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Laminate flooring over ceramic tiles is a common choice, especially when the tile is dingy and outdated. Here’s how you make the switch.

Many homeowners now wish to replace their old ceramic tile with laminate flooring.

Wood laminate flooring has grown exponentially in popularity over the last few years, for several reasons. It provides the warm look of hardwood flooring at a fraction of the cost. Laminate flooring is easy on the feet, and provides a soft cushioning effect while walking. 12mm laminate includes a 2mm foam pad for comfort. The factory finish of laminate flooring is more durable than just about any finish a hardwood flooring refinisher can put on a hardwood floor at a job site.

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Can You Install Laminate Flooring Over Ceramic Tile?

Fortunately, the answer to the question is yes.

There are many concerns about placing laminate over other flooring, so the question is valid. Removing a ceramic tile floor is hard work. Chipping away old tiles and mortar is extremely time consuming and labor intensive. If a laminate can be placed over a ceramic tile, the labor, and cost, of the installation is decreased dramatically.

How to Install Laminate Flooring Over Tile

Installation Precautions

Many laminate manufacturers specifically indicate that you vsn install their product over ceramic tile. Since tile is a durable substrate, there is little risk of deterioration when another flooring is placed over it. There are a few precautions though.

First, the tile should be in good shape, level and free of depressions before installing laminate over top. As with any flooring surface, if there are major depressions and extensive cracking, the issue may be with the subflooring. If your flooring has such depressions, it may be a good idea to determine the cause, and have a professional inspect the flooring if needed.

Old tile floor

Often, a visual inspection of the subfloor from the basement will indicate whether a problem exists. However, minor cracks, not due to a defective sub floor; they can simply be filled with epoxy.

Fill Grout Joints First

Second, the grout joints should be filled to level with the top or face of the ceramic tile, to ensure a smooth surface for the laminate to rest. You can simply grout as normal, using very light pressure on the grout joint, to keep the joint level. Or you can use a grout bag to fill the joints.

Clean the Floor

Third, the ceramic tile should be free of loose dirt, grease, and moisture. After cleaning, ensure the tile has dried thoroughly.

Be Aware of Height Differences

Fourth, remember that since you are not removing the tile, there may be a slight height differential between the newly laminated room and an adjoining room, if the adjoining room was level with the tiled area. This usually doesn’t create a problem for most people.

Provided the sub flooring is in good condition, the tile is clean, dry and the grout joints are level with the tile, you are now ready to install your laminate flooring. Your moisture barrier will go directly over the tile, which is why the flooring must be dry when beginning the installation.

Now all you have to do is decide which laminate to choose. From matte laminate to glossy finish, natural to colored laminate, you have so many choices.

under budget above expectation

Got any questions? You can send us an email at flooring@builddirect.com, or call us at 1-877-631-2845

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Rob Woods

Rob served as BuildDirect's marketing manager from 2000 to 2010. In addition to heading up his own marketing company these days, he remains to be a handy guy around the house to this day.