Install Ceramic Tile Over Vinyl – Especially If It’s an Older Floor
Installing ceramic tile over vinyl will work just fine. truly there are many materials that will make a good base for installation of ceramic tile. That being said, any surface used for a base for ceramic tile must be treated in a certain way or you’re headed for trouble. No matter what you install tile over, you must be careful to get the surface preparation done correctly.
You can install tile over many surfaces including linoleum or vinyl. Tile is often installed over plywood, brick, wall board, already over old tile. Most any surface that’s flat, smooth, clean and substantial can be used as a mounting surface. But these surfaces require different treatment before tile is applied. Maybe the number one concern when applying over any surface, including vinyl, is do you have a substantial surface.
If the surface moves, you must stop the movement with braces or some other method. A bouncing surface will not work. A base that moves will rule to a cracked tile surface. You must have a substantial surface. Many vinyl floors are padded or cushioned. These floors will flex and crack tile applied over them. Now there is a way to install over a cushioned floor.
The way to solve this problem is to cover the floor with either plywood or cement board. Cement board will truly solve many movement problems. Cement board is often used as a backing by professionals, since it’s very stiff and is a great surface for accepting tile adhesive. This is an excellent preparation for installing ceramic tile over vinyl.
Be very careful with sanding vinyl flooring. You see until 1986 many floors contained asbestos which is a health danger when fibers are released into the air. The only way to know that the flooring contains asbestos is to have it tested. The best way to deal with older flooring is to just assume it contains asbestos. Usually the best plan is to just tile over the flooring. If the floor is loose, you can just cover it with plywood or cement board.
Installing ceramic tile over vinyl will work just fine. If you decide to cover the floor with plywood or cement board, installation is then just like any other floor. Especially if you have older flooring, the best plan is to probably just cover it instead of taking it up. Don’t sand older vinyl flooring.