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.