The time has come to remodel your kitchen. You have selected new flooring, countertops and lighting, and you are refinishing the cabinets. The one project you haven't planned for is the removal of the Formica backsplash. Formica, or plastic laminate, is a material often found in older homes, especially in the kitchen. Formica backsplashes are sometimes glued to the drywall but could also be nailed to the wall surface. Removing the backsplash requires patience and the right tools.
You will need a hammer, crowbar, vise grips, eye goggles, a screwdriver (power or manual), putty knife, nose mask, gloves and a heat gun or hair dryer to start the Formica backsplash removal project. Wear gloves, eye goggles and long sleeves when removing anything containing nails or fasteners.
Removing the Metal Strips and Trim
Remove any metal strips and trim holding the Formica backsplash in place first by hammering a crowbar between the strips and the Formica. Then take some vise grips and grab the Formica by one end and pull it away from the wall's surface. This will help in determining if the material is glued to the drywall, screwed or nailed. If the Formica comes up easy and you don't see any visible nails or screws, the backsplash is glued to the wall. If you start seeing nails or screws, you will need the crowbar to pry the backsplash from the wall. It may take a lot of strength and pull the Formica forcibly from the wall. If the screws are exposed, try to remove them using a power screwdriver or regular screwdriver, and then pull the backsplash up using a crowbar. Keep in mind the backsplash may also be screwed to the countertop.
Removing a Glued Formica Backsplash
If the backsplash is glued to the drywall, use a putty knife heated with a heat gun or hair dryer to remove the material from the wall. Start with one section of the backsplash. Place a heated putty knife under the surface, and pull out forcibly. The glue behind the backsplash will start to loosen. You will have to use a combination of pulling and using the heated knife. Keep drywall damage to a minimum by pulling off large sections of the backsplash instead of small ones. Do not place the heat gun or hair dryer to the Formica itself; this will cause fumes to emit and is a fire hazard. Continue heating and pulling until the Formica backsplash is removed.
Patching/Removing the Drywall
After the Formica backsplash has been removed, the drywall that contained the backsplash will have to be patched with drywall paste or cut out and replaced with some new drywall or similar material. If you plan on installing another backsplash, remove the damaged portion of the drywall and replace with new material. If you plan on painting the former backsplash, patch with drywall paste, sand to make it smooth, then paint the surface.
How to Remove Formica From Countertops
When resurfacing a countertop, at some point it will become necessary to remove the existing surface layer. If this layer happens to...
How to Remove a Countertop Back Splash
A backsplash is essentially an extension of your countertop. The tiles adhered vertically along the countertop protect the wall from water and...
How to Remove Laminate Countertops
Laminate countertops serve as an economical and durable option for kitchens and baths but may suffer chips and scratches over time thanks...
How to Remove a Laminate Backsplash
Removing a backsplash may not be as easy as it sounds. The degree of difficulty required to take down a laminate backsplash...
How to Remove a Laminate Backsplash in a Kitchen
Laminate backsplashes are functional, but not always beautiful. Homeowners may find that they want to replace their cheap laminate backsplash with something...
How to Cover a Laminate Backsplash
A laminate backsplash can really date a kitchen design, and pulling it down may disturb the counter or cabinets. Instead of living...
How to Paint a Formica Backsplash
Formica is a cheap, waterproof material, preferred for its resistance to stains. Unfortunately, many homeowners believe its low cost is reflected in...
Kitchen Backsplash Ideas for Formica
Home improvement stores sell Formica products for a kitchen counter backsplash that are comparable to other major brands but with an unexpected...
Kitchen Backsplash Removal
The kitchen backsplash is a decorative area that can be covered in tile, paint or wallpaper, or can be an extension of...