tiling over tile? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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02-22-2010, 12:41 PM
hi experts, this is my second tiling project - the first, a bathroom floor upstairs was a huge success thanks to your advice...

I am about ready to re-do my tile entry way. It currently has old ceramic tile (24 years ago) on a concrete slab foundation.

Some one suggested I could simply tile over the old tile...is this adviseable?

I went to a rental center this weekend, and they have a 30# electric hammer for rent, which they say will effectively pop up the old tiles, but I wonder how easily they will come up. Removing the old tile upstairs for by bathroom project was the biggest part of the job - (but they had to come up)...

I want to do the job right, and am leaning towards complete removal and resurfacing...but want an idea on how hard getting these old tiles up will be, and if the big electric hammer at the rental center is the way to go.


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02-22-2010, 01:06 PM
The big electric hammer is the way to go.

02-22-2010, 01:18 PM
What type of tile? Mosaics? what floorcovering does it but up to?

It is possible to tile over tile by roughing up the surface of existing tile with a grinder and using full flex thinset, but the height of the transition is something to be concerned with as well.

Busting up the old is better though.

Dave Taylor
02-22-2010, 01:25 PM
Craig writes: Some one suggested I could simply tile over the old tile...is this adviseable?


While tiling over old tile may be done by cleaning and roughing up the base tile, then using a quality modified thinset to set the new tile over it...... your next statement (to me) rules this method out.... as well I believe it should

I want to do the job right, and am leaning towards complete removal and resurfacing

I don't know what kind of electric hammer your thinking of renting but..... tile removal from a cement slab on grade is do-able...... and it is what I would recommend you try.

How hard will it be with an electric hammer? I don't know. :shrug:

Use a sturdy long handled shovel and work a tile or two up..... then try using that shovel like a long handled scraper to scrape and lift some adjacent tiles..... you will get an idea of the effort it will take to remove all tile from the area you're working in.

My guess, however, is the hardest part will be bagging and disposing of alla' junk that comes off the floor.

EDIT: Jason and BobC are quick.

What they say goes for me too.

02-22-2010, 02:29 PM
the original tile is Dahl (?) tile (I think 8" square), and it runs to the wooden base molding along the walls and it steps down to the dining room and living room which is carpeted. Unfortuantely, there are 2 small closets which also are tiled off the entry.

looks like I will hammer it up with the rental tool, and am expecting a big mess.

all good comments and suggestions...I appreciate it.


John Bridge
02-22-2010, 02:38 PM
Hi Craig, :)

I differ. :)

You can cover it with new tile if you can make the transitions to the adjacent floors look good. You say the entry "steps down," so transition shouldn't be a problem. You might have to raise your door threshold, though. You want enough space under the door when it's open for a rug or door mat. :)

Tap around on the existing tiles to make sure they are solidly bonded.

02-22-2010, 02:58 PM
I had a small bathroom that was tiled with 1" tiles on the floor. I roughed up the tile with carbide grit sandpaper and a palm sander and laid 12" tile over it. It worked fine and has been holding up for a few years now. Granted it's a very small bathroom that doesn't get a lot of traffic.

I had to buy a pretty large threshold for the step up, and one of those extra large wax rings to make the toilet fit, but other than that, it was fine.

For larger rooms, different kinds of tiles, etc... I can't speak to it, might be better to get rid of the old tile.

Houston Remodeler
02-22-2010, 05:14 PM
I have successfully tiled over tile many times. There are a few requirements:

The existing base has to be in excellent condition
The doors need to open and other height issues.
A quality thinset made for this purpose listed on the bag.

Be careful when using a 30# hammer, you don't want to gash the top of the old slab and make more work for yourself having to flatten that back out.