Tile over wall paper

brutusesMarch 14, 2008

Has anyone ever tiled over wallpaper? I need to work on the backsplash in our current kitchen to update it for it's eventual sale. We now have very old, very affixed wall paper. I'm wondering if I could tile right over it. I've never tiled anything in my life and am thinking this could be a fun project and not too difficult.

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This is what I would do. I would layout my tiles and measure the area that is going to be covered. Then measure on the wall the area that will be hidden by the tiles. Take a utilty knife and score the outline and peel the wall paper off of that area(leave about an inch of wall paper so there is no unsightly mistakes in cutting). Although it's stuck now it may become lose and your tiles will fall off.

Use mastic for this. I've done this in a past home in a halfbath above the sink. I liked there for 3 years without issue from the tiles.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 1:31PM
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GWD, are you saying to leave the wallpaper backing? The paper is vinyl so I know when I pull the paper off, it will leave the backing. Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 1:41PM
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That's what I did. I left the paper backing on the wall and applied mastic to the tile and just stuck them on. The wall paper that I was working with was the type that needed to be pasted, it didn't come pre-pasted. I don't think that is makes much a a diff if it's prepasted or not.

I hope this helps.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 1:50PM
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I would disagree. Plastering over this type of paper brought the paper off (and the plaster) so I'm sure a slow drying mastic (slow in relation to say water splashed on the wall) would surely pull off. It would REALLY be a shame to do all that work and have it fall off!!! I'd remove it. It's not that hard with a steam iron (either a wallpaper one or an iron you don't care about). I'd scrape off both layers.

I tested the plaster to see if I had to do this in our house and within a week bubbles were showing from the paper pulling away.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 2:09PM
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I have been told by many good tile people to remove all wallpaper completely and then paint over with Kilz. We did that in our kitchen. There were some areas that without taking sheetrock down, we would not be able to remove, but just 4-5 little patchy places, not larger than a quarter. They say, otherwise, when moisture collects behind the tile over the years, it will pull the wallpaper loose and the tiles will pull loose.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 2:16PM
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I would recommend just putting up thin backerboard that you screw into the wall over the area you want to tile and tile on that.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 2:47PM
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I would recommend just putting up thin backerboard that you screw into the wall over the area you want to tile and tile on that.

The problem with that is what do you do with the edges of the thin backerboard?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 2:50PM
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Have you seen that tin backsplash at Home depot? I guess it is plastic?? But it looks like it comes in several colors. You could just apply that right on top of the wall paper.

I thought it looked kinda neato.


    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 2:52PM
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johnatemp, I've heard about that product. I think I saw it in a magazine or something. That is actually something I was going to consider depending on the cost. It would definitely be the easiest of the solutions.

I don't think the backerboard would work because any thickness would intrude onto the counter backsplash. So it would have to rest on that and wouldn't be secure because it's a rounded top. I hope you can picture this. LOL

If it was a square backsplash or none at all, it would work.

I wanted to mention that I tried the Restor a Finish on the oak cabinets and was amazed how it brought them to life. I used it on the worst cabinet, the sink one that was literally scratched from the cats using it to get to the sink and had worn spots from water and wear and tear after 20 years. The RAF filled in all the scratches and the finish is all even. Of course they don't look brand new as they've darkened with age. However, it really makes them look good enough to leave as is and not have to paint when we put the house up for sale. We are going to put in new floors and a new backsplash and that should be enough for the sale.

Thanks everyone for your help.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 3:47PM
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How about just painting it since it has the lip on the countertop. Paint the over the wall paper in the whole kitchen if it is stuck really good. I think this is quite common and maybe the new owner wants to do their own backsplash and get a new countertop.

I think the rounded part will be the same with the tile wouldn't it? or is it just that with thickness you get closer to the roundest part?

Yeah if you have an open edge backsplash then it is trickier to use the backer board. I've never had one of those when having to use the backerboard.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 4:18PM
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I know I can't paper over the paper because it is coming loose at the bottom and that would be real sloppy. I may end up just taking the paper down and painting the entire thing and maybe put a tile backsplash in a border for behind the stove and behind the sink. My delima is if I remove this paper and the wall is damanged badly then I'll have to cover it with something. I even thought about that beadboard wallpaper.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 4:57PM
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I am the Queen of Chea----errr, I mean, Queen of Budget. I've done so many things, short-cut to save me some work/time/money but even I won't apply tile over wallpaper.

But what about securing the loose pieces well. When dry you could apply a coat of oil-based primer and apply Paintable Wallpaper over top?
I've done it.

I used oil-based primer because water-based primer would definitely loosen the already bad wallpaper but once I secured the loose edges, I slapped on a coat of primer, let dry and on went the paintable.

The paintable wallpaper was embossed so it hid the imperfections of the original wall/wallpaper.
It was a good, inexpensive 'fix' for us and 5, maybe 6 years now, the paintable wallpaper is still there and secure.

Here is a link that might be useful: Paintable Wallpaper - Scroll down for designs

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 5:08PM
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Bill V would have a coronary.

If the top layer of vinyl is peeling, peel that off by hand then spray the underlayer with hot water and scrape it off.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 5:12PM
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I definitely wouldn't tile over wallpaper. Tile is heavy and in time the bond might not hold. It's not hard to remove the paper. Peel off the top layer and then dampen the paper felt that remains with either a spray bottle or wet sponge. Let soak for a few minutes and then scrape off. If it's stubborn, a hand-held steam cleaner will loosen it (and they're great to own if you don't have one).

    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 3:41AM
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