How to Install ceramics Over Previous ceramics
How to Install ceramics Over Previous ceramics

How to Install ceramics Over Previous ceramics

Often, when the old tiles of a place are damaged due to cracking, wear, etc., or when a decor change is desired, the technique of installing tiles over existing ones is used. Since removing old tiles is costly, noisy, and time-consuming, many people prefer to install new tiles over the old ones instead. Therefore, we have dedicated this article to teach the installation of tiles over previous ones, mentioning the disadvantages and advantages; so stay with us.

Installing Tiles Over Tiles

People decide to replace the tiles in their home for various reasons, mostly aiming for a more beautiful space. However, removing old tiles comes with its own hassles, making the alternative method of installing tiles over existing ones increasingly popular in recent years.

Steps for Installing Tiles Over Old Tiles

Installing tiles over tiles is similar to laying tiles over tiles, which can be easily done with a little care and by following certain principles.

Like any other job, installing new tiles over old ones requires some tools and equipment, which we will mention:

  • - Porcelain tiles or any other types of these products
  • - Tile adhesive
  • - Sandpaper grit 80
  • - Spacers
  • - Notched trowel
  • - Mask, safety glasses, and gloves
  • - Utility knife
  • - Angle grinder with a special stone

Step 1: Fixing Previous Tiles Issues

Before installing new tiles over old ones with adhesive, ensure the old tiles are solid. In other words, old tiles should not be loose or have cracks or faulty grouting, as these issues could complicate the installation of new tiles.

To ensure the solidity of old tiles, you can gently tap them with a wooden mallet to identify and remove defective or loose tiles, covering their spots with suitable repair mortar. If there are cracks or breakages in the old tiles, remove the defective parts and repair the area with appropriate repair mortar.

Step 2: Leveling the Subsurface

Once the issues with the old tiles are resolved, it's time to level the surface. Use a 120 cm level to find and mark any uneven spots, then shave protruding points with an angle grinder or chisel, and fill depressions with suitable repair mortar to level with the rest of the surface.

Step 3: Roughening the Surface of Old Tiles

To ensure the adhesive sticks when installing new tiles over old ones, roughen the surface of the old tiles to create a texture that allows the adhesive to penetrate and solidify better. Use sandpaper or a chisel for this purpose.

Finally, clean the tile surface with water and detergent to remove any residual materials, and if a primer isn't available, roughen the old tiles with a chisel before applying the adhesive.

Step 4: Preparing the Adhesive

Now that the surface is ready, you can confidently proceed to install the new tiles. Use porcelain tile adhesive, following the instructions on the packaging for preparation. Prepare the adhesive in small batches to prevent it from drying out during the work.

Step 5: Installing the Tiles

To install the tiles, spread some adhesive on the old tiles with a trowel, then use the notched side of the trowel to create ridges in the adhesive.

For larger tiles like porcelain on walls, also apply adhesive to the back of the tiles and ridge it with a notched trowel. To prevent the adhesive from drying out, apply it to the backs of the tiles you're about to install one by one.

Ensure the adhesive ridges are straight lines, not diagonal. After applying adhesive to the old tiles and the backs of new tiles, place the new tile on the prepared surface and press down to flatten the ridged adhesive.

Use spacers to maintain even spacing between tiles and prevent movement during installation.

Step 6: Grouting

After installing the tiles, remove the spacers and use special grouting mortar to fill the gaps between the tiles. Wipe away excess grout with a damp cloth or sponge before it dries.

Advantages of Installing Tiles Over Tiles

The primary advantage of this technique is cost savings, as it eliminates steps like removing old tiles, transporting debris, cleaning, etc. Additionally, if the old tiles are in good condition, this method also saves on the cost of subfloor preparation.

Another benefit is time savings. If the old tiles are suitable, this technique can expedite the renovation process, making it an easy option for many to change their decor.

Disadvantages of Installing Tiles Over Tiles

Using adhesive for installing tiles over tiles is only justified if a high-quality adhesive is used. If the adhesive is of poor quality, the new tiles may not adhere well to the old ones, leading to issues like fungus growth, bacterial proliferation, and eventually, tile detachment.

One drawback is the increased surface height, which could interfere with door operation. Ensure there's enough clearance before starting. If door operation is affected, you might need to cut the doors, which can be unsightly and costly.

Another disadvantage is potential unevenness. Ensure the surface covered with old tiles is completely level before proceeding. Remember, this method is only suitable if all old tiles are intact and without cracks or looseness. If any tiles are damaged, they must be removed and repaired with repair mortar before proceeding.

Reasons for Installing Tiles Over Previous Tiles

Not always is there a condition to replace damaged tiles, and doing so can be costly. If removing old tiles is considered, it can increase both the cost and duration of repairs.

In general, installing new tiles over old ones is done for different purposes and reasons, such as covering damaged tiles or for decor change and renovation, but it must be done following certain principles.

Final Words

This article detailed the process of installing tiles over tiles in six steps. It's crucial that the old tiles are in good condition, without cracks or looseness, and if defective, they should be properly repaired before proceeding.

While this method has its disadvantages, such as increased surface height potentially affecting door operation, its advantages include avoiding the hassle of removal and speeding up the renovation process, resulting in significant cost savings.