How to Install Tile Over Tile. Yes, you can install tile over tile. Removing old tile can cause damage to the wall and create more work than just installing tile over tile. Depending on where you want to install the tile will determine what you need to do to prepare the surface for re-tiling. These guidelines and a few tips will help your job of installing tile over tile go much easier.
Tile Over Tile Floors
Inspect the tile floor and make sure there are no loose tiles; the existing tile must be in good shape for re-tiling.
Clean the tile thoroughly to remove any wax or build-ups on the tile floor. Scuff or sand the tile to make the surface a little rough; this helps the new tile bond to the old tile. Rinse the floor after it has been sanded to remove any dusty particles.
Apply a floor leveler to the whole surface of the floor. If you have a raised area, begin there and work your way outwards in a circular motion. The floor leveler will fill in previous grout lines and make the floor level for the tile over tile application. Floor leveler is usually latex-based cement.
Use a screed to level the floor; a screed is usually a long and very straight board or level that will move the excess floor leveler to lower levels and will help you level the floor. Allow the floor leveler to cure according to directions, usually 24 hours.
Buy thin-set mortar that has a latex additive in it or replace the amount of water with a latex additive. Latex or epoxy type mortars are best for installing tile over tile. Mix and apply according to manufacturer's directions.
Set the new tile in small enough sections as the thin-set mortar directions call for. After the whole floor has been tiled, install the grout according to instructions. Seal the grout if directions call for it.
Tile Over Tile Walls
Clean the existing tile thoroughly to remove any wax or soap build-ups. Sand the cleaned tiles to rough up the surface for better adhesion. Rinse the sanded tiles to remove excess dust from sanding.
Use a latex or epoxy based thin-set mortar to set tiles into. Apply to the surface of the existing tiles according to manufacturer directions, setting the mortar base at a medium depth.
Install the tile a small section at a time, according to the thin-set directions. Apply grout and sealer according to directions.