If You Remove A 4" Granite Backsplash......?

amck2March 4, 2014

I have that style backsplash on countertops installed over a decade ago. I'm doing a minor remodel - no walls being moved, keeping floors, etc. - but am getting new appliances/painting cabs, etc.

I just read a link provided on a post by someone looking for a neutral backsplash. It said not to mix a tile BS w/ 4" granite BS. I agree, and was going to just tile in the space between the new hood & range, which now only has the stainless BS which is part of the range I'm replacing.

But I'm wondering how big a deal it is to pull off the 4" from the entire cab perimeter. Can this be DIY, or do we have to hire stone guys? If I decided to go w/ a subway tile around the whole perimeter how could I address the one inch or so strip surrounding the countertop where the granite stood? Some of that backsplash has moved over time and I can detect what appears to be a score line on the granite underneath.

Has anyone here done this? Or have knowledge or experience to share?

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I removed mine to install a tile backsplash. It is a DYI if you are very careful and patient. Mine was attached with globs of silicone that I had to score and used a putty knife with a sharp edge and a hammer. I was also careful not to have the granite backsplash scratch the countertop as I was removing it. I scored the drywall on the top of the granite, as to not tear the paper. Of course there was patching and priming to do, but it all turned out well.
The only problem is that your counter might have gaps that are larger than the tile. When they install a granite backsplash, the counter does not need to be scribed as closely to the wall.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 10:59AM
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Thanks, annalyn123, it sounds like a job requiring time & caution, but doable.I just peered under the backsplash at what I thought was a score line in the granite and discovered it's actually a bead of silicone.

I knew the wall might need patching or repair, even if we planned to tile over it, but I was concerned that I might have to build out with drywall to cover cuts in the countertop.

Funny how the range breaks and it leads to thoughts about removing the whole backsplash.....

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 12:38PM
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Be careful, our range broke and it led to all new appliances, refinishing the cabinets, new countertops and backsplash..........:)

i agree with what annalyn said.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 3:14PM
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I am a fabricator.

You can remove the splash yourself; it's normally only "glued" in place with silicone caulk. Unless you know what you are doing you will likely break a piece or two.

However, splash allows the fabricator to leave relatively large gaps between the back of the countertop piece and the wall. When tile is going be used most fabricators will cut the back edge to match the irregualrities in the plane of the wall. It would not be unusual for the wall to have a "wave" in it with as much as 1/4" of variation. Sometimes it's more.

If you want to tile a "wavy" wall it can be done but it requires the tile setter to make up for the variation with his tile setting cement.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 4:14PM
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oldryder, thank you for responding. I haven't proposed this scheme to my DH yet as I wanted to know what we might find if we did it and what it would take to preserve the countertop and do the least damage to the wall.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 8:10PM
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The gap issue can't be overstated. Think of ways you will get yourself out of trouble before you pull your splash. Perhaps a profiled piece of complementary or contrasting 1/4" or 1/2" x 1" solid surface laid on the flat on the deck and scribed to the wall to cover the gap.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 8:20PM
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Haha. This was us a month ago! We removed the 4" back splash in order to tile. Turned out there were several really big gaps (some around 1") those granite pieces were covering up.

We ended up putting them back, but not before having them cut down to 1.5" by a fabricator. Not totally finished yet, but here it is. Not the end of the world.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 8:43PM
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Xand83, clever idea to just make the 4" back splash less tall to 1" which looks nice. I love the new back splash tiles you chose with your counters and the cabinets.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 8:48PM
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Xand83, nice!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 8:50PM
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Xand83, that had been my original plan! I had started a thread about cutting down the 4" backsplash. I did not end up having huge gaps and did not need to cut my old splash. I did have to have a side splash I would not have wanted otherwise, but I have gotten used to it and it looks fine. I actually miss having the security of the granite trim with water spills, etc. I know the tile is sealed well, but I felt more secure with the granite. Your kitchen looks great!

Amck, I laughed when I read your last post. My DH was the last to know. I did all my homework first. Actually, he would not help since he was convinced I would break the counter and wanted no part of it. He would only carry out the heavy pieces, but would not do the scoring and tapping with the hammer. Be very careful. Score, score, and score some more. Then take a very sharp putty knife and tap gently with a hammer. I went ever so carefully and slowly. Thankfully, nothing broke.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 9:26PM
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Glad I asked this question. That was a clever fix.

I'm both curious and scared to know what size gap is behind my backsplash....

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 9:27PM
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