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Can I tile over textured drywall? What prep is needed?

We are going to do a faux granite paint on our laminant kitchen counter with a 4" oak back splash. We are thinking to leave and paint the oak backsplash and tile above it to the bottom of the upper cabinets (18" - 4" = 14" of tile). The wall is textured sheetrock. what is the best way to deal with this situation?
I'm wondering / looking for recommendatons:
Can I tile right to the textured wall with a thinset?
Can I use the SimpleMat tile adhesive directly on the textured sheetrock?
Would I have to sand down to flat sheet rock & repaint? (that seems messy)
Would I have to cut out & replace sheet rock w/ new? or a backerboard? (that seems even messier)
Can I just use a backerboard fastened over top of textured (sanded flatish) wall?
Recommend to just remove the 4" oak backsplash (after 30+ years it won't come easy) and tile down to the counter?

Lots of questions.


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Posted 2018-04-18T21:39:03+0000  by MarkL MarkL

Hello MarkL and welcome to the Community.


You can choose to leave the oak back splash or remove it.  The Faux granite surface, meeting the tile back splash may be a cleaner look without the painted oak back splash.  Be prepared, you may need to do some repairs once you remove the oak.  You will have to do work on the textured walls anyway. 

If the sheetrock is sound, I would not add the layer of backer board.  I would sand down the textured paint.

Start by covering the area surrounding your work surface with tape and drop cloths as necessary.  Sheets of cardboard under the drop clothes add additional protection should you drop a heavy tool or tile on the counter surface.  Cover the sink, as well.

Place a wide drywall knife on the wall at a 45-degree angle. Move the knife in upward, downward and sideways directions, loosening and removing the surface of the texture from the wall.  Sand the wall with medium-grit sandpaper (80-grit) to further smooth the texture, creating an even surface on which to apply the tile. Use either a hand-held sander or an electric sander.  Do not sand to smooth, some texture will help the thinset mortar bond to the wall better but too much texture could create an uneven surface..  


No, You can not apply Simple Mat tile adhesive to textured sheet rock.  SimpleMat can be used to tile over many household surfaces. Tile over drywall, plywood, WonderBoard Lite backerboard, concrete, painted surfaces, laminates and even old tile. All surfaces to be tiled should be flat, stable, even, clean, dry and free of dust and grease.


Thank you for your inquiry.



Posted 2018-04-19T15:03:45+0000  by Char_HD_CHI
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