FlooringHome Improvement

Putting New Tiles on Top of Old Tiles

I used the wrong type of tiles (wall tiles) to floor my bathroom. Now these tiles, which are porous, have collected scum and algae in the tiny porous holes. They are impossible to bleach (with Clorox) or acid clean. So now I want to replace these tiles. Can I just lay new tiles on top of the old ones without removing the old tiles first? It would save me a lot of time. Thanks.


marangman from Malaysia

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October 28, 20080 found this helpful

Tile needs a strong cement board/green board type backing underneath for support. While I know it will save you time to put tile on tile, don't do it. In the end, it will cost you in repairs and aggravation.

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By rebecca (Guest Post)
October 29, 20080 found this helpful

Hi the problem might be mold --if you cover over it. Maybe if you had a way to insure the floor was completely dry so no mold would grow. It is technically possible. I saw a new product on tv today. It looked like a thin soft plastic / foam. It is laid down first, cut (it looked easy to do). then the new tile is laid on top. I think the softness helps fill in the grout lines of the old tile. It didn't give the name of the product. Good luck!

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October 30, 20080 found this helpful

Since you cannot clean the old tiles of their nasties, you will just be sealing them in and encouraging the same problem on the new tiles. Can't they be removed? What were they attached with? If they were self-stick, you might be able to remove them with heat gun and some elbow grease.

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November 24, 20080 found this helpful

I suggest that you bleach the hell out of the tile (try it on one little area first, who knows what's gonna happen), clean it up, and seal it.

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March 9, 20110 found this helpful

My son manages one of the largest commercial tile companies in the US so I asked him this question and it mirrors pretty much the responses. One thing about tiling over, if you have any subsidence to your property, it will buckle any new layover time and therefore, it is never recommended.


He suggests, taking the tile down completely, getting rid of the mold, then putting your membrane down and retiling, from scratch.

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March 9, 20110 found this helpful

I live in a fairly upscale apartment complex and last month my kitchen was remodeled. I received new cabinetry, marble counter tops and stainless steel sinks. A few days later, the tile was laid on the floor - a beautiful dark gray slate with lighter gray and tan marbling. I was surprised that the new tiles were laid directly on top of the old without any prepping. I even asked the installer if this was the normal procedure not to remove the old tiles first. He told me that there was no need to remove the present tiles, and that the new tiles used were made to be placed directly over the old tiles. The entire floor was done in one morning, including new cove base. The floor looks fantastic. The job turned out to be an easier process than I ever thought. which was tearing up the old floor, applying an adhesive, letting that set and then putting the tiles down.

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