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How To Remove Backsplashes

I’ve been remodeling kitchens for many years. I can teach you the correct way to remove many different kinds of backsplashes. I think the most puzzling ones are the laminate splasbacks. There are certain ways to identify if they are screwed to the counter below or glued to the wall with caulk or liquid nail.

Here are the wall-splash types we will be discussing:

  • Mirror
  • Wall Mica
  • Tile
  • Small Formica splashes that rest on counters
  • Corian or Soilid Surface
  • Granite
  • Glass

Wall Mirror Removal With Suction Cups

Wall mirror suction cups https://cr4.globalspec.com

No matter which material you are removing, plan on having to fix the wall behind. In some instances it will be necessary to replace the drywall entirely.

IMPORTANT: On every kind of  backsplash, your first step is going to be cutting the caulk lines with a razor knife.

Plastic Laminate Wall-Splash
Wall mica that extends from the counter to the bottom of the upper cabinets was glued to the walls using contact adhesive. Refer to this article about How To Remove Formica. The one problem you may have is that the splash was glued to the wall first and the countertop butted to it. You may have to remove cabinets and the top before you can get the wall mica off.

Wall Mirror
You must wear thick gloves, eye protection, tough jeans and thick long sleeves (heavily padded jacket) when attempting to remove any type of glass materials from walls.

How To Remove a Mirror Backsplash


There are a few different methods used for removing wall mirror. These types of  glass splashbacks are generally adhered to the wall with Liquid Nail adhesive. There are large circles of the glue on the back of the mirror. The Popular Mechanics website recommends that a high-strength braided steel wire be used. These can be obtained with handles on either end from their website. Insert the wire behind the mirror and work it back and forth. This may be difficult if the upper cabinets are still in place.

Another method is to use suction cups. Apply them to the surface and gently pull. Hopefully the drywall paper or glue bond will let loose and the glass will come off without shattering. No matter how you remove the mirrored kitchen back-splash, it is going to be a stressful adventure.

Solid Surface or Granite
These are installed with Liquid Nail adhesive. To remove the backsplashes you will be inserting a putty knife behind and gently prying. You MUST be patient. Once you get an area loose, insert something behind to keep the pressure on while you move down to a different spot. You can use a wonder bar and putty knife together once you get things going good.

Tile Removal From Walls
Tile back-splashes are going to destroy the drywall behind when they come off. Remove them with a hammer, putty knife, large scrapper and wonder bar. You may be able to work the putty knife in behind or you might just have to whack them with the hammer. If you are dealing with plaster walls with wire lath behind, plan on using a sledge hammer.

Removing  a Formica Laminate Kitchen Backsplash
If the splash size is ¾” thick and about four inches high, it is most likely glued to the wall only. It can be removed by applying pressure with a putty knife. If the laminate splasback is thicker than three quarters of an inch, it is probably screwed to the countertop from underneath and the top will need to be removed to get the screws out.

The best way to learn how to remove any back-splash is to just do it. You’ve done your research and now it is time to suit up and take care of the job at hand. Doing cabinet and countertop work requires a certain level of patience. Just make sure that you take your time as you remove the kitchen countertop backsplashes and everything will turn out just fine.

Categories: Backsplashes
  1. Julie
    May 19th, 2011 at 13:59 | #1

    Hi There – Thanks for the article. I have a solid granite backsplash matching the granite to my countertops. I would like to remove the backsplash without removing or damaging the actual granite countertops. My goal is to then put a subway tile backsplash. Do you think it is possible to remove the backsplash without damage to the actual countertop? It looks like the backsplash is resting on top of the counter, but I can’t tell how/if it is adhered. Many thanks!

  2. admin
    May 20th, 2011 at 17:49 | #2

    Hi Julie, most backsplashes are adhered to the walls with Liquid Nail adhesive or caulk. You should not have any problem removing it. Just follow our instructions in the article.

  3. Randi T
    September 23rd, 2012 at 19:09 | #3

    I have a laminate countertop where the laminate extends up the wall in a sheet. I want to replace it with an upgraded post form laminate countertop that has a built in 3/4″ backsplash. Do I need to remove the entire piece of laminate extending up the wall or can I remove it to the same level that the new built in backsplash comes to and then tile over the remaining old laminate that is on the wall?

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