I am updating my parents 1946 home (it has been remodeled & updated before but not kitchen counters) and want to change the look of original worn laminate counter & backsplash (bright yellow with tan and brown "boomerange" lines). I want to use new laminate on the surface of the counter (that should pose no problem) and put subway tile on the backsplash. Everything I read says remove vertical laminate surface and replace with backerboard. Problem is there is both a window (centered on length of backsplash) and a door that have molding covering the edge of the laminate. Molding is sure to be destroyed in the process (remember, 1946 wood) and this pattern of molding is no longer available (all the rest of the molding in house wouldn't match). So, I think since the backsplash will not be taking a lot of wear, it should be possible to just put up the tiles with some really good prep. Question is, how, what products work best, is it feasible? I have spent hours online and have read both that it IS possible and that it is NOT possible. Area to be covered is 8' long and only 14 1/2" high and is under wall cabinets. Thanks for any input!

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    What you are talking about doing sounds kind of crazy but who knows. We would need a picture to figure this out. Also old trim come off usually better than new trim.
    – DMoore
    Apr 27, 2015 at 21:14
  • It has been painted many times. I'll take a pic next time I go to house. It may be a couple of days (it is out of town). Apr 27, 2015 at 21:51
  • Razor knife and thin prybars (sometimes a puttlyknife for the first-go-round) with the right person driving them won't be put off by layers of paint. Sure, it's POSSIBLE to destroy trim, but it's also possible not to, with the proper approach to it.
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 27, 2015 at 21:58

1 Answer 1


Hire a competent finish carpenter to remove the trim. Then proceed as "everything you read says" - remove laminate and apply backerboard. 1946 trim is probably better-quality wood than anything you can buy today, and it won't have been glued on with polyurethane either...

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