What Type of Flooring Can You Put Over Ceramic Tile?

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It is possible to install new flooring products over tiles without having to remove the old ceramic floor.

Ceramic tiles are hardy, durable products that can serve your flooring needs for a considerable time.

 A challenge with most ceramic tiles relates to when you need to improve your flooring.

Can you install flooring over tile without removing?

Most people think that installing a new floor surface on ceramic tiles ruins the underlying surface and can negatively affect the quality of your floor.

The misconception causes people to retain aging ceramic tiles on their floors or go through expensive and labor-intensive tile removal procedures that can be easily avoidable and (depending on the flooring type) might be entirely unnecessary.

Modern flooring techniques make it possible to renovate your floor surface without replacing the underlying tiles on your floor. Adopting some of these techniques makes it cost-effective, clean, and easy to renovate your interior and exterior spaces.

Removing tiles is a tedious project that could have detrimental effects on your health. In most cases, the tiles break into irregular pieces, create dust, and might leave lasting damage to your floor.

The notion that you can only have one flooring surface can discourage a homeowner from installing tiles on their floor surface (and can affect an owner’s home property value over time).

You can decide to cover up your tiles as a form of a home upgrade, to increase the value of your home, or as a means of hiding chipped and damaged tiles. Most modern flooring types are easy to install, relatively affordable, and feature different aesthetics depending on your tastes.

You can place different flooring types over ceramic tile

Types of flooring you can put over ceramic tile

There are numerous options for a homeowner to consider when deciding on a good flooring choice. An ideal floor surface depends on a homeowner’s budget, owner’s tastes, purpose, maintenance, and intended aesthetic effect.

Here are a few examples of popular flooring types that you can put over ceramic tiles

Laminate Floors

Modern homeowners prefer laminate flooring because it’s easy to install, easy to maintain, and reversible. The flooring provides your floor with authentic wooden looks for only a fraction of the price.

Laminate floors are ideal for installation in indoor spaces such as a kitchen, living room, stairs, and bedrooms. It’s not a good idea to lay a laminate floor on your bathroom surface (or any other areas that frequently come in contact with water) as it deteriorates on continuous exposure to moisture.

Installing a laminate floor over ceramic tiles has another advantage that makes it a good fit. Laminate floors have an additional layer of padding underneath the main surface. The padding not only softens the effect of the flooring on your feet but can also be effective in leveling out a tile surface for an even finish.

Always make sure that your tiles are in good condition before starting on your project. You can fix damaged tiles by adding extra padding to the damaged surface, covering up cracks and other inconsistencies before you can start working on your laminate floor surface.

Once you are confident in the state of your floor surface, start by placing individual planks along the edges and work your way to the center of the room. Use a compass and saw cutter to work on uneven edges. Just remember to keep the tongue side away from the wall. Follow up individual planks with matching pieces.

Always ensure that you don’t leave gaps or uneven spaces between your flooring as you work. Laminate floors don’t require glue or any form of adhesive, so they are simple to install on ceramic tiles.

Wooden floors

It’s easy to install a wooden floor over ceramic tiles. Wooden flooring gives your space a clean, original, and polished look. You can choose from solid wood or engineered wood planks, each with distinct benefits and downsides.

You might have to flatten your ceramic tile edges before you can start installing the wooden pieces on your floor. Make sure to fill in grout lines with enough grout float to ensure you have a flat surface before installing a second flooring.

Engineered wood is much easier to install compared to the traditional solid wood types. It’s never a good idea to install wooden flooring in humid, damp places such as bathrooms, outdoors, etc.

The installation often depends on the type of wood. Engineered wood floors involve placing the pre-prepared planks on your surface and attaching them firmly on the floor using nails and screws.

You can also consult with a professional technician if you find the task challenging, but always make sure to compare pricing within your location.

Carpet Flooring

Carpet flooring is a unique and easy-to-install technique of home improvement. Adding a carpet to your floor has several benefits from additional insulation, comfort, and different finishes to your rooms.

 Installing carpet flooring is easy. Just choose an ideal carpet size and spread it over your ceramic tiles. However, if your tiles have dips, using a self-leveling screed to level your floor might be a good idea to prevent the lines from showing through your carpet later on.

Always make sure your flooring is dry before installing carpet flooring over your ceramic tiles.  You can also add more insulation or a damp proofing membrane if your tiles get too cold.

Carpet flooring is ideal for indoor spaces with minimal exposure to moisture. You can install carpet flooring within your living room, stairway, bedroom, etc. It’s never a good idea to install carpets in bathrooms and other areas continuously exposed to water. Rugs usually take time to dry and lose quality on constant exposure to water.

Adding New layer of Ceramic tiles

You can always add a new layer of ceramic tiles over your old tiles. For instance, you might want to improve the flooring on your bathroom floor but are not sure you want to opt for a new type of flooring. Instead, it can be a good idea to add an extra layer of tiles to spruce up your room and change the overall feel of your living space.

It’s crucial to level your old tiles first to remove any dips and uneven surfaces. You can use a grout, a sander, and other pieces of equipment to ensure that your flooring retains an even feel before adding an extra layer of tiles.

Installing a new flooring on a ceramic tile requires some expertise. It’s always a good idea to have a professional handle the task for you or consult a technician if you are planning to work on the project yourself.

Pros and cons of laying flooring over ceramic tile

Here are the pros and cons of laying flooring over ceramic tiles


  • Improves your room (a new look) without having to remove the older tiles.
  • Features a variety of options to spruce up your living space
  • Moderately Affordable (although the price is relative to the method in use).


  • Possibly not be ideal for all living spaces. Bathrooms, outdoor lounges might require separate flooring.
  • Some techniques can affect the floor height (which may not be ideal for some people).
  • Labor costs might be higher in some methods.

Other Ways to Cover Ceramic Tiles

There are several other techniques ideal for covering up ceramic tiles. Some of these alternatives are relatively easy to work with no help from a technician and are cost-effective compared to others within the list.

Here are other ways to cover your ceramic tiles


Painting is one of the most cost-effective ways of changing the look of your living space. Oil-based paints are ideal for covering ceramic tiles and offer a quality finish, durability, and numerous options in color, texture, etc.

When painting over ceramic tiles, it’s best to start on the edges of the tile and work your way towards the center. The process is quick, relatively easy, and does not require sophisticated equipment and materials.

Quick setting cement

You can use quick-setting cement to cover up ceramic tiles. The material dries in about 20 minutes (depending on the type of concrete you use) and offers an inexpensive, quick-fix solution to ceramic tile replacement.

The only downside is that the cement might crack during curing, but you can use a quality sealant to deal with potential cracks on the surface.


Beadboards can give your room a quality aesthetic finish without much investment. Laying beadboards over ceramic tiles is easy and quick.

Cut and measure the sizes that fit your tile area, apply sufficient adhesive on the tiles, and press the beadboard on the surface. You can also use traditional nails for extra grip.

If it seems challenging, hire a contractor and work on the painting yourself.

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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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