Installing Vinyl Tile Over Old Linoleum Tile

For many do it yourselfers it seems easier to lay new vinyl tile down over the existing linoleum tile. This is a guide about installing vinyl tile over old linoleum tile.
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January 16, 2008 Flag
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I want to lay down self stick tiles on top of linoleum in the bathroom. Can it be done successfully?

Grandma D. from Colorado

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January 16, 20080 found this helpful

For various reasons, I put some self-stick tile over part of my lineoleum in the kitchen it did work - but with self-stick stiles you always have trouble with the seams - it might be better to get one big piece from the hardware store...I know Home Depot sells pieces big enough for bathrooms and small kitchens...

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January 16, 20080 found this helpful

I wouldn't do it. You will never be happy with the results. As pamphilia says, you can get a single sheet of linolium for probably less than you could pay for those sticky squares. You might need help installing a single sheet, but at least it will look right for many years to come.

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January 17, 20080 found this helpful

It may sound unconventional but try lightly sanding the linoleum to roughen it up, it will most likely help the tiles stick better, and start in the middle of your room and work your way outward. If you start at one end, when you get to the other you will have odd shaped tiles at one end and it will make your room look off. Starting at the middle will allow you to make the edges look how they should, with the smallest pieces all around the edge of the room, (which means you can probably use two pieces to do an edge and save money!). Also, be careful using tiles that have a pattern on them, if you do, make sure they all go the same way because even if it has a subtle pattern one facing the opposite way, it will stick out. Good Luck and let us know how it goes!!

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January 17, 20080 found this helpful

I did that. It worked out very very nicely! One tip, after struggling with a utility knife for most of the floor, i found i could just cut the tiles to fit the edges and around the pedistal sink and toilet with scizzors! I did put one tile over a crevise in the floor below the linoleum, and that tile cracked. It was very difficult to get that tile up to replace it! Those tiles REALLY stick!

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January 17, 20080 found this helpful

Thank you all for your input :)!

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January 17, 20081 found this helpful

Yes , it can be done. Just be sure and take some tough sand paper and rough your old linoleum floor. Also BE SURE and use some glue under each tile. Even though it says PRE_PASTED or SELF_STICK. My husband and I made the mistake to just pull the back off and stick ours down. Had to take piece by piece up and apply glue under it. Has stuck ever since. We used linoleum glue and just applied it with a knife, as we laid each self sticking tile. It doesn't take but a VERY thin layer of glue.

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January 17, 20080 found this helpful

I have laid the self stick tiles over linoleum before and had really good luck and it's much easier to do than laying one sheet unless you are a pro I'd think.

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January 18, 20080 found this helpful

more than likely it wont. the vinyl underneath probably doesn't have a smooth texture. my husband lays floors for a living and he has to level the area out with floor patching (like a cement that you put on with a trial) that evens the area. If you don't do this, then every single ripple or dent will show through. It may look pretty rough. The best thing to do would be to take the underlying floor completly up. To get waht you can't get up by hand, you can get a tool at the harware store(H. Depot or lowes) that looks like a big razor blade on a long stick, like a rake or a broom.

In my husbands experience, the self stick vinyl has not been successful. I would check into other options before I started. If money is the problem, then you can look around at flooring stores that sell remnants off of bigger jobs that were unused and are the perfect size for bathrooms or small closets

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January 19, 20080 found this helpful

We had linoleum in our kitchen that had a diamond shaped pattern on it. We put down the self stick tiles right over top of it. It looked good for a couple of months, then the pattern from the linoleum started to show through. I would take the linoleum up first if I were you.

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July 7, 2007 Flag

I hate my inlaid linoleum in my bathroom! I would like to replace but would like to avoid ripping up the current stuff. Can I put new peel and stick tiles over it? How about ceramic tiles?

Thanks for your help,
Monica from Northeast, PA

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July 7, 20070 found this helpful

We moved in two years ago and the first thing we did was the flooring which we bought the self stick wood pieces (looks like real wood flooring) and put that on top of the existing linoleum. First you want to make sure the floor is cleaned up really good and then lay them down starting in the middle of the floor and work your way out. I don't see why it wouldn't work unless you needed to replace the subfloor. As far as ceramic tiles on top of linoleum, i don't know much about that, but what i do know about tiles, you should have fresh wood underneath for the grout to stick to, i don't see where it would stick on top of the linoleum, but you never know.

Good luck.

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July 7, 20070 found this helpful

No, you can't install real ceramic tiles over Linoleum or vinyl, They will crack & break, Ceramic Tiles have to be installed over a hard, non-shifting, stable floor... Or, so the experts say.

But, as far as installing new "peel & stick" tiles over your old linoleum (or vinyl) existing floor will depend on many things:

-- first of all is your floor sound & level?

-- Is the linoleum attached solidly to the floor, with no shifting?

-- is there deep a relief pattern on the linoleum?

***Your best bet would be to install a floating floor. Like the "Pergo" types... If you have the right answers to the above questions (Yes, Yes, No) then a floating floor would be your best bet!

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BUT,

If I were you, & I had my heart set on installing peel & stick tiles over the old floor I would first:

-- Wash the floor & let dry

-- Then lightly sand it, to give it some tooth, (This is VERY important!) Or you could use a med-corse steal wool instead.

-- Next, wipe old floor down with either TSP or rubbing alcohol to remove any grease (even grease you can't see, from your hands & body, etc) Just make sure the floor is spotless!

-- Make sure the room is warm, the peal & stick tiles will not adhere in cool or cold weather. If they refuse to stick, take a blow dryer or a heat gun & warm them up a bit. Then press down on the now hot tiles with a soft towel. Don't use very much heat or the peal & stick tiles will warp & stretch.

-- Then finally, Go for it & stick those babies on!

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* Don't make the mistake I made. I tried to install peel & stick vinyl tiles over a slightly shiny surface (semi-gloss paint)... They ended up coming off, I had to add more glue, it was a big hassle... so make sure to sand the old floor first to give them "tooth" & especially to remove any shine.

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July 11, 20070 found this helpful

oh, the detailed description of putting on stick-on tiles! They are not as stable as other linoleum - but I just have extras to replace them! & I would imagine that if the linoleum floor is even, etc, that putting on stick on tiles wouldn't be too hard.

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July 11, 20070 found this helpful

Use a leveling compound, found in the home centers, to even out the floor or lay a thin plywood for substrate, before adhering either tile. The ceramic tiles will adhere if you use an additive, professionals call it "milk," made by Laticrete, to the thinset. You shouldn't have a problem.

LATICRETE 333 Super Flexible Additive

Create highly flexible thin-set mortars with superior bond strength with this incredible liquid additive. Mixes with all LATICRETE pre-bagged thin-set mortars for installation over concrete, brick, block, portland cement backerboard, existing ceramic tile, cement terrazzo, exterior glue plywood*, gypsum wallboard*, vinyl tile*, linoleum*, plastic laminates* and non-soluble cut back adhesives*. Ideal for remodeling projects. ASTM C627 Rated for Extra Heavy Service.

*Interior only

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July 11, 20070 found this helpful

We just laid new linoleum over our old and found a wonderful brand at Lowe's--it's more expensive, but there is no glue involved, just cut to size (carefully) and put it in, it 'adheres itself' to the floor, just put some sticky tape around the edge(Purchased at Lowe's for this purpose) Sorry, can't remember the name, but it's about twice as thick and feels ABSOLUTELYLUXURIOUS to walk on, even barefoot. You can tell which it is when you go and look at the samples. I would recommend this over anything else. Kim

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July 12, 20070 found this helpful

I hated my bathroom floor, also, and, after measuring the widest parts of the bathroom, I purchased a piece of 6' x 8' carpeting (they come in different sizes) at Menard's, made a template of the floor using newspaper taped together, turned the carpet upside down, put the template on the carpet back and cut around the template with an Xacto knife. Voila'! A "custom" carpet for the bathroom that fits nice and snug and feels great under bare feet. Using carpet cleaner now and then keeps it looking great. It's been in my bathroom for almost 13 years.

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July 16, 20070 found this helpful

As long as the linoleum you are covering is still securely glued to the floor, with no gaps or places that have lifted, it is my understanding that you can use it as a subfloor and put another floor over it - such as ceramic or peel and stick tile. You do have to make sure that the floor is thoroughly cleaned and stripped of any old wax, etc. There are some sites on the internet that are helpful. Take into account that since you are adding layers instead of replacing them this could affect transitions into other rooms off of that room.

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January 5, 20090 found this helpful

I would consult with a building inspector or flooring contractor re: ceramic tile. When I had my house inspection for my 100+ year old house, I asked the inspector if I could put a ceramic tile floor in the up stairs bath -- which has a wooden floor that is crumbling. He explained that a tricky process called a float would be needed. I decided that since linoleum is as historically correct as ceramic tile, that I would go with linoleum . . . when I find a job!

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September 25, 2010 Flag
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My home was built in the 40's. In the utility room in the basement the concrete floors were covered with I think linoleum tiles. They appear to have been laid around that time. The red and green square tiles however, do not completely cover the concrete floor so it looks unfinished.

I want to put a new floor down to cover the entire floor (linoleum and concrete) in the utility room and don't want to pull up the old tiles. I'm thinking of updated vinyl tiles. Because of the unevenness of the floor is there a product I can use to pour or lay over the concrete to even it up to the existing tiles?

Thanks.

By Kathleen from Alexandria, VA

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Anonymous Flag
September 25, 20100 found this helpful

You can buy floor leveling compound at a store like Home Depot or Lowe's. Both places are good at giving you advice, they can tell you what type of flooring would be best to use, etc.

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September 26, 20100 found this helpful

If you should have tear up the old tiles be careful because old tiles made in the the time period you describe will have been made from asbestos. Asbestos fibers are something you don't want to breathe in. You can have someone come in and test the tiles for asbestos. If there is asbestos in the tile and you want or have to have them taken out, you will have to call in the experts to remove them.

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September 26, 20100 found this helpful

Kathleen,

There are multiple issues here. First is asbestos. Removal will probably be expensive. It's best to leave it there if possible.

Secondly, it sounds like you have an irregular floor. This can probably be repaired by an experienced floor layer. If a floor layer is hired and he determines that he is able to even the concrete so that he is able to lay over it thus covering the asbestos tile you would most likely find that to be the most cost effective solution. You may still find this project to be more costly than you like.

I would call a reputable floor company a bid should cost you nothing. Request a bid be careful of anyone that will only give you an estimate unless they are a person that you know and trust. ;o)

Rygobus

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September 27, 20100 found this helpful

Thank You for the responses. I didn't even think about asbestos. I will definitely not remove it but try the floor leveling compound first before contacting a pro. I think I've seen it done on a DIY program.

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January 29, 2011 Flag
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Can I tile over a linoleum backspash? If so, how do I do it?

By Chris from Long Island, NY

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January 30, 20110 found this helpful

Hi, I have done several home improvement jobs including tiling just about everything, floors and walls!. It's my experience that you should only put tile on a waterproof backer board. You wouldn't want to tile over the existing tile because it's possible that at some point in time, the linoleum mat loosen up and then your tiles will fall off because the weren't glued to a stable backing to begin with. So you have two options, either remove the old tiles right down to the bare wall, or put up some waterproof backerboard to allow for a stable surface to attach your tiles to. Good luck!

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