How to Install Peel & Stick Tiles on a Stairway

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Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape

  • Underlayment

  • Nails

  • Hammer

  • Wood filler

  • Sandpaper

  • Tile cutter or utility knife

  • Tile roller

If you want to tile a floor in your home, you do not have to deal with grout or another separate adhesive to secure your tiles to the floor. Peel-and-stick tiles have adhesive already applied and function much like stickers do. The tiles manufactured with peel-and-stick technology are generally thin and can be attached to most subfloors. You can even tile a stairway, though it takes a little more planning.

Step 1

Remove any old floor coverings from the stairway. Peel-and-stick tiles cannot safely be laid over carpet or other tiles. The surface of the stairway should be either wood or concrete for the best results, but tile can also be laid over linoleum.

Step 2

Lay underlayment on the stairway to prepare for the tile if the stairs are uneven or have surface damage or a linoleum covering. Select a wood underlayment that can be cut but that is very sturdy, such as plywood with at least a ½-inch thickness. To lay the underlayment, measure each stair of the stairway from back to front and side to side, and also measure the front of the stair from top to bottom and side to side. Assuming you plan to tile the top and front of each stair, you should underlay the entire stair. Wood underlayment is easy to lay, because once the wood pieces are cut, you simply nail them into the original stair.

Step 3

Fill any gaps left by the wood underlayment. Once the underlayment has been put down, you may see spaces between the wood and sides of the stairway or between the boards. Fill these with wood filler, allow the filler to dry and sand it down to level with the rest of the underlayment.

Step 4

Measure the stairs again once the underlayment is in place. Cut the tiles down to fit the top and front of each stair. You can make these cuts with a tile cutter for the best results, or use a utility knife.

Step 5

Lay out all of the cut tiles in their proper positions to ensure the cut tiles fit each stair of the stairway. If the tiles are properly cut, begin at the top of the stairs, peel off the backing for the first tile on the first stair, line up the tile and press the tile down against the underlayment. Next, do the same on the front of the stair.

Step 6

Continue all the way down the stairway, removing the paper backing and pressing the tiles against the underlayment. Once you have finished, use a hand-held tile roller to go over each stair on both the top and the front to press the tiles more firmly against the underlayment. This removes any bubbles that may prevent the tiles from effectively sticking to the floor.


Alexis Lawrence

Alexis Lawrence is a freelance writer, filmmaker and photographer with extensive experience in digital video, book publishing and graphic design. An avid traveler, Lawrence has visited at least 10 cities on each inhabitable continent. She has attended several universities and holds a Bachelor of Science in English.