Removing strange covering on backsplash plaster

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Old 11-30-13, 08:56 AM
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Removing strange covering on backsplash plaster

Hi all. I just bought a 1950s cape cod with plaster walls. I had the old 4x4 backsplash tile torn out, and what's left is a dark brown layer that has the consistency of felt. I thought it would be easy to remove, but so far it's not. I tried wetting it down with a warm water/dish detergent mixture before scraping, but it's not coming off. Does anyone have an idea of what this is and how best to remove it from plaster? I want to put tile back up--can it be tiled over without first removing? Thanks in advance for your help.
 
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Old 11-30-13, 09:44 AM
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I should add that I wasn't around when the old tile was torn out, so I don't know if there was another layer underneath.
 
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Old 11-30-13, 10:05 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

Could you post a pic or two so we can see what you do - http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-pictures.html
 
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Old 11-30-13, 04:33 PM
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Here's a photo (hopefully)

Here's hoping this works.

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Old 12-01-13, 05:26 AM
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I had questioned your description but the pic confirms it, not something I've seen before. Have you tried sanding? I wonder if sealing it with a primer would be the way to go. Hopefully one of the others will know more and have better suggestions.
 
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Old 12-01-13, 08:55 AM
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Looks like the leftovers from some of the old celotex used on walls back in the 60s.
 
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Old 12-03-13, 02:08 PM
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Would Celotex have been put over plaster? Do you know if it might have asbestos?If not, any idea how to remove it? I haven't tried sanding, but if it isn't asbestos, I bet that would work.
 
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Old 12-03-13, 03:21 PM
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I've painted celotex ceilings but haven't run across it on walls. I don't know if any of it ever had asbestos in it. There are internet sites where you can send them a sample and they'll test it. I don't know how much it costs.
 
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Old 12-03-13, 09:17 PM
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I,ve seen this on a few old houses, in fact my grandmothers house had it. Its a old linoleum type material that was glued on for a backsplash, it was indeed a felt/tarpaper backed material, thinner than lino. Usually they used a waterbased glue on it simular to old lino glue, it was dark brown when dry, but turned light/tan colored when water was used to remove it. if you could try a test spot using mastic or a modified thinset to see if it will adhere to it, my guess is that it will, but wouldn't be the ideal bond, but its not like it's getting foot traffic. the ideal situation (if it can be done resonably) is to remove the old plaster, install drywall or cement board.
 
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Old 12-04-13, 12:22 PM
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Great--thanks everyone for your suggestions/advice!
 
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