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I am getting ready to tile my blacksplash. I had laminate counters and backsplash. Of course when I removed the old backsplash the paper on the drywall was damaged.

How should I fix this ? Will just skimming with a coat of drywall mud be enough ?

EDIT : It is travertine tiles.

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Can you show a picture? If it is really just the paper ripping off I don't think I would even bother repairing it at all if you are just going to cover it with tile. – auujay Aug 17 '12 at 14:26
@auujay I will try and take a pic. – Web Aug 17 '12 at 15:20

Assuming this is ceramic tile - not glass or stone - and you are going to do the standard mastic installation, if there is only mild damage (for example, a few 4-inch patches ripped off) either just ignore it or use joint compound to fill.

Joint compound is not strong at all. It is pretty crumbly and soft - i.e. it's not plaster, even though builders nowadays use it to skim-coat walls for texture (you can easily gouge it with your fingernail on such installs). So if there are large areas of damage, I would cut out the sections of drywall and replace them. This is not difficult, because although you should still mud-and-tape the joints, you don't need to sand much since you'll be covering it with tile.

Final comment - I wish, on my installation, that we had added 1/4" hardiboard over the sheetrock (with const. adhesive and screws) to stiffen the wall. My wall has the garage door in it, so the wall gets flexed and the grout cracks. Just FYI.

(Adding Fein Multimaster picture, see comment below)

enter image description here

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Sorry updated above. They are travertine tiles. I think the best solution in my case is just to pull off the drywall and put up hardiboard. – Web Aug 18 '12 at 10:08
Yep, that's the way to go. You might get a Fein Multi-master type tool to cut out the sheetrock. You can cut in tight spots quickly and easily with those (see above). – dbracey Aug 18 '12 at 17:22
Installed the backer today. Went well and I will tile tomorrow. And I already have a Fein MultiMaster...good tool to have. Thanks! – Web Aug 19 '12 at 1:02

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