How to Remove a Kitchen Backsplash Without Ruining the Materials

backsplash changing

Your Brooklyn home might have everything you need, but does it provide everything you want? Many homeowners undergo a remodeling or renovation project about once every ten or 15 years to ensure their preferred updates are available to use.

Homes in the 1990s and early 2000s didn’t offer much for intelligent technologies. You might need to replace old windows, give the exterior some fresh paint, or replace the roof.

Another issue in older homes is the kitchen backsplash. In the 1980s, there was a trend where the counters were built with the same porcelain tile as the backsplash to create a functional and monochromatic style. If you’re ready to replace the backsplash with something more modern, you’ll want to take these steps.

How Can I Remove Tile from the Walls?

Before starting a backsplash removal project, it is essential to consider protection while working. Even the most robust tile will chip and crack during this project, causing tiny shards to cover the floor. You’ll want protective gloves, safety glasses or goggles, and plastic sheeting to contain the mess.

If you’re not removing any cabinets or appliances from the kitchen, try to cover these items to prevent them from possible damage. 

After these initial steps, you can implement the following plan to eliminate that unwanted kitchen backsplash.

1. Scrape the Grout


It helps to scrape the grout from between the tiles before trying to remove them. This step helps to loosen them, creating a cleaner removal. As a result, you’ll have significantly fewer snaps and chips, which is especially important for those planning to reuse these items.

Although any scraper will work, there are tools like the Rubiscraper that let you control the depth of your work to prevent going too deep with the scraping process.

2. Remove the Tiles

The easiest way to remove tiles from the wall is with a hammer and a chisel. If the grout work is thin, you might be able to hit them with a rubber hammer to get them to loosen without breaking. 

It’s usually the first tile that is the hardest to remove. First, slide the chisel into one of the grout lines, tapping it with the hammer until you see some loosening occur. Then get the chisel’s blade underneath while still tapping to pop the tile out of place.

Once the first tile is gone, you can use the exposed edges to remove the rest of them. 

3. Get Rid of the Adhesive

Once you’ve scraped all the tiles from the wall, it is time to remove the adhesive that kept the product in its place. A simple putty knife usually gets the job done in the kitchen. If you encounter materials that don’t want to budge, try tapping the scraper with your hammer.

You won’t get rid of all the adhesive during this step. Your goal is to create a flat and level surface. Stubborn areas can be addressed with a sander.  

Once the area is flat and level, you can start the design work for your new kitchen backsplash. 

4. Clean Up the Mess

Once you’ve finished the scraping and sanding work, you’ll have lots of grout and adhesive dust to manage. It helps to brush the wall where the backsplash once existed to ensure it is clean and free of debris.

You can use a dustpan and the same brush to sweep up the excess materials on the floor from your work. Then take a vacuum to the area to ensure all residues and tile shards have been removed from the site.

After you’ve done that, the next step depends on the project. For example, if you’re planning to install a new backsplash, we recommend changing your flooring protectant to prevent unwanted dust from getting into your grout and adhesive.

If you plan on using a patching compound and paint for a new surface, you can usually maintain the existing sheeting until the work is done.

Why Install a New Backsplash Today?

backsplash white

Tile designs have been upgraded significantly over the past 20 years. So instead of using a one-color look, you can incorporate numerous patterns and shades to transform your kitchen into an incredible asset for your home.

If you have a tile backsplash in your bathroom or other home areas, you can use these steps to update those components.

New tile adds more value to your property. It feels like a luxurious upgrade that doesn’t take much time to complete. If you’d like to explore this option further, please feel free to reach out to one of our friendly representatives at your convenience! 


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