Can You Put Linoleum Over Tile?

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Linoleum is gradually making its way back into people’s homes as a natural, durable, and low maintenance option. The flooring completely changes the outlook of your home and gives it a clean, polished look that easily complements other aspects of your living space. But, can I install linoleum over tile flooring?

Can you install linoleum over tile?

It’s possible to install linoleum flooring over a tile floor without having to remove the old surface. A linoleum floor provides a versatile, durable, and dynamic alternative to other surfacing materials.

A linoleum finish is thin, so it needs an underlying within the subfloor to prevent ridges and bumps from showing and affecting the flooring’s quality. Most people consider plywood an excellent material, but if you have a tile floor, you can make some adjustments and install the linoleum finish as a DIY project.

How do you lay linoleum over tile?

Laying linoleum flooring over a tile surface is labor-intensive but also straightforward. Most of the steps are easy to complete if you have a basic understanding of technical expertise in fundamental home improvement techniques.

Here’s how to lay linoleum flooring over tile

1.  Clean, Level, and Prep Your Tile Floor

Always make sure your floor surface is clear from furniture (and clean) before attempting any form of renovation on the surface. It’s best to start by mopping your tiles to remove dust and other impurities. Pay special attention to tile joints, corners, and wall edges which are the most delicate sections.

Some experts recommend allowing the flooring to rest within the room for about 24 hours before installation. The logic is that linoleum floors are highly susceptible to temperature variations, and if installed too soon, the changes might affect their durability over time.

You might also have to remove baseboards before installing your new flooring. A pry knife, putty knife, and flatbed screwdriver are the best tools for the job. Also, take special care not to damage the walls and other sensitive areas.

Tiles often have uneven surfaces, which affects the overall quality of your finished flooring. You have to ensure your floor remains level before attempting any form of renovation on your flooring. Adding a floor leveling compound can be a good idea, especially when dealing with tile lines over a large surface.

You can also opt to level your tile surface using a grinder, sander, or other tile level tools for a flat, rough floor.  

2. Measure, Mark, and Cut Your Linoleum Flooring to Adequate Pieces

It’s crucial to determine the volume of linoleum floors you might need before working on your surface. An effective measurement technique involves drawing a sketch of your room, measuring the edges, and then marking the same on your flooring.

You can use a water-based highlighter (and ruler) to create elaborate markings on your linoleum surface. It’s advisable to have at least a 1-inch margin of error to accommodate for unaccounted errors. Besides, it’s much easier to trim a much larger surface than adding extra bits to make a smaller surface bigger.

Use a sharp blade to cut along the marked surface. Linoleum material is flexible and easy to slice through accurately. You can also opt for a hooked linoleum knife, but a sharp utility knife works just fine.

 3. Lay Linoleum over your tiles

Lay the linoleum flooring over your tile surface. Most linoleum dealers package their product in 6 to 12-foot rolls, which is convenient for most renovators. Before you attach the flooring, make sure it is laid out precisely according to its measurements.

Always make sure your tile surface is completely flat before you start working on your new flooring. Uneven surfaces may display on linoleum flooring, which can ruin the quality of your work.

Carefully position each piece. Linoleum flooring is flimsy, so you have to take care not to tear the surface or create creases as you work. You can also use a straight (2 by 4) piece of wood to straighten the flooring along the walls. A 45° piece plank can work on corners and other irregular sections of your room.

4. Trim and Apply Enough Binding Adhesive

Trim the excess pieces of linoleum neatly using a straight cutting technique. An advantage of using linoleum is related to the different designs, colors, and shapes available on the market. You can opt for unique patterns and shapes to create a personalized feel within your living space.

Make sure your flooring sits flatly across the surface. Bumps and creases create weak points that may affect its quality in the future. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines on how to use the adhesive on the underside of the floor.

5. Finish and Seal

After ensuring that your floor is ready, you can now apply some finishing touches to your new flooring surface. A heavy roller might come in handy when removing air bubbles. Make sure to remove excess solvent as per the manufacturer’s directions.

You can also use a linoleum seal for a glossy finish. Apply thin layers over the floor’s entire surface and leave the floor untouched for about 24 hours.

Pros and Cons of putting Linoleum Over Tile

Placing linoleum floors over tiles has several benefits and downsides. Unlike tiles, which are cold and rigid, linoleum is highly compressible. It offers a comfy, cushioning effect on your feet as you are walking within your space.

Here are the pros of putting linoleum over tile

  • Linoleum installation is easy (and does not necessarily require removing the old tile floor).
  • Linoleum flooring is durable with a range of more than 20 years.
  • The flooring is a natural alternative to home improvement.

Here are the Cons of putting linoleum flooring over tiles include

  • Linoleum flooring is not ideal for high humid surfaces such as bathrooms and kitchens.
  • Poor installation can be very problematic to deal with and repair.

What type of flooring can you put over ceramic tile?

You can also opt for over flooring types to put over ceramic tiles. It mostly depends on your tastes and preferences. Examples of alternative flooring types include:

Each type of flooring has unique aspects, benefits, and downsides. It’s always a good idea to consult with a technician on the ideal flooring model for your living space.

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Joe McGuinty
I’ve been working with floors for over 12 years. I started as a flooring contractor, primarily in materials selection. Then, I switched careers into accounting, so my wife and I began buying, renovating, and re-selling homes on the side. You’d be surprised how much value you can add to a home simply by adding new floors.

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