tiling a back splash

Hi everyone. In our kitchen, we have a Formica backsplash which goes about a 1-1 1/2 feet above our countertops, which are the identical Formica. My wife and I want to tile a backsplash. The Formica is adhered to our plasterboard walls. (Our house is 45 years old, so yes plaster). I thought about removing the Formica, but unfortunately, our cabinets hand down over the top of the Formica backsplash, and I would have to do some extra work to get the Formica off. So here are my questions:
1. Can I adhere ceramic tile to the Formica using premixed adhesive tile grout if I rough up the Formica using sandpaper first?
2. Or do I need to use thinset mortar first to adhere the tile to the Formica (after it has been roughed with sandpaper) then grout?
3. Or is there an easy way to get the Formica off where I want to backsplash? (Use a sharp razor knife, a heat gun to loosen up the Formica adhesive, although I don't want to damage the Formica on the countertop, or is there some sort of tool used to remove Formica)
Thanks for any help and suggestion. Eric Swope
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Eric and Megan Swope wrote:

Without going to the questions, let me suggest an answer. Do you want to do all that work and spend all that money only to not do it the right way because it is not convenient? Honest, in five years you will kick yourself for what you are considering, even if it does not cause any problems, because you are going to know it is there and it is not right.

--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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i'd screw cement board over the formica and work with that.
randy
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[Tiling over formica backsplash]

That will probably work, but you'll need something to extend the electrical boxes out quite a ways if you add an inch of cement-board and tile to the wall.
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Goedjn wrote:

Extender are made just for that use.
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Joseph Meehan

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yes. you could use a belt sander with a very aggressive grit to do this. use mastic.

no.
the contact cement may let go with applied heat. you might try a heat gun, and have a helper pry it off following you. it could also destroy the drywall under it, and you might have to replace that. > Thanks for any help and suggestion.

it might be easier to just cut out the drywall, redrywall, and then tile on that. use mastic there too.
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