A faux brick backsplash can be a beautiful addition to any kitchen, providing a rustic, textured look. However, over time it may start to look dated, get damaged, or you may just want a change. Removing a faux brick backsplash is a big project but can be done with some time and effort. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to remove faux brick backsplash in your kitchen.
Prep the Workspace
Removing a faux brick backsplash makes a big mess. Before starting demolition, you’ll want to properly prep your kitchen.
- Clear the counters and remove everything from the walls. Take down curtains, art, plants, etc.
- Cover surfaces like countertops and floors with drop cloths. Use painter’s tape at the edges.
- Have a shop vac ready to frequently clean up dust and debris.
- Wear safety goggles, respirator mask, and thick work gloves. Brick shards and dust get everywhere.
- Turn off electricity to any outlets in the backsplash area.
Thoroughly prepping your workspace makes the process quicker and cleaner.
Removing the Grout
Faux brick backsplash panels are held together with grout between each brick. The first step is removing all the grout between the faux bricks.
You’ll need a grout removal tool, which you can buy for just a few dollars. Use the grout saw blade to scrape out all the grout between the bricks across the entire backsplash. Go slowly and carefully avoid cutting into the bricks themselves.
Vacuum up the grout dust and crumbs frequently. Expect this process to take a while, depending on the size of your backsplash. Removing grout is tedious but essential for getting the bricks off the wall.
Take Down the Faux Brick Panels
Once all the grout is removed, you can start taking down the faux brick panels.
Pry Behind the Panels
Slide a pry bar behind each panel, gently working it off the wall. Slowly pry and lift up one corner, then alternate sides to work the panel off bit by bit.
Go slowly to avoid cracking the bricks or damaging the drywall behind. Prying off each panel takes time and patience.
Cut Adhesive Tabs
Some faux brick panels are held on with adhesive tabs or strips between rows. Carefully slice these tabs with a utility knife. Cut parallel against the wall to avoid gouging the drywall.
Pry off any stubborn bricks still sticking after cutting the adhesive. Eventually all the panels should come free.
Pull Down Entire Sheets
In some cases, the faux bricks are attached to mesh sheets in full 4×8 sections. Use a pry bar and utility knife to pop off one corner, then peel the entire sheet off the wall.
Again, go slowly and watch for adhesive strips between brick rows. Removing full mesh sheets is much quicker than individual panels.
Remove Damaged Areas
Some faux bricks may crack or crumble as you pry. Use a hammer and chisel to carefully knock off any damaged areas still stuck to the wall. Clean up all debris before moving on.
Expect some minor wall damage, but be cautious not to chip large holes that require drywall patching. Take your time removing any tricky spots.
Clean the Walls
Once all the faux brick panels are down, you’ll have some cleanup to do.
- Use a shop vac and soft bristle brush to remove all remaining grout dust, crumbs, and adhesive from the walls and surrounding surfaces.
- Wipe the walls down with a damp microfiber cloth. This helps catch any particles left behind.
- Fill any holes or gouges in the drywall with spackle compound. Allow time to dry and sand smooth.
- Carefully pry out any remaining nails, screws, or adhesive strips from the walls using pliers or flathead screwdriver.
- Clean up fallen debris, dust, and trash thoroughly from the entire workspace.
Properly cleaning the walls prepares them for the next backsplash project.
Dispose of the Old Backsplash
Now comes the fun part – hauling all the faux brick pieces out!
- Clear a path and setup a disposal area before carrying out debris. You’ll have lots of trips.
- Carefully pile up the intact faux brick panels without cracking them any further.
- Sweep up any loose bricks, shards, grout, adhesive strips, mesh, etc. Bag everything separately.
- Check if your removed backsplash can be recycled. Faux bricks often contain plastic and fiberglass.
- If not recyclable, haul the debris to a construction & demolition disposal site.
- You can also schedule a special pickup from your local waste management company for a fee.
Completely removing the previous backsplash debris is the final step in the process.
Install the New Backsplash
With the faux bricks gone, you now have a clean slate to install an exciting new backsplash!
- Consider removing the existing drywall and replacing it with cement board for a more durable surface.
- Pick a backsplash material like tile, metal, stone, etc. Make sure it properly accents your cabinetry and countertops.
- Carefully read and follow all manufacturer’s installation instructions for best results.
- Watch online videos to learn proper techniques for your specific backsplash type and tools.
- Take your time and do careful prep work – don’t rush the installation.
- If tiling, use spacers between tiles for consistent grout line spacing.
- Seal and grout the new backsplash properly, let cure completely.
The possibilities are endless for a stunning new kitchen backsplash! Transforming your space is worth the demolition work.
Frequently Asked Questions About Removing Faux Brick Backsplash
Removing a faux brick backsplash in your kitchen is a big project. Here are answers to some common questions on how to do it correctly:
What tools do I need to remove faux brick backsplash?
The main tools needed are a grout removal saw, pry bar, utility knife, hammer, chisel, pliers, safety gear, and shop vac. Having the right tools makes removal much easier.
How long does it take to remove faux brick backsplash?
Plan on the demolition taking 2-3 full days for an average sized kitchen backsplash. Removing grout is slow and tedious. Taking down full sheets goes quicker than individual panels.
Can I pry off faux bricks without taking out the grout first?
Trying to pry bricks without removing grout will likely crack and crumble them. Always chisel out all the grout completely so panels separate cleanly.
How do I avoid wall damage when removing panels?
Work slowly, gently prying up corners bit-by-bit. Cut any adhesive strips carefully parallel with wall. Stop if bricks start cracking excessively. Damage is unavoidable but can be minimized.
Is it cheaper to remove faux brick or install over it?
Removing existing backsplash is more labor intensive but allows fresh install. Installing over faux brick gives uneven surface and moisture issues. Removing is best for long-term.
Can faux brick backsplash be recycled?
It depends on the materials used. Some can be recycled as plastic and fiberglass, but often must be landfilled or demolished as construction waste. Check local regulations.
What can I install after removing faux brick backsplash?
You have lots of options for new backsplash like tile, stone, metal, shiplap wood, glass, mirror, laminate panels, and more. Choose what fits your design tastes and budget.
Removing a faux brick backsplash in your kitchen takes time and elbow grease. But with the right tools and techniques, it can be accomplished smoothly without excessive wall damage. Always wear proper safety gear and prep your workspace thoroughly. Carefully pry off panels after cutting out all grout. Dispose of debris properly and prep walls for a stunning new backsplash design. Take on the project with patience and care. The results will bring you a revitalized kitchen you can enjoy for years to come.