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.

For extra instruction and tips, check out our guide for laying ceramic tile over vinyl flooring on concrete.

Watch the video above 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.

Further Information

Editorial Contributors
avatar for Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

Learn More