Laying Wood Flooring Over Tile

Prefinished engineered wood flooring.
Prefinished engineered wood flooring in a good choice for laying over a tile floor.

We are thinking about replacing our tile floor in the kitchen with hardwood. The tile is laid in a concrete foundation and would be huge mess to rip up. Is it possible to lay hardwood over an existing tile floor? If so, what do you recommend? -Donna

Hi Donna,

Yes, you can lay a wood floor over tile if the existing floor is in good shape and without cracks. I would suggest 3/8” thick, prefinished engineered hardwood flooring or easy to install laminate flooring. Some brands can be installed as a floating floor that locks together and is not attached to the tile, or you can glue it down.

Check to be sure the existing floor is flat first and fill in any low spots with leveling compound. If the wood floor is being glued to a slick tile surface, rough the tiles up a bit by sanding them to allow the adhesive to adhere better.

Good luck with your project,



  1. Hi Danny,
    My Kitchen currently has a vinyl floor which is glued down pretty good….I tried getting some of it up under the dishwasher area….Tough. Can I simply sand the existing Vinyl floor, make sure it is level and apply my engineered hardwood over top? My strips of EHW are aprox. 8 inches wide. Do I use glue, nails or both?? – Patricia

  2. My kitchen and dining room is exposed aggregate flooring and want to know if I can lay wood laminate flooring right on top? Also, we’ve tried using a do-it-ourselves steam cleaning on the aggregate and it just never looks clean. Any suggestionss?

  3. Hi, question, I want to put down red maple hardwood floor in my bathroom. Are there any special precautions if the house tends to be very humid and the bathroom in question is in the center of the house and does not have a an outside wall. There is very good ventilation though.

    • Hi Becky,
      Personally I wouldn’t put hardwood on a bathroom floor due to the potential of water and humidity causing long term problems with the finish and possibly causing the wood to swell. Tile or vinyl would be my choice. If you do try it, be sure you have a good bath vent fan and use it whenever you shower or bathe.

  4. Danny,
    For putting hardwood over tile,you suggested using a 3/8″ thickness for the wood. Is there any reason that a 5/16″ x 2 1/4″ wouldn’t work or would that be ok, too. For a 3/8″ thickness the width would be 3″. The wood will be going in the hall and entry. Also, our kitchen has the 5/16″ and it would be nice to have consistency.



  5. Can I lay 6 wideplank pine board over 12 x 12 ceramic tiles- Existing tiles are in good conditon, level and the area is about 800 sq ft – I do not want to rip them and height or transitions are not an issue- Would you lay a sub floor first or nail into grout lines?

  6. have outdoor tile deck (slippery when wet)that is being enlarged. Want to put 1/2 marine plywood on top of the tile, and then seal with epoxy type finish w/sand coat. Question: If i rough up the tile surface can i glue the plywood down…and will it withstand Palm Springs temperatures?

  7. Danny,
    I have tile in all my bedrooms in the new house I bought, in know laying a hardwood floor over it will heighten the floor considerably what about a vinyl that looks like would would that be difficult or raise the floor alot?
    Thanks Melanie

  8. Our house was built in 1969-70 with tile floors glued to the foundation. Carpet was added later. When the carpet was removed recently some of the tiles cracked when the nails and wood that held the carpet down were pulled up. We have noticed that some of the tile squares are no longer glued down in various places but a majority of the tiles are secure. We plan to install floating hardwood floors through out the house and do not plan to take up the existing tile floor. What do we need to do to prepare the tile floor for the wood flooring?

    • Hi Dixie,
      Your existing floor needs to be smooth and well attached, with no low or high spots. Start by removing any tiles that are loose and either glue them back down using thin-set or fill the void with floor patch. For more on preparing your existing floor or subfloor for a new one, check out our video on How to Level a Subfloor.


  10. Recently bought a 1950’s house with carpet over vinyl floor over hardwood floor. We want to remove carpet and vinyl to expose the original hardwood. What is the best way to remove the vinyl and prepare the floors for refinishing?

  11. Danny

    We live in a small rustic log cabin, The floors are part tile, wood and backer board and all level, we want to lay 4’x8′ sheets of knotty pine plywood down as our finished floors and stain them. what can we use to make sure our new floors stick to the existing tiles without problems?
    Thank you

  12. I have a beautiful hardwood entry way and hall that butts up to my open kitchen floor. The kitchen floor is white ceramic with white grout. Can I lay wood flooring to match the hallway directly over the tile and use a thin wood strip between the two to compensate for the difference in height of the kitchen floor?

  13. Hi Danny, I recently bought a house which is all tiled but I would like to carpet the upstairs. Will I have to pickup the tile first? If not are there any key points I should adhere to? My main concern is damaging the tile or having the tile print through with wear. Thanks

  14. Hi Dan,I recently pulled up carpet in my livingroom to expose a hardwood floor. My problem is the floor is not completely hardwood, plywood patches. My question is can I put a hardwood floor over a hardwood/plywood floor. Thanks

    • Hi Sam,
      If the subfloor/hardwood floor is level, flat, and well attached, I don’t see why you couldn’t put another layer of hardwood flooring over it, but you might want to check with the company that makes the flooring first to be sure. Good luck with your project!

  15. We recently built a new home and put tile in our entry, hall, kitchen and dining. I would love wood floors in those areas but it will butt up to carpet. Can I still do this and what would I do next to the carpet so that the wood floors aren’t taller than the carpet?

  16. I have a 3 year old house with tile floors except in bedrooms which have carpet. I have had to replace tiles in several areas because when you walk on them they make a crunchy sound. It sounds like they weren’t sealed properly. Now I am having the same problem in a number of areas. Would floating floors work over the tile? The flooring is level and no grout has come loose. Looking at the floor it looks great until you walk over it and then the crunchy sound is evident.What would you suggest? Thanks in advance. Henry Thornton.

  17. Hi,

    we are moving into our new house and the livingroom, hall and Kitchen are all tiled with the same tile, and all run smooth. We want to put a laminate wooden floor in the livingroom (preferably over the existing tiles) but we are worried about this being raised therefore being higher in level than the hall and kitchen. Is there something you can do to fix this problem??


  18. I removed tile from my shed floor and plan to lay OSB over the existing floor and paint it, how thick should the OSB be?


  19. Hi my question is, I want to put over my ceramic floor wooden tiles, but I dont know how much glue should i use and what kind if you have any recommendations, thanks!

  20. Hi Danny,

    I am closing on a house in the next few weeks and there is ugly tile just about everywhere in the home. I am hoping that my wife and I will be there for about 5 years then turn it into a rental while we upgrade to a larger home.

    I would like hardwood floors in the home but if it becomes a rental, the tile would be more resilient so don’t want to destroy it. My thought would be to build a floating hardwood floor over the tile. I would get my 5 years of pleasure and if the renters destroyed it afterward, I could just rip it up and already have a tile floor.

    The problem is the grout lines not being level with the tile. So my question is: Could I contact cement luan sheets over the tile, place the recommended foam underlayment on the Luan and float hardwood over the foam covered luan?

    Do you have any other suggestions for keeping a usable tile floor under hardwood?

  21. Hello Ben, We are in the middle of buying a house that has tiles. We are going to install laminate flooring over the tile. My question is can radiant heating be placed between the tile and laminate flooring? Thanks.

  22. Sam, MY house has some cracks in the ceramic tile. We have replaced them and the crack came back. My question is can i put wood over the tile and if i put (red gaurd) anti francture membrane down on the crack before the wood will it be ok?

    thanks for your help

  23. I can not believe you would give such bad advice as to say it is ok to lay glue down wood flooring on top on tile. There as a few issues with laying gluedown wood flooring over tile. First, you have the height issues. Tile with mortar will range in height from 1/4″ to 1/2″. If you lay glue down wood on top you will add about 3/8″ to the height of the floor. That could lead to issues with baseboard issues and door clearence issues. Second, ceramic and porcelain are non-porous so the glue for the wood has nothing to grab hold of and will eventually come loose. The third issue is the grout joints of the tile. The wood glue is not intended to be used as a levler so on those spots where the wood crosses over the grout joints you will not have as much coverage against the wood floor thus you have another spot where the wood will come loose. It is not an matter of “if” you will have a problem if you glue down wood floor over wood, it is only a matter of “when”.

  24. I have ceramic tile on a concrete slab. My place is on the water and whenever it gets humid, it sweats and you can see my footprints across the floor. Can I still put down engineered wood on top of this along with a water vapor sheet?

  25. Wanting to finish walkout basement.Would like to lay laminate floor.8 year old house with cracks in concrete floor some 1/8 to 1/4 inch wide.cracks run diagonally to walls.How should I prep and floor.

  26. Currently we have carpet in out living rooms and tile in our kitchen. I would like to have a quality wood laminate floor installed in all of these rooms. Can I do this without tearing up the tile. I was hoping we could tear up the carpeted areas only and put down ply wood to raise the formerly carpeted areas with the tile floor then laying a floating laminate floor over the top of it all.

    What are your thoughts on this?


  28. We are thinking of putting redwood floors over the top of ceramic floors in a kitchen. What type of glue or sub flooring should we use?

  29. I have a guesthouse with existing large square tile flooring… The tile in it is installed directly over a cement slab. I went to Home Depot and bought 18 sheets of plywood and had them rip them down into 8 inch wide planks. I plan to lay it down like you would hardwood flooring… My only question is if after I sand the tile down to scratch it up and create a marred surface for glue to adhere to, what kind of glue would Best hold the tile and the plywood planks together? Please help… I’m a little bit desperate with people telling me it can’t be done now ;-). Thanks so much! Danielle

  30. Danny Happy New Year!
    Can I take advantage of your experience in floors? I want to install a solid wood floor over an existing tiled floor that I do not to either remove or destroy. Can I lay plywood (what thickness) and then nail on top of it the hardwood (tongue and groove)?

  31. My company has re-located me to the Caribbean for a 3 year period, however I bought a house there and I want to upgrade the ceramic tiles in the corridor with the parki tiles (using local wood teak,puple heart)I would like to know what is the best glue to use since in the Caribbean the temperature is about 36-37 deg. C. at peak and a low of 21-23deg. C. What type of glue would you recommend for this project as the corridor is roughly 300 sq. feet.
    Thanks in advance

  32. We have 20+ years old engineered hardwood flooring with poly finish glued to concrete. We want to connect more hardwood flooring to a adjoining room, but cannot find a match in color or size. The old is in excellent condition other than color and size. Can we glue new hardwood flooring over the old poly finish?

  33. I have the rounded terra cotta flooring in my enclosed sunroom. I hate the color it looks so out of date. Is it possible to lay wood over the entire surface. The existing flooring has been there for years. Please help.

  34. Hi, we are currently renovating our house. It has slab heating with tiles and carpet currently on the floor. We would like to go over the top of the tiles ( in good condition and all even) and replace the carpet. I love the timber floor look and was thinking of a wood look vinyl. Will this still conduct the heat as well or should we be looking at other options? Do you have any advice about what would be our best option?

  35. Hi Danny,
    I have pink washed Saltillo tile flooring. I believe it sit’s in concrete with radiant heat underneath that. It has half inch grout lines and some small cracks. Is it possible to lay a floating wood floor over it?
    Any advice or options I’d much appreciate!

  36. Hello,
    So i was told it is possible to put tile flooring over our hardwood floor, is this true? Or does the hardwood floor have to come off before installing the tile floor?

  37. Hi,
    I’m having major issues, I’ve got underfloor heating that covered with a thick slab tiles. I want to place laminate over the tiles. Is this a good idea? I want to keep the warmth and not have future problem with the laminate or wood flooring. Please help your advice is most appreciated!

  38. I have an industrial type floor similar to epoxy. The material is called aspartic-all. I am wanting to soon put down hardwood floors. Will I have to remove the epoxy type layer first or can the hardwood be installed on top?

  39. Hi Danny
    I want to lay a timber or laminate flooring over the top of my ceramic flooring (family room, kitchen, hallway) what is the best process for this keeping in mind floor to ceiling height, I think regulation is 2400? Not sure.
    Can on please give me some guidance

  40. I have tile on all my floor except dining room and guest room, which is carpet. I would like to install hard wood top of the tile. Is it possible?
    thank you

  41. we are thinking of putting laminate floor over our existing tile. What would you do with the doors if it is raised so much that the doors wouldn’t open. I imagine one would have to trim every door down or is there another option. Thank you.

  42. Enjoyed reading the many questions and responses to your recommendation to lay engineered flooring over title. Has any complaints come back from that application of engineered floor noise, squeaking, like the subflooring is not anchored properly? I have a large area to put new flooring over title. I am looking for comments on after the new floor is in place.

  43. Hello,
    I want to glue down engineered wood flooring over tile. I see the we need to sand the tile and level any low spots. My question is, Do I need to use a tile primer/bonder? I ask as a contractor I used on another project use a primer/bonder to lay tile over tile. Also is there a glue you would recommend for this project? Thank you


  45. My home was built in 1963 on a slab sub floor and has an original tile floor over which carpeting is currently installed. I want to install 3″ x 3/8″ engineered wood plank flooring. I’ve been told I must have the tile floor removed by an asbestos abatement team and I cannot simply lay the wood over the tile because the ‘new’ glue that is being used will not hold the wood. What is the easiest and least costly way to lay the wood–do I have to remove the tile and use an abatement team? If I do that, then I have a height issue requiring even more work. Is all of this necessary? I certainly did not do it in other parts of the home when wood was installed. Is this something new?

  46. Hello we have a 13 year old home with a tiles issue. Some, especially in corners, have cracks along the grout and make sounds when you step on them. When you tap them, they sound slightly hollow as the person that layed the tiles down did not put enough glue down, resulting in several weak areas around our home. We are worried about ripping them out due to the mess and money. Was wondering if we can put floorboards down on top of these horrible tiles? We are starting to see hair line cracks now!!
    Thank you

  47. My home has ceramic tile throughout with exceptions to bedrooms. The concrete flooring was not level when laying the tile, which left the tiles uneven. Also, there are hollow sounds of some tiles and cracks of some. What should I do?

  48. My home has heated floors topped with tiles. My question is can I install wood flooring over the tiles? Would there be a big effect on the heating now?
    What should I do or can do.

  49. Hello there. A couple of questions about engineered wood click lock style flooring. I see above that it can be laid over ceramic tile, as long as the tile is even/flat and in good condition. Can we lay engineered wood click lock style flooring over click lock laminate flooring [which has a moisture barrier underneath, and is only @ 14 months old]? Also, could we extend the engineered wood click lock style flooring into a half bath [toilet/sink]? We ideally would like to have the same flooring throughout the whole of our first floor. Thank you!

  50. I have an outdoor patio that was turned into a family room with wall to wall sliding doors. The rooms floor was tiled with ceramic 6×6 tiles and never leveled and still has about a 1/2″ slant going down towards the sliders. The floor was never leveled. Can I put in wood flooring without correcting the 1/2″ slant or do I have to level the floor?

  51. Hi Danny,
    Our existing tiled floor (laid on concrete slap) laundry is next to the timber floor kitchen. We plan to open up the laundry and combine this area with existing kitchen and put in a new kitchen. We like to have the same timber flooring throughout the whole new kitchen area and at the same level. The kitchen is connected with the living room having the same timber flooring so replacing the kitchen floor is not an option. What is the easiest and least costly way to do this? Many thanks.

  52. Currently have wood floor in living room. Adjacent Dining room & foyer have 12×12 tile. Would using wood look tile (different shade) fit well against wood flooring?


  54. Hello, we have perfect condition tile with concrete water tubing radiant heat underneath. We are looking to change this look to engineered wood flooring. Is the best option to lay the wood over the tile that has radiant? We are looking at 3″ wood flooring. What is your opinion on how we should proceed with this task. Thank u

  55. hi
    I am wanting to lay good quality laminate flooring over terra cotta tiles, all in good condition. I would like to know what I need to do when I am going past a bathroom doorway as the lip in the doorway needs to be higher than the flooring and the current one may not be. How do I overcome this issue please?


  56. I personally have an issue with laying new flooring over old flooring instead of tearing out and starting fresh. We just re-did most of our downstairs by replacing old Mexican tile with a light wood flooring. The tile had been there for 30 years and we didn’t know that underneath it was 3 layers of linoleum. It made the process of tearing everything up painstakingly difficult. For the sake of future renovations, I suggest tearing up the old flooring, always.

  57. We purchased a home 7 months ago. When we went to look at wood floors, we were told that it would be perfectly fine to put engineered floors over tile, as long as the tile was firmly adhered to cement, which it was, and even better if it is the click type of wood.. Now 7 months later, we have popping, cracking, and hollow sounds.. We didn’t want to take up tile from our entire house, because of the work and mess, so we decided to not remove the tile.. Especially since the company we purchased it from said it would be fine.. Is there anything we can do now that the entire house is wood over tile.. Help..!!

  58. Hi Danny
    like several on this post, I too recently bought an older home. we decided to replace the rugs that ran throughout the home. In the room where we were going to replace the old rug with new rug we discovered old tile. possibly with asbestos. it was if fair shape but there was evidence a previous own had repaired and replaced some cracked tiles. The contractor recommend putting matrixx board down over the existing tile and installing the rug over that. This is what was done but I am concerned now about the risk of asbestos given that the matrixx board was tacked in per install instructions.
    Should I be concerned?

  59. Good evening Danny, we have ceramic tiles with underfloor heating through out our house. Will it be possible for us to place a wooden floor (either real wood or laminated flooring) over the tiles and will the underfloor heating still be effective? Will vinyl floors work over the tiles?

    Thank you for your assistance.

  60. What exactly is engineered wood flooring? I do not like the appearance of laminate. I want to put wood floors over the current 12″ ceramic tile floors. Do I need to fill in the grout joints? If so, what do you recommend for the filler material? Where the walls and doorways contact the new wood floors is a glue down required? What is the proper installation method in this scenario?

  61. Firstly, I have thermo floor heating which is not heating well. I am trying to put a new thermo heating system, that I have 3/4 ” 2’X4′ WARMBOARD aluminum panels. My question is what is the best adhesive to to tack these panels to tile flooring along with split head concrete nails?

    • Hi, Jim!
      Any quality multi-purpose adhesive should work well for this purpose. We recommend Titebond.
      Thanks for your question!

  62. I have laid floating laminate flooring on 5 rooms for friends over the last few years. All these still look great! I am now fixing to lay some on a new home I purchased 2 months ago. It is a large area basically 3 rooms joining without walls “dining, kitchen and living room”. Approximately 800 sq ft. The previous owner laid the ugliest red tile down but at least the person that installed it did a great job. No cracks or chips and very very flat except for 2 tiles in the dining room. 2 tiles are raised up on one side about 1/4 inch.
    My question is could I grind these high spots down with angle grinder? I could chip with hammer/chisel and smooth with something but I would hate to mess up more in the chipping process. Thanks for the help!

    • Hi, Joey,
      Danny says, “Grinding the high tiles is certainly an option, though it will create a tremendous amount of dust. Chipping the 1 or 2 raised tiles and filling it with a floor patch compound may be easier. Either way, you’re smart to tackle that now because it will show up in the laminate flooring once it’s installed.
      Good luck!”


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