Installing Tile over Existing Tile

Benefits of Installing Tile Over Tile

Installing a new tile job over existing tile is a great way to update the look of your room without having to remove the old floor. It saves money when compared to paying someone to pull out the old tile. Or, if you are doing it yourself, it will save a ton of time and possible frustration. Doing so will only raise the height of the floor 3/8″-5/8″ on average- depending on the size of your tile.

Read the tips below to see if your project is a good fit for tile over tile. There are a few things to keep in mind before deciding to go this method with your installation. But if tile over tile is an option, you are sure to save both time and money.


Acceptable Existing Flooring Types

Like with any installation, starting with a proper substrate is absolutely key. When it comes to tile over tile it’s not enough to know you have an acceptable type of floor, you also need to make sure that it is well bonded to an approved substrate underneath. 

Below is a list of flooring types that are acceptable when doing a tile over tile installation

  • Ceramic Tile
  • Porcelain Tile
  • Terrazzo
  • Natural Stone (NOT Marble)
  • Sheet Vinyl (non-cushioned)
  • Vinyl Composition Tile (VCT)
  • Linoleum
  • Plastic Laminate (interior counter tops only).

Preparing your existing floor

Floor prep is integral to ensuring a successful tile over tile installation. Since the new floor is only as strong as what it is bonded to, it is imperative that the existing flooring is well bonded to a proper substrate. Any loose flooring needs to be removed before installation can take place.

Next, to insure the bond of thinset is appropriate , properly clean the existing flooring removing all surface contamination (i.e. grease, wax, soap, cleaning residue, etc.). You’ll want to make sure you are using a high quality modified thinset that meets or exceeds ANSI 118.15. For grout, choose a high-performance product that provides built in stain resistance (like TEC Power Grout or Laticrete PermaColor Select).

Since the new floor will be elevated slightly, transitions to other existing floor areas may be needed. Utilize Schluter profiles to accommodate these areas.


Important Notes

  • Make sure the existing floor is acceptable for a tile over tile installation
  • Ensure that the existing floor is properly bonded to an appropriate substrate
  • Properly clean the existing floor to ensure a solid bond
  • Use a high quality modified thinset that meets or exceeds ANSI 118.15
  • Use a high-performance grout with built in stain resistance