Tiling over existing tiles

Installing Tile over Tiles

Renovating can be expensive and often clients are looking for ways to save money. One option is to remove existing tiles yourself instead of paying the tiler to do this. There is a risk that the substrate (material behind the tile eg, gyprock, render) will be damaged and this could result in extra costs to prepare the surface for tiling. Another option is to tile over the existing tiles.

Many believe tiling over tile is the way to go, however there are many factors to consider before doing this.


Tiling over tile is usually a much easier and cheaper solution than pulling up your original tiles and re-tiling the floor. One advantage of doing this is that it is time saving! You do not have to worry about pulling up the existing tiles and can finish tiling much faster, all without the big mess!

This method is also cost-effective and can save you a lot of money. When tiling over tile you don’t have to worry about the cost of hiring people to remove your tiles, or if doing it yourself, you don’t need to worry about the cost of renting heavy floor stripping machines needed to remove the tiles.


However there can sometimes be a downside to installing tile over tile. This can include the floor height, which becomes an issue as it may make the floor become too high and possibly block doors or cupboards that may be in line with the existing floor. It may also mean a large step up from the outside room into your bathroom, which could be an accident hazard. Measuring will need to be done before considering this method. Removing doors and trimming them to the correct height of the new tiled work can overcome this concern.  Alternatively you can ramp the tile at the bathroom doorjamb so both surfaces finish flush to the ramped tile.

Installing Tile over Tile Pros and Cons

Inspect Existing Tiles Beforehand

Inspection of existing tiles is very important as you want to make sure that the tiles are adhered to the substrate and do not sound hollow (drummy). The best way to check if tiles are drummy is to tap the tile gently with the back of a screw driver. Tap the screw driver over the floored area and listen for any hollow sound. If the tiled area is 95% Drummy free its worth tiling over tile. If the tiled area has Drummy tiles they can be pulled out and replaced before tiling starts. Please note: If your existing floor is uneven, your new floor will be too, unless you have prepared the floor beforehand.

If you are considering tiling over existing tiles, take these pros and cons into consideration before doing so and take a look at the current state of your tiles. If done right, tiling over tiles can be the time saving and cost-effective option!

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