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Tiling over existing tile

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Posted by: from Montreal
3/15/2011 at 12:53:41 AM

Is it okay to tile over an existing ceramic tile. The existing tile is a 12 by 12 high gloss tile looks in good shape just outdated. There is only one broken tile in 200 sqft area. It is in a kitchen and hallway. I want to avoid taking it out because it is layed under the cabinets as well. Also seems to be glued onto plywood. I am laying down an 18 by 18 new tile.

Option 1: tile over make sure the existing tile is well bonded scuff the gloss off(grind it or sand it ? ) Use a suitable glue to bond the new tile to the old one. The height will increase about 3/8 of an inch but it would either way. I don't believe the increase height will be an issue. Doors are being changed, kitchen counter being changed . Am I missing anything?

Option 2: Tear it up chances are some glue will not come off probably reply the whole area with 3/8 plywood( removing the old plywood is not an option) and start fresh .

hmm option 1 looks more enticing don't you agree?

REPLIES (6)
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Date/Time3/15/2011 at 10:35:17 PM

Hi Tony,

i agree that option 1 looks more enticing but it will cost you more in the long run. Since you are asking, take the old adage to heart of "do it right the first time or don't do it at all!"

This involves:

1) removing the old tile and adhesive (mortar) It probably will mean ripping out the "wire mesh" that was used as well so be forewarned. Its physical work.

2) applying a new substrate for your new tiles.

Tip:look into a product by the company Schluter. They provide information on how to install it and what products to use. Install it yourself (if you feel you can) or have an experienced tile setter install it.

3) install your new tiles.

Get a good nights sleep. You will need your energy.

Good Luck! Roger

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Rod. from Artall R.M. in Toronto
Date/Time3/25/2011 at 6:02:33 PM

Option 1: Doable, NOT recommended.

Old tiles have to be scored, scratched, etc, to be able to have "grab". This produce a lot

of dust. Will work fine since you are using larger tiles on top old.

Option 2: Recommended as stated above or by using classical method.

Good luck!

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Bill from Bill Carr Renovations in Baltimore
Date/Time3/27/2011 at 3:48:57 PM

Hey Tony- option 3 would be a product called 'Dura-ceram' by Congoleum, or '

Adurra' by Mannington. Look it up. there are fewer restrictions as per installation. It could be put over existing ceramic. It is a commercial grade vinyl tile that looks like ceramic- it can even be grouted. Size is about 16"x16". I use this product much more than ceramic anymore- its is great looking stuff with many of the benefits that you do not get from ceramic: this product is easier on the feet, warmer, less forgiving should something drop, the install is about 1/3 that of traditional ceramic installations. the product itself is fairly pricey ($6.00 sq ft & up) but the labour rate is cut greatly.

-In this install the grout lines in the existing ceramic should be skimmed with a mortar based leveller. Congoleum supplies a heavy vinyl paper that can be laid first- the tiles will be adhered to this with a pressure sensitive adhesive, either tight together for a no-grout install or leave a space. Either way, a fantastic looking floor that will last for years. The grout is fortified (think latex caulking) so it will move with the floor-- no grout haze, no cracked tile, no discoloured grout. Extremely easy to keep clean also.

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Date/Time3/31/2011 at 6:40:42 PM

Hi,Stewart here of Sct floorcoverings.Option 1 Can be done -in my experience here are the contingencys- Floor grades(How high the floor will be once new tile are laid over the old) Old tile must be Scarified, Use polymer modified tile set. All old tile are well bonded,remove any loose or cracked tile( If their are a lot of cracks in the existing tile this would be an indication of poor bonding or inadequate subflooring)

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Date/Time4/25/2011 at 12:59:00 PM

I say option 1 is definately a NO...the existing ceramic tile floor is HEAVY! Adding another layer of tiles to your existing floor joists or supporting beams is dangerous. Your home wasn't engineered to carry this much weight, you will have issues with structure down the road...option 1 is foolish, remove the existing tiles.

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Sergei in Edmonton
Date/Time5/19/2012 at 11:39:40 AM

It is absolutely OK to lay tile over tile.

I have done my shower wall 2 years ago. It is exposed to at least 2 showers each day and no problems what so ever. Moreover, new tiles provide an additional bonding with each other for the ones under them and because there 2 layers of tiles it decrease chances of water getting through to practically 0. In dry environment it is even less concern.

At first, I've tried to use an angle grinder, or a drill with a sanding pad. It creates a good grip. However it is taking too long and too much noise, and dust.

If you don't have angle grinder it is no problem. Get a Sanding mesh from Homedepot (they are sold for drywall, but I use it for anything from wood to concrete) and pick a very course one. Don't use the sanding pad because. What you want to do is get some gloves, fold the mesh few times and start scratching the old tiles while applying some force. It creates an even bonding surface for the entire surface of tile. You don't have to go "deep". Occasionally, remove the glove and feel with your fingers. The surface should not be very smooth anymore. Then just get a regular thinset from HD and lay tiles as usual. No additional chemicals needed.

I had to remove few "top" tiles after 1 year to replace them with nice river rock tiles. The removal it very easy. But like I mentioned before, for 2 years, in wet environment, they hold really well.

Good luck!

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