How to Lay Brick Over Existing Tile

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Installing a brick floor over tile is a good project for do-it-yourselfers.

Laying brick over existing tile is oftentimes a good option for a do-it-yourselfer or contractor, rather than removing the old tile completely. Only lay brick over tile if the structure and integrity of the tile floor is in reasonably good shape without lifting, missing tiles, severe cracking or any other signs of movement. This method is generally suggested for areas where the original installation became permanent, such as tile mortared to a concrete slab, which becomes one solid piece.


Step 1

Wash the tile floor with a strong de-greasing detergent and rinse well with water.

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Step 2

Put on safety goggles, gloves, knee pads and a dust mask.

Step 3

Rough the tile finish with a belt sander that uses a medium-grit sandpaper. Sand off the shiny surface only, to create a good bonding surface.


Step 4

Sweep and vacuum the dust from the floor.

Step 5

Mix self-leveling floor compound according to the package directions. Self-leveling floor compound, when mixed, yields a fairly thick yet runny consistency.

Step 6

Apply a 1/4-inch even layer of self-leveling floor compound using a trowel. Self-leveling floor compound fills in depressions and runs away from high spots, creating the level flooring surface required for filling in grout lines. Begin in a far corner away from the door to avoid becoming stuck.


Step 7

Allow the compound to dry fully, which usually takes 12 to 24 hours.

Step 8

Mix mortar according to the directions on the bag.

Step 9

Apply a thin coat of mortar, commonly called a skim coat, to the floor.


Step 10

Apply a 1/4-inch-thick layer of mortar over the skim coat.

Step 11

Drag the notched side of a trowel through the mortar to create lines in the floor.

Step 12

Apply 1/4-inch mortar to the back of the brick with a trowel, referred to as "buttering the brick."

Step 13

Set the brick in place. Continue to apply mortar and set bricks.



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