Tiling Over a Tile Floor: What You Should Know

You can lay tile over an existing tile floor as long as it is in good condition with no major cracks or settling.

However, you’ll need to keep some things in mind before you lay tile over tile.

Before You Lay Tile Over Tile: Key Considerations

Laying tile over tile is an efficient way to update any room. Just remember these things before you tackle this project:

  • The subfloor needs to be flat and smooth for this project to be successful.
  • Laying another layer of tile will raise the height of the floor, which might require you to cut the bottoms off nearby doors.
  • In a bathroom, you will need to take the toilet out before installing the tile. In addition, you’ll need to replace the existing toilet flange bolts if they aren’t long enough for the added floor height.
  • If any old tiles are loose, you’ll need to reattach them to the floor and fill in any missing spots.

How to Install Tile Over Tile Floors

Before you can install new ceramic tile over existing ceramic tile, you’ll need to prepare the surface.

First, clean the floor to remove any grease or dirt. Then, using a jamb saw, or handsaw and spacer block, cut the door jambs to the proper height.

Next, sand the old tile with 100-grit paper to rough up the surface. Then apply a bonding primer to the surface.

To fill the old floor’s grout joints, mix up a floor-leveling compound. This material is a relatively thin liquid when it goes on, so it will flow into the low places and level itself.

Trowel it over the old tile to fill in the grout joints so that once it’s dry, you have a completely flat, level surface across the whole bathroom.

From this point, the process is much like any ceramic tiling. Chalk layout lines along the longest dimension of the room and begin applying thinset mortar with a notched trowel. The thinset acts as glue to secure the tiles to the floor.

The chalk lines and plastic spacers help maintain straight lines and consistent spacing.

Once the tiles are in and dry, apply the grout with a rubber float before we clean off the excess material, revealing our new finished tile floor.

Further Information

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Backed by his 40-year remodeling career, Danny served as the home improvement expert for CBS’s The Early Show and The Weather Channel for more than a decade. His extensive hands-on experience and understanding of the industry make him the go-to source for all things having to do with the home – from advice on simple repairs, to complete remodels, to helping homeowners prepare their homes for extreme weather and seasons.


  1. I am considering tiling over a concrete slab that I have on my back porch. The slab currently has moisture issues at the change of seasons (I live in Wisconsin and there is moisture present when there is a thaw). How should I treat the area prior to application of tiles to prevent moisture from coming thru the floor?

  2. I added a room of the house 18×18 on a 8″concrete slab Tiled it with 12X12 ceramic tile right to the slab looks great after many years only problem in warm humid weather we get puddles over the entire floor sometimes i need to use the shop vac to get in picked up did we forget a step before putting down the tile Can this problem be fixed Thanks

  3. We have a very ugly pink & blue tiled bathroom. Floor and walls are tiled. How can we change this without tearing the entire bathroom apart?

  4. I want to put new ceramic tile over a 3′ by 5″ ceramic tile shower floor without removing the old one. It’s just ugly and stained and we want a new look. Can this be done and what do you do to make sure of a good bond between them.

    Thanks, Fred

  5. I have a garage which was made into a room probably in the 1950s. The concrete floor has the old vinyl tiles on it about 6-8″ square from the 50’s. I think they are probably asbestos. They are glued down well. I want to tile over these with ceramic tile. Can I do this? Thanks, Jan

  6. I want to lay broken tile, etc. on my back concrete step, which is under our patio. There is paint on the step, and also we are experiencing high humidity. I used my mosiac adhesive and it didn’t stick well, so I took the tiles off…can you recommend an adhesive to use? THank you!

  7. I am about to begin the remodel of our master bathroom. I noticed our present flooring is ceramic tile over a concrete flooring, which is over a slated subfloor. I want to tile 12x 12 ceramic tiles over the existing ceramic mesh tile,however we have two vacant areas on the floor that expose the wood subflooring (two vanities were in those places). How would I fill in those areas if i decide to tile over the existing tile? And, what would be the best technique to tile over the existing ceramic floor?

  8. I would like to lay porcelain tile over an existing travertine kitchen floor. The mess of getting all the travertine up would cause a huge mess. Is this recommended?

  9. -currently have tile flooring in our house…
    -some of the tiles have cracked and are installed on a wood subfloor
    what is the procedure to install procelain over tile?
    need your advise…
    appreciate your prompt reply
    Thanks, Ron

  10. I want to install porcelein tile in my kitchen and dining area. I presently have 40-year old ceramic tile which contain asbestos. How should the porcelein floor be laid? I am very reluctant to remove the ceramic asbestos tiles. Desperately need your help and advice. Many thanks.

    • Hi Zena,
      As long as you don’t disturb the asbestos tile, it’s safe to tile over it, if the existing tile floor is in good shape, and it won’t make the floor too high. Click on the “How to Tile a Bathroom Floor” link at the bottom of the article above to see how it’s done. Also, check out our article on How to Deal with Asbestos Flooring in Your Home to find out more. Good luck with your project!

  11. Is it advisable to install any of the cognoleum products such as Dura Stone, Dura Ceramic w/o grout, or resilient sheet over old ceramic tile? thank you

  12. We would like to lay large 2 ft square travertine tile over an existing 12 inch ceramic tile. Is it possible to get a good result this way? Also wanted to know if there is a good epoxy type coat that can be put over existing tile.

    • Hi Cher,
      If the existing tile floor is firmly attached and stable (no cracks), you should be able to tile over it with the large tile with no problem. Just be sure to clean the floor thoroughly first. Good luck with your project!

  13. We have a 44 yr old home with foyer and adjacent rooms (880 sq ft) have stable and solid black slate tile installed over mortar base with pier/beam foundation. Would like to install travertine or a porceline tile over this. Everthing is very solid and no movement or cracks are present. Would there be any reason not to do this and thus avoid huge and costly tear out? We are aware the floor level would be raised. How high?

  14. The bathroom floor I have to repair or replace was originally installed 50 yrs ago on an upstairs bathroom floor. It consists of 1-3/4″ of concrete poured over 2-3/4″ sheathing support boards that run diagonal. In order to get to the tub’s plumbing they cut several boards just before they should pass under the tub. After doing the plumbing, they covered the floor with concrete and then small tiles 1/8″ thick. It lasted nearly 50 yrs until someone stepped on an area near the end of the tub and from rot and age the concrete has broken and floor has dropped nearly 1/2″. I’m considering removing all the concrete flooring because it has cracked and broken in several areas and has spread like a star around the bathroom. The support boards are broken and split. I’m considering 3/4″ plywood plus 1/2″ cement board and then Ditra membrane to makeup the thickness. How do I provide support under the tub? Is this sufficient to last 30- 40 years like the other solution.

  15. I’m planning on tiling over tile like I saw on your 2/5/12 show. What do you suggest for the threshold of the higher level going into a hallway?

  16. We live in an earthquake zone and have a travertine floor in entry, walkway, kitchen and family room. There are few cracks in the grouts. The tiles are in good shape and stale. We would like to know whether it is ok to have porcelain/travertine tiles on the existing tiles?

  17. My wife and I are considering applying a concrete floor over an existing stand up tile shower floor. It has a bench and is it possible to form the bench and pour concrete for the bench and then pour a concrete floor over the tile flooring?
    Thanks in advance!

  18. I have existing vinyl flooring and one seam is opening up. Is there an easy repair for this?

    Also, after the repair I would like to put new vinyl tiles over the existing flooring. I’ve done this previously without any problems, however the seams were fine on that floor.

    Please advise and thank you

  19. Hi, the wall tile in our bathroom and shower is in excellent shape with no cracks or loose tiles. I would like to lay new tiles over the old. Can you reference and or give me insructions on how to do it.
    Many thanks,
    JOHN PLOSZAY Winnipeg, Canada

  20. I have travertine thru out my home, I just had it rehoned and resealed the problem is white streaks are appearing all over the floor it looks like calcium build, I am so disappointed with the results and its only been 3 weeks since we had then done. Did the company do them wrong? and can I put new tile over the travertine? it is 3200 square feet of flooring the tiles are 18×18 which is the same size tile I would be putting over the travertine.

  21. Redoing my kitchen floor because the person I hired to put tile in ,6 years ago did a really bad job, uneven ,some higher than others. Going to be putting 12×36 vinyl planks over top, What I need to know is how can I get the tile even with out pulling it all up.

  22. Also would like to redo my bathroom, because It’s blue, blue,and more blue, can’t stand it any longer. So what I need to know is can I put larger tile over the tile that’s there. It is in really good shape just ugly. please help Don’t have a lot of money, Do this a little at a time.

  23. Is it advisable to lay a wood floor over old tile? We have radiant heat under the old tile floor. Please advise. Thanks

  24. I want to lay smaller tiles over my large ceramic tiled kitchen floor, should I prepare and screed it first or is there an adhesive that will fill the grout lines underneath?

  25. I want to lay vitrified tiles on existing ceramic tiles. Is it advisable? size of ceramic tiles is 1.5 feet *1.5 feet and the size of vitrified tiles is 2.8 feet * 2.8 feet.
    Can ayou tell me about the durability of tile on tile?

  26. For those of you who just want to change the color of your wall tile, why not have it painted? It looks great, colors can be mixed and so far, my repainted tiles have lasted 10 years without a problem. Liked it so much, I had them come back and paint 2 poceline bathtubs.

  27. Thanks, this really helped me change a small tiled area near the wardrobe without having to uproot the tiles. It was fun doing it by myself.

  28. HI,
    I would like to install ceramic tiles over ceramic tiles on the kitchen backslash. What kind of cement should I use?
    Thank you

  29. I have a newly tiled marble shower (floors,walls, and ceiling) and am disappointed in the construction work quality and my contractor is not responsive. We built a handicapped shower with no obstruction in the floor for my wheelchair. Unfortunately, even after showing the wheelchair in the bathroom, plus discussing how important it would be to have the water roll to drain instead of out of the shower. I told the contractor that the pitch of the tile was wrong and would cause water to roll back out of the shower. Especially in the end of the shower where I have a bench for seating. Instead of a total rip out of the floor I was wondering if I could purchase a slab of corian or marble and have it laser cut with the pitch toward the 6 ft drain already there. Anyone ever do this?

  30. I have a floor approx 105 Sq. mtrs. which has porcelain tiles 300×300 all over, I wanted to change my tiles and put new tiles 600×600 on top of an existing ones, the house is only 11 year old with concrete slab.

    questions are.
    Can I lay tiles on top of existing tiles.
    if yes is there any specific glue to be used and what is it called.
    what is the approx. price I am looking for.

  31. I have a covered patio with tile there are a few cracks in the tile floor running across 10 tiles. I am sure this is due to the settling of the floor after all the rain last year in Texas. . I am thinking I can put epoxy pebble flooring right on top of it instead of removing it first to save time and money. Any Ideas?

  32. I am planning to tile vetrified tiles over the marble flooring in the 3rd floor in the five storied apartment. What will be the weight effect on the building structure? Please can anybody clarify my doubt soon.

  33. Hi ,
    My existing bath room floor is marble and it is slippery . I just want to know whether I can lay non – skidding bath room tiles over the existing marble floor
    provided there are no problems regarding height of door and if longer nuts &
    bolts are provided for the toilets .

  34. I enjoyed the articles might not agree with all of them but I was wondering if I needed to ge the wax off before tiling


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