Tile over existing tile or remove? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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03-04-2006, 12:01 PM
Hello All,

I'm retiling a bathroom floor. It currently has those small 1" tiles. I was advised to remove these down to the Wonder Board and then put the new tile in. I broke a small test section out and never found any Wonder Board, just what looks like mortar. It is an older house, so probable there isn't WB.

Please give me some suggestions. Should I take it out and use the leveling compound?
Would it be easier to tile over the existing tile?

This is my first tile job and I thought a small bath would be easy!

Thanks for any advice,

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03-04-2006, 12:09 PM
What is the condition of the existing floor? Cracks? Loose tiles?

Can you deal with the transition to a higher floor if you tile over the existing floor?

03-04-2006, 12:14 PM
The current tile is solid. I didn't want a transition, but can live with it. 1/2"?

Would I have to etch the old tile?
Thanks, Carl

Nathan Dandridge
03-04-2006, 12:58 PM
Based on the information it's sounds like to me that you can tile right over what is currently there.

The only other thing is if it's a glazed tile you will have to sand the gloss off the tile first so the thinset will adhere to the tile and not the gloss.

Other than that tile away, my friend. :tup1:

03-04-2006, 01:02 PM
You'll also need to clean the existing tiles well with something like TSP.

Use a highly modified thinset, like Custom's Flexbond, Mapei's Kerabond with Keralastic or Laticrete 317 with 333.

03-04-2006, 04:57 PM
It sounds like Tiling over the existing is a real possibility.

But, if I were to take up the tile, the tile gentleman at HD said I would have to dig up the mortar base, put down plywood and then Wonder Board! He has a concern about cracking the mortar base which would cause the new tile to crack.

This seems like something I don’t want to tackle. Is it possible to take up the tile and smooth the mortar base the best I can and then use leveling compound?

Thanks for your help.

Sinking quickly,

03-04-2006, 05:15 PM
Much depends on exactly how the old tiles were set, and the strength of the old mud bed. The only way to know for sure would be to try to remove some and see if you can leave a basically flat surface.

03-04-2006, 05:23 PM
Okay, so if can leave a relatively flat surface, and the bed has no visible cracks, it's worth a shot?

Your help is very much appreciated!