Installing a new tile backsplash can completely transform the look of your kitchen. However, many homeowners wonder if they need to remove their existing tile before installing a new backsplash or if they can simply tile over the old one. There are a few factors to consider when deciding between replacing or tiling over an existing backsplash.
Should I Remove the Old Backsplash First?
There are pros and cons to both removing the old backsplash and tiling over it. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Benefits of Removing the Old Backsplash
- Allows you to inspect the wall behind the backsplash and make any necessary repairs before installing new tile. This includes fixing damaged drywall, evening out uneven surfaces, redoing plumbing or electrical if needed, etc.
- Provides the opportunity to completely change the backsplash design. Removing the old tile gives you a fresh slate to work with.
- Can avoid potential height issues. Tiling over an existing backsplash adds thickness, which can create problems if outlet covers, faucets, etc end up too close to the new tile surface.
- Prevents imperfections from the old tile from showing through the new tile. Grout lines, uneven tiles, etc. may be visible.
- Allows proper preparation of the surface for best adhesion of new tile.
Drawbacks of Removing the Backsplash
- More expensive and labor intensive to demo and remove old tile and prepare the surface for new tile.
- Risk of damage to drywall during tile removal. May need repairs.
- Creates more dust, debris, and cleanup.
- Lengthy process, especially if additional repairs are needed behind the backsplash.
Benefits of Tiling Over Existing Backsplash
- Much less expensive option compared to removing and replacing the entire backsplash.
- Far less messy and demolition required.
- Much faster installation time since the tile prep work is minimized.
- May be the better option for DIYers lacking experience with tile removal and installation.
- Allows you to retain the existing backsplash design if it is still in good shape. Simply update with new tile.
Drawbacks of Tiling Over Existing Backsplash
- Adds thickness depending on the tile. May create issues around outlets, faucets, etc.
- Old grout lines and uneven tiles may be visible through the new tile.
- New tile is less likely to properly adhere over existing tile. Risk of future failure.
- Unable to inspect or repair any issues behind the existing tile like damage or leaks.
- Limited in backsplash design options. Must work with existing tile layout.
Key Factors to Consider
When deciding whether to remove or tile over an existing backsplash, there are a few important factors to take into account:
- Condition of existing tile – If the tile is very worn, damaged, or stained, it likely needs replacement. If it is in good shape, tiling over may work.
- Thickness of existing tile – Thinner tiles are better for tiling over. Thicker tiles like ceramic add too much thickness.
- Flatness of existing tile – Significant grout lines, uneven tiles, or textured surfaces will telegraph through the new tile.
- Plans for the new backsplash – If you want a totally new design, removal is likely required. Matching the existing layout allows tiling over.
- Backsplash height – Existing tiles too close to outlets, faucets, etc. may prevent tiling over based on new tile thickness.
- Condition behind existing tile – Ability to inspect and repair any hidden damage or issues before retiling.
- Budget and labor considerations – Removing and replacing is more expensive and labor intensive.
- DIY skill level – DIYers may opt for tiling over vs. tile demolition and replacement.
Carefully evaluating these factors will determine the better option for your specific backsplash project.
How to Tile Over an Existing Backsplash
If you evaluate your existing backsplash tile and determine it is in suitable condition for tiling over, here is an overview of the process:
- New tile and grout to match your design plans
- Thinset mortar adhesive
- Notched trowel
- Grout float
- Grout sealer
- Safety gear – gloves, eye protection, knee pads, etc.
- Clean the existing tile thoroughly to remove any grease, dirt, or grime. Use a degreasing cleaner and scrub well.
- Smooth any grout lines or uneven tiles with a grinding stone attachment on a rotary tool. This helps create a flat surface.
- Fill any missing grout spots with new grout to level it out. Let dry completely.
- Scuff up the glazed tile surface with sandpaper. This helps the thinset adhere better.
- Apply painter’s tape around the edges of the backsplash. This helps keep the new thinset and grout off adjacent surfaces.
Tiling Over Existing Backsplash
- Mix up thinset mortar adhesive per manufacturer instructions. Apply evenly to the backsplash surface using a notched trowel.
- Press the new tile into the thinset firmly, using spacers for consistent grout lines. Work in small sections.
- Allow thinset to dry completely before grouting, usually around 24 hours.
- Mix grout and apply over the tile surface using a rubber grout float. Press into grout lines firmly.
- Wipe away excess grout with a damp sponge. Rinse sponge frequently.
- Allow grout to dry fully, then apply grout sealer as a protective barrier.
- Remove painter’s tape and silicone caulk where the backsplash meets the countertop.
- Finally, enjoy your updated backsplash!
Tiling Over Existing Tile Backsplash FAQs
Still have some questions about tiling over an existing backsplash? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
Can I use any tile for tiling over an existing backsplash?
For best results, select a tile similar in size and thickness to your existing tile. Large format tiles or natural stone are not recommended as they add too much weight and thickness. Mosaic sheets or smaller tiles 4 inches or less are good options.
What about the additional thickness of the new tile?
Yes, tiling over an existing backsplash does add extra thickness. Make sure this will not impact your outlets, faucets, or other elements along the backsplash. Thinner tile minimizes thickness concerns.
Should I use a different adhesive for tiling over a backsplash?
A latex-modified thinset adhesive is the best choice for tiling over existing tiles. It offers greater flexibility and adhesion power compared to mastic or regular thinset.
How should I prep the glossy surface of existing ceramic tile?
Lightly sanding or etching the shiny surface helps rough it up so the new thinset can grip better. Just avoid scratching too deeply into the glazed ceramic surface.
Can I install a new backsplash tile with a different layout?
It is best to match the existing backsplash layout so new grout lines align. Dramatically changing layouts makes tiling over challenging. Consider removing the tile if you want a fresh layout.
Is it OK if some old grout lines show through the new tile?
Some faint grout lines are expected, although minimizing texture differences during prep will help. The new grout and tile should disguise lines fairly well. Just don’t expect a flawless look.
What issues might I encounter when tiling over an existing backsplash?
Potential adhesion problems down the road, slight imperfections showing through, outlet/faucet clearance challenges if the tile is too thick, and inability to alter the backsplash design.
Signs It’s Time to Remove and Replace Your Backsplash
While tiling over an existing backsplash can work in many situations, sometimes it is better to fully remove and replace it. Consider a full backsplash replacement or remodel if you notice any of the following:
- Damaged, missing, or cracked tiles
- Stains that cannot be cleaned from grout or tile surface
- Textured or relief tiles that will show through new flat tiles
- Outdated or undesirable pattern you want to change
- Loose or hollow sounding tiles indicating loss of adhesion
- Evidence of leaks, water damage, mold, or mildew behind backsplash
- Tiles near outlets, faucets, etc. too thick to tile over
Removing and replacing the backsplash may take more time and work, but these issues indicate a fresh start is the better option for a successful backsplash installation.
Hiring a Pro vs DIY Backsplash Project
Deciding whether to tackle tiling over your existing backsplash as a DIY project or hire a professional comes down to a few considerations:
Benefits of DIY Backsplash Project
- Save money on labor costs
- Greater flexibility in project timeline
- Personal satisfaction doing it yourself
Challenges of DIY Backsplash
- Requires tiling skills and knowledge
- Chance of making mistakes as amateur
- Physical demanding work
- Slow progress for inexperienced DIYers
Benefits of Hiring a Pro
- Experience tiling over existing surfaces
- Skilled with achieving flat, smooth finish
- Tools to easily remove old grout and tile
- Efficient installation process
- Warranties and guarantees on work
Downsides of Hiring a Contractor
- More expensive upfront costs
- Arranging contractor schedule
- Less control over tile design choices
Assess your DIY skill level, budget, and project needs to decide if hiring a professional tiler is worth the investment over a DIY backsplash remodel.
Beautiful Backsplash Ideas for Over Existing Tile
If you’ve weighed the options and decided tiling over your existing backsplash is the right choice, you’ll want to select a tile design that complements your kitchen. Here are some stylish backsplash ideas for tiling over existing tile:
A classic 3×6 white subway tile backsplash instantly provides a fresh facelift over an existing backsplash while matching many kitchen designs. Use glittery glass or marble subway tiles for added flair.
Mosaic Tile Sheets
Mosaic tile sheets make updating an existing backsplash simple. Available in colorful patterns or neutral stone looks, just peel and stick over old tile.
Faux Tin Ceiling Tiles
For a unique vintage vibe, try faux tin ceiling tiles or penny rounds. The small scale suits tiling over existing tile and creates dimension.
Moroccan Fish Scale Tile
Intricate Moroccan fish scale tiles in azure blue or seafoam green add a pop of color and texture over outdated or dull tiles.
A classic herringbone backsplash pattern brings movement and visual interest over plain square tiles. Try two contrasting colors for extra sophistication.
Bold geometric shapes like hexagons, chevrons, or an overlapping pattern make a statement atop tired backsplash tiles.
Whether you are aiming for a quick budget backsplash refresh or a complete remodel, evaluating the option of tiling over existing tile versus removing and replacing can lead to the right decision for your kitchen. Carefully examine the current state of your backsplash, your project goals, and skill level to determine the ideal approach. With proper prep and installation of quality tile and adhesive, tiling over an intact backsplash offers a convenient upgrade. But replacement allows you to correct any underlying issues and customize your perfect backsplash design.
Egypt Releases Satellite Images of 123 Possible Archaeological Sites
Ancient Egypt continues to amaze the world with its rich archaeological heritage. Recently, Egypt released images captured by a Japanese satellite that could reveal potential undiscovered archaeological sites across the country. The images showcase 123 possible obscured locations that show signs of ancient human activity now hidden beneath Egypt’s vast desert sands. This remarkable development could provide clues to the locations of lost ancient sites and cities yet to be excavated.
Background on Egypt’s Use of Satellite Imaging
For several years, Egypt has been collaborating with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on an archaeological mapping project. JAXA’s ALOS-2 satellite uses radar technology to penetrate beneath Egypt’s desert surface from space. This allows imaging of topographical features hidden under meters of shifting sands. Sites appear as raised bumps and ridges in satellite images.
Archaeologists compare the satellite images side-by-side with ancient maps, like those from Roman times, to identify similarities between obscured contours detected by the satellite and known archaeological sites. Verifying possible sites from space allows archaeologists to narrow excavation locations on the ground.
Details on the 123 New Potential Sites
In mid-September 2022, Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced the latest satellite mapping results:
- Images cover sites in Lower Egypt’s Delta region and the Faiyum desert area
- Reveal 123 ambiguous shapes and formations that indicate past human settlements now buried under sand
- Structures are raised levels compared to surroundings, implying the presence of buildings
- Range from 40-60 meters long, indicating a substantial size comparable to known archaeological sites
- Distinct patterns suggest the potential presence of long-buried cities and communities
While inconclusive, the satellite images provide enough evidence of past settlement locations to guide archaeological excavations in these desert zones.
Significance of the Discovery
The release of these satellite images is generating excitement among archaeologists and historians for several reasons:
- Expands understanding of where past Egyptian communities may lie hidden nearby better documented ancient sites
- Could lead to excavation of new cities and settlements not previously known from historical records
- Opens up vast swaths of desert for archaeological exploration that were previously unexamined
- Enables discovery of ancient sites dating from different eras of Egypt’s dynastic history – Early Dynastic, Old Kingdom, Roman Empire, etc.
- Non-invasive technique does not disturb sites and builds a database to guide future expeditions
Overall, the satellite mapping represents an enormously valuable guide to unlocking the secrets still waiting to be discovered from Egypt’s impressive ancient past. It also highlights cutting-edge space technology’s contributions to revelations in archaeology.
Next Steps for Excavation
The Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt will organize a thorough follow-up exploration of the pinpointed locations in coming years. Teams of archaeologists will excavate the sites further using ground-penetrating radar to give a clearer subsurface picture. Where surveys confirm human settlements and artifact evidence, full-scale digs will commence. The discoveries unearthed promise to expand knowledge of Egyptian history, culture, and society during different eras.
It is an exciting time for Egyptian archaeology thanks to the growing possibilities of both satellite and radar technologies. Ancient Egypt still has many secrets left buried in the sands waiting to be revealed. This space imagery marks the first step in what is sure to be a new wave of discoveries adding to Egypt’s celebrated archaeological heritage.
How to Start a Podcast: The Complete Guide for 2023
Podcasting has exploded in popularity over the last decade. But starting a podcast can seem daunting for beginners. Follow this comprehensive guide to launch your own podcast in 2023, reach listeners, and grow your audience.
First, let’s review the essentials for podcasting:
What is a Podcast?
- A digital audio show distributed via the internet and available on demand
- Episodes are uploaded to a feed and accessed through apps and platforms
Types of Podcasts
- Solo host or co-hosts
- Interviews, lessons, commentaries, stories, tutorial, news
- Scripted or unscripted
- Focused topics like true crime, sports, politics, etc.
How are Podcasts Monetized?
- Advertising and sponsorships
- Paid subscriber benefits and models
- Affiliate marketing
- Merchandise sales
Getting Started with Your Podcast
Follow these steps to launch your own podcast:
Choose Your Podcast Topic and Format
Consider your interests and areas of expertise. What unique perspective can you offer listeners? Podcast solo or with a co-host? Decide on a consistent format like interviews, solo episodes, true crime storytelling, etc.
Record a Pilot Episode
Create a trial run podcast episode. This allows you to nail down your topic, flow, segments, length, and tone before officially launching.
Set Up Your Gear and Recording Space
At minimum, you need microphones, headphones, and audio recording and editing software. Choose an area with minimal background noise for recording.
Design Cover Art and Branding
Create cover art, logo, color palette, and other graphics that represent your podcast brand visually. Secure a suitable name and domain.
Build a Website
Use website builder tools like Wix or Squarespace to make a site for your podcast. Include show description, episodes, photos, and calls-to-action.
Submit Your Podcast Feed to Platforms
Sign up for hosting platforms like Buzzsprout or Libsyn which will generate your podcast feed URL. Submit this to Apple, Spotify, Google and other platforms.
Record and Edit Initial Episodes
Follow a production schedule to record multiple episodes upfront. Edit each episode with sound effects, intros, outros, and (music/ads) if needed.
Promote and Market Your Podcast
Leverage social media, guest appearances on other shows, pitching to publications, forums, and every other opportunity to spread the word about your new podcast.
Launching with Impact
Give your podcast the best chance at success right from the start:
High Quality Production
Ensure excellent sound and editing quality so listeners stick around.
Consistent Release Schedule
Release episodes on a regular schedule, at least monthly, so listeners know when to expect new episodes.
Provide value to your audience with well-researched information, entertaining stories, and inspiring calls-to-action.
Engagement and Promotion
Actively promote new episodes across all platforms. Respond to listeners and encourage reviews. Offer subscriber perks.
Patience and Persistence