Starting to think about next steps in this meandering kitchen remodel project we started during quarantine. I have the new cabinetry and appliances in and am starting to think about doing the backsplash.
We have decided it will be tile and it will cover the full height between countertop and upper cabs (the old backsplash was an 8" tall strip of that tract-builder faux granite they make out of aquarium gravel and resin).
What I'm wondering about is the correct wall covering to go under the tile. I figure I have three options:
Install the tile directly onto the existing drywall
Install 1/4" backer board on top of the drywall and install the tile onto that
Cut out the drywall and replace with 1/2" backer board
Option 1 is what I'd call the house-flipper option and would be fastest, but I'm concerned about the adherence of the tile to the varied surface (there's some bare paper, some fresh compound, some paint, etc).
Option 2 would give a good base for the tile, but I'm concerned about the additional depth it would add.
Option 3 would be my preferred, especially since I can take advantage of the opening and relocate/add some receptacles, but I am wondering how to treat the gap between the backer board and drywall. If I do that, should I leave some drywall exposed just below the cabinets and butt-joint them with tape just like you would with two sheets of drywall, or is there a better way?
BTW - the countertops are concrete that I'm pouring and finishing off-site. I'll drop them in place of those temporary melamine sheets. The backsplash will go up after that.