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Can You Tile Over Tile?

Ready for a kitchen or bathroom makeover but wondering if you need to go through the faff of tearing out all those existing tiles? Fear not, because this blog post, “can you tile over tile?” might just offer the solution! Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of this technique, from understanding the pros and cons to assessing your current tiles and understanding whether it's right for you.

Understanding Tile Over Tile: What You Need to Know

Ever heard the phrase “out with the old, in with the new?” Well, when it comes to tiling, it doesn’t always have to be that way. Tiling over existing tiles is like giving your kitchen or bathroom a fresh new look without the hassle of ripping out all the old tiles; however, as with most home projects, cutting corners is normally a false economy.

Now, let's look at the finer details of what it takes to lay tile over existing tiles, including the process of laying tile.

What are the Benefits of Tiling Over Tiles?

Tiling over existing tiles primarily benefits from being cost-effective. You can save time and money by laying new tiles over the old ones instead of removing them. Not only does this save you the expense of hiring a professional to remove the old tiles, but it also means less mess and a faster project completion time.

However, installing new over the existing tile also presents the risk of inheriting underlying issues from the old tiles, such as loosening. Additionally, the added thickness can complicate the precise installation of fixtures and fittings.

When Should you Not Tile Over Tile?

Despite its benefits, tiling over tiles also comes with some challenges. One potential issue is the extra weight that the new tiles will add to the floor or wall. This could cause structural problems, especially if the existing tiles are already quite heavy.

Another concern is the increased depth that comes with adding an extra layer of tiles. This can affect things like door frames, appliance sizes, and trim details, requiring precise cuts with a tile cutter and adjustments to ensure everything fits correctly. It’s also essential to ensure that the existing tiles are in good condition before proceeding with tiling over them.

Finally, considering the surface conditions of the existing floor tiles is a point that shouldn’t be overlooked. If they’re not in good shape, tiling over them can lead to an uneven and unattractive finish. To avoid this, make sure to tap the existing tiles with a coin and listen for a hollow sound. This will help you determine if the existing floor tiles are suitable for tiling over or not.

Assessing Your Existing Tiles

Before commencing your tiling project, you need to evaluate the condition of your existing tiles to make sure they’re suitable for the job. Start by checking for any loose tiles or cracked tiles. If you find any, it’s best to fix or replace them before proceeding with the new tile installation.

Next, examine the surface of your old tiles for any bumps or unevenness. A smooth surface is crucial for a successful tiling job, so be prepared to sand down any rough spots if necessary. When you’re ready to install tile, make sure the surface is clean and free of dirt, dust, and debris. This will help the new tiles adhere properly and result in a more professional-looking finish.

Hiring a Professional vs. DIY Tiling

Hiring a professional tiler can be more expensive than doing it yourself, with costs ranging from around £40 per square metre. However, a professional tiler will likely complete the job more quickly and with a higher level of skill, ensuring a professional-looking result. On the other hand, if you’re confident in your abilities and have the time to devote to the project, a DIY tile laying project can be a more budget-friendly option. Just be prepared for it to take a couple of days, as the tiles will need a full day to set.

To help you make the best decision for your situation, consult resources and seek advice from others who have completed similar projects. This will give you a better understanding of what to expect and help you weigh the pros and cons of hiring a professional versus doing it yourself.


In conclusion, tiling over existing tiles might seem a cost-effective and convenient solution for updating your kitchen or bathroom surfaces, but in the long term, it will compromise the standard of the finish. It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons, assess your existing tiles, and choose the right materials and techniques for the job. And whether you decide to hire a professional or tackle the project yourself, don’t be afraid to consult resources and seek advice to ensure a successful and satisfying renovation.

We always recommend removing the old tiles for best results. Although it's a time-consuming job, you won't need too many tools and can be assured of the longevity and quality of tiling that you put in place. Check out our useful guide to removing tiles and tips on preparing a wall for tiling if you plan to do the job yourself.

Take time to browse the entire range of attractive tiles available at or get in touch to discuss your requirements in detail.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it a good idea to tile over tile?

Tiling over existing tiles may be a time and money-saving renovation method, but it's important to check that the old tiles are firmly attached to the underlying surface, as well as make sure there are no mildew issues and the surface is able to handle the additional weight of a new layer. Problems with the originals, such as becoming loose, can still remain if tiling over tile.

What are the cons of tiling over tile?

Installing tile over existing tiles may not allow the new tiles to adhere properly, potentially leading to an unstable floor or wall surface that can't withstand pressure. This could be an issue if a newly tiled floor is too high and blocks doors or cupboards. Additionally, any gaps or pores could cause problems after installation, and adhesives might not bond the tiles together.

What is the best way to tile over tiles?

For the best results when tiling over existing tiles, start by cleaning and sanding the surface until it feels rough, then apply a thin coat of thin-set mortar in the grout lines before letting it dry for 24 hours.

Are there situations when I should not tile over existing tiles?

Yes, you should not tile over existing tiles if they have significant damage or if they could cause structural issues.

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Next article The Pros and Cons of Stick-on Tiles vs Non-Stick Tiles

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