Installing Tile Over Vinyl Flooring on Wood or Concrete Subfloors

Here’s how to lay a ceramic tile floor over a vinyl floor, depending on the type of subfloor (plywood or concrete) that’s below it.

Laying tile over vinyl flooring on a plywood subfloor:

  1. Apply thin-set adhesive to the vinyl flooring with a notched trowel.
  2. Screw or nail 1/2″ cement backer board on top of the vinyl while the adhesive is still wet.
  3. Apply thin-set adhesive to any joints in the backer board.
  4. Embed fiberglass mesh tape over the joints in the adhesive.
  5. Allow the joint adhesive to set.
  6. Apply tile to the floor using thin-set adhesive.
  7. Allow the adhesive to set.
  8. Apply grout between the tile and allow the grout to dry.

Laying tile over vinyl flooring on a concrete subfloor:

  1. Check to make sure the vinyl is in good condition and firmly glued to the concrete subfloor.
  2. Clean the floor thoroughly to remove any dirt or grease.
  3. Apply thin-set adhesive directly to the existing vinyl floor.
  4. Lay the tile in the adhesive while it’s still wet.
  5. Allow the adhesive to set.
  6. Apply grout between the tile and allow the grout to dry.

Watch this video to find out more.

Danny Lipford: Marsha asks, “Can I lay a ceramic tile floor over a vinyl floor?”

Yes, you can, and we did that very thing on this tile floor just a couple of years ago. But because this house is on a wood subfloor, we had to do a little work to prepare the surface, and that entailed installing half-inch cement backer board.

We first applied some adhesive, put the cement backer board down, then installed a series of screws. After that we used the same type of adhesive to smooth out all of the seams to have a great smooth surface. A perfect surface to install this tile floor; and it’s held up very, very well.

Now, if your house is on a concrete slab and you have a vinyl floor. As long as that vinyl floor is adhered well to the slab—not peeling up anywhere—then you can install your tile right on top of it. Allow it to dry, apply your grout just like you would on any other type of tile installation.


  1. We wish to lay a insulated wooden subfloor recommended for concrete in the basement for insulation. Can we install click together 1′ X 2′ vinyl tiles over that ? Are thee any special considerations. Thanks

  2. I want to tile a very small toilet with porcelan tiles ,there is one piece vinyl on there and is fixed for ever it seems ,some people say give it a sand first before putting on adhesive,how do you feel about this.


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