Your remodeling project calls for all-new flooring, but the thought of tearing out the old tile is exhausting. Naturally, you may start to wonder, “Can you put laminate flooring over tile?” You’ll be happy to know that, in many cases, you can! While there are some considerations to keep in mind, you may be able to quickly and easily place laminate right over your tile floor.
Can You Put Laminate Flooring over Tile?
If your tile is in good shape, it can serve as a reliable base for your new laminate flooring.
This can be a great time-saving measure. Chipping away at glued-down tiles until the floor is smooth and level can be a long, slow process. If you can skip that step by laying the laminate on top of the tile, your home renovation process will go much more quickly.
Another benefit of leaving the tile in place is that it might work as your moisture barrier. In some settings, putting down a moisture barrier is important for keeping the laminate from being damaged by water that moves up through the layers of flooring. Typically, tile already has a moisture barrier underneath it, or the tile itself does a good job of resisting water penetration.
Tile Floors That May Not Work
Although laminate over tile works well in many circumstances, it’s not the right call for every home. If you’re redoing your floors because the old tile is in bad shape, you might need to take it out instead of covering it up.
Cracked or loose tiles won’t serve as a sturdy base for your laminate flooring. If the tiles are broken, it’s best to remove them.
The same goes for dimensional tiles or deep grout. If there’s too much variation in the height of the floor, you may find that the tile won’t provide enough strength and support for your laminate planks.
Uneven tile floors won’t work well as the foundation for laminate either. You’ll be able to feel the bumps and dips through the laminate. Plus, when laminate flooring is placed on a surface that’s not level, it often starts to come apart at the joints. For the most long-lasting laminate, it’s important to start with an even base.
Preparing the Floor
If your tile floor is only slightly uneven, you might be able to remedy the problem so that you can still lay laminate over it. It will require an extra step, but it’s quicker and easier than tile removal.
For this, you’ll need to use a leveling compound. If you pour this thin mixture over your floor, it will settle into any low areas to fill them in. Then, you should have a nice, even base for your new laminate flooring.
When installing the underlayment, be sure to allow plenty of time for the leveling compound to dry first. Also, some laminate varieties come with built-in underlayment, so check the specifications carefully before buying an extra product that you might not need.
Changes to the Floor Height
By placing one type of flooring over another, you’ll add to the height of the floor. As a result, you may need to make a few other adjustments.
The doors may be one issue. If your new flooring ends up too high, you might not be able to open and close them anymore. Shaving some material from the bottom of the doors may solve this problem.
There might be a height difference from one room to the next. For this, you can bridge the difference with a wooden transition strip. If you leave a small flooring gap between the two rooms, you can nail the transition strip directly to the subfloor. Without a gap, you might need to use a thinner transition strip that can be adhered directly to the flooring.
Before you make your final decision about putting laminate over tile, ask yourself whether this approach will benefit you over the long term. If your tile is in good shape and will serve as a firm, even foundation, then you may feel confident that laminate over tile is the right choice for your home.