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How to Tile Over a Plastic Laminate Backsplash

By: Danny Lipford

Can I tile over a Formica backsplash? -Larry

It’s possible to tile over a plastic laminate backsplash if the backsplash has square, rather than molded or rounded, edges. Here’s how to go about it:

  • Clean and dry the backsplash to remove any dirt or grease.
  • Sand the plastic laminate with coarse (50-80 grit) sandpaper, so the tile adhesive will adhere to it. An orbital sander works great for this, but be careful not to damage the countertop or wall.
  • Wipe down the backsplash with a damp cloth to remove any dust.
  • Cover the countertop with Kraft paper or plastic sheeting, held in place by painter’s tape, to prevent the tile adhesive from adhering to it.
  • Apply thin-set adhesive to the backsplash with a notched trowel, then tile the backsplash.
  • Allow the tile adhesive to cure overnight.
  • Apply grout, sponge off any excess, and allow to dry.

Good luck with your project,


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One Comment on “How to Tile Over a Plastic Laminate Backsplash”

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  1. gary hardin Says:
    February 25th, 2012 at 6:21 am

    I recently purchased a fixer upper. With the help of my son-in-law the work is progressing steadily. We leveled the floors the way you did on your daughter’s first home episode. But I have a 3/4 basement with a 1/4 crawl space. Do I need too sealed off the crawl space from the basement when the work is completed? Thank you.

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