Ripping out an existing granite backsplash? Or not?

MizLizzieDecember 7, 2012

Gardenwebnewbie's post about making a backsplash out of her seat slab got me thinking. I gather the trend nowadays is to drop your wall treatment -- be it tile or painted glass or whatever -- straight down to the solid surface countertop. Is that right?

I ask because, as some of you know, we are trying to preserve our kitchen-L area with a reface job so we can keep our granite and sink. Had originally planned to demo it, but we can't find anything we like better. When the granite was put in about eight years ago, they put a splash on. I never thought not to. I was never asked if I wanted it, but only how tall I wanted it. Answer = 4"

Now, as part of the reno, the kitchen dude is saying, yeah, you really need to let me rip that off. Like it's diseased or something. LOL. We will be ripping out the tile above it, in part so we can properly hardwire undercab LEDs. We have the tile (Rixi noce and a glass/metal accent tile.)

But sometimes when I look at kitchens with no splash, it looks . . . naked to my eye. (I know I'm painfully slow to grasp change; until last year, stainless appliances still horrified me.) That said, I really could use the space especially behind the stove and the faucet, which is tight due to a window sill. If anyone has before and after pics of with/without, I would love it. Or maybe an old thread I'm not finding? Another website? I tried Houzz but not getting much.

And has anyone ever ripped off a splash successfully? I worry about goo being stuck on it, or having it crack on us. Kitchen dude assures me it won't happen. If it matters, our look will be very traditional, with maybe a transitional hint in the accent tile and new (stainless!) appliances.

Any advice would be most welcome. Thanks in advance.

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We our replacing countertop in our remodel. It currently has the backsplash and that will be ripped out first so if I am there to witness it, I will snap a photo for you. I have got to think it's going to be a big mess, but my contractor is taking our old granite tops to use at home so he must think he will be able to clean it up!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 10:55AM
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granite splash is typically caulked to the countertop and to the wall. It can be removed by forcing a putty knife between the wall and the splash to break the adhesive bond. It can be done without damaging the splash if done carefully. it will leave scars on the sheetrock that must be dealt with.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 11:20AM
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You know, there is no guarantee that your counters were cut tight to the wall. One purpose of the 4" splash was to hide that gap.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 11:53AM
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You can cover it with peel n stick tiles.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 12:43PM
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Thanks, guys! Great info. MarinaGal, love some pics. You are too kind.

Kitchen dude said the walls looked nice and plumb. I will go lay a level across the existing tile and see what I see. The house was built in '96 and nothing seems to have settled. Old formica was straight. But I realize there are no guarantees. It does worry me a little.

Oceangirl67 -- peel and stick tiles to level it up, do you mean? And then lay your ceramic tiles over that? Thanks.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 3:43PM
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