Three Reasons to NOT Install Ceramic Tile Over Vinyl

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Although people do install ceramic tile over vinyl, tiling over existing flooring can compromise the stability and look of your ceramic tile. Here are three reasons not to tile directly over vinyl flooring.

1. The ceramic tile won’t stick well.

Vinyl isn’t porous, which means a good bond is hard to achieve, no matter what kind of glue you apply to the vinyl. Although some people recommend roughing up the surface of the vinyl for a better bond, it isn’t really effective.

Because the tile and vinyl will not adhere well to one another, the vinyl might start lifting after you lay the floor. If the vinyl begins lifting and pushing the tile up, you may have to replace a section or the entire floor.

2. The floor won’t be level.

If you install ceramic tile over vinyl, you won’t be able to figure out the anchoring pattern, which is one of the key factors to a stable and level floor surface. It will also be difficult to insert transitions where the floor rises or where spaces must be filled.

3. The sub-surface under the vinyl isn’t suitable for ceramic tile.

Vinyl flooring is usually installed on 1/4″ plywood or particleboard. These substrates are not suitable for tile. If you lay tile over vinyl or linoleum, the safety of your floor will be compromised. Tile on top of a cushioned floor is unstable, and cracks can develop in the tiles or the grout. Because vinyl flexes, it can crack the tile. It is nearly impossible to replace a tile with a chip or a crack once it is adhered, so you may have to replace the entire floor if the vinyl lifts and flexes.

Updated: January 5, 2014 — 8:30 pm

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