Should You Install Vinyl Floor Over Tile?

When it is time to redo your floors, it can be difficult to decide how to go about it. Do you want to take up your old floor or lay down the flooring on top of it? Do you want tile floors? Hardwood? Or perhaps vinyl? 

vinyl floor over tile

Vinyl floor is a great option because it is one of the cheapest flooring options available. It comes in many different types and can mimic almost any other natural flooring that you can imagine. So don’t let anyone downplay it. 

Today, our focus is going to be on how to lay vinyl floor over tile. The process is quite simple and you don’t need a lot of experience to learn how to do it. Let’s go over the steps, but first, let’s find out what vinyl floor is. 

What Is Vinyl Floor?

Vinyl flooring is a type of flooring that is made out of a plastic known as vinyl, which has man purposes. It is similar to linoleum but linoleum is made with natural materials while vinyl is made with man-made materials. 

But when it comes to vinyl flooring, there are multiple different types. Though the materials are the same, the method for installing the vinyl floor is different. Here are the primary types of vinyl flooring. 

Vinyl Plank

Vinyl planks are boards that usually have a tongue-in-groove installation. They are installed like laminate, with one board attaching to the next board and securing together. There isn’t usually an adhesive with this type.

Vinyl Tile

Vinyl tiles usually peel and stick but there are other installation methods too. The tiles look like standard tiles and they use an adhesive to stick to the floor so that they don’t peel up. Many of them even have fake grout lines. 

Rolled Vinyl

Rolled vinyl doesn’t usually use the same installation methods as others. It usually is simply rolled down and can be stapled, glued, or left alone. It installs very similarly to underlayment or carpet because it is rolled.

Should I Remove Old Tile?

Now here we have a really good question. If you already have tile floors, should you remove them or leave them when it is time to lay vinyl? Both are viable options and both have their own benefits.

In general, it is easier to leave the tile floor and lay over it. But if the tile is damaged beyond repair or if the floor is very uneven, then removing it may be necessary. It all depends on your tile and how much work you’re willing to go through. 

How To Remove Tile Floors

How To Remove Tile FloorsView in gallery

If you decide to remove your old tile, which is a big step, you need to know how to do so properly. Removing tiles is neither fun nor quick but you can get it done in one day if you put the work into it. 

You can also hire someone to remove the tile for you but the price for something like this can be steep. It depends on your region and how difficult the job is. Try to get a quote before you have someone begin.

Step 1: Prepare

Prepare by gathering the right equipment and tools. Sweeping up real quick can also help you start the process. But most important, wear a mask and goggles if you have them. Ceramic tile especially can be dangerous. 

There could also be asbestos under the tile. Most people don’t think about asbestos under tile but it can happen. So if you are removing your tile keep this in mind and dispose of materials as soon as possible. 

Step 2: Remove Grout

You can use a ball peen or masonry hammer and chisel to begin removing grout. You can also use a grout saw. Whatever method you use, you should go at the grout line carefully. You just want to remove the grout at this point.

Don’t panic if you break the tile. The only reason you are preserving it at this point is so that it is easier to peel up afterward. It is easier to remove full tiles as opposed to broken tiles that stick to the floor. 

Step 3: Clean Up 

After you remove the grout, sweep and vacuum up all that you can. Because getting everything out of the way will make it easier for the tile to come up. It is also less stressful to clean up as you go when you are cleaning. 

Step 4: Peel Up Tile

Using a power tool or a hammer and flat bar, start removing the tile. This party will take away the majority of the mess. Without a power tool, you can try to lodge the flat bar beneath the tile and gently hammer. 

If you are lucky, it will call come up in one piece. If not, it may take you a while to remove the tile. But this isn’t the worst part of remove tile. The tile will come up eventually and usually without too much trouble. 

Step 5: Remove Mortar

Now, this is the worst part of removing tile. Mortar can be very stubborn and can take days to remove. If it doesn’t all come up immediately, then that’s not a good sign. But here is the basic method to try.

Using a hammer and a chisel, tap away at the mortar. It is a slow process, but you can usually peel it up in the usual way. After you get down to the thin mortar at the bottom, you may need to sand it away. 

Step 6: Clean Up

The last step simply involves cleaning up. Sweep the area well and then mop. after you get everything clean, you can make any repairs that need to be done to the subfloor and then lay your new flooring over it. 

If what you want to do is leave the tile and install vinyl over it, then don’t be afraid. This is usually the safest option anyway and takes a fraction of the time. So if your tile is in good enough condition, go for it!

How To Install Vinyl Floor Over Tile

How To Install Vinyl Floor Over TileView in gallery

Now if you decide to leave your tile then you just need to know how to install vinyl floors over the tile. This is just like installing vinyl floors over any subfloor. There are simply a few extra steps along the way. 

If you decide to remove the tile instead, then you can still follow most of these steps with very few changes. This will let you know the easiest way to install plank, and sometimes tile, vinyl floor over a subfloor. 

Step 1: Check For Damaged Tile

Before you get started, you need to check for damaged tile. If there are any damaged pieces, they need to be repaired or removed. Otherwise, the floor will be uneven and can even break. It also won’t be waterproof. 

Step 2: Remove Baseboards 

It’s a good idea to remove the baseboards before you start laying any floor. If you don’t then there may be a gap. You also won’t be able to change the floor out again and the baseboards will look shorter than they are supposed to look. 

Step 3: Apply Patch To Grout Lines

Even if the tiles look pretty smooth and flat, you probably want to apply a patch to the grout lines. This will keep the tile even and give a flatter surface to work with. Fill every line with the mud that is made for this purpose. 

Step 4: Clean

Clean up after the mortar dries. Sweep everything really good because it is important that the floor is very clean. If the floor isn’t clean then the new floor may be wobbly and a dirty subfloor can damage the planks.

Step 5: Start Laying Planks

After the floor is clean, you can start laying planks. Start with one plank in the corner. It can be a good idea to lay your pattern out before you really get going so you will know if you have the right amount of boards. 

Step 6: Cut Planks

Even if your floor can fit planks without them being cut, you want to cut the planks to give a natural alternating pattern. So cut the first board in half on the second row and work from there. Do some quarter or third boards as well.

Step 7: Finish Floor

There are two ways you can finish your floor. You can do one full row and continue doing full rows or you can do a stairstep pattern. For peel and stick, stairstep is better but for tongue and groove, one row at a time is better.

Is Installing Laminate Over Tile Different?

Is Installing Laminate Over Tile DifferentView in gallery

If the vinyl that you install is installed in planks, then installing laminate is very similar. Especially if the vinyl is a tongue and groove instead of peel and stick plank vinyl. So in short, it can be exactly the same.

Laminate is thicker, but the installation process for any tongue and groove system is the same. So if you’ve done one then you’ve done them all! Hopefully, this gives you more confidence to install your vinyl over tile.