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 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 over it.
If the 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 or you can replace them.
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 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 planks will stay together and form a steady and even floor.
However, before laying the planks, you must use a leveling compound. 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.
Fix Cracked Tiles
You shouldn’t install laminate planks over cracked tiles as they will put too much pressure on the locks, causing the planks to separate and creating gaps.
If the gaps are left unattended, water and air will get underneath the floor, causing different problems, such as buckling or moving planks.
Also, cracked tiles will result in bouncy laminate floors. That’s because the planks need a steady and strong base to sit on. If the floor is broken or cracked, the planks won’t be sturdy. In addition, walking over bouncy floors can cause damage to the planks.
If the tiles are cracked or broken, it’s better to remove them. However, if only a few are cracked, you can apply a leveling compound, wait for it to dry, and then install flooring over them.
Install an Underlayment
Install an underlayment is necessary as it will protect the floor 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 prevent leaks and water damage.
Underlayment is a wrap of flat padding you put on the subfloor before laying the floor. 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 floor. If they are not in good condition (cracked), you must remove them 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
- A vacuum
- A mop
- An underlayment
1. Prepare The Tiles
First, prep the tiles. Start by removing all items and furniture from them. Also, you must clean the floor to remove the dust and filth that can prevent the planks from sitting well.
Next, clean the tiled floor:
- Vacuum or sweep them to remove the filth.
- Mix detergent with warm water.
- Apply the mixture to the floor, and use a floor brush to scrub the floors.
- Wait a few minutes.
- Use clean water and a mop to wipe the floor (remove the detergent residue).
- Allow the tiles to dry.
2. 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 those gaps, apply leveling compound. The leveling compound will produce an even layer over the 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. However, if the subfloor already has 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
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 planks accordingly but don’t lock them 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, this helps you know if the laminate planks will make the floor too high or not.
4. Install The Laminate Planks
Once you have the right measurements and arrangement of the planks, install and lock them using the locking mechanism. Allow enough gap between the 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 and Cons
- It’s easier to install a new flooring over it than to remove or replace the existing flooring.
- The floor will have a new look.
- This is a task you can take on yourself.
- Easy to clean and maintain.
- It increases the floor height, which can prevent doors from closing properly.
- Laminate planks are not waterproof. So, you’ll need to provide a waterproof carpet, especially in high-moisture areas like the bathroom.
- This is not a good choice for small rooms.
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 planks you need, and the more it will cost you.
On average, the cost per square foot will be $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.
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.
You can install laminate flooring on tiles as long as the floor is in good condition. If the tiles are cracked, it’s better to remove them and then install the new floor. If you install it over a damaged 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 floor doesn’t have an underlayment underneath it, you must install a new waterproof underlayment. The underlayment will protect the planks from water spills.
After installing the floor, check the locks of the planks and set them correctly.