Tiling over wood paneling in a kitchen

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Old 08-16-16, 05:05 PM
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Tiling over wood paneling in a kitchen

My kitchen was renovated in the 90's by a previous owner who loved wood paneling. I don't love it as much. I'd prefer tile backsplash.

I've got a feeling that trying to put up mastic and tile directly on the paneling is a disaster waiting to happen.

I'm not at the point of doing a full kitchen remodel, so I would prefer to not have to take out the cabinets, soffits, crown molding, etc. in order to run a new wall surface all the way floor to ceiling.

So, my thought was to apply cement board directly over the paneling between the cabinet uppers and the countertop. Will this look as stupid as I think, with 1/2" cement board, and then another 1/4" to 1/2" of tile?
 
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Old 08-16-16, 05:40 PM
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Use an oscillating tool or other device to remove the paneling. Then inset your cement board and tile. Lets do this once, not multiple time. Use 1/4 if aesthetics are an issue.
 
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Old 08-16-16, 08:42 PM
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I wasn't sure 1/4" would work. When I looked at Durock's website it said 1/4" for floors or countertops only.
 
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Old 08-16-16, 09:01 PM
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You're right, " concrete backer will not be a good choice for walls. Some people have used " Hardie with success.

But, maybe there's wallboard behind the panelling? Have you checked? Surely no one installed cabinets over just studs.

Jaz
 
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Old 08-17-16, 08:05 AM
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In this house, the phrase "surely they didn't..." is usually followed by "why the heck did they..."

As far as I can tell it's paneling straight over the studs. Knocking on the wall sounds completely hollow and peeking in through the electrical boxes I can only see paneling.

I may remove a small piece in an inconspicuous area just to be completely sure.
 
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Old 08-17-16, 09:08 AM
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Generally if you remove a switch plate [electrical outlet] you can tell how thick the wall is.
 
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Old 08-17-16, 09:27 AM
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Yup. I peeked in, only saw paneling.

Edit to add: I decided to get a little more invasive. Apparently, on the interior walls, they have gone straight over the studs. The exterior walls have drywall behind the paneling.

Edited to add more: It appears that where there is drywall, it is 1/4" drywall.
 

Last edited by SuperSquirrel; 08-17-16 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 08-17-16, 12:01 PM
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As Czizzi suggested, your best bet is to cut out the paneling with a multi-tool in the areas needed.
This will take you down to either bare studs or drywall. Either scenario is much better than keeping the paneling.
 
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Old 08-17-16, 01:35 PM
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Best option would be to remove the 1/4" drywall, and go with 1/2" cement board?
 
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Old 08-17-16, 02:11 PM
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That's what I would do. You might have to get creative where the tile ends if it's in the middle of a wall.
 
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Old 08-17-16, 04:50 PM
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If 1/4" hardie backer is used, I usually add some blocking between the studs to remove any flex that might happen. Use Schluter strips to make a nice transition to the existing wall if there is a break midstream.
 
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