How to Tile Over Vinyl Flooring

Laying a tile floor.

Can I lay ceramic tile over vinyl tile in my kitchen? I really don’t want to pull up the vinyl. -Linda

Hi Linda,

We receive more questions about tiling over an existing floor than any other. It seems like everyone wants to know what to do when they replace the floor in their kitchen or bath.

If the existing vinyl floor was installed over concrete and is glued down firmly, you should be able to tile right over it without any problem. Scrub the floor first to remove any dirt and grease then apply a bed of thin-set mortar and tile.

If the vinyl was applied over a wood subfloor, you should install 1/2” thick cement backer board on top of it first, using corrosion resistant screws driven into the floor joists. Another option to backer board on wood floors is one of the new polyethylene membranes such as Schluter®-DITRA. At only 1/8” thick, it can shave 3/8” off the finished thickness of your floor if height is a problem.

You can also tile directly over an existing tile floor as long as it is sound. As with vinyl, clean it first so the mortar will adhere well to the old tile.

For more information on tiling, check out our articles Tiling a Floor and Installing Tile Over a Wood Subfloor.

Danny