Things to Consider When Tiling Over Existing Tiles
When planning to re-tile a room, decisions have to be made on the best method of doing so. Many believe that “tiling over tile” is the way to go; however, there are factors to consider before applying this technique. To help you decide better, here are the pros and cons of tiling over tile.
Tiling over tile is usually a much easier and cheaper solution than pulling up your original tiles and re-tiling your floor or wall. One advantage of doing this is that it is time-saving. You do not have to allot work-hours to pull up the existing tiles which means the tiling work can be finished much faster – and all without the big mess!
This method is also cost-effective, saving you a lot of money. When tiling over tile, you don’t have to worry about the cost of hiring people to remove your tiles, or if doing it yourself, you don’t need to worry about the cost of renting heavy stripping machines needed to remove the tiles.
Installing tile over tile, however, does have some downsides also. These include the floor height, which can become an issue as it could make the tiled over floor become too high and possibly block doors or cupboards that are in line with the old flooring prior to the re-tiling job. Tiled over floors may also result in a large step up from the outside room into your bathroom, which could be an accident hazard.
Precise measuring will need to be done before applying the tiling over tile method. Removing doors and trimming them to the correct height of the newly tiled floor can overcome this concern. Alternatively, you can ramp the tile at the bathroom doorjamb so both surface finishes flush to the ramped tile.
Inspect The Existing Tiles For Adherence
Inspection of the existing tiles is very important to make sure that they are adhering well to the substrate. Tiles that adhere well do not sound hollow or drummy when tapped. The best way to check the tiles for “drumminess” is to tap each one with the back of a screwdriver and listen for a hollow sound. If the tiled area is 95% free from hollow sounds, it is good for tiling over. If the tiled area has drummy tiles, they have to be pulled out and replaced before the tiling over work starts. (See our blog article on How to Remove Old Floor Tiles).
Please note: If your existing floor is uneven, your new re-tiled floor will be also. Make sure to even out the existing floor before proceeding with the tiling over job.
Adhesives Used For Tiling Over Tiles
Special tile adhesives need to be used when tiling over different tile finishes:
- Matt Finish tiles. The best adhesive to use for this tile finish is Novatex Uni Nova.
- Gloss Finish tiles. This tile finish requires a little more work and needs to be down in 2 stages:
- Novatex Optimus primer needs to be applied by roller to the existing floor, then,
- TW60, a standard rubber based modified adhesive, is applied next to adhere the tiles onto the newly prepared surface.
If you are considering tiling over existing tiles, take these pros and cons into consideration before doing so, and take a look at the current state of your tiles. If done right, tiling over tiles can be the time-saving and cost-effective option!
For proper guidance, consult with your local Tile Wizards store to make sure that you purchase the right products for your project. See our range of tile products.
Tile Wizards stores are located across Australia:
- In QLD – Bokarina, Capalaba, and Springwood
- In SA – Lonsdale, Richmond, and Para Hills West
- In NSW – Coffs Harbour
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