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Tiling Backsplash over existing Laminate

I am having a granite countertop installed and I want to do a nice backsplash. I have alot of experience installing ceramic floor tiles so I understand the concept, but my question is: I have an existing backsplash that is the cheap laminate that matches the countertop. Can I tile right over that and use tile mastic or do I have to tear it off and use cement board etc, or tile right over the sheetrock. If I have to tear it off I am afraid what it will do to the sheetrock...Please help...anyone?

Re: Tiling Backsplash over existing Laminate

I stopped over at Lowes and the guy told me I COULD tile over the laminate, but I would have to attache wire mesh via staples to the laminate and then use thinset and tile over it. I guess that would work considering the wire would provide a good base for the thinset to attach to. Would that work?

Re: Tiling Backsplash over existing Laminate

I am not a tile expert, but I have tiled an entire bathroom plus a kitchen backsplash, and I've done a lot of studying on the topic.
The wire-mesh-over-laminate sounds very odd, and more trouble than it would be worth.
As far as I know, you can tile directly over laminate if the laminate is sound (not peeling up). If it was me, though, I'd remove the old backsplash. You'll probably get a longer-lasting job. You could tile over the old drywall, or, if it breaks up when you remove the laminate, replace it with cement board (such as hardibacker). It's easy. Just cut the new board to size (hardibacker is easy to cut), screw it to the studs, and tape the joints.

Personally I prefer thinset mortar to mastic, because it's more waterproof. But mastic ought to work for this application.
For more information try the John Bridge tile forum. They are quite helpful.

Re: Tiling Backsplash over existing Laminate

I wonder how well the adhesive will stick to the laminate. I think you'll at least want to sand the laminate with a coarse sandpaper to roughen it up, to give the adhesive more surface area to grip onto.

Re: Tiling Backsplash over existing Laminate

I'm with joann59 in removing the laminate.
Going through the work of attaching wire mesh over the laminate doesn't make sense. It would probably be less work just to remove the laminate. If the drywall gets a little messed up, it's not a big deal since it'll be covered with the tile.
Also as mentioned, the tile needs a stable surface, so if the laminate starts falling away from the wall it brings the tile with it.
Personally I don't see a problem with using mastic for the kitchen backsplash, it's not in a wet area like a shower.

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