Alternatives to Removing Ceramic Tile


Ceramic tile is a great flooring and wall covering material, but it can be difficult to remove when it becomes damaged, dingy or otherwise unattractive. There are a variety of ways to cover up unwanted ceramic tiles without having to go through the complicated removal process. Some methods work best for tiles covering a wall, others work better for ceramic floor tiles.


  • Ceramic tiles in almost any location can be successfully painted, as long as they won't be exposed to water regularly. The experts at Ask the Builder recommend using an oil-based paint or a paint containing urethane for the best durability. A clear urethane sealer should also be applied to protect the paint from peeling or scuffing. The ceramic tiles will need to be thoroughly cleaned before the paint is applied, and glazed tiles may take the paint better if they are sanded first. Motifs and patterns can also be painted on boring ceramic tiles for a decorative touch.

Hardwood Flooring

  • While it is difficult to install ceramic tile flooring over hardwoods, the opposite works great. A floating hardwood floor, which is designed to shift and move with the subfloor below it, is the easiest to install over ceramic tiles, says the Hardwood Installer website. Laminates also work. There are a few wood floor adhesives that will adhere to tile, but all of the grout between the ceramic tiles will need to be filled to level the floor first. Loose ceramic tiles will also need to be anchored before adhesives can be applied. Sanding the tiles improves adhesion, especially if they have a slick finish.


  • If you prefer patterns over blank paint and want to cover a section of ceramic tiled wall, consider hanging wallpaper over it. The tiles should be sanded and cleaned and a preparation adhesive applied. The experts at Wallpaper Installer recommend hanging a thick, blank wallpaper known as bridging material first to create the perfect surface for hanging your favorite pattern. Loose or missing ceramic tiles must be replaced to create a smooth surfaces, but the grout doesn't need to be filled. The bridging material will cover small gaps between the tiles.

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  • Photo Credit ceramic tile floor or wall texture image by Ana de Sousa from
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