Ask Your Question

Angie's List Answers is the trusted spot to ask home improvement and health questions and get answers from service companies, health providers and consumers. For ratings and reviews on companies in your area, search Angie's List.

Top 30 Days Experts
Rank Leader Points*
1 kstreett 240
2 Guest_9020487 110
3 Guest_9190926 105
4 GoldenKid 100
5 ahowell 95
6 KnowledgeBase 95
7 skbloom 80
8 Guest_98024861 70
9 Guest_9311297 70
10 Guest_9400529 70

*Updates every 4 hours

Browse Projects By Category

Question DetailsAsked on 2/6/2012

Can we successfully re-tile over existing porcelain floor tile?

We are remodeling our home and plan to install new 20" porcelain tile to replace the existing 12" porcelain floor tile (almost 2000 sq ft). We were told by one contractor that we could save money by tiling over the existing tile (saving the cost of removing the old tile). He said they would treat any areas showing cracked grout before laying the new tile. While this approach would save money, we are concerned that future cracking/settling in the underlying tile could cause more costly problems. The home is about 15 years old, one level slab construction in Florida. We need advice from an independent, authoritative source knowledgable about tile flooring installation.

Do you have the same question? Follow this Question

4 Answers

Voted Best Answer

Agreed. If you have existing cracking in porcelain you need to know the cause first. I don't know of any reputable contractor that would dare install tile over existing tile. Also, any manufacturer warranties for defects would be null due to improper installation. Did the contractor offer this solution or did you ask for it? The mear fact that he is agreeing to or offering it tells me you need to leave this guy for someone who knows what they are talking about before he does only half the job which will have to be redone in the near future, costing you more in the long run.

I get so many calls from customers that were talked into a "cheaper" way to do something only to find the work very sub-par. The sad part is they are out the money they spent in the first place along with the additional amount I have to charge just to undo what the first contractor did before I can do it right. This floor could end up costing you double what it should if it's not done right.

Todd Shell
Todd's Home Services

Answered 8 years ago by Todd's Home Services


My concerns are in part about the quality of the sub floor under the existing tile. If there are issues with the subfloor that go unaddressed you may absolutely see cracking and settling that will require more costly future expenses to remedy down the road.

There is a right way to replace and properly install this flooring and tiling over existing flooring is not it. Be careful not to be penny wise and pound foolish over what shoul be a relatively affordable demolition.

Answered 8 years ago by HMDhome


I would have to aggree with the two Answers prior to mine for the best end results and assentment of the subfloor you will need to remove all the old tile first

But to answer you question yes you can place tile over old tile but you need to prep the old tile first by sanding / grinding the surface to creat a bite in the existing tile for the skim coat overlay to addhear then once trowel out level then you can place your thin set and tile the grout so for this to realy work you have crated two additional steps and the prpper level coat is a not cheap product and need to be mixed right and trowel and finished like new concrete ( so the off set of the removal cost may or may not be less expensive do to the additional step to insure proper bonding )

you risk the unknown of possibel failer to the new tile not really seeing the foundation of this or any project and some time we think of a way to reduce a step in some thing only to creat additional steps in the end that we did not for see

I like to come up with ideas to save my customers money as long as I do not reduce the quality like I said in the begining if it was mine I remove the old tile ( a 6 to 10 pond slege hammer and a scraper works grate or power scraper hook up to an air compresser wroks nice to )

best whises on you project




Answered 8 years ago by Ty @TMW


Absolutely YES,there are methods to re-tile over existing porcelain floor tile properly.That would leave you with final surface having as much integrity as the homes structure,foundation/subfloor allows.Although removal of existing tile,should allow you to expose the cracking grout issue,& hopefully remedy,then instal fresh tile,would be the prefered "right" way.But wether cost issues,labor strain,or just dealing with the mess of demo,are your concern.How you do this is to "scuff" the porcelain alredy down.You dont have to go too crazy,but leave some texture for the new materials to adhere.Also at this time be sure to remove any loose grout chunks & dust by vaccume,+i would even wash & wet vac then allow to dry.Then paint on a latex flooring rated primer.(Custom Building Products & USG inc. both make a GREAT product)Then brush or roll on a generous layer of a waterproofing/flex membrane,like "Hydroban","RedGuard","ProRed",or Latacrete's "9000" are all very sucessful products.Creating a thin medium between the existing tile & new tile,allowing for any movement,or play of the floor&foundation,without any grout breakage,or tile seperation to occur,down to even a molecular level.Now the new tile floor is installed directly atop this flex membrane surface,once it has dried.These brush-on membrane products are tile rated materials,therefor tile adhesive mortars "thinset" bond properly,but can be costly,although could stil be a less expensive option than to remove existing porcelain.Look into it & study these building products specs. to decide if they give you the confidence they give me.good luck.

Answered 8 years ago by EScott


Don't believe it - you will live to regret doing this - and to the tune of $15-20,000 or so, too ! The contractor who said he would do this should go in your reject list.

Ditto to flexible membranes and "floating tile floors" and such - they are an invitation to disaster - any flooring system that noticeably flaxes will cause rapid tile floor failure by grout, if not tile, cracking.

Don't believe everyone who tells you that a product is "rated for tile use" - all that means is the manufacturer says it will work for that, not that it actually will work. And remember, the new bells and whistles products being hyped like that commonly turn out to be the ones where the manufacturer goes bankrupt because it turns out it does NOT work - then where are you, even if their "warranty" would have covered replacement materials and labor to do it the right way, which they commonly do not - they only cover at most replacement with the same junk, which is of no value to you if it does not work. It is like buying a Yugo with a warranty that says they will replace it with another Yugo if you are not happy - junk traded for junk is worth nothing.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD

Related Questions

Terms Of Use
Privacy Policy