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Removing Laminate Counters & Backsplash

I am buying a house built in 1998 in South Florida. It currently has white laminate counter tops with a 2-3" laminate backsplash.

I am going to be removing both to replace the countertops and backsplash with granite.

The countertops will most likely come off with a screwdriver and a little brute force. However the 1/2" thick backsplash appears to be glued to the wall, and glued/caulked to the countertop. The countertop/backsplash connection should easily be broken with a little scoring and some brute force.

The problem is removing the backsplash. Any suggestions that will result in the least amount of damage to the wallboard. It will be completely covered with the granite (which will extend all the way up to the cabinet base).


Re: Removing Laminate Counters & Backsplash

i've removed glued on backsplashes more times than i care to remember. there's not much of a trick to it, it usually comes down to, pry it off and patch and sand......when i did have a picky customer once who wanted me to create as little damage as possible i used a hacksaw blade with the handle made for tight spaces where the blade sticks off it by about 5-6". it took me about 20 minutes to do some careful cutting and the end result looked better than prying it off but the patching and sanding i had to do was the same as if i had just ripped it off.

Re: Removing Laminate Counters & Backsplash

MLBSF: Thanks for the reply. When prying to you use a back board for the leverage? Also, is it necessary to do the mudding and sanding if it's going to be covered over with granite? The granite will extend further up the wall than the current laminate.

A. Spruce
Re: Removing Laminate Counters & Backsplash

I'd just cut the caulk lines along the counter top and wall then pry it off. It is likely glued to the wall with construction adhesive or dabs of caulk, either will result in damage to the surface of the drywall. When you pry, do it where you know there is a stud in the wall so that you don't break through the drywall. you'll still likely dent the wallboard some, but dents aren't a big problem. If you pop holes I'd recommend patching them, even though they'll be covered by the granite because it's just the right thing to do.

Re: Removing Laminate Counters & Backsplash

when I'm removing a customer's back splash what I do is cut the caulk where it meets the wall as well as where it meets the counter top. then I take an old drywall knife and shove it behind the splash starting from one end and working my way down. this way the drywall knife cuts the old caulk instead of ripping out chunks of drywall. then when putting in any new splashes I remember how I hate it when some one runs caulk all over the back of the splash and how hard it was to come off, so when putting on the new splash I put on about dollar size dabs of caulk about 12 inches apart. holds just as well and comes off easier if you ever have to remove it.

Replacing countertop

I know you are concerned about the back splash, but something I did not know until we replaced a Formica counter top with a quartz one. The Formica top has a lip that comes below the top of the base cabinets. The granite or quartz top does not have this lip. Therefore, there will be about 3/4" of unfinished cabinet at the top when you remove the Formica. We were having out cabinets refaced so it did not matter since I remove the counter before the refacing job. The Formica counter top will come off with just a hammer. Gently pry off the lip, then hammer the top up.

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