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The wife wants to tile the kitchen with 1 ft square ceramic tiles.
So she goes out and buys the stuff at Lowe's. The salesperson
tells her that it's OK to ceramic tile over linoleum (or it may
be vinyl....whatever, it's a 1 piece sheet). I say it's not OK, that
the old flooring should be removed. The house has a concrete
slab and it seems to me that direct adhesion to the slab would
be best. The wife is giving me grief.... says I'm nit-pickin and
creating more work for myself.
I've done a Google Groups search on "ceramic installed over
linoleum" and the opinions seem to be split.
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ROFLMAO, wow a wife that actually cares if your working too hard. IMO, I
would remove the linoleum to do it right. Putting down the thinset and
expecting the linoleum to stay put and as you said, adhesion for years to
come might be a problem. Removing the linoleum before is much easier than
If it was me, I would say "OK hun, I'll do it your way, but then I'll have
all this extra time left over for nothing but wild, crazy sex. OK?"
Then I would get the OK to remove the linoleum :)
Rent or buy a big suction cup of the type used to hold large pieces of
glass. Go to the center of the most open area in your kitchen and
attach the cup, then pull. If the linoleum lifts then you can be sure
that the stuff is attached only around the periphery. Not only will it
be easy to get up, but it also would be best to get it up. If the
linoleum won't lift then neither will your ceramic tile and you can be
pretty confident that the results will be OK. Be sure to use a mastic
that's plenty sticky though, and it would be a good idea to rough up the
linoleum in some fashion. A belt sander with a 60 or 40 grain belt
should do the trick.
Mark 'Sporky' Stapleton
Watermark Design, LLC
My experience has been that thinset does not adhere very well to
linoleum. A contractor did that at my daughters house. One tile was
cracked by something heavy being dropped. When removing that tile all
the adjoining tile wanted to come up too. Replacing that one tile
ended up a real mess. That was over a wood floor and your experience
with a slab might be different. I put down Hardibacker and need a
chisel and mallet to get tile loose.
Having done a similar project in which I decided to remove the
existing lineoleum before tiling, if I had to do it again I would tile
over the linoleum. Scraping up the lineoleum in a small kitchen/dining
area was a nightmare. Stuff came up in small, torn pieces and
constantly clogged the scrapper blade. I spent more than a full day on
it and often had to get on my hands and knees in the corners and near
base cabinets. I found out recently that one of my kids who helped on
this project (this was years ago) remembers it like POWs remember
their days in tiger cages. Of course, if the lineoleum comes up
easily, that's another matter. Since that project I did a couple of
others in which I laid tile over vinyl squares and haven't had a
problem. Didn't rough up the vinyl or anything. This was several years
ago and the tile is still rock solid. BTW, all of this is on a
On 15 Apr 2004 05:43:04 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
Well if this were a perfectly flat linoleum, I may consider tiling over it.
But it's a type of linoleum that's like simulated bricks, and it has dips or
little valleys that simulate mortar. If it weren't for these
low spots, I don't think tiling over it would hurt.
As long as the existing flooring is adhered well you can and should lay the
tile right over it. The existing sheet vinyl will actually act as a buffer
between any cracks in the concrete floor and the new ceramic tile making it
less likley for the new tile to crack.
I work for a builder that installs new vinyl flooring before he lays down
his ceramic tile. Since he started doing this a few years ago he has cut his
"callbacks" on ceramic tile repairs by 99%!
You will need to use a thinset with additives so it will stick to the vinyl.
Also clean the vinyl flooring with tsp or detergent before laying your tile.
We did this using a thinset cement formulated for this specific
purpose that was recommended by a tile place. It's been two years and
so far, nothing has popped up or off.
We did fasten the vinyl down securely using ring shank nails and ran a
belt sander over it to scuff it up.
If your vinyl is loose, I would probably consider scraping it up as
well -- but if it's down securely, I see no reason why you couldn't
lay the tile right over it.
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