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Old 03-21-2005, 12:41 PM   #1
Susvc
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Nasty Backsplash

I just removed a laminate backsplash that was nailed over this nasty ancient glue surface where tiles had apparently been removed. The walls are plaster over a crumbly concretish substraight, with what appears to be a wire mesh behind it, so I can't just cut out and replace the wall board. (Studfinders don't work)
The glue is crumbly in some places, almost rubbery in others, as if there are at east two different coats. Scraping hard and sanding is not making a dent in the lumps on the wall. I'd like a nice smooth surface to tile, preferrably without adding too much to the depth of the wall. There's about 16 sq ft of wall to fix.
BTW, for another backsplash, they had covered it with a 1/2 " thick particle board ceiling tile put up with big blobs of silicone! What a mess!
Any suggestions for how I should proceed?
~Susan
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Old 03-21-2005, 07:19 PM   #2
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Hi Susan, I'm not sure but the backsplash might be mudded. A picher sure would be nice. You might have to tearout the mud if you can't get it smooth.
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Old 03-21-2005, 10:17 PM   #3
Tool Guy - Kg
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A picture would be very helpful indeed.
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Old 03-22-2005, 09:16 AM   #4
Susvc
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The picture is too large a file to attatch but you can use this URL:

http://www.nwcs.com/DSC03067.JPG

thanks!
~Susan
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Old 03-22-2005, 10:57 PM   #5
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Susan --

It looks like the yellowish stuff is contact cement that was used to install the laminate. It would be the sticky stuff. The browner stuff that looks combed looks like mastic that was used to install the tile that was previously removed. It would be the crumbly stuff.

The walls behind are probably plaster. Don't see any of the crumbly cementlike stuff or the wire, but that is probably the brown (scratch) coat of plaster, and wire lath.

I would think that the old mastic could be scraped off the plaster, but the sticky contact cement is making that job much harder. I don't know if using some type of chemical remover would make a problem with the thinset over the plaster later, but that is the case over concrete.

If you are looking for an old-fashioned looking backsplash, you could install 1/2" backerboard over the mess, and use a tile that has mudcap trim to cover the edges. Would lookl like a vintage mud job.
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Old 03-22-2005, 11:19 PM   #6
Susvc
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~

I'm putting in shaker style maple cabinets, and a granite countertop with my stainless appliances. I'm not sure how an "old fashioned" backsplash would work- looking for simplicity, nothing fancy. I haven't picked out the tile yet, so I can look and see what I can find.

We have lots of allergies/asthma in my family - any suggestions for a chemical cleaner that might be safer/less offensive? Temperatures here are still 30-40 during the day, 50 if we're lucky, so we can't open up comfortably.


~Susan
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Old 03-22-2005, 11:32 PM   #7
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Susan --

People here have mentioned Jasco Adhesive Remover as being effective, but I have no idea what the health implications are for your family.

A soy-based remover called Bean-E-Do has also been mentioned. You may have to do some research, or wait until the weather improves, or both.

And again, I know that chemical removers are not advised over concrete because they leave residues that interfere with thinset adhesion. I don't know if this is as big a problem over plaster because you can sand off some of the plaster if you have to. Also, wall tiles are not subjected to anywhere near the forces that floor tiles are.
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Old 03-23-2005, 12:50 AM   #8
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Thanks, I'll have to investigate. I'm leaving town for a few days - my daughter is graduating from basic training - I'll let you know what I find out on the cleaners when I get back. Otherwise, I'm totally under the gun on this project - cabinets arrive week of the 4th, countertop arrives 4/25, my son gets married 4/30 - with the accompanying house full of relatives. In the meantime, I'm tearing out the old cabinets, (trying to save them) building out a soffit, upgrading/adding outlets and circuits and tiling the floor.

~susan
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Old 03-23-2005, 07:33 AM   #9
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Susvc, please be careful of the type of glue remover you use,some of them that contain zylene,such as laquer thinner ,are horribly toxic and can cause nerve damage.(we made the mistake of using these types of glue removers in a small bathroom,without having proper respirators)my wife is still having problems the dr.thinks that are related to this.If we can prevent even one person the agony she has gone thru,it will be worth it.READ THE LABELS,and even some of the citrus type oil cleaners are bad for breathing.I am sure they make safe type glue removers now.It just happened to be so easy to use what we had at the time,and dis-regard instructions.Sorry for going on and on but sometimes it is easy to get agravated when you are removing glue,and use something that works better even if it is bad for your health!Have A great Day!marvin
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Old 03-30-2005, 11:35 AM   #10
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Well, I checked out the removers - tne citrus ones were not for adhesives, (only paints/varnishes) and everything I saw had nasty warnings - so I've resorted to muscle power with a hammer and chisel scraped and scraped now I'm basically spackling over the gouges and smoothing it out. I think it will work.
Thanks for your input.
~Susan
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