Can You Tile on Top of Floor Tiles?
- December 17, 2020
So, you’re thinking about retiling the patio. The old tiles are looking shabby, and you feel that a nice set of travertine tiles would be an ideal replacement for your new deck. However, the thought of the work involved with breaking up the tiling on your old patio makes your mind and body quiver with fear.
Who wants to spend a few days doing some hard labour breaking up tiles? Can you tile on top of floor tiles? That strategy would save you plenty of time and money with your remodel. This post will look at everything you need to know about tiling on top of existing tiles.
First, What Kind of Tiles Do You Have on the Floor?
Yes, you can tile on top of floor tiles. However, there’s a trick to it, and it might not work on all floor tiles. Before you start tiling, look for any surface irregularities that might end up causing structural and foundational damage later.
Check to see if there are any signs of discoloration in your existing tiles. The discoloration is a sign water is under the floor tiles, and this could lead to mould or mildew growth that spreads throughout your home and onto your new tiles. Tiling over these moulded areas results in the slow rotting of your tiles over time, which is not an ideal situation!
If you notice any signs of water damage, it’s better to tear up the floor and start from scratch.
How Do I Prep the Floor for Tiling?
You’ll get terrible results tiling over an uneven surface. The tiles on an uneven surface can end up popping loose out of their place, or even cracking due to the uneven weight distribution applied over the floor. Therefore, you must ensure that you level the surface using a sander to sand down high spots, and fix any loose tiles by applying fresh adhesive underneath the tile to secure them to the old floor.
After cutting your tiles to size, scrub down the base layer with a degreaser and let it dry. Lay the new tiles in stages and use a thin-set mortar or adhesive for setting any tiles in areas that might receive moisture. Mastic adhesives are best for use in drier rooms, like the kitchen.
Tape a border around your tiling area and lay plastic sheeting to avoid splashing adhesive on other surfaces. Scoop your adhesive out of the bucket using a trowel, applying thin layers of it to sections of tiles. Start with sections that have a few feet in width to ensure you don’t apply adhesive out of your reach.
When creating the backsplash, don’t cover everything with adhesive at once. The curing times may vary between adhesive products, and the tile might not stick to the wall or floor properly if it’s too dry.
Before setting your tile, score the adhesive with your trowel to enhance the tile’s traction to the bonding agent. Position each tile as you work, and place each tile onto the adhesive, bedding it correctly with a fair amount of pressure to seat it right.
Pro Tip for Prepping the Floor
You can apply adhesive directly to the back of your tiles to save time on the job. However, you’ll need to reserve this method for floors and walls that have perfectly level surfaces. Placing the tiles this way doesn’t set them permanently, and it’s easier to remove them if they crack or discolour.
Finishing Up – Do I Need to Seal the Floor?
Our final answer to the mystery of “can you tile on top of floor tiles?” involves the sealing of the floor. Some tilers say no, while others recommend it – what are the best options for your new floor?
Regardless of the type of tiles used in your new floor, you’ll need to grout the tiles’ gaps. Grouting prevents moisture from seeping under the tiles, staining, or lifting the floor. If water gets under the tiles, it could also lead to mould and mildew growth, which is not ideal.
If you want a quick and efficient job, we recommend picking some premixed grout from your local hardware store. Apply the grout in a single round to get through your tiling job faster. Sealing the floor is not always necessary, depending on the type of tiles.
However, sealing does provide a waterproof layer for any outdoor flooring or wall tile applications.
Can You Tile on Top of Floor Tiles? – The Verdict
In short – Yes, you can tile on top of floor tiles. However, your tiling job’s success depends on the type of tiles you’re using and the state of the existing floor.
If you want a job that looks great and lasts for decades, you need to start with a level floor. You’ll need to recondition the floor if it’s uneven or consider breaking the old tiles out before installing the new floor.
Why go to the hassle of doing everything yourself? A remodelling job like this could take away an entire weekend or two from your life. What happens if you redo the floor, and it starts to crack? Can you imagine the expense of digging up two floors and installing a replacement?
It’s a better idea to work with flooring and tiling professionals that know what they’re doing. Contact a tiling professional near you for a fast, easy estimate and a brilliant floor installation.