How To install Tile Over Tile? Practical Tips
How To install Tile Over Tile? Practical Tips

How To install Tile Over Tile? Practical Tips

When it comes to a complete renovation of buildings, it implies that every part of the house or villa has been refurbished. However, renovating certain sections of the house can often become problematic; bathrooms, toilets, and kitchens are among these areas because walls and floors are usually covered with tiles and ceramics, and removing these materials is both time-consuming and difficult, and can also be quite costly. For this reason, in recent years, the technique of adhering new tiles over old ones has been utilized in home renovations. In this article, we intend to discuss important aspects of this technique, so stay with us till the end.

Can Tiles Be Adhered Over Existing Tiles?

Let's ease your mind with a one-word answer to this question at the very beginning: "Yes." Fortunately, today, to reduce costs and minimize demolition and debris, it's possible to use the method of adhering new tiles over old ones. However, this must be done correctly to achieve the desired result. We will further discuss some tips, tricks, advantages, and disadvantages of this method after explaining how to adhere new tiles over old ones.

How to Adhere Tiles Over Existing Tiles

Adhering tiles over existing ones is one of the easiest ways to replace old tiles. This technique, compared to the demolition required to remove old tiles and install new ones, costs less and takes less time. Of course, specific conditions must be met, and differences from traditional tiling should be considered. Here are the steps for installing new tiles over old ones:
  • Preparing the Necessary Equipment
The first step in adhering tiles over tiles, like traditional tiling, is preparing the necessary tools. So, before anything, we need to prepare the desired tiles, adhesive, primer, grout powder, and other required tools.
  • Preparing the Surface of Old Tiles
One of the most important steps in adhering tiles over tiles on walls or floors is substrate preparation. In other words, new tiles can only be adhered over old ones if the old tiles are clean, not loose, and their surface is free of protrusions or depressions. However, if there are loose tiles among the old ones, they must be removed, and the area must be repaired with a repair mortar. After fixing the old tiles' issues, their surfaces must be cleaned of any contamination and waste materials to ensure good adhesion of the tile adhesive. Various materials, including hydrochloric acid, can be used to remove all lime deposits and contaminants from the tiles. Additionally, it's important to pay attention to the grouting of old tiles and fix any issues. An important tip is to roughen the tile surfaces with special primers to create a non-slippery and rough surface for the adhesive to grip. If a primer is not available, old tiles should be roughened with a chisel before applying the adhesive.
  • Preparing the Tile Adhesive
At this stage, choose the adhesive you want to use for adhering tiles over old tiles. Generally, various tile adhesives, such as porcelain tile adhesive, can be used. If you prefer to use tile adhesive, its preparation method is indicated on the buckets or bags. For powder adhesives, gradually add the powder to water and mix well with a mixer until the adhesive mortar is homogeneous and uniform. Use the adhesive within the usable time after mixing in the container (provided by the manufacturer, typically around 2 to 3 hours). After this time, if there's remaining adhesive in the container, dispose of it. After completing the substrate preparation and applying the roughening primer, use a trowel to apply some adhesive on the back of the new tiles and on the surfaces of the old tiles. Then, use the notched side of the trowel to create ridges on them and place the new tiles over the old ones to adhere, allowing them to dry after completion.
  • Grouting New Tiles
The final step in adhering new tiles over old ones is grouting. Usually, you need to wait 24 hours for floors and 8 hours for walls to allow the tiles to adhere completely and firm up. Then, you can prepare the grout mortar using grouting powder and apply it between the tile joints with a trowel. After finishing grouting and before it fully dries, use a damp sponge to clean any excess grout from the tile surfaces.
  • Adhering New Tiles Over Old Floor Tiles
As mentioned, for replacing the coverings of moist areas of homes such as kitchens, bathrooms, etc., new tiles can be adhered over old ones. In fact, adhering tiles over tiles is an easy and cost-effective method. Using this method, you no longer need to remove old wall and floor tiles, thus preventing noise and reducing debris production. This method can be applied not only to walls but also to floors. In fact, it's feasible to adhere new ceramic tiles over old floor ceramics, with porcelain tiles being among the best options for flooring.

Advantages of Adhering New Tiles Over Old Ones

As previously mentioned, adhering new tiles over old ones has many advantages, some of which include:
  • Time savings and high execution speed
  • Reduced substrate preparation and other costs
  • Less waste and debris production

Disadvantages of Adhering New Tiles Over Old Ones

Although adhering tiles comes with advantages, it can also present some problems; below are the disadvantages of adhering new tiles over old ones:
  • The most significant issue that can arise from adhering new tiles over old ones is the increased tile height, which is more applicable to floor ceramics and tiles. This issue might cause problems when opening and closing doors, cabinets, etc.
  • Also, if substrate preparation is neglected and not done properly, new tiles might not adhere well to the old ones, allowing water and moisture to penetrate over time, causing the tiles to detach or mold to form underneath.
  • Adhering new tiles over old ones adds more dead weight to the structure, increasing the seismic force.

Limitations of Adhering Tiles Over Tiles

In this article, we've thoroughly explained the possibility of installing new tiles over old ones, stating that there are no limitations to adhering tiles over tiles under certain conditions. Therefore, the good news is that there are no restrictions on installing new tiles over old ones in any environment, and you can confidently proceed with this for bathroom, toilet floor ceramics, and other home areas. The only possible limitation might be if the old tiles' materials are not suitable or the tiles are too loose. In such cases, it's better to remove the old tiles and install new ones with suitable materials. However, specific techniques and technical points must be considered, which we will discuss:

Important Points for Installing New Tiles Over Old Ones

  • Be aware that you cannot adhere tiles over a natural stone substrate.
  • Pay attention to the potential height increase of the wall or floor.
  • Ensure the old tiles are firmly attached to the ground or wall.
  • Inspect and rectify any issues with problematic tiles.

Using Polymer Adhesives for Tile Adhesion

Polymer adhesives are ideal for addressing issues like cracks and leveling tiles. These adhesives, based on cement, are resistant to moisture, high pressure, chemicals, and other corrosives.


One of the tasks performed in home renovations is replacing tiles in bathrooms, toilets, and kitchens. However, removing old tiles is not only difficult and time-consuming but also creates noise and inconvenience for neighbors and produces a lot of debris. Therefore, most people who renovate homes opt for the method of adhering new tiles over old ones. This method is practically applicable to all parts of the house, but it's crucial to ensure the old tiles are firm and not loose. In other words, substrate preparation is extremely important for adhering new tiles over old ones.