How-To Videos

Do It! How to Install Ceramic Tile over an Existing Floor

By: Danny Lipford

Before you can install new ceramic tile over existing ceramic tile, you’ll need to do some surface preparation.

The first step is sanding the old tile with 100-grit paper to rough up the surface.

Next, you’ll need to apply a bonding primer to the surface.

To fill the grout joints in the old floor, we’re mixing up a floor-leveling compound. This material is a relatively thin liquid when it goes on, so it will flow into the low places and level itself.

We trowel it over the old tile to fill in the grout joints so that once it’s dry, we have a completely flat, level surface across the whole bathroom.

From this point, the process is much like any ceramic project. We chalk layout lines along the longest dimension of the room and begin applying thin-set mortar with a notched trowel. The thin-set acts as glue to secure the tiles to the floor.

The chalk lines and plastic spacers help us maintain straight lines and consistent spacing.

Once the tiles are in and dry, we can apply the grout with a rubber float before we clean off the excess material, revealing our new finished tile floor.


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2 Comments on “Do It! How to Install Ceramic Tile over an Existing Floor”

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  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    March 4th, 2019 at 9:16 am

    Hi, Susan!
    This is a concern — there are tapered thresholds that address this concern but it depends on the individual situation as to how well they work.
    Good luck!

  • Susan Says:
    February 24th, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    Applying a new ceramic tile over the existing tile floor is amazing and wakes up the diy initiative. I am curious whether the new floor will be too elevated for a door jam to remain flush with the adjoining, carpeted bedroom. What do you think? What sort of clearance is needed?

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Do It! How to Install Ceramic Tile over an Existing Floor