How to Tile Over Existing Tiles

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Is your old tile dated or worn out? Assuming that the floor is made from solid concrete, you can give your bathroom a quick makeover by laying new tile on the old one. This way, you don’t have to tear out the tiles and pay more. In today’s post, we are giving you a step-by-step guide on how you can tile over your old, dated tiles:

Checking For Cracks

One of the most important parts of laying over new tiles to old ones is to check for cracks. If the tiles or the grout are cracked, tiling over might not be the best idea. To check for cracks, tap lightly across the floor with your fist. If you hear a hollow sound, it indicates subfloor problems or loose tiles. You want to address these issues first before tiling over.

Checking the Height Difference

Before tiling over, consider the height difference the new tile floor will create. Because you are tiling over, the floor height will increase slightly. You want to check how the new tiles will hit the baseboard. Look out for potential problems the height difference makes. Check the doors and flange under the toilet as well. Usually, the doors will give enough room for re-tiling but if the floor is not level, you have to plane the bottom of the door.

Tiling the Floor

If everything goes well, start mixing thin set according to the directions. Spread a skim coat over the old tiles. Make sure to fill the grout joints and leave to dry. After this, you should have a smoother, hard surface to tile. Mark your starting point and work on a straight, even line. The tiles should be straight even if the space itself is out of square.

Now, mix thin-set mortar according to the directions and spread it using a notched trowel between the wall and your line. The size of the notch corresponds to the type and size of the tiles. Using the flat side of the trowel, spread a thin set. This ensures a good bond. Fill the grout joints of the old floor. Comb back through it with the notches to get your setting bed.

Using your line, start placing the tile against it. Work your way towards the wall. Make sure the grout joints are straight and consistent. Gently tap or twist the tiles into the mortar for better bond. If you have to cut the tile to go against the wall, get a tile cutter. Gradually spread your work by tiling a couple of feet at a time. After tiling is complete, allow the whole thing to dry for 24 hours.

Buffing Grout and Finishing Touches

Mix the grout according to the directions and spread the grout float. Force it into all the joints or pull the excess off the edge of the float. Wash off all the grout on the surface of the tile using a damp sponge. This action will also smooth out the joints. Again, leave the whole thing to dry. Wash it for the second time with clean water. Once the grout is completely dry, buff it with a clean dry towel.


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