How to Replace Carpeting With Tiles

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Things You'll Need

  • Razor knife

  • Pry bar

  • Pliers

  • Hammer

  • Undercut saw

  • Tape measure

  • Pencil

  • Power saw with diamond blade to cut backer board

  • Tile saw

  • Thin set mortar

  • Tiles

  • Notched trowel

  • Grout

  • Grout Float

  • Bucket

  • Sponge

  • Backer board

  • 1 1/2 inch drywall screws

  • Screw gun


The tile and grout can be sealed with a commercial sealer when done to aid in cleaning. The process is slightly different for linoleum tiles. Pre-mixed thin set can be used as well.


Make sure to ask a home improvement professional any questions before beginning the project. Use caution with power tools.

Changing the flooring of a room will make a world of difference in the look of the room. While carpet is a popular easy to care for option in any room of the house, ceramic tile in the kitchen and bath is a common option. However, there are some homes that may have carpet in either of these rooms. The process of removing the carpet and installing the tile is easy, and will traditionally add value to any home when done properly.


Removing the Carpet

Step 1

Cut the carpet where the tile will meet the rest of the carpet. This is normally done in the middle of a doorway or archway. A straightedge may be necessary to get the cut as straight as possible.

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Step 2

Remove any baseboard from on top of the carpet. Use the razor knife to cut the paint loose on top of the baseboard, then pull off with the pry bar. Use care not to damage the wall. Also, if reusing the baseboard, use care not to damage or break the baseboard.


Step 3

Pull the carpet loose from the tack strip along the walls. Large pieces of carpet can be cut into smaller sizes so they are easier to handle. Roll the carpet and throw away.

Step 4

Remove the padding underneath. Most padding is stapled to the sub floor. The padding can just be pulled up if stapled. If the padding is glued down, it will need to be scraped off the sub floor.

Step 5

Remove the tack strip with the pry bar. Then remove all the staples in the floor with the pliers, and hammer down any loose nails. the floor needs to be as smooth as possible to install the tile backer board.


Installing the Tile

Step 1

Cut the door jamb so that the tile and backer board will slide under it. Measure the thickness of the tile and backer board, then add 1/4 inch to the thickness. Measure up from the floor on both sides of the door jamb and mark. Use the undercut saw to make this cut. This will be easier than cutting tile to fit around the door jamb. If the passage way to the room is not a doorway, then this step can be deleted.

Step 2

Measure, cut and install the backer board with screws. Make sure the backer board is within 1/4 inch of all walls. Depending on the style of backer board, a diamond faced blade is probably the best to use to cut the backer board. Use the screws and screw gun to install the backer board.


Step 3

Lay out the pattern for the tiles. Mark the position of three tiles by tracing the outside of the tiles with the pencil. This makes it easier to restart the pattern with the thin set. If the pattern calls for a space between the tiles for grout, spacers can be purchased to help ensure a constant gap is left.

Step 4

Mix the thin set mortar as per manufacturers instructions. Normally this is to the consistency of peanut butter or sometimes thick cake batter. Read the instructions for the thin set.

Step 5

Spread the thin set with the notched trowel and place tile. Repeat until the entire space is covered. Allow to dry for 24 hours. Remove the spacers if they were used. Mix the grout. Install the grout as per manufacturers instructions, and wipe with a sponge until the tiles are clean. Allow to dry to a haze, then wipe with sponge again. Allow to dry for 24 hours.



Michael Rippetoe

Michael Rippetoe has been writing for 15 years, and has recently decided to make it his career. He has been a journeyman carpenter, ASE Master Mechanic, certified irrigation professional and currently writes for this site, designs websites, and does professional photography. Rippetoe's articles appear on eHow, Garden Guides, AnswerBag and others.