Can You Put Laminate Over Tile? Our Professional Opinion
Have you ever been in a situation where you want to change the look of your flooring but don’t have the budget or time for a complete overhaul? If so, you may be wondering if it’s possible to put various different floring options such as hardwood flooring, laminate flooring, or even new tile flooring over tile flooring. Technically, yes, you can install laminate flooring over tile – but there are several factors to consider before putting laminate flooring over tile, and we'll get into them in this post.
But the good news is that in most cases, yes, it is possible to install laminate flooring over the tile floor. This can be an economical and quick way to give your space a fresh new look without having to rip up all of the old tiles.
In this blog post, we'll discuss how easy (or difficult) it is to install a laminate floor over tile as well as considerations that should be taken into account before making any decisions.
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Installing Laminate Flooring
Installing laminate flooring can be a great way to give your space an updated look without the time and expense of a full renovation while getting rid of any old, outdated ceramic tile flooring and even any wood flooring too. If you already have tile flooring, whether it's ceramic tile floor or another type in place, it's possible to lay new laminate flooring over top – but there are some considerations you should take into account before making that decision to lay any laminate floor down.
Considerations Before Installing Laminate Flooring
The first consideration is the condition of your existing floor. If the tile floor is in good condition or even decent shape (i.e. not cracked or chipped, or any loose tiles) then you can move forward with installing laminate over top without any additional preparation.
However, if the tiles are cracked, uneven, or have a rough surface – it's best to remove the tile floring before laying down the new laminate flooring. This will ensure that the vinyl flooring has a smooth, and even surface to adhere to and prevent any issues down the line.
The second consideration is how thick your existing floor is. If it's too thick, then there could be an issue when attempting to install the laminate over the tile floor as it may not have enough room for expansion or contraction over time. Generally speaking, you should avoid installing laminate over tiles thicker than 1/4 inch (6mm), any thing larger and you might consider contacting a floring specialist
Finally, you should also consider whether or not there is enough space between your old tile floors and walls for the necessary expansion gap required by most types of flooring materials. In general, a quarter-inch (6 mm) gap around the perimeter of the room is needed to allow for the expansion and contraction of the laminate flooring.
Pros vs. Cons Of Putting Laminate Over Tile
Using laminate flooring as a cover on top of the tile floor is a good option to enhance the appearance of your home, and even give it a healthy home feeling.
There are many pros and cons to consider, so it’s important to weigh them carefully.
Here are some of the advantages of laying laminate flooring:
installing laminate over tile is usually much cheaper than a full renovation or replacement.
Installation of laminate can be done relatively quickly, as opposed to other flooring materials which may take several days or weeks.
modern laminates are designed to be highly durable and can last for many years if maintained properly. They add beauty to not only one room but the whole house.
• Easy to maintain
laminate flooring is easy to clean and does not require extensive maintenance.
Here are some of the disadvantages of laying laminate flooring:
• Not always possible
depending on the type of tile and its condition, installing laminate over it may not be possible.
• Uneven surfaces
if the tile is uneven or has a rough surface, this can cause the laminate to become warped or show signs of wear quickly.
• Expansion gaps
if there isn’t enough room between the tiles and walls for an expansion gap, this could lead to buckling or warping of the flooring material.
• Difficulty cutting
laminate flooring can be difficult to cut and get a clean edge, so it’s important to use the right tools.
• Can be a tedious process
especially if you’re new to laying laminate flooring.
Step By Step Installation
Once you've taken all of the above considerations into account and decided to proceed with installing laminate flooring over your existing tiles, some prep work steps need to be taken first before continuing to the rest of the process.
First, remove any trim from around the perimeter of the room. This will create an even, smooth surface for the new laminate flooring and ensure a tight fit against walls.
Next, make sure that the tile is clean and free from any dirt or debris. Then, if necessary, use a leveler to create an even surface for the laminate flooring before it's installed.
Finally, you'll need to install either foam underlayment or thick underlayment over the existing flooring before you lay laminate flooring. This attached underlayment will provide an additional layer of cushioning and soundproofing to the new laminate flooring.
Measure and Cut the Laminate Planks
Once the prep work is finished, you're ready to start measuring and cutting your laminate planks.
Measure the length of each wall in the room, then subtract 1/4 inch (6mm) from that measure for the expansion gap between the walls and the flooring. This will allow for any expansion or contraction due to temperature changes.
Cut your laminate planks according to these measurements using a circular saw and jigsaw as necessary. Make sure all of your cuts are straight and square to ensure an even installation.
Accounting For The Height Differences
In some cases, the old floor may be a higher floor height than the finished laminate floor. If this is the case, you'll need to use a transition strip to bridge the height difference between the two materials and create a smooth transition from one surface to another.
Installing The Laminate
Now it's time to start installing your laminate flooring! Start by laying the first board along one wall, making sure that it fits snugly against the wall and is evenly spaced. Use a tapping block and hammer to ensure that the boards fit tightly together without any gaps.
Continue laying each of the boards until you reach the opposite wall in the room. Make sure to leave a 1/4 inch (6mm) gap between the walls and laminate planks for expansion purposes.
Once all of the boards are in place, use a pull bar or rubber mallet to make sure they are seated securely and there aren't any gaps between them.
Install the Transition Stips and Baseboard Moldings
Finally, if you had to use a transition strip to bridge the floor height differences between the new floor and the old floor, install them now. You'll also need to reinstall any baseboard moldings that were removed before starting the project.
This minimizes the risk of tripping over an unexpected change in the floor level, which can increase safety.
After a sealant is placed for 24 hours and the baseboards and transition strips are in place, your new laminate floor is ready for use! If you're looking to increase the longevity of your flooring, consider applying a sealant or protective finish to it. This will help protect against dirt and withstand scratches while also making it easier to clean your new laminate floor, which can be done with a steam mop or multiple different types of wet mops.
And that's all there is to it! Installing laminate flooring over tile floor doesn't have to be a complicated, labor-intensive, or even time-consuming process – as long as you take into account any necessary prep work and considerations before starting to lay laminate flooring. Now you can enjoy your newly updated space, from the new floors with minimal time and effort.
Things To Keep In Mind When Putting Laminate Over Tile
Once you've taken all the necessary steps to prepare for installation, it's time to start laying down your laminate flooring.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when putting laminate over tile:
• Make sure that each one of the planks is properly aligned and securely locked together with the tongue and groove system.
• Use molding or transition strips between rooms if needed, to create an even flow between spaces.
• When cutting the planks for edges or corners, use a saw blade specifically designed for laminate floors – this will help prevent chipping and ensure a clean cut.
• Once all of the planks have been laid down, check again to make sure they are secure and evenly spaced.
• Finally, apply a sealant to the flooring and let it dry for 24 hours minimum before walking on it.
Cost of Installation
The cost of installation will vary depending on the size and complexity of your project, whose doing the installation, and as well as the type of laminate you choose.
In general, laminate flooring is one of the most affordable types of flooring materials and can be installed in a single day if done properly. You can expect to pay between $5 to $7 per square foot for materials and labor, feel free to get a free estimate from us if needed.
To get started on your laminate installation project, it’s important to have a list of the materials you’ll need. Here is a general list of items you might need for laminate floor installation:
• Laminate flooring planks
• Foam or cork underlaymentClick Here to Purchase on Amazon!
• Trim for edges and corners
• Transition stripsClick Here to Purchase on Amazon!
• Saw blade for cutting planks
• Adhesive (if needed)Click Here to Purchase on Amazon!
• Rubber MalletClick Here to Purchase on Amazon!
• Utility KnifeClick Here to Purchase on Amazon!
• Cleaning supplies; Steam mop, or any steam cleaners
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of underlayment should I use?
Foam or cork are the most common types of underlayment used for laminate flooring, as they both help to absorb sound and provide cushioning. Make sure that you pick one that is compatible with your laminate material.
Can I install laminate over the existing tile?
Yes – in many cases it’s possible to install laminate over existing tile, provided that the tile is in good condition and there is enough space for an expansion gap around the perimeter of the room. However, it’s best to consult a professional before proceeding with the laminate flooring installation.
How long does laminate flooring last?
The lifespan of laminate flooring can vary depending on the quality and type of material chosen, as well as how well it is maintained. On average, you can expect your laminate flooring to last anywhere from 8-15 years with proper care and maintenance.
Can I lay the vinyl plank flooring over any type of tile?
No – some types of tile are too rough or uneven for laminate flooring, and in this case, you also have to be aware of the tile's condition and if it's in good shape. it’s best to consult a professional to determine which type of flooring would be most suitable. Ceramic tile floor, which many homeowners use, can put laminate flooring over itself. Most people say that the installation process of laminate floor over ceramic tile is the same as laying laminate floor over a concrete slab.
What is a vapor barrier and moisture barrier?
A vapor barrier and a moisture barrier are both important materials to use when putting down laminate flooring. A vapor barrier is designed to prevent moisture from entering the floor while a moisture barrier helps protect against water damage. Both of these can be purchased separately or in combination depending on your needs The vapor barrier should always be placed first, followed by the moisture barrier, to ensure the best new flooring.
Laying laminate flooring over tile can be a great way to update the look of your home without having to replace the existing flooring. However, it’s important to make sure that you prepare the surface properly and follow all instructions for a proper installation to ensure a successful project before you lay any vinyl plank flooring.
Understanding the pros and cons of this type of installation, as well as how much it will cost and what materials are needed, can help you decide if laying laminate flooring over the tile is right for you. Also understanding which tiles, like ceramic tiles can have laminate floor laid on top of it.
With these tips in mind, you should now have a better understanding of how to install laminate flooring over tile, and how to care for your new flooring. If you still need help, please consider hiring a professional flooring installer who can assist with your project from start to finish.