I am remodeling my kitchen and I removed a Formica backsplash from my plaster walls. In doing so the adhesive used to attach the Formica remained on about 50% of the wall. On the remainder of the wall the adhesive and the some of the plaster came off with the Formica. I want to replace the Formica with ceramic tile.

  1. What do I use to level the wall where the plaster is missing?
  2. Should I level it to the height of the glue that remained or should I remove the glue?

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  • Can you post a picture and confirm that it's plaster (as opposed to a more modern paper-sandwich drywall) that you're dealing with? – Aloysius Defenestrate Feb 4 '15 at 15:33

It would be a good idea to install a tile backer board over the plaster. Over time, plaster dries out and becomes unstable. This could eventually cause your tiles to loosen or to pop off.

I would also recommend putting a thin layer of thinset mortar on the backside of the backer board. This will help attach it to the wall and the mortar will fill in any inconsistencies in the surface of the wall. Once the backer board is installed, you will have a great surface to attach your tile to. The screws in the backer board will also firmly attach it to the structure of your house, and it should basically last forever.

  • The backer board option is definitely the way to go. Don't be afraid of alternative backsplashes like stainless steel, decorative pressed tin and so on. – BrownRedHawk Feb 11 '15 at 19:16
  • I happened to look this up for my own kitchen woes. Try americantinceilings.com – BrownRedHawk Feb 11 '15 at 19:49

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