How to tile over tile

2017-10-04 06:00
PHOTO: sourcedTiling over tiles is not as complicated as it seems.

PHOTO: sourcedTiling over tiles is not as complicated as it seems.

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MANY homeowners are put off installing new tiles due to the amount of time required and the chaos that occurs from ripping up the existing tiled floors.

However, there are products on the market that allow you to tile over existing tile.

Before you begin the tiles need to be scrubbed thoroughly to ensure they are absolutely clean.

Bear in mind that it isn’t possible to tile over natural stone tiles such as slate, slasto, sandstone etc., as they tend to delaminate.

It is possible, however, to tile over existing ceramic tiles.

It is also important that the existing tiles be in good condition, firmly fixed to the substrate.

Any cracked or damaged tiles need to be removed before installing a new layer of tiles.

Similarly, any hollow-sounding tiles should be removed as these can result in cracks in the new tiles.


When looking at tiling over existing tiles, consider that the height of the floor will increase by the thickness of the new layer of tiles. This means that skirting boards will need to be removed beforehand, and doors will need to be trimmed.


Tiles need to be scrubbed thoroughly to ensure they are absolutely clean. Any surface contaminants on the tiles will impair the bond between the old and new tile.

TAL Glint is a heavy-duty tile cleaner that removes grease, oil and wax deposits from glazed tiles.

Use a hammer and cold chisel or large screwdriver to remove any cracked, broken or hollow-sounding tiles.

TAL Rapidfix is a rapid-set patch and repair compound that is used to fill up areas where tiles have been removed, so that they are level with the surrounding tiles. Allow repairs to cure according to the pack guidelines before proceeding.

To ensure a good bond between the existing and new tiles, the surface must be primed with a slurry. The slurry consists of 1 part Tal Keycoat mixed with 2 parts TAL Keymix powder.

The slurry is applied over the surface of the existing tiles with a block brush, completely covering the surface.

Let the slurry priming coat dry (touch-dry) before applying tile adhesive to secure the new tiles.

To bed the new tiles use TAL Tile-To-Tile quick-set tile adhesive. When tiling onto suspended slabs and for external installations, mix the Tile-To-Tile with TAL Bond, replacing the water in the mix.


Only use a quick- or rapid-setting tile adhesive, as you want the tile adhesive to set as quickly as possible. If the installed tiles are walked on too early, before the adhesive has set, you could end up with hollow-sounding or loose tiles.

The slurry is applied over the surface of the existing tiles with a block brush, completely covering the surface.

There needs to be a 6mm thick bed beneath each tile.

When installing large tiles, butter the back of the tile to ensure full contact and firm bedding.

Allow plenty of time for the tile adhesive to set before grouting - a minimum of 6 hours, but preferably overnight.


For interior tiling, use TAL Wall & Floor Grout for filling tile joints up to 8mm wide.

TAL Quarry Grout can be used in wider joints up to 25mm wide. On suspended slabs and external installations, replace water in the grout mix with TAL Bond.

Wipe grout off the tile face before it hardens completely. This is especially important when an additive such as TAL Bond has been used.

When tiling over tiles, the existing structural and movement joints must be maintained in the new tile installation.

The movement joints should be at least 5mm wide and extend through the adhesive and both tile layers. Lack of movement joints in tile installations is a major cause of tile failure.

Article courtesy of

- Property24


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