Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford

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Tiling Over a Tile Floor

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Laying tile on a tile floor.

Laying tile on top of an existing tile floor.

I currently have a dated ceramic bathroom tile floor originally installed over a cement and mortar base. Is it possible to tile on top of the existing tiles with thin set mortar? If so, are there any preparations to the existing tiles required? -James

Hi James,

Yes, you can lay tile over an existing tile floor as long as it is in good condition with no major cracks or settling. Keep in mind, however, that it will raise the height of the floor, which might require cutting off the bottom of the bathroom door. You will also need to take the toilet out before installing the tile and replace the existing toilet flange bolts if they aren’t long enough for the added height.

If any of the old tiles are loose, reattach them to the floor, and fill in any missing spots. After cleaning the floor thoroughly, lay the tile with thin-set adhesive.

Danny

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36 Comments on “Tiling Over a Tile Floor”

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  1. Rick Says:
    January 4th, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    what about putting ceramic tile or wood laminate over existing sheet linoleum? Need some kind of wood base to make level?

  2. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    February 25th, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    Rick,
    Check out our article on How to Tile Over Existing Vinyl Floors for the answer to your question.

  3. Jim Hautala Says:
    February 27th, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    I am considering tiling over a concrete slab that I have on my back porch. The slab currently has moisture issues at the change of seasons (I live in Wisconsin and there is moisture present when there is a thaw). How should I treat the area prior to application of tiles to prevent moisture from coming thru the floor?
    Thanks

  4. Rose Says:
    March 8th, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    Can we put hardwood or Pergo over a tile floor?

  5. Anthony Percivale Says:
    September 16th, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    I added a room of the house 18×18 on a 8″concrete slab Tiled it with 12X12 ceramic tile right to the slab looks great after many years only problem in warm humid weather we get puddles over the entire floor sometimes i need to use the shop vac to get in picked up did we forget a step before putting down the tile Can this problem be fixed Thanks

  6. BRIAN MILLS Says:
    October 5th, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    CAN YOU PUT LAMINATE FLOOR OVER A TILE FLOOR THAT IS ALREADY ON TOP OF VINYL

  7. Topp Cheff Says:
    November 9th, 2008 at 8:20 am

    We have a solid Corian Shower surround.
    Can we glasstile over it?

  8. Kim Polson Says:
    January 17th, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    We have a very ugly pink & blue tiled bathroom. Floor and walls are tiled. How can we change this without tearing the entire bathroom apart?

  9. fred whittemore Says:
    February 7th, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    I want to put new ceramic tile over a 3′ by 5″ ceramic tile shower floor without removing the old one. It’s just ugly and stained and we want a new look. Can this be done and what do you do to make sure of a good bond between them.

    Thanks, Fred

  10. Jan Hollier Says:
    April 6th, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    I have a garage which was made into a room probably in the 1950s. The concrete floor has the old vinyl tiles on it about 6-8″ square from the 50′s. I think they are probably asbestos. They are glued down well. I want to tile over these with ceramic tile. Can I do this? Thanks, Jan

  11. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    April 7th, 2009 at 7:06 am

    Hi Jan,
    Yes, you can tile over well attached vinyl. You can find more information at How to Tile Over Existing Vinyl Floors.

  12. ELIZABETH Says:
    June 2nd, 2010 at 9:34 am

    I want to lay broken tile, etc. on my back concrete step, which is under our patio. There is paint on the step, and also we are experiencing high humidity. I used my mosiac adhesive and it didn’t stick well, so I took the tiles off…can you recommend an adhesive to use? THank you!

  13. John Mika Says:
    June 6th, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    I am about to begin the remodel of our master bathroom. I noticed our present flooring is ceramic tile over a concrete flooring, which is over a slated subfloor. I want to tile 12x 12 ceramic tiles over the existing ceramic mesh tile,however we have two vacant areas on the floor that expose the wood subflooring (two vanities were in those places). How would I fill in those areas if i decide to tile over the existing tile? And, what would be the best technique to tile over the existing ceramic floor?

  14. Doug Says:
    August 22nd, 2010 at 8:56 am

    I currently have 16 inch tile throughout my house. Can I leave the tile in place and put hardwood over the top of it?

  15. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    August 22nd, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Hi Doug,
    You can find the answer to your question in our article on Laying Wood Flooring Over Tile. Good luck with your project!

  16. Lynette Says:
    December 4th, 2010 at 10:36 am

    I would like to lay porcelain tile over an existing travertine kitchen floor. The mess of getting all the travertine up would cause a huge mess. Is this recommended?

  17. ron kennett Says:
    February 24th, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    -currently have tile flooring in our house…
    -some of the tiles have cracked and are installed on a wood subfloor
    what is the procedure to install procelain over tile?
    need your advise…
    appreciate your prompt reply
    Thanks, Ron

  18. Zena Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    I want to install porcelein tile in my kitchen and dining area. I presently have 40-year old ceramic tile which contain asbestos. How should the porcelein floor be laid? I am very reluctant to remove the ceramic asbestos tiles. Desperately need your help and advice. Many thanks.

  19. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Hi Zena,
    As long as you don’t disturb the asbestos tile, it’s safe to tile over it, if the existing tile floor is in good shape, and it won’t make the floor too high. Click on the “How to Tile a Bathroom Floor” link at the bottom of the article above to see how it’s done. Also, check out our article on How to Deal with Asbestos Flooring in Your Home to find out more. Good luck with your project!

  20. susan Says:
    June 4th, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Is it advisable to install any of the cognoleum products such as Dura Stone, Dura Ceramic w/o grout, or resilient sheet over old ceramic tile? thank you

  21. Cher Reynolds Says:
    July 11th, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    We would like to lay large 2 ft square travertine tile over an existing 12 inch ceramic tile. Is it possible to get a good result this way? Also wanted to know if there is a good epoxy type coat that can be put over existing tile.

  22. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    July 19th, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Hi Cher,
    If the existing tile floor is firmly attached and stable (no cracks), you should be able to tile over it with the large tile with no problem. Just be sure to clean the floor thoroughly first. Good luck with your project!

  23. Linda Shamblin Says:
    August 21st, 2011 at 11:17 am

    We have a 44 yr old home with foyer and adjacent rooms (880 sq ft) have stable and solid black slate tile installed over mortar base with pier/beam foundation. Would like to install travertine or a porceline tile over this. Everthing is very solid and no movement or cracks are present. Would there be any reason not to do this and thus avoid huge and costly tear out? We are aware the floor level would be raised. How high?

  24. Norman Richter Says:
    November 18th, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    The bathroom floor I have to repair or replace was originally installed 50 yrs ago on an upstairs bathroom floor. It consists of 1-3/4″ of concrete poured over 2-3/4″ sheathing support boards that run diagonal. In order to get to the tub’s plumbing they cut several boards just before they should pass under the tub. After doing the plumbing, they covered the floor with concrete and then small tiles 1/8″ thick. It lasted nearly 50 yrs until someone stepped on an area near the end of the tub and from rot and age the concrete has broken and floor has dropped nearly 1/2″. I’m considering removing all the concrete flooring because it has cracked and broken in several areas and has spread like a star around the bathroom. The support boards are broken and split. I’m considering 3/4″ plywood plus 1/2″ cement board and then Ditra membrane to makeup the thickness. How do I provide support under the tub? Is this sufficient to last 30- 40 years like the other solution.

  25. Deborah Lewis Says:
    February 5th, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    I’m planning on tiling over tile like I saw on your 2/5/12 show. What do you suggest for the threshold of the higher level going into a hallway?

  26. Ann Says:
    February 19th, 2012 at 10:42 am

    can I install another laminate floor on my existing laminate floor and do I use the moisture barrier if I can?

  27. sam Says:
    February 26th, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    We live in an earthquake zone and have a travertine floor in entry, walkway, kitchen and family room. There are few cracks in the grouts. The tiles are in good shape and stale. We would like to know whether it is ok to have porcelain/travertine tiles on the existing tiles?

  28. Keith Says:
    April 3rd, 2012 at 10:03 am

    My wife and I are considering applying a concrete floor over an existing stand up tile shower floor. It has a bench and is it possible to form the bench and pour concrete for the bench and then pour a concrete floor over the tile flooring?
    Thanks in advance!
    Keith

  29. Marianne Says:
    May 26th, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    I have existing vinyl flooring and one seam is opening up. Is there an easy repair for this?

    Also, after the repair I would like to put new vinyl tiles over the existing flooring. I’ve done this previously without any problems, however the seams were fine on that floor.

    Please advise and thank you

  30. john ploszay Says:
    January 8th, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Hi, the wall tile in our bathroom and shower is in excellent shape with no cracks or loose tiles. I would like to lay new tiles over the old. Can you reference and or give me insructions on how to do it.
    Many thanks,
    JOHN PLOSZAY Winnipeg, Canada

  31. danette Says:
    October 12th, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    I have travertine thru out my home, I just had it rehoned and resealed the problem is white streaks are appearing all over the floor it looks like calcium build, I am so disappointed with the results and its only been 3 weeks since we had then done. Did the company do them wrong? and can I put new tile over the travertine? it is 3200 square feet of flooring the tiles are 18×18 which is the same size tile I would be putting over the travertine.

  32. NORMA Says:
    February 8th, 2014 at 12:04 am

    Redoing my kitchen floor because the person I hired to put tile in ,6 years ago did a really bad job, uneven ,some higher than others. Going to be putting 12×36 vinyl planks over top, What I need to know is how can I get the tile even with out pulling it all up.

  33. NORMA Says:
    February 8th, 2014 at 12:16 am

    Also would like to redo my bathroom, because It’s blue, blue,and more blue, can’t stand it any longer. So what I need to know is can I put larger tile over the tile that’s there. It is in really good shape just ugly. please help Don’t have a lot of money, Do this a little at a time.

  34. eva Says:
    July 23rd, 2014 at 5:43 am

    Is it advisable to lay a wood floor over old tile? We have radiant heat under the old tile floor. Please advise. Thanks

  35. Lin Says:
    November 9th, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    I want to lay smaller tiles over my large ceramic tiled kitchen floor, should I prepare and screed it first or is there an adhesive that will fill the grout lines underneath?

  36. Reshma Says:
    December 11th, 2014 at 11:41 am

    I want to lay vitrified tiles on existing ceramic tiles. Is it advisable? size of ceramic tiles is 1.5 feet *1.5 feet and the size of vitrified tiles is 2.8 feet * 2.8 feet.
    Can ayou tell me about the durability of tile on tile?

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