Installing Tile over Tile

Ceramic Floor Tiling and How to Tile over Tile

By Mark J. Donovan

Installing tile over tile can be done, however there are a few things you must first consider, and do, prior to actually installing tile over tile.

Though tiling over tile can be done, a homeowner should first consider the aesthetics of doing so. Tiling over Tile will raise the height of the floor by 1/4″ to 1/2″ higher, pending the tile that is used. Existing cabinets, toilets, bathtubs and other existing permanent fixtures may look swallowed up or sunken in, unless these fixtures are not first removed prior to installing the new tile.

In addition, doors and baseboard trim may need to be modified to accommodate the new floor height.

After the aesthetic considerations have been made, the next step is to ensure that the existing tile is solid and level. There can be no loose tiles or grout with the original tile layer. If there is, remove the loose grout and re-attach the original loose tiles with mastic to the sub floor.

Prepping for Installing Tile over Tile

Next, thoroughly wash the existing tile layer to remove any dirt, oil or wax that may have built up. This is critical to ensure that the new tile will bond well to the original tile layer.

After the tile has been thoroughly washed, you will next need to rough up the surface of the original tile with some very coarse sand paper. Employing the use of a belt sander, such as the Porter-Cable 371K 2 1/2 by 14-Inch Compact Belt Sander Kit, could be very helpful with this task. The purpose of sanding the existing tile is to rough up its surface so that the new tile will bond well to the original tile.


Finally, use a bonding product like Flexbond, or a Portland cement mortar to apply the new tile to the original tile. You should, however, check with the tile manufacturer for the appropriate bonding product to use with the new tile you have selected.

For information on installing a shower pan membrane liner for a ceramic tile shower, see the Shower Pan Membrane Liner Installation Ebook from  The Shower Pan Membrane Liner EBook will quickly teach you the step-by-step process for installing the shower pan membrane liner correctly. It includes instructions on framing the shower stall, pouring the pre-slope and shower base mortar, and installing the shower pan membrane liner.

See’s Ceramic Tile Calculator

See my “How to Tile a Custom Ceramic Tile Shower” Ebook to learn how to tile your own shower:  For a detailed set of instructions on tiling a shower floor and walls, including pictures for every step in the process, see my “How to Tile Custom Ceramic Tile Shower Ebook”.

Related Information

Additional Ceramic Tile Resources from


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