Can New Flooring Go Over Existing Tiles?

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Flooring is frequently a top priority when it comes to home upgrades. However, if there are already some older tiles it might be difficult to decide whether to demo them or install new flooring on top. So, can you install new flooring over existing tiles?

While some homeowners would choose to remove all of the tiles in order to start from the subfloor, others might consider installing new flooring directly over the old tiles. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through each step of this decision-making process and answer your questions about whether you can install different kinds of flooring, like luxury vinyl, laminate, engineered wood, carpet, and even ceramic, over tiles that are already in place. 

It’s important to keep in mind that this giude aims to provide general recommendations and professional evaluation may be necessary sine each approach varies.

Luxury Vinyl Flooring (LVT/LVP/SPC):

One practical and popular option is luxury vinyl flooring, which is well-known for versatility and durability. This click-in installation flooring product is ideal for a variety of subfloor surfaces, including tiles that are already in place, because it makes installation quick and simple. 

As long as ceramic tiles are securely attached to the subfloor and are Not cracked or shifting, luxury vinyl flooring can be laid over them easily. The term “floating floor” describes an installation technique in which the floor tiles or planks are laid over the subfloor rather than attached to it with glue or nails. While Vinyl Flooring works great over existing tiles, it is important to make ensure a perfectly leveled surface before the installation.

Peel-and-Stick Vinyl Tiles should to be avoided since their incorrect attachment to the ceramic surface could lead to disapointing results and loss of time and money. 

Glenview waterproof vinyl in the basement

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring can be installed over existing tiles and offers many advantages, much like luxury vinyl. The floating floor installation method allows laminate planks to lock together without the need for adhesive or nails, making it a good choice for covering ceramic tiles. However, it is essential to evaluate the state of the current tiles to make sure they are stable, level, and free of cracks. 

Laminate flooring offers a cost-effective and visually appealing alternative to wood and newer products are extra watre-resistant, making them a great choice for any type of area including kitchens and basements. 

When choosing a laminate floor keep in mind the height difference that it will add on top of existing tiles since most laminate products have a thickness between 7mm – 14mm. That’s as much as a 1/2 inch. 

Engineered Wood Floating Flooring

Engineered wood flooring combines the classic beauty of hardwood with enhanced durability and stability. If the current tiles are secure, it is possible to use the click-in installation method over them. 

In order to ensure enough support and stability, engineered wood flooring should be laid over a level subfloor along with the correct underlayment. 

Even though engineered wood has the warmth and beauty of hardwood, it may not be appropriate for places with high humidity due to its sensitivity to water damage.

Additionally, any floor engineered wood product that is required from the manufacturer to be nailed will not be a good option when installing over existing ceramic tiles.

engineered wood flooring hickory


carpet installation chicago

Another practical choice for new flooring over existing tiles is carpeting which provides warmth & comfortIt might not be the first option to think of but it can sure serve its purpose. 

Imagine upgrading a basement area with old and cold tiles. Installing a carpet floor would be an efficient and economical option without the costs of demo. Using tack or adhesive strips, carpet can be put directly over existing tiles

It is required to verify that the current tiles are firmly fixed to the subfloor and devoid of any cracks or shifting. For spaces where comfort is a top priority, such as living rooms and bedrooms, and basements, carpeting offers coziness and comfort.

Ceramic & Porcelain Tiles

While it may seem counterintuitive, and certainly less common, ceramic & porcelain tiles can also be laid on top of pre-existing tiles. In order to create a fresh surface for the new ceramic tiles, this technique, also called tile-over-tile installation, involves placing a thin-set mortar directly over the previous tiles. Without requiring significant demolition, this approach may be an affordable way to update deteriorated or no longer relevant ceramic tile flooring. 

For the installation to be successful, it is required that the current tiles are securely attached to the subfloor and are free of any cracks or movement.

When considering this option, please account for the height difference. As a general rule 3/4″ is considered the maximum allowable height difference between two floors, and even that could result in some issues. 

Install New Flooring Over Existing Tiles?​

New Flooring Over Existing Tiles Conclusion

In conclusion, the possibility to install new flooring over existing tiles depends on a number of factors, such as the type and condition of the old flooring, the flooring material selected, and the specifics of the project. If the right installation techniques and considerations are used, luxurious vinyl, laminate, engineered wood, carpet, and even ceramic tiles represent reasonable options for covering existing tiles. By understanding the nuances of each flooring option and considering individual circumstances, homeowners can make informed decisions and achieve successful flooring updates without the need for extensive tile removal.

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