how easy/hard is it to replace tile countertops with granite and leave backsplash tiles in place?

Sabine Austin
by Sabine Austin
am hating my white tile/grout countertops - always dirty - but love my blue white checked backsplash - french country look. need an alternative countertop and island top. HELP!!
  9 answers
  • 3po3 3po3 on Oct 09, 2012
    Seems to me that a granite installer can answer this. It's hard to say without seeing the kitchen. Depends on the thickness of the tile, thickness of the granite, the space between the countertop and the backsplash, etc.
  • Vintage Headboards Vintage Headboards on Oct 10, 2012
    The biggest factor is the thickness of the granite. We replaced our counter tops with granite and love it. I removed the old tile back splash and put in tumbled marble on a 45 degree angle. The counter top installers can shim the counters up to account for the difference in spacing but you might want to consider just replacing the back splash or going with a row of wider tile across the bottom.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Oct 10, 2012
    A 3 cm thick Granite slab may or may not line up...a normal laminate counter is 1 1/2" thick and the granite would be slightly below this. In your case what matters is what your tile is installed on? 3/4 ply with 1/4" backer the tile height? or is the tile set directly on 1/2" ply? Take a look at the next to last pic in this article I wrote... The gold / yellow tile counter had a pre-existing tile backspash that was set on a concrete wall. To mask the transition I added a course of the counter tile to cover the gap.
  • Designs by BSB Designs by BSB on Oct 21, 2012
    By my understanding - the challenge will be more about getting the old counter tops out without damaging the tile more than the new installation. It doesnt hurt to try! If you are successful, KMS is right on about the thickness -- my suggestion to cover come this is to put a really small molding under the counter top edge to hide the shims that would be needed underneath to raise the granite to the bottom of the tile edge. If you have partial overlay on your cabinet doors (doors dont cover the face of the cabinets completely) - then the molding could be more decorative! See comments below picture....
    comment photo
  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Dec 06, 2022

    May be get a granite overlay countertop rather than disturb the tile one!

  • Janice Janice on Dec 11, 2023

    Check with an experienced granite/quartz countertop installer to see what their opinion might be.

  • Dee Dee on Dec 11, 2023

    You will need to put down plywood to install the granite if it is too thin. It can be done and a good granite company will be able to do this for you..

  • I would have a consultation with several different professional installers explaining you want to keep the backsplash but replace the counters. I'm sure you'll find the perfect person to get it right without damaging what you want to keep.

  • Deb K Deb K on Jan 09, 2024

    Hi Sabine, yes you can do this. You need to hire a pro but it will be done properly and look great!