Can You Tile Over Tile? Is This a Good Remodeling Idea?
Tiling is a popular home improvement project that can add both value and beauty to any room in your house. But before you embark on this adventure, there’s an important question that needs an answer: Can you tile over tile?
The answer isn't always straightforward — it depends on the type of tile being used, as well as the condition of the underlying floor. In this blog post, we’ll explore all the factors involved in laying tile over tile so that you can determine if it’s something you should attempt or not.
We'll also discuss how to properly prepare surfaces for new tiles so that they last long-term. So let's get started!
Tile Installation Process
The process of laying tile over old tiles is not as straightforward as it may seem. Although it is similar to the same process of installing regular tile. It requires careful consideration and preparation to ensure that the new tiles will be correctly installed and last for a long time.
Before beginning, you must consider the type of tile being used, the condition of the underlying surface, whether there's an uneven surface or cracked tiles, and what steps need to be taken to properly prepare surfaces for new tiles.
Proper preparation of the surface is essential to ensure that new tiles will be correctly installed and last long-term. Assess the condition of both the original tile and the underlying surface before beginning any work.
This includes cleaning your tileand removing any loose or damaged tiles on the floor and making sure there is no hollow sound so that the damaged tile doesn’t interfere with the installation process.
Additionally, make sure that all surfaces are leveled and free from debris before you start to lay tile.
Finally, check for moisture levels beneath your subfloor as high moisture or trapped water can cause problems down the line such as mold growth or water seepage through cracks between tiles.
Step By Step Installation
- After prepping, by cleaning and sanding down the surfaces, use a level and tape measure to ensure that the subfloor is even before beginning tiling over existing tile floors so there are no loose tiles.
- After you secure loose tiles you can apply a thin layer or two layers of tile adhesive or mortar to the back of each tile, then place them on the floor in a pattern. Making sure to firmly press down on the trowel as you go to ensure that the adhesive is solidly bonded with the existing tile surface, through the drying and adhesion process.
- When all of the tile is laid out, use spacers between them to ensure uniformity and even grout lines, so that there are no strangely placed tiles. Pro-tip is drawing straight lines along the previous floor to help keep everything straight.
- Once all of the tiles are in place whether on the floors or walls, press down firmly, it may take some extra effort with a rubber or wood mallet or roller to ensure that they are properly bonded.
- Allow 24 hours for the adhesive/mortar to leave the surface dry completely before grouting.
- Mix grout according to the manufacturer’s instructions and apply it into gaps between tiles using a floating tool.
- Wipe off excess grout from tile surfaces with a damp sponge after 20 minutes.
- Buff the grout joints with a dry cloth and seal the tiles to protect against staining or water damage.
- Allow 48 hours for the grout to cure completely before walking on the new floor.
Important Key Notes To Keep In Mind When Tiling Over Tile
- Tiling over old tiles may be an easier and quicker fix, but it may not be beneficial to you and your home. Take some time to think and know that you are positive this will be the right project before starting.
- Be sure to properly assess the condition of both the existing tile and the underlying surface before beginning any work. This includes cleaning your tile and removing any loose tiles or damaged tiles on the floor.
- Make sure you take into account new height levels since there is tiling on top of another old tile surface. The new surface is then elevated, whether it is a little or a lot it can drastically change the room.
- Keep in mind if it's worth hiring someone or doing this tiling job yourself. Since it requires both knowledge and tools to install tile/lay tiles over the old floor.
- Don't be afraid to
Pros vs Cons Of Tiling Over Existing Tile Floors
Tiling over existing tiles can be a great way to give your kitchen or bathroom a fresh new look.
There are many pros and cons to consider, so it’s important to weigh them carefully.
Here are some of the advantages:
- To install tile over existing tile is a much faster process than starting from scratch.
- You don't have to worry about removing old tiles or dealing with any mess left behind.
- It can be an inexpensive alternative to installing new tile floors.
- It can help to hide discoloration or imperfections in the existing tiles.
- You will have a solid foundation, now that you know what is under the new layer of tile.
Here are some of the disadvantages:
- The existing tiles may not be in good enough condition to achieve a successful installation for the new tile.
- If the underlying surface is unlevel, it can cause problems when attempting to install new tiles.
- The floor height may be raised significantly if tiling over an existing floor, which could lead to difficulty with doorways and other access points.
- If the tiles are older and there is moisture beneath the subfloor, this could cause mold growth or water seepage through cracks between the tiles.
- Tiling over existing tiles is that it requires careful preparation before beginning.
When you lay tile over old tile, it's important to have the right materials and tools for the job.
Here’s a list of items you'll need and can get from a local hardware store:
- Tile Adhesive/Surface Adhesive
- Level and Tape Measure
- Rubber Mallet or Roller
- Floating Tool
- Damp Sponge
- Dry Cloth
- Safety Goggles
- Dust Mask
- Degreasing soap
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I tile over tile?
You can tile over tiles in any room of your house, as long as the existing tiles are in good condition and free from damage. This includes kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and entryways, where wall tiles and ceramic tile could be. Truly anywhere where there would be a wet surface.
Is it better to remove old tiles or tile over?
It all depends on the condition of the existing tiles and the underlying surface. If they’re in good shape, then tiling over them can be a great way to save time and money. If they’re damaged or worn out, then it’s best to remove them first before attempting any new tile installation.
What is the best tile adhesive for tiling over existing tiles?
The best adhesive to use is one that’s specifically designed for the type of tile you’re using. You should also check with a professional to make sure you’re using the correct product.
Tiling over existing flooring can be a great way to give your home an updated look without the hassle of starting from scratch. While it does require some extra preparation, tiling over pre-existing tiles is often quicker and more cost-effective than installing new tiles.
Before beginning any project, make sure you assess the condition of both the existing tile and the underlying surface so that your installation will be successful and last for many years to come.
With careful planning, proper prep work, and following the steps outlined above, you’ll have beautiful new tile floors in no time! If you have any questions or concerns please reach out to our tile team