How to Remove Quartz Backsplash


Installing a beautiful quartz backsplash can really upgrade the look of your kitchen or bathroom. Quartz is an engineered stone that is non-porous, stain-resistant, and easy to clean, making it a practical and stylish backsplash choice. However, there may come a time when you decide you want to remove or replace your existing quartz backsplash. Removing a backsplash is not always straightforward, especially with a material like quartz that is adhered very securely. With some patience and the right tools, it is possible to remove a quartz backsplash without damaging your walls. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to successfully remove a quartz backsplash.

Gather the Necessary Materials

Removing a quartz backsplash requires having the proper tools and supplies on hand. Here is what you will need:

  • Safety gear – goggles, gloves, mask
  • Pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Chisel and mallet
  • Utility knife
  • Paint scraper
  • Dustpan and broom
  • Shop vacuum
  • Sponge and bucket
  • Adhesive remover or solvent
  • Drywall repair compound
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Paint

Make sure to use eye and ear protection when chiseling, scraping, or hammering to remove quartz. The mask will also help filter dust. Have all your materials assembled and ready to go before starting demo.

Prepare the Workspace

Take some time to prepare the area before removing the quartz backsplash. First, clear the countertops and remove anything hanging on the walls. Cover nearby surfaces with drop cloths to protect from dust and debris.

Turn off all sources of water to avoid leaks and flooding. Remove any caulking or sealant between the quartz and countertops or around outlets and fixtures. Having clean edges will make prying off the backsplash easier.

Lastly, score along the top and bottom edges of the backsplash with a utility knife. This will help you pry it off cleanly. The more prep work you do, the easier the quartz will come off.

Pry Off the Quartz Backsplash

With your workspace prepped, it’s time to start prying off the quartz backsplash. Take your pry bar and hammer and look for the corner or edge that is most separated from the wall. Carefully insert the pry bar and gently tap with the hammer to wedge it behind the quartz.

Slowly pry up the material, moving down the wall as you go. Apply force as needed but avoid putting too much strength behind the hammer. This can damage the drywall behind. Go slowly to control cracking.

For long pieces, you may need a helper to support the weight as you pry it off. Keep prying and wedging until the entire backsplash releases. Remove nails or backer board as you go. Discard removed pieces immediately to keep the area clear.

Be very careful around outlets or plumbing fixtures. Damage can lead to electrical or water issues. It’s better to leave small sections around these elements rather than risk problems.

Scrape Away Adhesive

With the quartz backsplash removed, scrape off any remaining mastic or adhesive on the wall. A paint scraper or chisel and mallet work well for this task.

Try to remove all of the sticky residue so it doesn’t interfere with installing the new backsplash. Avoid gouging too deeply into the drywall and damaging the wall.

Vinegar, adhesive remover, or solvents can help clear stubborn adhesive residue. Follow product instructions closely, especially when using harsh solvents. Wipe the wall with water afterward.

Clean Up Dust and Debris

Demolishing a quartz backsplash creates a lot of dust and debris. Sweep up larger chunks with a broom then go over the floor with a shop vac. Use the shop vac on the countertops and walls too.

Wipe down all surfaces with a damp sponge or cloth. This helps grab fine quartz dust left behind after sweeping. Don’t leave any debris that could scratch or interfere with the new backsplash.

Check for any damage that needs addressing before moving on. Look for gouges in the drywall, exposed sections of paper facing, cracks, and nail holes.

Repair Wall Damage

Removing a securely installed quartz backsplash often results in some wall damage. Don’t worry! These are easy fixes.

For small nail holes, fill with drywall compound then sand smooth when dry. Larger holes may need backer patches secured behind the opening for stability.

Damage to the paper facing just needs a coat of adhesive before reapplying joint compound. Use a setting-type compound for small repairs.

Gouges and missing chunks of drywall need patching. Cut out ragged edges then screw in a replacement piece of drywall. Apply joint compound over seams and once dry, sand smooth.

Cracks can be filled with compound and mesh joint tape. Embed the tape and feather out the compound several inches. Sand once hard for a seamless repair.

Prime and Paint

With the wall repairs completed, apply a coat of primer over the entire surface. This helps paint adhere and provides a smooth, uniform finish. Use a high-quality primer designed for kitchen or bathroom use.

Once the primer dries, paint with a color matched to your existing hue. Often, two coats are needed for best coverage and an even look. Let the paint fully dry before moving to the next step.

Install New Backsplash

Your walls are now prepped and ready for a new backsplash! Make sure to read manufacturer instructions since installation may vary based on the material.

With quartz, a construction-grade adhesive works well. Apply an even layer, place the backsplash pieces, then press firmly or lightly tap to set.

Be sure to seal the edges with a waterproof caulking. Let the adhesive fully cure before using the space. Proper installation will help your new backsplash look beautiful and last.

Tips for Easy Removal

Removing a quartz backsplash takes work but these tips can make the process easier:

  • Heat adhesive with a hairdryer or heat gun before prying
  • Score along caulk lines to keep separation clean
  • Go slowly and control cracks in drywall
  • Wear gloves to improve grip and avoid cuts
  • Use painter’s tape for clean removal around outlets
  • Apply new backsplash before replacing fixtures
  • Seal edges to prevent moisture damage

Taking your time makes a big difference. Rushing can lead to excessive cracking and damage. Patience and the right approach will have that quartz backsplash off in no time.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I remove thick quartz backsplash tiles?

Thicker quartz backsplashes have more weight and require extra care when prying off the wall. Use a longer pry bar for better leverage and go slowly to prevent cracking tiles. Have a helper support large pieces too heavy to handle alone.

What solvent removes quartz adhesive?

Adhesive remover, denatured alcohol, or acetone work well to dissolve quartz backsplash adhesive. Check product instructions and test on a small area first. Wear gloves and proper ventilation is a must.

Can I pry off quartz backsplash without damaging drywall?

It is very difficult to remove firmly adhered quartz without some drywall damage, especially for DIYers. Cracks and popped off facing paper are common. The key is controlling the damage and making proper repairs.

What tools do I need to chisel off a quartz backsplash?

A masonry chisel and hand maul work best. Wear goggles and aim chisel cuts away from your body. Take your time chiseling to avoid excessive cracking and chunks breaking off.

Is it cheaper to remove or replace quartz backsplash?

For a small area, removal and repair may be cheaper. But for whole kitchen backsplash replacement, installing new may cost about the same as removal labor plus new materials. Get quotes to compare.


Removing an existing quartz backsplash takes time and physical effort, especially when originally installed well. But with the proper tools and techniques, it can be accomplished by skilled DIYers without damaging walls and plumbing irreparably. Always exercise caution when demolishing. Patience and prep work are key. Follow up with repairs, priming, and fresh paint or wall covering. Soon you’ll have a smooth backdrop ready for your new dream backsplash.

How to Remove Quartz Backsplash


Quartz backsplashes can add beautiful, functional style to any kitchen. But tastes change, and you may eventually want to remove your quartz backsplash and replace it with something fresh and new. Removing quartz is no easy task, as it’s designed to be extremely durable. With the right approach and tools, however, you can detach your quartz backsplash without too much trouble. This guide will walk you through the entire process step-by-step. Let’s get started!

Gather Your Materials

Before beginning demo, you’ll want to gather the necessary supplies:

  • Safety gear – gloves, eye protection, mask
  • Pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Putty knife
  • Utility knife
  • Paint scraper
  • Shop vacuum
  • Dustpan and broom
  • Bucket and sponge
  • Adhesive remover
  • Drywall joint compound
  • Sandpaper
  • Drop cloths

quartz backsplash can be stubborn to remove, so having the right tools on hand will save lots of frustration. Protect nearby surfaces from dust and debris as well.

Prepare the Workspace

Now it’s time to prepare the space for quartz backsplash removal:

  • Clear countertops and remove wall hangings
  • Turn off water supply lines
  • Score seams with a utility knife
  • Remove caulk and sealants with putty knife
  • Cover nearby surfaces with drop cloths

Proper prep will make the removal process safer and easier. Scoring allows cleanly prying off each piece. Remove anything that could hinder working or become damaged.

Pry Off the Backsplash

Here comes the tough part – prying off the adhered quartz:

  • Wedge pry bar into corner and gently pry piece
  • Work systematically across the backsplash
  • Tap with hammer if needed but avoid excessive force
  • Wear gloves for grip and to avoid cuts
  • Have someone assist with large/heavy pieces
  • Leave any pieces around outlets/fixtures

Patience and control are key here. Quartz can crack and break apart if rushed. Leverage the pry bar and your body weight rather than brute force which can damage walls.

Remove Adhesive Residue

Once the quartz is off, you’ll need to scrape away any remaining adhesive on the wall:

  • Use a paint scraper or putty knife
  • Chisel with mallet if needed
  • Apply adhesive remover for stubborn spots
  • Avoid gouging into drywall

Removing the adhesive residue prepares the wall for new backsplash installation. Be careful not to dig into the drywall and cause additional repairs.

Clean the Area

Now it’s time to tidy up:

  • Sweep up debris and shards
  • Use shop vacuum on all surfaces
  • Wipe with damp sponge to remove dust
  • Check for wall damage that needs repair

Proper cleanup is crucial. Quartz pieces and dust can damage countertops and scratch new backsplash if not removed. Fix any wall damage before moving to next steps.

Repair Wall Damage

Some minor wall repair is expected:

  • Fill holes with drywall compound
  • Patch torn paper facing with joint compound
  • Replace damaged drywall sections
  • Use mesh and compound for cracks

Don’t ignore wall damage before installing new backsplash. Make repairs now for best results. Follow all compound manufacturer instructions.

Prime and Paint

With repairs done, prep the wall for your fresh start:

  • Apply primer to entire backsplash area
  • Use kitchen/bathroom specific primer
  • Allow primer to fully dry
  • Paint walls in desired new color
  • Often 2 coats of paint needed

Priming ensures paint adherence and uniform results. Use quality primer and paint designed for high-moisture areas like kitchens or bathrooms.

Install New Backsplash

Your kitchen is now ready for a full backsplash makeover!

  • Follow manufacturer’s installation instructions
  • Construction adhesive works for most materials
  • Press backsplash in place firmly
  • Seal all edges with waterproof caulk
  • Allow adhesive to fully cure before use

Take your time with installation for best adhesion and visual results. Proper sealing prevents moisture damage. Soon your kitchen will have a brand new backsplash look!

Tips for Easy Removal

Removing quartz backsplash is tough but these tips can help:

  • Heat adhesive first with a hairdryer or heat gun
  • Keep prying controlled to avoid cracking
  • Wear gloves for better grip
  • Apply painter’s tape around outlets for clean cuts
  • Install new backsplash before replacing fixtures
  • Go slowly and take breaks to avoid frustration

Patience and the right technique will get that stubborn quartz off the wall safely. Take your time and do it right!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the easiest way to remove quartz backsplash?

Heating the adhesive first makes it easier to pry off quartz pieces without cracking. Go slowly and use painter’s tape around areas that must remain undamaged.

How do I remove backsplash around electrical outlets?

It’s best to leave small sections of backsplash around outlets and fixtures undamaged. Remove outlet covers first and avoid prying right against wires.

What tool works best for scraping off old quartz adhesive?

A paint scraper with a long handle provides good leverage and control for removing adhesive residue. Hold at a low angle and take your time to avoid gouging drywall.

Is it better to chip off quartz backsplash or replace drywall?

Chipping off is preferred to save time and money on unnecessary drywall work. Just repair any damages like cracks or holes, then prime and paint.

Should I remove backsplash before or after new countertops?

It’s best to install new countertops after backsplash removal. This prevents damaging the countertop during prying.


Removing a quartz backsplash takes patience but can be managed by most DIYers. Have the proper tools and take your time. Focus on controlled removal and clean repairs for a smooth canvas that’s ready for a fresh new backsplash design. With some perseverance and care, you’ll have that outdated quartz off in no time!