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foiler 09-03-2012 12:33 PM

Removing adhesive from plaster wall
I have an older home (1925), and I'm attempting to do some remodeling in the kitchen. I had an old formica counter top and backsplash from the late 50's early 60's. It's all be removed now but I want to put up a tile but the old adhesive from the formica is difficult to scrape off. I don't know what they used back then but its yellow/brown rubbery stuff that is peeling off in some spots but stuck hard in others. I don't want to do too much damage to the plaster though it is easily repaired with plaster. Is there something that would soften this stuff without soaking into the plaster wall and cause structural problems putting up heavy glass/stone tile?

joecaption 09-03-2012 12:40 PM

I use my ossilating saw laying flat on the wall.
It does not all need to come off just the high spots.

foiler 09-03-2012 12:53 PM

I don't understand. You used a saw?? It's just a thin coat of adhesive that held a 5.5" piece of laminate against the wall as a back splash. Are you saying I don't need to take that old glue off to put up tile? I can just put the tile adhesive right over it and it will hold?

user1007 09-03-2012 05:52 PM

I think Joe is talking about an oscillating multi-tool and in this instance he is using it more like a power scraper. Mine is a Fein and one of the best tools I have ever owned. Pricey but Rockwell, Craftsman, Dremel (I think) and even Harbor Freight make similar units. Check this site for reviews. Some have been happy with the brands they got but I forget which topped the list of also rans.

You do want to get most all the adhesive off or you may have adhesion problems. Most certainly you need a level surface with no ridges to lay tile flat. Without knowing what is on there it is hard to recommend a solvent to get the final residue off. Laminates were usually applied with contact cement on both surfaces but you said this is the backsplash on plaster?

foiler 09-04-2012 03:15 PM

Ok, I understand the 'multi-tool thing. Don't have one but know what they are. I ended up doing the old fashion way, paint scrapers. Got it off, at least 99% but I'm left with a scratched up wall. Having a bit of trouble getting a straight answer from so called experts that do this for a living. I've asked 4 different tilers and got 7 answers none of which are diffinative. 2 said not to do anything to the wall in the way of replastering because all of the scraps and gouges are less than 1/4" and the mastic/thinset will level everything out. That anything I put on the wall to smooth it will not stick well enough and the tile might come off. The other 2 said use a spackling compound to fill any diviots, scrapes or dents. The other issue is what type of 'glue' to use to put up the glass tiles on the back splash. Seems each tiler has their own particular stuff they like to use and I havent heard of any of it. Guess its commercial branded stuff not anyplace I can go to get it. One said don't use the premix white mastic for glass tiles. Ok, but the 3 others said it was OK as long as you used it 'properly' but it wasn't their choice. All of the pro tilers used some kind of modified thin set that was good to use indoors or outdoors. I've seen that stuff but not the brands they mentioned. Then I talked with a guy at a tile store and he said the mastic he sells is all any of his customers used and they had no problems putting up glass tile. He even said that the mastic was more waterproof than the thinset and was made to use in 'wet areas'. So, I'm a bit confused right now.

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