tiling onto plywood

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Tile Installation: How to Tile Over Existing Tile

tiling over plywood

With the techniques we disclose here, it’s possible to seamlessly lay new ceramic tile directly over the existing tile.


You can lay new ceramic tile right over the old, utilising the preparation strategies we reveal here. It avoids the lengthy, messy tear-out procedure.

Tools Needed

  • Angle grinder
  • Belt sander
  • Dust mask
  • Notched trowel
  • Safety glasses
  • Shop vacuum

Products Required

  • 80-grit sanding belts
  • Ceramic tile
  • Thin-set mortar with latex fortifier

Save yourself the arduous task of removing worn or outdated ceramic tile by simply laying new tile directly over the existing one. Pros do it all the time. But this presumes that the floor underneath is strong (concrete) and that there are no fractures in the existing tile (showing hidden issues in the concrete)

Job detailed (4 ).

Action 1

Examine the Surface area

  • Make sure all the tiles are solidly bonded to the flooring by tapping them lightly with a wood mallet or a portion of 2×4.
    • Note: An indication that a tile is loose is the hollow sound.
  • Eliminate and reset any loose tiles with thin-set.

Action 2

Grind Off the High Spots and Clean the Tiles

  • Smooth and Clean the Tiles by Grinding and Sanding
  • Place a 4-foot level atop the existing tile surface and identify any raised areas.
  • Utilise a right-angle mill equipped with a masonry wheel to carefully grind down the high spots.
  • To remove any surface glazes, lightly sand all of the tiles using an 80-grit belt or orbital sander.
  • Remove any loose or mouldy grout with a rotary tool or carbide scraper.
  • Vacuum the tiles and tidy with detergent and water to get rid of dirt, sealants and wax.
  • Rinse the surface area with clear water and let it dry.

Action 3

Spread Adhesive

  • Spread out a flat layer of thinset on the back of large tiles for better adhesion.
  • If you spread an area of thin-set on the flooring rather, use a larger-notch trowel.
  • Whichever technique you utilise, constantly comb the adhesive in one direction (no swirls).

Step 4

Set the Tile

  • Press the tile onto the flooring thin-set and slide it perpendicular to the combed lines.

Watch this video and learn how to tile kitchen wall


Tilers (WikiPedia)

Tiles come in various shapes such as thin, square, and rectangular. They are made from durable materials like ceramic, stone, metal, baked clay, and glass. These versatile coverings are commonly used to cover roofs, floors, walls, edges, and tabletops. Additionally, there are lightweight tile options made from perlite, wood, and mineral wool that are ideal for walls and ceilings. Besides their traditional applications, tiles are also used in construction units and rectangular counters for tile-based games. The word “tile” originated from the French term “tuile,” which stems from the Latin word “tegula” meaning a roof tile made from fired clay.

The versatility of tiles is evident in their applications for both wall and floor coverings, showcasing an array of designs, ranging from simple square tiles to intricate mosaics. Ceramic is a popular material for tiles, with glazing done for internal use and unglazed versions for roofing purposes. Additionally, other materials like glass, cork, concrete, composites, and stone are commonly employed in tile production. Stone options such as marble, onyx, granite, and slate are often chosen for tiling. Thinner tiles are suitable for wall installations, whereas more robust surfaces are needed for floors to withstand impacts and wear.

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