Advice needed: Is it proper to lay new tile on old tile? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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07-23-2010, 11:23 AM

I just bought a new apt. style condo and am having some renovations done. One reno is having a new tile floor put in my kitchen and bathroom. The tile contractor that had been recommended to me has suggested that he can simply lay the new porcelain tiles over the existing ceramic tiles. The current ceramic tiles are fairly new and are in good shape and there are no cracks. I do not have quote yet for this job.

Since he made this suggestion I have been bombarded with advice from friends and colleagues (not experts) who have done reno's that this is a very bad idea, in fact, I have been advised that under no circumstance should I allow this to happen.

The person that sold me the tiles noted that sometimes in condo's tiles are affixed directly to concrete (with no subfloor) and that pulling them up can cause a lot of damage. I am quite certain the former condo owner would have had a subfloor installed as she obtained pre-approval from the condo board and was quite particular. Is there quick way to check if a sub-floor was installed?

So, my question is - should I have the new tile laid on the old tile, or have the job done property and have the contractor rip up the old tile? What are the benefits and drawbacks to each approach? What if the tile WAS affixed right to the concrete?

I would really appreciate some advice here as I am new to home ownership and renos!

Thank you.


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07-23-2010, 12:02 PM
Welcome Louise. And Welcome Clare, too. I guess... :scratch:


It oughta be fairly straightforward to tell if you're on slab or on some wooden structure - just look at the neighboring spaces and construction, and it'll be pretty obvious. Tile can be set direct to concrete slabs without issues, but not in all cases.

Your tile work is ultimately only as good as the stuff under it. If you trust the existing work, and aren't spending terribly much to have the new stuff installed, it might could work.

Unless it doesn't.

Removing it won't be easy - that's why (some) contractors like to leave it and tile over it. Esp. if you don't mind the added height.

Any of that makin sense? :) g'head and rephrase the question if you wanna and we'll try to resculpt the answers :D

07-23-2010, 12:07 PM
if the current tile is well bonded as you state -Yes ,you can set tile over tile.
The Tile Council Of America (TCNA) has the proceedures in the Handbook for Ceramic Tile Installations.(page 72-detail TR712)