How to Install Tile Over Laminate Flooring

Tile wall image by Pontus Edenberg from

Laminate flooring's tongue-and-groove installation system makes it simple for do-it-yourselfers to install. However, when you grow tired of laminate flooring, you can install tile over the laminate. Some experts recommend removing the laminate before installing tile. However, if you install a sturdy base on top of the laminate flooring, your tile will stay secure and you will enjoy a successful tile floor installation.

Secure backerboard on top of your laminate flooring in the area where you want to install tile. Because laminate floors float above the subfloor, they're too unstable to provide the structure needed for a tile floor. Measure and cut sheets of backerboard to fit the area. Lay the sheets on top of your laminate flooring. Drill through the backerboard and the laminate, into the subfloor, to secure the backerboard to the subfloor.

Find the middle of your floor, which is where you will start laying your tile. Run a chalk line from the middle of opposite walls, then snap the string to lay down a line of chalk that runs from wall to wall. Find the middle points of the other two walls in your room and run the chalk line between the two. Snap the string to create a second line of chalk that runs perpendicular to the first line. Where the two lines intersect is the middle of the room, and that's where your tile floor installation will begin.

Spread a thin layer of thin-set mortar across your backerboard in the area where you will install your first row of tiles. Use the flat edge of a trowel to spread the mortar, covering an area that's 2 feet by 3 feet. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Use the notched side of your trowel to more liberally apply a second coat of thin-set mortar. Press the notched side of the trowel down toward the backerboard so you hear it make a scraping sound as you use it. This helps ensure the thin-set mortar better adheres to the tile.

Lay your first tile on top of the thin-set mortar in one of the corners where your two chalk lines intersect. Gently push the tile down into the mortar to make sure it sticks.

Set spacers on the edge of your first tile, then install your second tile. Make sure the edges line up with the first tile. The edge of this first row of tiles will run along one of the chalk lines.

Work from the centre of the room out to the edges, installing tile in straight rows and using the same size spacers between each tile. Wait before you install tiles that require cutting. It's more efficient to do all of your cutting at once and install these tiles at the same time.

Measure the space available for each tile that requires cutting. Transfer those measurements to your tile so you know how large the tile should be.

Cut each tile that requires cutting, using a wet saw. To speed up this process, mark the cuts you need to make on the tile, then use that line as a guide as you cut with the wet saw. Place the tiles in their designated spaces on the floor.

Let the tile sit overnight before you apply grout.

Mix grout according to the manufacturer's instructions. When you finish, it should have the same consistency as mayonnaise.

Spread the grout over your tile with a trowel. Work the grout in between each tile. Wait 30 minutes to allow the grout to set up.

Wipe the top of your tiles with a damp sponge to remove any excess grout on the surface. Keep a bucket of clean water nearby. Frequently dip the sponge in the clean water to help you clean up more quickly.

Allow your grout to sit overnight before you use your tile floor.

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