How to Remove a Stainless Steel Backsplash

  • 4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • N/A
What You'll Need
Work gloves
Safety glasses
Rotary cutting tool
Utility knife
Cold chisel
Putty knife
Screwdriver bit
Heat gun

During a kitchen remodeling, if you have a stainless steel backsplash, it might be easier to remove than some other materials. A stainless steel backsplash can be one of three styles: tiles, stamped panels, or sheet material. A few basic tools are all that you need for the job. It is important to be careful since stainless steel can be sharp at the edges and can cut you.

Step 1 – Examine the Backsplash

Carefully look at how the backsplash was installed. It can be screwed in or attached with adhesive. Also, see if there is any caulk or trim around the edges.

Step 2 – Prepare the Area

Remove any light switch or electrical outlet plates. Put on your work gloves.

Step 3 – Prepare the Edges

Remove any trim around the backsplash. Now use a utility knife to cut through any caulk or sealant at the edges or around the outlet openings. If there is welding along the edges you may have to use a rotary cutting tool with a small cutting disk, or at worst try with a cold chisel or strong putty knife, tapping it with a hammer to break the welding. Make sure to wear eye protection. If there are any screws remove those.

Step 4 – Loosen the Backsplash

If the backsplash is one sheet then start at the edges and start to lift up the metal. Use a mallet to tap the putty knife if necessary to get behind the metal. If it is a paneled or tiled backsplash you may be able to loosen the tiles nearest the edge of the outlet openings with a putty knife and pry them off individually.

Step 5 – Remove the Backsplash

With a sheet metal backsplash, once you have gotten a few inches all the way around loose you may be able to grasp the end and pull it out and away from the wall. If it was well glued down then you may have to scrape behind it as you go. Be sure that you are paying attention to any damage that might be done to the wall behind the backsplash. You don’t want to create holes in the drywall that would have to be repaired.

Step 6 – Try a Heat Gun

If you are unable to pull it away from the wall then try using a heat gun along the loose edges to soften the adhesive and try again to pull it off of the wall.

Step 7 – Clean Up the Wall

Once you have removed the stainless steel backsplash you may need to scrape any adhesive remaining off of the wall. If you need to, sand it lightly to even out the wall surface. The surface preparation will vary depending on what material is being applied to the backsplash area. If you are planning to paint the area then you will need to be sure the surface is well prepared. If you are tiling over the area with ceramic tile it only matters that it is a flat surface.

Depending on how well the backsplash was installed, removing a backsplash can be easier than installing one. In any case, you can definitely save money by removing the backsplash yourself.