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Old 04-01-2010, 06:44 AM   #1
dwzemens
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Removing 4" granite backsplash -- HELP!

When we had our granite kitchen counters installed a four years ago we had a four inch granite backsplash installed. Same thickness as the granite slab. We no longer find it visually appealing and want to remove it and tile the wall behind it.

As I recall, when it was installed, it was siliconed to the slab below but not to the drywall behind it. In either event, is there a tried-and-true way to remove this backsplash without damaging or breaking the slab below it?

Thanks so much for the help.
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Old 04-01-2010, 07:16 AM   #2
Brad Denny
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If you can get a razor blade in the joints with caulking, cut those out best you can, Dave. I usually use two trowels (but any rigid metal will work) to slide down in behind somewhere at the thirds and wiggle the backsplash until it releases. The granite should be hard enough not to have any damage. If you hear any signs of rock on rock grinding, use a coupla thin wood shims between the backsplash and counter to keep that front edge from rubbin' it.
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Old 04-01-2010, 07:21 AM   #3
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You're not trying to save the bcaksplash right?

score the seam with a razor as Brad said, then smash the BS with a hammer into managable chunks. You can get much more aggression out with a hammer than some wood shims.
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Old 04-01-2010, 07:50 AM   #4
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No, not trying to save the backsplash. My fear is that somehow the silicon holding the backslash to the slab will hold tight and I will crack the slab itself.

Any reason to worry about this?
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:05 AM   #5
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Not if you cut as much of it out as you can. Granite's pretty tough. The silicone would rather peel off than the granite would crack.
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:09 AM   #6
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The problem is that there really is no seam to score. The silicone was put under the back splash edge, so it's more of a flush mount. Make sense?
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:18 AM   #7
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Post up a picher for us to see. Are you trying to salvage the backsplash? I think I would get a prybar under the left or right side and lift toward the counter front. It would probably break the granite and damage the dry wall a little. If you're not trying to save the backsplash then neither should be a problem. I would tape cardboard down on the countertop to protect it.

BTW, I like your avatar...did you design it?

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Old 04-01-2010, 08:31 AM   #8
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Thanks for the comment Brian. I am not trying to salvage the back splash granite at all. Just trying not to break the slap when I force it up.

Yes, I made the avatar. Thanks. It used to be appropriate for my business website, but since I redesigned the site that avatar is no longer part of my header image logo. But I am too lazy to change it!
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:36 AM   #9
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If I did it correctly there should be an image attached. It's a pretty standard install and back splash.
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:39 AM   #10
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Use a knife to score the silicone where the 2 pieces meet. Then use a prybar to pop the piece off the wall, your chances of damaging the wall are good but you do plan on tiling it anyway so you can fix any damanged areas pretty easily.
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:48 AM   #11
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Thanks Rick.

So you suggest prying *behind* the back splash at a stud joint and forcing the back splash forward toward the front of the counter?
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Old 04-01-2010, 05:23 PM   #12
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Dave,

Do not pry with metal anything against the countertop. If you want to pry, do so from the wall, but then you are pretty much limited to where the stud locations are.

Cut it along the bottom, protect the counter with some cardboard, find where the studs are and smash the backsplash between the studs.
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:11 PM   #13
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dave that backsplash does't look bad at all. i wonder what you will replace it with that matches the countertop well? no way you will remove the splash without significant damage to the drywall, even prying on the studs. you're gonna have a lot of work to repair the drywall, repaint (if wall paper, be SURE you can still get it to repair the damage). if you're gonna tile above the countertop and replace the drywall with new drywall or CBU for tile substrate, then use one of those extendable snap-off box cutters to cut the silicone joint ( you can extend the blade out an inch or so and if you're careful, it won't snap, if it does just extend it. i get the cheap 1.5$ ones). then cut the drywall where you will remove it and pry it out, drywall and all, or smash it like Paul said. if it were me, i'd just leave it.
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Old 04-02-2010, 12:07 AM   #14
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I'm not for smashing the backsplash...I wouldn't want to deal with the extra drywall damage that I could otherwise avoid...and there's a potential for flying debris to chip a stove-top or whatever.

I've removed granite backsplashes before that I've needed to save. Not a big deal. I've always pried them at the top of the splash where it meets the wall. At each stud location, use a putty knife or thin prybar to separate the backsplash from the drywall juuuuuuust enough to get a wooden shim inserted into the crack. After the shims are in, tap each one down a couple times and move to the next. Repeat until the silicone bond gives way. Putty knives also work pretty good instead of the shims. Do cut that silicone bead where the splash meets the top before starting.

Only surprise that concerns me is uncovering a big gap between the countertop and the wall that won't be covered by the thickness of your tile...not often (especially on straight run of countertop, but it happens occasionally (more common on "U"-shaped countertops involving multiple walls that might have made it difficult to accurately measure for fabrication).

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Old 04-02-2010, 12:08 AM   #15
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What about wetting the drywall to help loosen the bond ? Using a putty knife or margin trowel to help get the water down to where it needs to be and make channels?
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