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Question DetailsAsked on 7/25/2013

I want to replace my ceramic tile in my kitchen and hallway with vinyl - can the vinyl flooring be placed over the ceramic tile

My ceramic tiles are cracked and 20 years old - I really do not want to have them pulled up - I hear that is a very messy and expensive task.

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1 Answer


A bit messy, but not really that bad. It makes for a lot of cement particles, but care by the workmen in putting down canvas to prevent tracking on your other floors, giving them outside access at the nearest door, usin visqueen barriers, etc should limit most of the dust to the kitchen/hallway. Keep all other doors closed during removal.

But no - you absolutely cannot put vinyl over tile, unless you want an odd bumpy pattern in your vinyl and zero adhesion of the vinyl to the floor, which will make for creep and bulging and eventual tearing. I think a Youtube video of this would be funny though, as the classic how-not-to-do-it video. The only conceivable way to do this, and I certainly would not do it myself or recommend it, would be to put down floor leveller and then 1/2-3/4" plywood over the tile, then start with new flooring from there. However, that then raises your floor way above surrounding flooring, and would still be likely to develop bulges and raised plywood edges due to the uneven support underneath, and the very nailin of the plywood would break tile and cause humps under the plywood.

A floating floor like laminate, with proper padding, can be put over tile, but that raises the floor an inch plus, so will not match adjacent flooring well.

If you want vinyl, just bite the bullet and tear it out - should only take 1-2 days for the messy part, and you can specify using a negative pressure work area - using visqueen to isolate the kitchen and hall, and using a fanbox to pull the air out of the work area and exhaust it outside, so the dust goes out rather than all over the house. The removal can cost from $1.50-6.00/SF (usually about $2-3), depending on the contractor - some jump right to it with power tools and get it up very quickly, others hate it and charge accordingly.

One thing - unless the tile was installed with backer board under it, linoleum may end up being one of the most expensive flooring options, because if it was tiled over a mud coat (thin reinforced concrete poured over the concrete or plywood subfloor, which the thinset adheres to), the thinset (or entire mudcoat) has to be thoroughly chiseled away, then ground smooth or floated with a levelling course to level the surface before linoleum can be glued down. The surface prep for a floating floor like laminate or engineered flooring is less strict, as it lays on a mat or pad that evens out small surface irregularities. If it was laid over a backer board, may or may not be a major problem as that can be pulled up too, but if it runs in under the cabinets (which is common) then you either have to move them out too (including removing countertops), or use VERY tedious cutoff saw or abrasive wheel cutting to cut the backer board at the cabinet toekick. This can really crank up the removal cost.

If I were you I would talk to a couple of flooring contractors (your bidders short list from Angie's List, say) BEFORE asking for bids - tell them you are goingto be askingthem for flooring bids, but want advice first on what can go over tile, what requires tile removal, and get them to check what you have for substrate under the tile - will make a LOT of difference in the bids, and you want them all bidding on the same realistic scope of work, not some assumptions.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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