How to Install Tile Over Linolium


If old linoleum tile contains asbestos or is extremely well bonded to its substrate, sometimes its easier to tile over the old floor than to rip it out. As long as the linoleum is clean, free of debris and has been checked for loose or curling tiles, it is possible to tile over it. Tiling over old linoleum can help give an old floor a brand new look.

Things You'll Need

  • Ruler
  • Thin set
  • Trowel
  • Grout
  • Grout float
  • Inspect the linoleum floor. Look for loose tiles, curling edges or corners or gaps in the floor. The old floor must be thoroughly bonded to the substrate in order for the new floor to remain stable. If the linoleum is well bonded, it can be tiled over.

  • Measure how thick the new tile can be to avoid running into problems with thresholds or under doorways. Use a ruler to measure, in fractions of an inch, how thick the tile can be before it goes over the tops of thresholds, doesn't fit under cabinets, or doors are unable to swing open over it. Purchase tiles no thicker than this.

  • Clean the linoleum floor thoroughly. Remove wax, grease, dust and any debris from the floor. The adhesive will need to bond directly to the linoleum; if there is dirt or build-up on the floor, the tile job will fail.

  • Spread a small amount of thin set over the area to be tiled at a time. Use the least possible amount of thin set. Rake the grooved edges of the trowel through the thin set until the ridges are all completely uniform in height.

  • Begin laying the tiles with a full tile in the center of the wall furthest from the door and work outward evenly to the sides. Use small amounts of thin set at a time to keep the thin set from drying out before the tiles can be adhered. Press the tiles firmly into the thin set and twist them slightly to ensure a firm bond with the thin set and linoleum. Continue to tile in this manner until the floor is covered.

  • Allow the thin set to cure for 24 hours before walking on the floor. Grout the float by packing the grout into the spaces left between the tiles with a grout float. Allow the grout to cure for a final 24 hours to ensure a good bond before using the floor.

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