How to Install Ceramic Tile Over an Existing Laminate Countertop


You do not need to take up a laminate countertop before tiling over it. Laminate countertops can be overlaid with tile, but the laminate is too slippery on its own to provide a good surface to which the tiles can adhere. There are special adhesives made for this process that dry quickly and provide a solid foundation for textured fiberglass paper, which will help prevent tile slippage. The newly tiled countertop should last indefinitely when the tiling process is followed correctly. There are a few tips you can follow when tiling over a laminate countertop.

Things You'll Need

  • Cloths
  • Kitchen soap
  • Tile adhesive
  • Trowel
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Fiberglass paper
  • Putty knife
  • Mortar
  • Straight edge
  • Thin set
  • Spacers
  • Rubber mallet
  • Grout
  • Float
  • Remove any debris from the laminate countertop with a wet cloth and kitchen soap. Dry the countertop with a clean cloth. Measure the dimensions of the countertop with a measuring tape, and use scissors to cut a piece of fiberglass paper that corresponds to these measurements.

  • Use a trowel to spread the tile adhesive over the laminate surface. Spread the fiberglass paper over the adhesive, and flatten it into place with a putty knife. Work out any bumps and air bubbles in the paper by using the flat side of the putty knife blade.

  • Use a putty knife to fill in any dimples or dents with mortar, then go over the whole countertop with a thin layer of mortar. Pull a straight edge down the length of the countertop to remove any excess mortar. Let the mortar dry completely.

  • Apply thinset with a trowel, raking it so that the tile has a ridged surface to which to adhere. Butter the bullnose, or rounded, tile first with mortar, then apply these pieces to the edges and corners of the countertop. Install spacers between the bullnosed tiles.

  • Lay down the remaining tiles, installing spacers as you go, and tap the tiles with a rubber mallet to ensure that they adhere to the mortar. Remove the spacers and spread grout over the tiles with a float, forcing the grout into the spaces between the tiles. Clean the excess grout from the tiles with a damp cloth.

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  • Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Lifesize/Getty Images
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