< All Topics

Can you tile over tiles or should you remove all of the old ones first?

Can you tile over tiles or should you remove all of the old ones first?



Here are a few key considerations when deciding whether to tile over existing tiles or remove them first:

  • Condition of existing tiles – If the old tiles are in good shape without cracks, damage, or loose areas, it may be possible to tile over them. However, any imperfections in the old tiles will likely show through the new tiles.
  • Flatness of the surface – The existing tiles need to provide a flat, even surface for the new tiles to adhere properly. If there are uneven spots or variations in height, it’s best to remove the old tiles first.
  • Type of existing tiles – Porous, textured tiles often require removal prior to new tiling because they are too rough and uneven. Smoother, less porous tiles may allow tiling over them.
  • Thickness – Adding a new layer of tile on top of old tiles significantly increases the overall floor height. This may cause transition problems at doorways or with appliances/fixtures. Removing old tiles provides a thinner overall tile layer.
  • Weight – The weight of multiple layers of tile may exceed floor load limits, especially on upper levels. Removing old tiles first prevents excessive weight.
  • Labor and cost – Removing old tiles properly takes more time and labor than tiling over them. However, tiling over unsuitable existing tiles may lead to problems that end up costing more down the line.
  • Adhesion issues – New tiles may not adhere properly to old tiles, leading to loosening, cracking, or popping up of the new tiles over time. Proper removal and surface preparation helps prevent adhesion problems.

So in summary, it’s usually best to remove old existing tiles if possible before installing new ones, but tiling over them can work in some cases if the old tiles are flat, smooth, and structurally sound. Checking the specific conditions is important to determine the best approach.CopyRetry

Table of Contents