Tiling over tile

Tiling over tile

If your old ceramic tile is worn or dated, you can lay new tile right over the old, and avoid the huge job of tearing out the old tile. In fact, pros do it all the time. But this assumes that the floor underneath is solid (concrete) and that there are no cracks in the existing tile (indicating underlying problems in the concrete).

Tools Required

Angle grinder

Belt sander

Dust mask

Notched trowel

Safety glasses

Shop vacuum

Materials Required

80-grit sanding belts

Ceramic tile

Thin-set mortar with latex fortifier


Step 1: Check the surface

Step 1: Check the surface
Getty Images

Make sure all the tiles are solidly bonded to the floor by tapping them lightly with a wood mallet or a chunk of 2×4.

Note: A hollow sound is an indication that a tile is loose.

Remove and reset any loose tiles with thin-set.

How to grout tile: check out these grouting tips and techniques.

Step 2: Grind off the high spots and clean the tiles

Step 2: Grind off the high spots and clean the tiles

Lay a 1.2m level on the old tile and mark any high spots.

Grind them down using a right-angle grinder with a masonry wheel.

Sand all the tiles with a belt or orbital sander (80-grit) to scratch any surface glazes.

Remove any mouldy or loose grout with a rotary tool or carbide scraper.

Vacuum the tiles and clean with detergent and water to remove dirt, sealers and wax.

Rinse the surface with clear water and let it dry.

Don’t miss these 12 ways to use a rotary tool that will have people buzzing.

Step 3: Spread adhesive

Step 3: Spread adhesive

Spread a flat layer of thin-set on the back of large tiles for better adhesion.

If you spread an area of thin-set on the floor instead, use a larger-notch trowel.

Whichever method you use, always comb the adhesive in one direction (no swirls).

Find out what you need to know about peel-and-stick tile.

Step 4: Set the tile

Step 4: Set the tile

Press the tile onto the floor thin-set and slide it perpendicular to the combed lines.

Sign up here to have Handyman’s favourite stories straight to your inbox. 

Source: Family Handyman

Sign up for emails