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Can You Lay New Vinyl Flooring Over A Tiled Floor?

When renovating a space, one common question homeowners face is whether they can install vinyl flooring over old tiled floors. Vinyl flooring is a popular choice due to its versatility, durability, and ease of maintenance. Installing it directly over existing tiles can save time and reduce renovation costs. However, there are important considerations to ensure that the installation looks good and lasts long.

This blog post will delve into these considerations, explore the potential challenges, and provide step-by-step guidance for laying vinyl over tiled flooring effectively.

Start By Assessing The Existing Floor

The first step in deciding whether you can lay vinyl over tile is assessing the current condition of the tiled floor:

1. The Surface Condition

  • Smoothness: Vinyl flooring needs a relatively smooth surface to avoid irregularities showing through the vinyl layer. Raised or broken tiles can cause bumps or dips in the vinyl, which might be visible and felt underfoot.
  • Level: The floor should be level. Significant dips or peaks can lead to uneven wear and potential damage to the new vinyl flooring over time.

2. Adhesion Factors

  • Cleanliness: The tile surface must be clean and free of any debris, waxes, or coatings to ensure the vinyl adheres well (if using glue-down vinyl options).

3. Moisture Issues

  • Dryness: It’s possible for grout or tiles to crack which lets water seep through and damage the subfloor. Check for signs of moisture or mould. These issues must be addressed before covering the area with vinyl to prevent further damage and health hazards.

Preparing The Tiles

Before installing vinyl flooring over tile, preparation is crucial to achieve the best results:

1. Levelling The Surface

Use a self-levelling compound to fill in grout lines and level the surface of the floor. This creates a smooth base for the vinyl and helps prevent the tile pattern from “telegraphing” through to the vinyl surface.

2. Cleaning

Thoroughly clean the tiles to remove any grease, dirt, and sealers that could prevent the vinyl from adhering properly.

Choosing The Right Vinyl Flooring

1. Type of Vinyl

  • Sheet Vinyl: Offers a high level of water resistance and is easier to install over uneven surfaces like tiled floors.
  • Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT) and Planks (LVP): These are thicker and more rigid than sheet vinyl, which can be beneficial when covering uneven tile floors.

2. The Installation Method

  • Floating Vinyl Floors: These are not adhered to the subfloor, making them an excellent option over tile as they can adjust to slight irregularities.
  • Peel-and-Stick Tiles: These require a very smooth surface to ensure proper adhesion and may not be suitable if the tile floor is uneven.
  • Glue-Down Vinyl: This option can be used if the surface is smooth and well-prepared.

Installation Process

  • For sheet vinyl, roll out the material and trim it to fit the room, allowing a little extra at the edges for final adjustments.
  • For LVT and LVP, start from the centre of the room and work your way out, snapping planks or tiles together. You treat the tiles/planks like laminate if you wish and leave room for expansion along the edges, then cover the gap with beading. 

Potential Challenges

  • Telegraphing: This occurs when the pattern of the underlying tiles can be seen on the surface of the vinyl. This is more common with thinner vinyl material.
  • Adhesion Problems: If the old tile is very glossy or uneven, adhesive vinyl might not stick well.
  • Moisture: Trapped moisture can lead to mould or mildew under the vinyl, so it’s crucial to address any moisture issues beforehand.

In Conclusion

Installing vinyl flooring over old tile can be a feasible and cost-effective way to update your home’s look. By properly preparing the surface, choosing the right type of vinyl, and following the correct installation methods, you can achieve a beautiful, durable finish that rejuvenates your space without the need for a complete overhaul. Remember, the key to a successful installation lies in meticulous preparation and selecting the appropriate vinyl for your specific circumstances.

If you’re still on the hunt for new flooring, why not give us a try? Easipay Flooring offers great prices on high quality flooring, including laminate, vinyl and carpets. We also offer free underlay for carpets and laminate, and to make buying your new flooring more manageable we’ll also let you split the cost into instalments over time too, interest free! Tap the button below to get started.

Still Got Questions? Here's 10 FAQs!

Yes, you can install vinyl over most types of tile, but the tile should be in good condition, securely attached, and as level as possible. Make sure to fill in any cracks or uneven areas with a levelling compound before installation.

Not necessarily. If the old tiles are in stable condition without cracks and the surface is even, you can install vinyl directly on top. However, removing tiles can sometimes create a smoother base, especially if the existing tiles are uneven or damaged.

Deep grout lines should be filled with a floor levelling compound to create a flat surface. This prevents the grout lines from “telegraphing” through the vinyl and becoming visible on the surface.

While not always necessary, using an underlayment can help smooth out minor imperfections in the tiled floor and provide additional cushioning and noise reduction. It’s particularly recommended for floating vinyl installations.

Ensure the tile floor is thoroughly cleaned and free from any dust, dirt, or oily residues. For peel-and-stick vinyl tiles, it might be beneficial to apply a primer to the tile surface to improve adhesion.

Installing vinyl over tile will raise the floor level slightly. It’s important to check door clearances and transitions to other rooms. You may need to trim doors or adjust thresholds to accommodate the new floor height.

Vinyl sheet flooring can be cut with a sharp utility knife. Measure the area carefully, and make cuts based on those measurements. For vinyl tiles or planks, a vinyl cutter or a heavy-duty cutter is used to achieve precise cuts.

Any moisture issues should be resolved before installing vinyl flooring. Moisture can cause vinyl to warp or come unglued. If moisture is a concern, consider using a moisture barrier or addressing the underlying cause of the moisture.

If your tiled floor is very uneven, has loose tiles, or shows significant signs of damage or movement, it might not be a good candidate for a vinyl overlay without extensive pre-treatment. These issues can affect the longevity and appearance of your new flooring.

The time it takes to install vinyl flooring over tile depends on the size of the area and the type of vinyl being installed. Generally, a room can be completed in one to two days, assuming the existing floor is in good condition and prepared beforehand.