Tiling Over Existing Tiles
Let's get right to it without further ado and look at what's involved in tiling over existing tiles.
Thankfully it's completely possible to tile over existing tiles so long as you follow the correct steps. Assuming the tiles are in decent condition, there should be no issues.
The tiles must be evenly placed, there are no cracks, and there is no visual evidence of them retaining moisture.
You should consider, though, that tiling over old tiles can have its downsides. Here’s a few of them:
- It will not resolve existing issues with the current tiles
- Adds floor height (which could block the door entrance or ground level cupboards)
- More work may be required than you’d expect to begin with
However, you may still feel that these potential problems are not important or do not apply in the case of your bathroom or kitchen. Either way, if you'd like tile over existing tiles, you want to ensure that the correct approach is taken.
You can undertake this work as a DIY job if you wish, but if in doubt, it's best to hire a professional for the job.
Tiling Over an Uneven Surface
What if my bathroom surface isn’t level?...
This section will discuss what you can do in this case and whether it should be done by a professional.
First things first, you should not tile over an uneven surface without taking the proper measures to level it out. Failure to level out the floor can result in cracked tiles or tiles that could lip (whereby the edges or corners of certain tiles stand up taller than the other surrounding ones) or pop loose.
Thankfully with the right steps, it's possible to tile over these types of floors; you can do so by simply adding a layer of the appropriate levelling compound. This compound can be used to fill gaps before hardening as concrete would.
A trowel can be used to spread the compound to make the area flat and even. Again, it's perfectly fine to do this DIY, but it would be advisable to hire a contractor if you've any uncertainty.
Tiling with the Wrong Adhesive
Many issues can arise when tiling over tiles in the bathroom or another room. For that matter, we've mentioned the problems involved with tiling when it comes to an uneven surface, but another issue to avoid is employing the incorrect adhesive.
Using the wrong adhesive can reduce the life expectancy and strength of the tiled area; using the right adhesive from the start can help prevent costly repairs and maintenance down the line or even the cost of a full replacement job, for that matter. You can apply adhesive DIY if you'd prefer and feel confident in doing so.
The best tile adhesive for tiling over tiles is probably Everbuild’s Super Plus Non-Slip Tile Adhesive. This popular product is popular and not too expensive either.
Tiling Over Dirty Tiles
You may also be wondering whether or not you should clean times before applying new tiles. "Well, they will be covered over, so what does it matter?" you might ask.
Well, in reality, you should clean tiles before placing new tiles on top because failure to do so can leave the existing tiles with poor grip as a surface for the new tiles to be placed atop. Beyond that, an unclean surface could allow for the growth of bacteria beneath the new tiles.
Cleaning tiles is pretty straightforward. One popular DIY approach is to use warm water, dish soap, and a sponge.
Failure to clean tiles can wear the surface down more easily and allow mould, mildew, and bacteria. It could also result in a bad odour in the room.
Checking the Existing Tiles for Their Adhering Capacity
Another consideration is that you’ll want to check whether the current tiles will adhere well to the applied substrate. One way to find this out is to tap the tiles and ensure they don’t give off a drummy or hollow sound.
Ideally, you should tap each tile using a screwdriver and check if you hear a hollow noise. Assuming that at least 95% of the tiles lack hollow sounds, it's safe to tile over.
However, should this not be the case, then you'll want to replace the hollow-sounding tiles in question. Ultimately the tiled area must be sufficient to tile over.
Whether the surface is uneven, dirty, or hollow, such issues can render the tiling area unsuitable to be tiled over, so making the right checks are necessary to achieve the results you're looking for.
Let's now look at how much it costs to hire a tiler.
Tiler labour costs can vary. Most tilers charge per square metre, so about £20 to £40 per m². Alternatively, some tilers can set a daily rate; this will likely land around £150 to £200 a day.
Additional tile labour costs are likely to land about £40 to £60, but it would depend on the job type, how long it lasts, and of course, the extent of the work. You would need to pay more for emergency tiling due to the short notice involved.
Q: What tiles are easiest to install?
A: Arguably, the easiest type of tiles to install are peel-and-stick vinyl tiles since they are self-adhesive products.
Q: What is the best way to clean tiles?
A: If you want a professional clean, you should purchase a steam cleaner; these can thoroughly clean tiles, kill germs, mould, and viruses, and they are both safe and environmentally friendly.
Q: How often should you clean tiles?
A: It is preferable to clean bathroom tiles every fortnight, but it really should be done as often as possible.
Q: Do tiles last a long time?
A: Yes, pretty much. Many tiles such as glazed ceramic and glazed porcelain tiles are expected to last for over half a century.
Q: What type of tile is the strongest?
A: Porcelain tiles are durable and strong and are arguably the strongest option that money can buy.