What Type of Flooring Can Go Over Tile?

April 7, 2023

Are you a homeowner asking what flooring can go over tile? It’s an excellent question, as you don’t always need to remove tile before installing new floors. This allows you to save on installation time and not worry about hauling away old tiles.

For this purpose, check out some handy tips for installing new flooring over existing tile. Also, you might still call a contractor for anything outside your area of expertise. Investing in their services ensures a strong, stable floor underneath you for years to come.

Evaluating a Tile Floor for New Flooring Installation

Before you install any flooring, it’s vital to evaluate the existing tile. First, it should be level and without dips and grooves, including grout lines. Second, it should be free of cracks, chips, and other damage.

Also, you don’t want to put new flooring over mold or mildew as both will then grow and spread! Additionally, note if the subfloor seems spongy or soft under foot. If so, you’ll need to pull up the tile and replace joists or plywood for a level and strong surface.

Lastly, check for damaged adhesives and tiles that slip out of place. You can’t put new flooring over these as it will also just slip out from under you! If you notice any of these issues, consider removing the tile before installing new flooring.

A contractor pulling up flooring for new flooring installation

What Flooring Can Go Over Tile?

First, don’t assume that you can put any flooring over tile. Second, it’s still vital that you read the manufacturer’s installation directions no matter your chosen flooring. For instance, a manufacturer might suggest added subflooring support for heavy stone.

With this in mind, note that you might choose floating floors including engineered hardwood, laminate, and luxury vinyl plank. Also, consider glue-down carpeting or carpet tiles, and new tile. Keep reading for some tips on how to install each of these over existing tiles.

How to Prepare Existing Tile for New Flooring Installation

Never install new flooring over existing tile floors without prepping the surface first! To prep existing tile, first check its level. Use a 4-foot carpenter’s level across each tile span and mark any high spots. Using a sander, grind down those spots until the tile is fully level and even across the entire floor.

It’s also vital that you repair any damage to existing tiles. Use thin set mortar to fill in cracks as needed. Let this coat set for at least 24 hours before installing your new flooring. Once the tile is level and repair, clean it with rubbing alcohol. Then, sand down the tile lightly. This creates a rough surface that holds new adhesives more readily.

How to Install New Flooring Over Tile

Before you start installing any new flooring, remove the room’s baseboards. Cut along their top with a box cutter, to break the adhesive. Use a chisel and tap it between the board and wall, to gently pull it out of place. You can then replace those baseboards after your new floor installation.

Lastly, stop and check your work often, to ensure straight lines and no gapping. You might also need to add more adhesive to certain spots or otherwise correct the installation as you work.

what flooring can go over tile

Floating floors

As the name implies, you don’t glue or otherwise attach floating floors to the surface beneath them. Instead, individual planks click together and “float” over the subfloor. You can typically find engineered hardwood, laminate, and luxury vinyl plank in a floating floor option.

To install floating floors, start in the room’s middle. Use two laser levels to create a 90-degree angle and chalk lines to mark its boundaries. Follow that chalk line and set down your first two lines of boards, snapping them together as you work. Use a rubber mallet to pound them into position gently.

When you reach the end of a room, cut your planks as needed and tap them into place. You can then keep adding more rows, checking your work for a straight line as you go.


To install glue-down carpeting, set a roll in one corner of the room and pull up the flap. Add adhesive under that flap and then tap it back into position with a rubber mallet.

Add more glue to the floor and unroll the carpet slowly, tapping it into place as you work. Also, ensure you keep the carpet flush against the side wall. Once you reach the room’s end, cut the carpet as needed.

If your carpet roll is not wide enough to cover the entire room, avoid gluing down its side edge as you work. Instead, use carpet seam tape and a sealer to join two rolls together. Seam tape keeps those two carpet sections adhered to each other so the seam between them disappears.

For this step, unroll the seam tape onto the tile so the edges of your two carpet rolls meet in its middle. Put the carpet edges over the tape and use the sealer to melt the adhesive. Use caution during this step as the sealer is hot!

To install carpet tiles, follow the manufacturer’s directions for applying adhesive. You can then use a rubber mallet to tape the tiles into place. Ensure their edges meet firmly and their seams should disappear, so that they look like one large piece of carpet!

New tile

Putting new tile over existing tile is an excellent option. One reason is that you can simply follow the existing tile line during installation. Two, using peel-and-stick tile means not having to apply added grout! However, you might still apply some extra adhesive as you work, such as Loctite or Liquid Nails. Extra tile adhesive ensures they stay in position over the years.

To ensure quality installation for any of these materials, test them as you go. Install a few feet of floating floors, carpet, or tile, and let them sit overnight. Check them the next day for a strong adhesion and to see if they look good in your space. You can then decide if you want to continue the installation or choose another route for your new flooring!

Bradenton Flooring Pros is happy to help answer the question, what type of flooring can go over tile. If you’re in the area, don’t hesitate to contact our Bradenton flooring installation contractors. We can discuss your flooring options and prepare a FREE price estimate. To find out more, contact us today.


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