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doqfleed 06-11-2010 09:20 AM

tiling over laminate/formica backsplash
4 Attachment(s)

I am new to the forum and a new home owner. I have a 50 yr old house with a horribly old kitchen that has a laminate/formica backsplash extending from behind the countertops all the way up behind the cabinets which i am planning to replace with tile.

I have read through most of the forums and noticed that an option has been to peel off the formica and skim off the glue residue and prime the dry wall.

my current backsplash is actually a formica glued to a wood baseboard about half inch of what looks to me like plywood. With the formica peeled off the surface is rough with glue marks but rather level. iam not sure if i should bother skimming of the glue and priming the area as i was told that ceramic shouldnt be placed on wood. Plus iam not sure what the detergents would do to the wood backing of the backsplash.

i have narrowed it down to 3 options:

1. screw 1/4 inch wonderboard over the old wood backsplash and tile over that, but this will take up at least an extra 1/2 inch from the counter top.

2. use liquid nail and glue the ceramic onto the current roughed up wood baseboard with the formica off. iam not sure if this will hold however.

3. remove the cabinets and pry off the old backsplash replace dry wall and place wonderboard over that. this would be my least desired choice as my cabinets look pretty decent and they are well aligned and i am not positive ill be able to get them back in the same way.

any help/advice is highly appreciated. i have attached some pic's.



drtbk4ever 06-11-2010 11:07 AM

Any idea how that board is attached to the wall?

Things would be a lot easier if that board was gone. But I don't know enough to make any suggestions so I'm curious what the experts will suggest.

doqfleed 06-11-2010 02:23 PM

2 Attachment(s)
the board is nailed into the studs plus glued on to the dry wall behind.
the glue is pretty weak and i did try to pry the nails out which is causing some damage to the dry wall behind. i can always replace that.

the problem is that the backsplash board goes up to 2 inches behind the cabinets. i am assuming that its nailed throughout the length of the board which means that i wont get to the top 1 or 2 nails unless i remove the cabinets.

dremeling around the cabinets will leave them damaged iam quite sure. i thought about leaving a half inch or so and covering that with a frame which may be my best option, but then again dremelling thoughout the entire length plus prying the bottom part off and replacing the dry wall behind etc etc sounds like a lot of work for an "incomplete" job.

if there is no way of tiling over that board safely then i guess its my only option at this point.

what would the experts do?

drtbk4ever 06-11-2010 05:29 PM

I'm curious what the experts will suggest too.

Bud Cline 06-14-2010 11:25 PM

First investigate how the cabinets are attached to the wall and where those fasteners are located.

You should be able to loosen the fasteners in the cabinets near the bottom of the cabinets enough to allow you to pry the plywood from behind the cabinets. First be sure this can be done safely. Remove the microwave. Turn off the power to the outlets and loosen them from their boxes. This way they can be twisted so they can be pushed through the holes they now occupy. You will damage the drywall but that's easy enough to repair.

Pry the board from the bottom, you should be able to cause the nails to give up that may be behind the cabinets.:) Any nails behind the cabinets will be only where the studs are, at worst about 16 inches apart. There is probably only one nail per stud hidden behind the cabinets. That's not enough nails to cause any major issues.:)

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