Return to the Bathrooms Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
New Tile Over Old?

Posted by emmi331 (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 18, 12 at 17:50

Home Depot is remodeling my bathroom. I thought it would be a complete gut, but I was advised by their contractor that it's actually better not to remove old wall or floor tile, but to tile over it. This makes the wall, in particular, more solid and secure. Evidently an abrasive will be used on my subway tiles before adhesive is applied for the new tiles. Does this seem right - is it common to apply new tile over the old? Many thanks....


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: New Tile Over Old?

emmi331, we retiled our large walk-in shower as a DIY project ten years ago, and we tiled over the existing tile, pretty much for the same reasons that Home Depot gave you. It worked out well for us.

FWIW, we took special care to ensure that there would be no path for moisture to get between the existing tile and the new tile that would provide an environment for a mold garden. That meant using epoxy grout, which had the added benefit of providing an environment that is more resistant than cementious grout is to the growth of mold on the surfaces that are exposed after the tiling was complete. You may have difficulty to convince the Home Depot installers to use epoxy grout, which requires a level of discipline to apply that many tile installers lack entiirely.


 o
RE: New Tile Over Old?

emmi331, we retiled our large walk-in shower as a DIY project ten years ago, and we tiled over the existing tile, pretty much for the same reasons that Home Depot gave you. It worked out well for us.

FWIW, we took special care to ensure that there would be no path for moisture to get between the existing tile and the new tile that would provide an environment for a mold garden. That meant using epoxy grout, which had the added benefit of providing an environment that is more resistant than cementious grout is to the growth of mold on the surfaces that are exposed after the tiling was complete. You may have difficulty to convince the Home Depot installers to use epoxy grout, which requires a level of discipline to apply that many tile installers lack entiirely.


 o
RE: New Tile Over Old?

What home depot contractors describe is not the proper way to tile. It's cutting corners. You will have problems down the road.


 o
RE: New Tile Over Old?

is it the ideal installation? absolutely not. But it can be done.
What I tell my customers all the time is this: The new tile and proper mortar will stick to what you put it on. That does not mean that what you put it on (old tile) will not eventually come off the wall. You have no way of knowing how solid the previous installation was and in what condition the studs are in.


 o
RE: New Tile Over Old?

That seems strange to me. When I've wanted to do it to save time, money or hassle the contractors all have warned me off. The only time I've done it, and that was just recently, was around an older tub. We took the tile off the wall and redid that. But the tile on the tub deck was 20 yrs old and in super shape so we put glue down and river rock over the top of it. Then we glued and screwed plywood to the tub face and put bamboo over it for a new face. Hopefully we won't come to regret it.


 o
RE: New Tile Over Old?

I've done a lot of tile and in the past have always removed the old prior to tiling the new. Particlarly on walls.

That being said, I am currently doing two small bathrooms each about 6'X'6 on the tiled floor. Both currently have tile on a concrete slab. The old tile is solid as a rock and I am going straight over it with the new tile. It will be my first time doing that but there should be no issues since I have a wonderful base for my new tile.

I would be hesitant to let them tile over my wall tile and I would consider letting them go over the floor if your current tile is solid, without cracks and shows no evidence of movement.


 o
RE: New Tile Over Old?

Tile over tile is okay in some circiumstances. The ONLY time I'll advocate it over wall tile is if the wall tile being covered is well set in an old fashioned mud job, with no cracks. Then they're right. You couldn't ask for a stronger wall. Other than that, tear it down and start from scratch. For floors, so long as the floor tile is in good shape (no cracks, no hollow spots), and just needs updating, then it's fine to go over it, SO LONG as it doesn't create height issues with doors, or anything else.


 o
RE: New Tile Over Old?

I agree with Bill. I completely remodelled my master bath without knowing until I started demo work that it was a mud job. This type of wall work is great, long lasting, though only found on old houses. So I just tore down the shower tiles/walls up to about 4 1/2 feet height as it covered around the bathroom and left the rest of the walls untouched. At that time I didn't know you could tile over tile if behind it was a mud job. I made sure that the wall was straight to the ceiling after applying durarock drywall. Of course I installed the plastic water seal sheet under that first. Then 24inch tiles over the durarock up to the celing. Really really tough job and lots of demo, but if I were to do it again, I would have done tile over tile with a smaller less heavy tile or thin tile. My 2nd bathroom I will do tile over tile with a thin mosaic tile in the shower and the rest of the bathroom I will probably do wainscoting.


 o
RE: New Tile Over Old?

You have got to be kidding me.
Your tile bond is only as good as the bond beneath it.
I set 6" x 6" wall tiles and 3" floor tiles in my 4 wall shower 30 years ago and have never had an issue yet.
Sure, there are a few very important installation procedures that must be done before and during the actual installation.
1. The original tiles must be solid, sound with no issues. If there are they need to be addressed...pan is intact, wall tiles have no cracks, hollow sounds or mold, drain is solid, etc.
2. All tiles to be covered must be roughened up and I don't suggest a sander but a 4 1/2" grinder w or w/o a serrated diamond blade and score the surfaces well for the thinset to have a good bond.
3. Straight liquid acrylic admix mixed into the thinset (i use a fortified thinset and admix) will not fail you.
4. The back buttering of the tiles and set onto the spread thinset is a good idea but can get tricky to keep the consistent spreads equal to eliminate elevation differences having to tune your tiles in a timely manner.
5. Don't forget to use a beater block to tap onto over the tile surfaces to ensure an even flat surface plane.
6. Grout with a grout sealer admix rather than the penetrating sealer after you grout. I strongly am a believer in this if you don't use epoxy grout. What a mess epoxy is.

Score, acrylic admix, back butter, beater block, grout admix and you will have your tile project last forever.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Bathrooms Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here