Laminate Flooring Over Tile (Can You Do it & How To?)

Laminate floors need a strong, even, and durable subfloor. So, can you install laminate floors over tiles?

You can install laminate floors over a tiled floor if the tiled floor is in good condition and has an even surface. However, if the tiled floor is cracked, broken, or loose, you shouldn’t install laminate planks over it. 

If the tiled floor is damaged, remove the tiles and install the laminate planks over the subfloor. However, if only a few tiles are damaged, you can repair the cracks by laying a leveling compound over the tiles before installing the laminate floor.

Don’t Lay Laminate Floors Over Cracked Tile

Can You Install a Laminate Floor Over Cracked Tile

You shouldn’t install laminate planks over cracked tiles. Cracked tiles will put too much pressure on the laminate locks, causing the planks to separate and creating gaps in your flooring.

If the gaps are left unattended, water and air will get underneath the laminate floor, causing different laminate floor problems, such as buckling or moving planks. 

Also, cracked tiles will result in bouncy laminate floors. That’s because the laminate floors need a steady and strong base to sit on. If the tiles are broken or cracked, the floor won’t be sturdy. In addition, walking over bouncy laminate floors can cause damage to the planks.

If the tiles are cracked or broken, it’s better to remove the tiles and then install the laminate planks. However, if only a few tiles are cracked, you can apply a leveling compound, wait for it to dry, and then install the laminate planks. 

Laminate Planks Stick To Tiles

Will a Laminate Floor Stick To Tiles?

Laminate is a floating floor and will stick to a tiled floor. Floating floors don’t need to be glued or nailed on the subfloor to stick. So, as long as the tiled floor is in good condition and even, the laminate planks will stick. 

Laminate floors use an interlocking design that keeps the floor in place. Using the “click and lock” mechanism, the laminate planks will stick together and form a steady and even floor.

However, before laying the laminate planks, you must use a leveling compound on the tiles. This guarantees an even surface for the planks to sit on. The leveling compound fills the lines between the tiles and forms a steady even surface. You can use a concrete paste as an alternative to leveling compound. But, before installing planks, the concrete paste must dry for a few days.

An Underlayment is Necessary 

You must install an underlayment before laying laminate planks on a tiled floor. The underlayment will protect the laminate floors from underneath water and moisture. 

However, if the tiled floors already have an underlayment, you don’t need to install another one. But, the underlayment must be waterproof to protect laminate planks from leaks and water damage. 

Underlayment is a wrap of flat padding you put on the subfloor before laying the laminate planks. The underlayment is made of tough foam material, such as polyethylene or polypropylene. This makes the underlayment strong and moisture-resistant.

The underlayment will be a “bridge” between the tiled floor and laminate planks. It also provides a smooth surface for the planks to stick to.

How To Install a Laminate Flooring Over a Tile Floor?

Putting laminate flooring over tile can be tough if you don’t know the right steps to follow. Luckily, this guide will show you how to do it.

Note: The tiles must be in good condition before installing the laminate planks. If the tiles are not in good condition (cracked), you must remove the tiles and then install the planks.

Here are the tools you need:

  • A rubber mallet
  • Measuring tape
  • A chisel
  • A floor brush
  • A leveling compound or concrete paste
  • Detergent
  • A vacuum
  • A mop
  • An underlayment

1. Prepare The Tiles

Prepare The Tiles

First, prep the tiles. Start by removing all items and furniture off the tiled floor. Also, you must clean the tiled floor to remove the dust and filth that can prevent the laminate planks from sitting well on tiles. 

Next, clean the tiled floor:

  1. Vacuum or sweep the tiles to remove the filth.
  2. Mix detergent with warm water.
  3. Apply the mixture to the floor, and use a floor brush to scrub the floors.
  4. Wait a few minutes.
  5. Use clean water and a mop to wipe the floor (remove the detergent residue). 
  6. Allow the tiles to dry. 

2. Apply a Layer of Leveling Compound

Apply a Layer of Leveling Compound

Laminate planks must sit on an even and strong base. Tiled floors are even, but they have uneven gaps between them. So, to fill the gaps between the tiles, you must apply leveling compound. The leveling compound will produce an even layer over the tiled floor.

It’s best to use a self-leveling compound on the tiles. The self-leveling compound will dry evenly even if you don’t lay it smoothly. After applying the leveling compound, wait 2 hours for it to dry.

Once the leveling compound dries, install a waterproof underlayment over the tiles. However, if the tiles already have an underlayment underneath, you don’t have to install another one. 

You can use a concrete paste as an alternative to the leveling compound. However, the concrete paste will take a few days to dry fully. 

3. Measure The Floor

Measure The Floor

Get an accurate measurement of the floor using a measuring tape. Write down the length and width of the floor. This helps you to know how many planks you need. 

After getting the measurements, lay the laminate planks on the floor accordingly but don’t lock the planks in place yet. This helps you know which planks go where and if you’ll need to trim some planks.

Measuring the floor extends to measuring the height too to know if the laminate planks will not make the floor too high.

4. Install The Laminate Planks

Install The Laminate Planks

Once you have the right measurements and arrangement of the laminate planks, install them and lock the planks using the locking mechanism. Allow enough gap between the laminate planks for the acclimation. 

Check if the doors close properly immediately after installing the floor. After a few days, you can reinstall wall fixes and baseboard trims.

Pros/Cons of Installing Laminate Floors over Tiles

Here are the pros and cons of installing laminate flooring over tiles:

Pros

  1. Installing a laminate floor over tiles is much easier and quicker than breaking the tiles to install the laminate floor on the subfloor.
  2. The floor will have a new look.
  3. Installing a laminate floor over tiles is not expensive.
  4. This is a task you can take on yourself.
  5. Laminate floors are easy to clean and maintain.

Cons

  1. Putting a laminate floor over a tiled floor increases the floor height, which can prevent doors from closing properly.
  2. Laminate planks are not waterproof. So, you’ll need to provide a waterproof carpet over the laminate floor, especially in high moisture areas like the bathroom.
  3. This is not a good choice for small rooms.

The Cost

It takes between $300-2000 to install laminate floors over tiles. However, the cost depends on the material used, labor cost, and floor size. The larger the floor, the more laminate planks you need, and the more it will cost you.

On average, the cost per square foot of installing laminate over tiles is $5. This includes the cost of materials needed. Measure the square foot of your floor and multiply by $5 to get an estimated cost for your flooring. You can also employ a flooring expert to measure and give you the total cost of putting a laminate floor over your tiled floor.

However, it will cost you even more if you don’t know how to do it or if you hire a professional. So, read our guide and see if you can do it yourself. 

Final Words

You can install laminate flooring on tiles as long as the tiled floor is in good condition. If the tiles are cracked, it’s better to remove them and then install the laminate. If you install laminate planks over a damaged tile floor, the planks won’t sit properly and will start to crack too. 

You must apply a self-leveling compound to fill the lines (gaps) between the tiles. Also, if the tiled floor doesn’t have an underlayment underneath it, you must install a waterproof underlayment over the tiles. The underlayment will protect the laminate planks from water spills. 

After installing the laminate, check the locks of the planks and set them correctly. 

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