Installing Ceramic Tile over Vinyl Applied to a Concrete Slab Floor

Can Ceramic Tile be applied to a Vinyl Floor that is Securely attached to a Concrete Slab Floor

By Mark J. Donovan

Question: I am remodeling my kitchen and am considering installing ceramic tile, porcelain tile, or possibly some kind of natural stone tile, directly over a vinyl floor that is applied to a concrete slab floor. Is this possible and do you have any suggestions? The old vinyl is a non-cushioned type with no asbestos. The vinyl has a slight texture and is securely stuck to the concrete slab floor. It is smooth with no bumps or depressions. There are, however, a few holes in the vinyl.

Answer: In general it is best to install ceramic tile to a clean and solid subfloor material, and therefore you should try to remove the old vinyl flooring if at all possible.

This said, however, I know from personal experience that removing vinyl flooring can be extremely difficult and that under certain conditions ceramic tile can be applied over vinyl flooring.

Warning: You should make sure the vinyl or linoleum flooring does not have any asbestos in it prior to removing it, sanding it, or roughing it up.

A couple of important facts: Tile is very rigid and thus will not flex without breaking. If the vinyl flooring has a great deal of resiliency/flexibility in it, the tiles could crack. Also, if the vinyl is not securely fastened to the concrete floor, then the tiles again could break or lift up.

If the existing vinyl is securely fastened to the concrete slab, and the vinyl itself has limited compressibility, then you will probably be okay to install the ceramic tiles over the vinyl. The original vinyl should be removed if either one of these conditions are not met.

Installing tile over linoleum flooring

Finally, make sure you use the tile manufacturers recommended adhesive or bonding agent for securing the tile to the vinyl surface.

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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