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Tips For Overlaying Tiles

Tips For Overlaying Tiles

Tips For Overlaying Tiles

Overlaying is basically laying a new set of tiles over the existing ones. However, do note a common mistake that homeowners make. If your existing tiles have been around for a while and started warping or popping up, it will create a chain effect that will be easily seen in the new layer. No matter what quality of new tiles are overlaid, they will be at the mercy of the existing ones. In this case, it will be more practical to redo the whole floor instead of layering a new one on top as you will be granted with a brand new flooring that is easier to work with.

Here are some tips for overlaying tiles:

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    If the base is a plasterboard, consider the additional weight of the two layers of tiles. Plasterboard has a maximum weight limit per square centimeter and exceeding this limit may cause structural damage.


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    The current tiles are important as they are going to be the tiling foundation. If your current tiles are well bonded with the base and no cavities between them, you can lay the new tiles on them. Just tap and search for a hollow sound. Cavities are caused by the adhesive lack between the tiles and the sub flooring.


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    This step is very necessary and often overlooked. In fact, it is done not because it will look good but because any grease or dust will make it harder for the tile adhesive to bond. So make sure you clean them thoroughly.


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    Overlaying is a good option to consider as it can be done quickly with minimal mess. However, the new floor will be thicker and will no longer sit on the same level as other flooring materials when they meet, so it is advisable to overlay the flooring of the adjacent spaces as well.


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    Overlay with tiles only for small areas of less than 100sqf, as the new tiles might “pop” up over time if they cover an area that is too large. If the floor area is larger than 100sqf, laminating or vinyl flooring is recommended. Overlaying is not recommended on wet area kitchen or toilet, as it is not efficient in waterproofing. It may cause popping or water to leak into the tiles.


    Consider that an additional layer of tiles will raise the floor to 1 to 3 centimeters. This means that any door frames, kitchen appliances, furniture and bathroom storage units should be fitted accordingly. You can use a door threshold to level or transition between two types of flooring. If you have to tile only half of the room, it is more aesthetically pleasant to remove the old tiles first.

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    Not every type of adhesive is right for tiling over tiles. Since a tile is made to endure humidity and to absorb the least amount of water possible, most adhesives won’t work. Remove the glaze off the existing tiles with a sander or grinder for better adhesion then use a flex-bond thin set by customs. It also acts as a crack isolation membrane also and apply a 1/8 to 1/4 coating over the existing tiles which will make your substrate stronger and a fresh, new and clean surface to set on. Then use a POLYMER MODIFIED THIN-SET MORTAR (the expensive bag) such as versa-bond by customs to set your tile or stone on and you should have no issues.


When the project is just overlaying a new set of tiles over the current one, projects can be as short as a few days. So if you’re working with a tight deadline, then overlaying will seem like the way to go.


Redoing the floor will consist of hacking up the current layer, and resetting the entire foundation. This process is not only time-consuming and dusty, but it can cost at least 50% more when compared to overlaying. But, if your existing tiles do not meet the requirements and have cavities or uneven parts, or are too heavy, then removing them is the better option. Depending on the sub-flooring there are different methods of doing so.

Overlaying requires infinitely less hassle and is a lot quieter. This in turn, leads to a more affordable bill. Since no hacking is required, less materials and manpower are consumed.So far, it looks like overlaying is the winning choice, being more affordable and less time-consuming but wait! There’s more.

Having mentioned the pros and cons, there really is no sure-win option. It all comes down to make a  decision based on the condition of your current home.

One Comment

  1. Christina
    Feb 09, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    Where to find designs of the tiles to overlay? Which are the vendors in Singapore offering them?


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