How to Remove Granite Backsplash Without Damaging Drywall

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Whether you’ve got subway tiles, granite, or hardwood serving as your countertop backsplash, choosing a backsplash requires that you consider beauty and protection of both your kitchen wall while enhancing your home décor.

However, if you’ve got a granite backsplash, you might want to change it for something with more aesthetic value or because it’s damaged. But like many homeowners, you’re probably scared of ruining your wall.

So this short guide is an easy and fun DIY project that will show you how to take out your backsplash without ruining your wall or granite or quartz countertops.

But first, to understand why this backsplash is quite difficult to remove, it might interest you to know how the granite backsplash is attached.

How is Granite Backsplash Attached

Granite backsplashes are cut from granite stone (the same material used in making granite countertops). And silicone is used to attach granite backsplash on top of the counter, and then the clear caulk is used to seal the backsplash where it meets the wall and the countertop.

That's the work that goes into ensuring your backsplash fits well. One of the main reasons granite is used as a backsplash is because it is super easy to clean.

And if you’ve got a granite countertop, then you’re no stranger to how to caring for such counters. And you can care for this backsplash exactly the same way. Grease and food splashes can be easily wiped off the backsplash surface.

How to Remove Granite Backsplash in your Kitchen Easily without Damaging Drywall

Before you get your hands dirty, some things need to first be in place: tools. Here are the tools you’ll need for this home improvement work;

  • Drop cloth
  • Screwdriver
  • Utility knife
  • Putty knife
  • Hammer or mallet
  • Electric sander or hand sander
  • Drywall joint compound
  • Drywall sanding pad
  • Grit sandpaper or elbow grease

Once you’ve got all your materials in place, then it is time to embark on this cool DIY project.

The easy steps for the removal of granite backsplash to reduce the risk of damage have been clearly laid out for you as follows;

Step 1: Protect your surfaces

Before you begin the removal of your granite backsplash from your wall, you’ll first need to ensure your surfaces are protected.

You can cover the surface of your kitchen countertop, floors, cabinets, and other high-risk areas with a drop cloth to avoid scratches or any damage. But if you don’t have a drop cloth, pieces of cardboard paper or newspapers will suffice.

And be sure to use masking tape to secure the edges of your cloth or newspaper so they don’t give way and make you slip or even fall.

Step 2: Cut Electricity to the granite backsplash area

To avoid electrocution, remove the outlet covers and turn off the flow of electricity to the area you’ll be working.

Also, use your screwdriver to remove other fixture covers like wall pates from your granite backsplash.

Step 3: Strip the Caulking

Carefully use your utility knife to cut out or scrape off both the top and bottom edges of the old caulking on the granite backsplash joint.

When you strip the caulking, you expose the edges of the backsplash and ensure your countertop doesn't get damaged.

Step 4: Chisel off the tile with your putty knife

So after removing the caulking, carefully slide the blade of your putty knife between the seam of the granite backsplash and your wall.

Then gently use your hammer or mallet to tap the handle of your putty knife to pry the backsplash from the wall without gouging the drywall.

This will cut the tile loose from the glue.

Note: this area that should be focused on in this step should be the open end of the backsplash.

Step 5: Repeat the process for the top of the backsplash

To ensure you don’t damage your walls, take your putty knife off the open end (after you feel it loosen up a bit) and at the seam of the top edge of the backsplash between the wall.

Then continue using your hammer to carefully tap the handle of the putty knife till you can still feel the granite backsplash loosen up even further.

Step 6: Do this for the rest part of the tile

Reinsert your putty knife to other parts of your granite backsplash and continue tapping at it with your hammer till the adhesive loosens up completely.

After loosening up the granite backsplash, you can then pry away the backsplash completely.

Step 7: Remove the adhesive

Now you’ve successfully removed the granite tiles from your walls, but there are a few more things you've got to do.

You still have to remove the hardened glue which could either be rock-hard or semi-soft.

To remove the rock-hard adhesive (which is most likely thinset–a cement-based product), use your putty knife and some elbow grease to scrape this hard glue from your walls.

But if the glue is not so strong as the cement-based product, grit sandpaper will be more than enough to scrape it off your wall.

Step 8: Smoothen your walls

It is perfectly normal to gouge your walls when you try to chip off the adhesive. So if you do gouge (make little holes) the drywall, patch the holes with the drywall patching compound.

Also, fix paper tears with a drywall joint compound and smoothen the wall with your 120-grit sandpaper, and then allow it to dry.

In Conclusion

So there you have it: the 8 steps to remove your tiles from a wall without damaging your walls. And even if you ruin the wall a little, you know how to fix it.

And if you’re planning on installing a new backsplash that will complement the quartz countertops or perhaps, granite countertop in your home, make a thick layer of thinset over the wall surface.

This will hide the roughness and scars created by the old glue and you would have primed your kitchen space with a solid base for your new glass or subway tiles.

However, if you feel this DIY work is quite challenging, you might need to call in a professional to help you give your home this facelift.

TL;DR

Here’s the DIY lowdown of how to remove granite backsplash from the top of home countertops;

7 Steps to Remove Granite Backsplash without Ruining Your Wall

  1. Protect the surfaces of your kitchen countertop and floors with a cloth or newspaper or any other cloth.
  2. Remove the outlet covers and cut electricity going to your project area.
  3. Strip the caulking with your utility knife.
  4. Use a hammer or mallet with your putty knife to loosen up the open end of your backsplash tiles.
  5. Repeat the process for the top end and the entire length of the backsplash.
  6. Remove the adhesive with grit sandpaper.
  7. Patch the holes with drywall patching compound and smoothen the walls with sandpaper.

What do you think about this little DIY work: fun or nah?

Dino Paccino

Dino Paccino

Dino is a lifelong writer and home improvement specialist. He enjoys bringing cutting-edge information on home renovation and remodeling to Kitchen Infinity.

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