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Old 02-22-2012, 12:59 AM
 
54 posts, read 316,346 times
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I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for the DIY projects for the house we're buying, and #1 on the list is changing out the kitchen backsplash (currently a glossy ceramic tile I believe).

Question is - what's the best way to do this without disturbing the cabinets and granite countertops?
Also, has anyone tried those Smart Tiles HD sells? Garbage or time-saving alternative?

What I'm also concerned with, is if we do the backsplash now, and then within the next few years we want to change the counter tops - will we have to rip the backsplash out anyways to fit the countertops in properly? Any way to keep the backsplash we do now, and change the countertops later? Or is it impossible to make a perfect template with a backsplash in place?
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:49 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
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It would certainly be more labor intensive to replace cabinets and countertops while trying to work around a backsplash. If you can't live with the current tiles, one possibility would be to remove them completely, prep the walls, and use a high gloss paint which can then simply be covered up when you redo the rest of it.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
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That must be the most hideous back-splash ever conceived if it's #1 on the to-do list. I'm sure there's a thousand other more pressing issues in the purchase and livability list.

The obvious answer is to do it all at one time. Counter top and back-splash.
If you just do the b/spl you'll probably have to replace all of the d/wall where the tile is set- tile usually doesn't "just come off". And since the wall is open, now would be a good time to evaluate the number of receptacles and the possible addition of under-cabinet lighting if you don't already have them.
Depending on the type of counter top you currently have and the future replacement, careful planning can work to your advantage. But, rarely is one type of counter top the same thickness as a different type- hence the reason to do it all at the same time. However, as I said before- planning- if the current counter top has an integral b/spl (common with laminate tops) definitely do the tile after the new tops are in. If you have any other counter top that doesn't have the integral b/spl then you can work around the tile b/spl when installing the new counter tops. Most reliable counter top installers have dealt with this and know how to work around it- without having to go into a lot of detail.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:21 AM
 
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I tend to agree with the above poster. If the tiles are simply not to your taste it is can an expensive / messy job to try to remove them and patch in something more stylish.

Of course if the tiles are in bad shape that the repairs are necessary to maintain the integrity of the area that is a whole other kind of problem -- if you don't bite the bullet to fix those kinds of problems you'll end up with bugs & rodents making the kitchen unsafe.

Sounds like the OP is thinking that "down the road" they'd really like to overhaul the whole thing. To my mind that is when you redo a backsplash that is functional just not pretty. Once everything is ripped out you can do the job much better.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,003 posts, read 11,104,510 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R&J1016 View Post
I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for the DIY projects for the house we're buying, and #1 on the list is changing out the kitchen backsplash (currently a glossy ceramic tile I believe).

Question is - what's the best way to do this without disturbing the cabinets and granite countertops?
Also, has anyone tried those Smart Tiles HD sells? Garbage or time-saving alternative?

What I'm also concerned with, is if we do the backsplash now, and then within the next few years we want to change the counter tops - will we have to rip the backsplash out anyways to fit the countertops in properly? Any way to keep the backsplash we do now, and change the countertops later? Or is it impossible to make a perfect template with a backsplash in place?
I'm with Kledge here...unless it's absolutely the most hideous thing ever, I'd move it down the list.

As for the "Smart Tiles"...DD & hubby decided they'd give them a try. That was not a smart decision. The salesman raved about them. He was wrong. They garbage. Go old school if you're going to put up tile. It's messier, but you'll be glad you did. Thank goodness they only bought one box. They are absolute crap...a JOKE. Don't waste your money.

If you're buying a house and moving in, unless it's broken, I wouldn't waste the time or money to fix it. You've got enough to worry about with packing, hauling, unpacking, arranging and setting up your life in a new home. Paint is a quick fix, but again......unless it's broken, why replace or fix it right away. Good grief, you've already got that mortgage pmt to worry about.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:02 AM
 
54 posts, read 316,346 times
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Thanks for the replies, but the backsplash is one of the top priorities after getting settled in (why wait and then have to move everything out of the area again?)... the house requires no big repairs, just a few cosmetic updates to make it ours.
The kitchen is otherwise in really good condition - so no it's not in need of immediate repair in any way to make it livable - but the current backsplash is hideous and does not match the rest (hopefully the attached photos can give a better understanding).

So if need be, I understand we would have to redo the backsplash again if/when we do decide to change out the countertops - but b/c there is nothing wrong with them we will be leaving them for a while, it's just not what I would have picked... and the cabinets won't be going anywhere in our lifetime.

As far as under-cabinet lighting, yes I would like to add some while we're at it. There's really only a few sections that would need it b/c most of the counter space is on an island...

I guess I'm just having difficulty picturing how to chisle out the tile, which in some spots is surrounded on all 4 sides by cabinets/counters. And then how to replace the drywall in such an awkward spot, without damaging the cabinets or counters. I would appreciate any helpful advice since I can't imagine it being that uncommon of an idea to update just a backsplash...

Replacing kitchen backsplash?-dsc03279.jpg

Replacing kitchen backsplash?-dsc03278.jpg

Replacing kitchen backsplash?-dsc03299.jpg
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,952 posts, read 21,550,901 times
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Maybe you can find a ceramic paint and paint them? I have never tried this but have read that people do it.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Mount Laurel
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Depends on how the tile was installed on the wall, the job may be simple or really hard.

When I did my kitchen, I learned that the installer glue the tile so I had no choice but to replace the drywall behind. I only cut out the section that was tiled but because I also replaced the cabinets and counter top, the job was only a few hours.

In your case, I would start out with a rotozip and cut out a few tiles and chisel out the ones closer to the counter and cabinets. You may or may not have to replace the drywall behind depending on how clean you can get the tile out.

My recommendation, rotozip or similiar tool will get you very far.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
16,021 posts, read 59,536,638 times
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OK
I have to admit- the tile and granite combination is pretty bad. Borderline hideous, but functional.
And since you do have granite- I would strongly suggest doing it all at the same time.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Alaska
5,356 posts, read 17,703,582 times
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As suggested, I'd try painting over a small section. If it looks halfway decent, maybe you could live with it until the remodel.
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