Ceramic tile is a tough flooring surface that is as hard to remove as it is to damage after it is in place. It is set into a bed of thin set that hardens like concrete, and the tile itself shatters like glass during removal. Taking out ceramic tile is a dirty process that sends broken chips and concrete dust flying throughout the house. It is also expensive and very labour-intensive. For these reasons, many homeowners decide to go right over the top of it with new flooring. Not every type of flooring matches ceramic tiles, so in this article, we will look at the floorings which work well with these particular tiles. Lets discuss what type of flooring can you put over ceramic tile.
What type of flooring can you put over ceramic tile?
Ceramic Tile is durable and as tough to damage as it is to remove. Since the material sets in and dries like concrete, its removal process also breaks the brittle material. It is not only messy but also expensive. Whether you choose to have different flooring because of comfort or aesthetic reasons, the better solution is to install flooring right over your ceramic tiles.
With a wide variety of materials, you can easily renew the look of the pre-existing flooring of your interior spaces or opt for materials which do not require the removal of the existing floor tiles.
Can You Install Tile Over Tile?
It is possible to install new ceramic tile over the first layer. However, this is a very labour-intensive process that requires sanding down the previous tile and ensuring that the tile is underneath the level. Moreover, most homeowners want to install flooring over ceramic tile for comfort, and opting for another layer of tile defeats the purpose. However, if you are looking to replace the tile only for a visual change, using ceramic tile can make sense.
Here we have listed all of the options you can install over Ceramic Tiles:
1, Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring goes very well over ceramic tiles. It is a thin, solid flooring system that doesn’t require adhesive, and comes with a padded underlayment that helps smooth out any contour from the ceramic. Laminate is a cheap, fast flooring solution that easily goes right over ceramic tiles.
2, Wood Flooring
Solid wood flooring would require a thick plywood subfloor before installation. This underlayment height, coupled with the 3/4 inch thickness of the flooring itself, would make the new floor too thick. Engineered wood flooring, on the other hand, can be glued directly to the existing ceramic. Most engineered flooring is prefinished, and this permits a very clean installation process.
Wood flooring is not ideal in rooms with high moisture content. Moisture can warp or destroy the edges of the plank. With that in mind, you need to fill the grout lines of your ceramic tile to prevent moisture from pooling underneath the cracks.
The common installation method for wood flooring is nailing or stapling planks to your subfloor. If you do this, it can break or damage your ceramic tiles. Instead of solid wood, engineered wood flooring is the best option.
3, Luxury Vinyl Tile
The beautiful thing about LVT is that it is great for areas prone to water exposure because the product is waterproof (unlike traditional hardwood). I also found the product to be super low-maintenance given the absence of grout and the inevitable dingy grout line issue that presents with traditional tile.
Installation of this product is relatively beginner friendly and it doesn’t take much time.
Not all luxury vinyl tile is suitable for installation over existing tiles, so you need to be sure that it is explicitly stated in the manufacturer’s instructions as “suitable for installation over existing tile subfloor”.
4, Ceramic Tiles
Yes, you can put new ceramic tiles over previous ones. Just make sure the old tiles are evenly placed and have no cracks. Before installing the second layer, sand the old tiles to allow the new tiles to stick and set properly. In some cases, you might do some patch levelling so the new tiles can sit evenly.
Another thing to check out before installing new tiles — check out for mildew and deep discolouration. Any sign means an absorption issue that can worsen when you put over new tiles.
It is better to remove the tiles altogether and replace them with new ones.
5, Laminated Wooden Flooring
Laminated wooden flooring resembles the look of natural wood and is manufactured by fusing multiple layers of synthetic materials and a top layer of laminate finish. This flooring is light in weight, easy to maintain, available in a variety of colours and is a great way to add an element of warmth to the interiors of the home. One drawback of using laminated wooden flooring is that it tends to disintegrate in the presence of excess moisture and the top layer may fade or wear off over a period of time.
6, Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl flooring is a stylish and durable flooring solution that is easy to install. Some vinyl installation types include peel-and-stick, self-adhesive, and interlocking vinyl floor tiles.
If the top of your old floor is clean and even, you can just lay it down directly over the ceramic tile.
Vinyl floor tiles are low maintenance, too. You can find water-resistant vinyl tiles that come in realistic hardwood and granite designs. Vinyl flooring, however, tends to fade when exposed to sunlight for a long time. So it’s not recommended for outdoors or in rooms that get a lot of sunlight.
Carpet is the easiest and low-cost solution if you want new flooring over your ceramic tile. Before installation, check for any broken tiles or a hollow sound when tapping the tiles. That’s an indication that the tiles are coming off. You need to re-attach or replace those broken tiles first.
One of the challenges of laying a carpet over ceramic tiles is you can still feel the cold, hard surface. So choose a thicker carpet as much as possible — the thicker, the softer it is.
Experts recommend using 10mm-thick (or more) carpet flooring. Aside from keeping out the cold, it will also even out any uneven surfaces below. Carpet is what type of flooring can you put over ceramic tile.
8, Epoxy Coating
Applying epoxy coating on ceramic tiles sounds impossible. But yes you can use it as another low-cost and easy-to-install option. Epoxy resin coating is heat-resistant, and moisture-resistant and can be used to enhance the look of concrete flooring indoors as well as outdoors. A recent innovation is 3D epoxy flooring which creates specialised three-dimensional flooring effects and optical illusions with realistic images.
Just remember epoxy coating bonds well on rough surfaces. So if you have glazed ceramic tiles, it needs grinding to roughen the surface.
Also, you need to check the grout lines are clean and free from oil contamination. If left alone, they can become a headache during and after installation.
9, Cork Flooring
Cork flooring can also be used over ceramic tiles. It’s a good choice for areas where water is likely to be spilt most often, like the kitchen or bathroom. Cork is naturally water-resistant. It absorbs water more than a sponge without the sogginess. That’s the reason why it’s used as a stopper on wine bottles. Compared to laminate flooring, cork flooring is gentler on the feet and can withstand the usual wear and tear longer.
However, it is limited to bathroom or kitchen areas only because cork becomes brittle or weak when exposed to extreme weather conditions.
So what’s the best flooring material for ceramic flooring?
The answer depends on your needs and budget as well as the area you want the new flooring installed. Now you know what type of flooring can you put over ceramic tile.
1, Can you put flooring on top of ceramic tile?
Yes, you can lay engineered wood or laminate flooring over the tile if the tile is in decent shape. Loose, cracked tiles will cause your installation to fail. Also, you will gain floor height, which can cause issues with doors and appliances.
2, Can you put flooring straight over tiles?
Since a lot of homes are tiled throughout, many renovators are faced with wondering whether laying hardwood over tiled floors is an option. The short answer is yes it is! You can actually lay new timber flooring straight over your tiles.
3, Can I Put Laminate Over Tile?
You can install laminate flooring over a ceramic tile floor providing the tile is in good condition, well attached, and level. The exact process is identical to installing a laminate floor on a concrete slab.
4, Can you paint the tile floor?
The answer is yes! If you’re looking to freshen up your bathroom or kitchen tiles, but need more time or budget for a full re-tiling, then painting your floor tiles may be a great option. Offering full design flexibility, you can choose any paint colour, pattern and finish you like.