How to Install a Hardwood Floor Over Tile

Written by alexis lawrence
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How to Install a Hardwood Floor Over Tile
When hardwood flooring is installed correctly, you can't tell there is tile beneath it. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Though, generally, hardwood floor planks are installed directly over a concrete or wood subfloor, you can install hardwood flooring over other types of flooring as well. If you have a room with tile flooring, for instance, and would like to install hardwood, you can do so directly over the tiles. When installing a hardwood floor over tiles, ideally you should install the planks as a floating floor, which leaves the tiles unharmed beneath in case you choose to display them again.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Levelling compound
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Mop
  • Mild soap
  • Snap-and-lock hardwood flooring
  • Flooring spacers
  • Circular saw

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  1. 1

    Put the flooring planks that you purchase into the room with the tile floor and allow them to acclimate for a couple of days.

  2. 2

    Inspect the tile floor over which you plan to install the hardwood flooring. If you see chips in the tiles or holes in the surrounding grout, fill the chips or holes in with levelling compound and allow the compound to dry for a few hours. Once it feels dry to the touch, use sandpaper to go over the compound to make sure it sits level with the rest of the tile.

  3. 3

    Mop the floor with a mild soap to remove sanding dust and any dirt on the floor's surface. Rinse the mop thoroughly and go over the floor with the mop again to rinse the soap from the floor.

  4. 4

    Lay one row of flooring planks down on the floor so that the row sits parallel with a wall. Place a spacer that came with the flooring against the wall and put the first plank down so that the side edge sits against the spacer. Place each additional plank in the row so that the end touches the end of the plank laid before it. When you get to the space at the end, use a circular saw to cut a plank down to fit into the remaining space.

  5. 5

    Push the entire row of planks back against the parallel wall. Place spacers along the wall so that the planks don't touch the wall directly.

  6. 6

    Cut 6 to 8 inches off the first plank for the second row. Line the tongue of the plank up with the groove in the first plank of the row already laid and lower the plank to lock it to the first plank. Set a spacer against the wall and push the plank over against the spacer.

  7. 7

    Cut a 2- to 3-inch piece of plank off of the piece that you already cut. Set this cut piece of plank at the end of the plank you just laid and tap it with a hammer to drive the plank tightly against the wall spacer.

  8. 8

    Place a full plank in the second row next to the first plank, locking it to the planks in the first row. Put the piece of cut plank at the end and tap it to drive the second plank tightly against the end of the first. Repeat all the way across the row and cut the final piece of plank down to size to fit.

  9. 9

    Cut the first plank for the third row so that it is 6 to 8 inches shorter than the first plank in the second row. Lock it into place, put a spacer against the wall and tap the plank against the spacer. Lay the rest of the planks in the row.

  10. 10

    Use this staggering pattern across the room, laying planks of smaller sizes each three rows and then starting again with a full-size plank. When you get to the far side of the room, cut flooring planks with a circular saw to fit them into the remaining space. Remove the spacers once you finish laying the planks and put down floor trim over the gaps at the sides of the room.

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