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laminate backsplash - can I tile over it?

netrate's picture

I have a laminate (ugly and old) backsplash (house from the 60's).  I wanted to tile over it.  Somone told me to pull off the laminate, but when I tried, the wall underneath seemed to crumble apart - so  I am not really sure what is underneath.  Should I just tile over  the laminate?

David amateur

If the laminate is (post #206986, reply #1 of 5)

If the laminate is well-attached you can tile over it.  Probably your best option is to use mastic, though, rather than thinset.  Since this is a reasonably "dry" area (ie, not inside a shower) mastic works well, and will adhere to the laminate more readily than thinset.

You should, however, probably do a simple compatibility test with the mastic before you use it:  Spread a little bit on the laminate, leave it overnight, and make sure the laminate doesn't bubble from the solvents.  (Scrape it off after the test.)


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

David (post #206986, reply #2 of 5)

I would remove the laminate. 

I have removed alot of lam. splashes and in rare cases you need to jetison the plaster or drywall behind.  Most of the time, a quick skimming with timed durabond to get it fairly uniform is all that's necessary.

 

This here crumbling............got a more in depth description?

 

Is it stuck up behind the upper cabs?  and down behind the counter?   is there metal edging on it?

Does the adhesive bonding it look like trowel marked, tan, hard/brittle?

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


You can score the laminate (post #206986, reply #3 of 5)

You can score the laminate with a tool called laminate scorer.   Rough up the surface as much as you can.  Degrease the surface.  Instead of mastic, use construction adhesive.  This is wall and a backsplash, so thin bead evenly spaced over the tile is good enough.  I like Quad from homedepot.  I used it over glass as well, and it's not losing the bond.  It skins quickly so you'll have to glue each tile.  Use a straight edge to keep the tiles level.

Laminate glued over sheetrock or plaster is unusual.  Can you see the edge of it or any measurement differences on countertop or cabinets to tell if it is on the wall or on some kind of substrate?

k (post #206986, reply #4 of 5)

The only way I see Plam on a backsplash is glued-sometimes contact adhesive, many times that troweled on tan stuff that gets hard.  I've never seen any "backer" behind.

Often with metal trims, sometimes the color matched lam. trims.

Usually stuck up behind the upper cabs, sometimes counters fit to the splash, no trims.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


Yep, I've seen it in a number (post #206986, reply #5 of 5)

Yep, I've seen it in a number of 50s-60s homes, glued straight to the wall with aluminum trim.  In some cases the laminate has been bent so a single piece goes from countertop to wall (have no idea how they managed that, but there were some pretty clever craftsmen back then).


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville