieces are accurately positioned before the glued areas touch each other. Lay short lengths of dowel rods about 12 inches apart between the two cemented pieces until they are properly positioned. The dowel rods can be moved along the surface to keep the cemented pieces apart during positioning.

8. When the laminate is correctly positioned, slide the dowels out, then use a roller to apply pressure to the newly laid sheets of laminated plastic. Roll the entire surface thoroughly to eliminate air pockets and to be sure the plastic sheet is firmly attached to the surface at all points.


Construction adhesive is applied along the board's backside

Construction adhesive is applied along the board's backside

9. Use your router and flush trim bit to clean your edges.

10. Using construction adhesive, put the backsplash in place on the wall.

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