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Question DetailsAsked on 4/15/2015

can mosaic tile with mesh backing be put over ceramic tile to update a backsplash. Not looking for forever lasting

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3 Answers


It depends on the layout and how you plan to cover the edges. If you get a thick enough pencil liner for the edges, rough up the existing tile with 36 grit sandpaper, skim the existing tile with thinset (let it dry), then set your tile you should be fine. You'll need longer screws for the plugs too. This is a photo of a backsplash over an existing tile. It can be done. Good luck!

Answered 5 years ago by LegacyFloors


Here is a prior answer I gave to this same question some time back -

The problem with a "not forever" job is you can'tpredict just how longit will last - why not just do it right, then it looks good for possible future resale too.

Personally, I don't buy the sandpaper and thinset method (oroverlaying at all,forthatmatter) - I have worked a number of rehab jobs where that came loose quickly. If you are determined to overlay the existing, I would WELL rough up the surface with a power sander with 30-50 grit sandpaper on it, then apply a parge coat of epoxy mastic binding compound - comes in containers from 1 lb on up so you should not have much wastage. Leaves a rough (you use a notched applicator to apply it) surface that is semi-solid - sort of like the surface polyurethane glue leaves, and gives some real bonding power. Then waterproof mastic or thinset over that to set the tile- you have to be REAL careful about tapping the tile into place because tap ton an edge that is over a grout line in the underlying tile and the new tile will tilt out of plane- you have to use a sheet of plywood or grout spreader as a tapping board to keep the surface planar.

If you get bids on this, note who is bidding what and why - I suspect the true pros will bid a remove and replace job,not an overlay - so your low bidders will be ones willing to do the overlay but not necessarily the ones who take the most pride in their work. from what I see taking your old tile off is about an hour work - just take it off.

On the prior comment on longer screws - NO, NO ! That leaves a gap for water to get into the box or down behind the tile and into the wall at each grout joint the cover intersects - the right way is to either move the box forward to correct setting depth and caulk around it to prevent water infiltration behind the plate, or get a water-rated (NEMA 4) box extender to extend the box so it sits properly relative to the finish tile surface. When putting on the cover plate I put a caulk seal on the top and two sides where the underside of the coverplate will make contact but not squeezeout (leave bottom open as a drain). Before putting the cover plate on I oil the back surface with some WD-40 (avoid getting on front surface because might stain the plate) - that way the cover plate does not stick to the caulk and is removeable in the future. Putting a piece of saran wrap over the caulk before putting the plate on works well too, but you have to remember to block the outlet from use until you remove the saran wrap (after grouting the tile usually).

Answered 5 years ago by LCD


LCD's response in my opinion would be severe overkill in your case. You stated what your goal was, and I have personally never had a callback on my tile jobs including this one. Check the back of the thin-set bag, if it says it can be used over existing tile, then it can be. I have also never heard of spacers in electrical boxes causing problems, it's exactly what electricians do in that case.
Do your research and you'll be fine.

Answered 5 years ago by LegacyFloors

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