Wife and I bought an older farmhouse that sadly was updated in the 1970s. The kitchen is all wood paneling (which we painted) and we recently replaced a drop ceiling. The final project was to do something about the current backsplash. I dont' know exactly what it is, but I would say fiberglass or formica... it's very smooth and slick. My thought was, "I'll just rip it off and put up tile."
Well, the epoxy it's held on with is from an alien planet. It looks a lot liquid nails, but whatever it is, the splash was just coming off in very small pieces and it was destroying the wallboard behind it. I would have to remove the drywall down to the studs to get this off and I think it would mean removing the cabinets as the fiberglass is a little behind them. It's also the middle of winter and it's an outside wall, so I didn't want to expose it right now since this is a piece meal project.
So, I made the biggest mistake on earth and asked the advice of a guy at Menards. He gave some "pre-mixed" thin-set that he said would bond anything to anything. I was leery because of pre-mix mastic's reputation for never drying so I just put one tile up and waited a week.... it was on the wall and dry around the tile, but even after 7 days, I was able to knock the tile off and underneath I could wipe the pre-mix away with my finger.
So, I went back and another guy agreed with me that I shouldn't use pre-mix but large tile thin-set. Bought this, mixed it up and tested again. It held the tile to the wall and it dried within 24 hours. HOWEVER, when I removed the test tile (with a few hammer swings) it came off in one piece and with all of the thin-set stuck to the tile. Wall behind was like new.
Out of patience, I just said, "whatever" ... and tiled the backsplash. Havent grouted yet and seems to be holding fine but now I'm thinking I should've paid more attention to how the thin-set came off. Obviously, it's not sticking very well to the wall. What's done is done and I would say hey it seems to be working, but now I'm concerned about down the road.
Could moisture from humidity get between the wall and glue and cause mold? Could it cause them to fall off later? The tile was not too expensive... but I'm not eager to rip off.. mainly because I'm unsure what my other options are for covering this stuff up. I'm not crazy about sanding the backsplash since I don't know what it is. As long it works, I'm happy. This is a "let's die in this house" property so we aren't looking to dump tons into it with the hope of a resale.
Still, if seems better to rip down now, I will. Any professional advice appreciated!!