How to Install Tile Over a Wood Floor

Lead Image
  • 24-48 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 300-500
What You'll Need
Concrete board
Tile spacers
Grout float
Tape measure
Safety gear
Wet saw
Seam tape
Chalk line
Utility knife

Although installing tile over a wood floor is slightly more complicated than installing tile directly over concrete, the project can be completed with a little bit of work and a few extra steps. Check out the basics below to get started.

Step 1 – Determine How Much Tile You Will Need

First, determine how much tile you will need for the job. Using a tape measure, take the dimensions of the room where you will be installing the tiles. Then, multiply the length and width together to get the square footage of the space. Add 5-10 percent additional tile to that value to make sure you will have enough material to make cuts as needed.

Step 2 – Prepare the Room

Next, prepare the room for installation. Remove the baseboards along the side of the wall, as well as any carpet, laminate, or other flooring covering the wood. However, do not try to remove any vinyl that is glued down to the wood, or you might damage the floor.

Step 3 – Install the Concrete Board

Tile cannot be installed directly to a wood subfloor. To install the tile, you must first install concrete board. Concrete board typically comes in 3-5 foot sheets, and it can be attached to the wood subfloor to provide extra strength. Cut the board with a utility knife to the correct sizes, and then adhere the board to the wood by using tile adhesive, nails, or screws. Then, cover the seams with seam tape.

Step 4 – Use a Chalk Line

Next, snap a chalk line in the center of the room in both directions. This line will provide you with a place to start laying the tile, so that it will be centered in the room.

Step 5 – Lay the Tile

Spread out some of the adhesive with your trowel, and then press one of the tiles down into it. Using spacers to guide you, place the next tile directly next to it. Continue laying tiles in this manner until you get to a wall or cabinet.

Cutting for a Wall or Cabinet

When you get to a wall or cabinet, you must cut the tile to fit. Measure out the dimensions of the tile you will need, and then cut the tile with your wet saw to the appropriate size. Use all safety precautions as provided by the manufacturer when using a wet saw, including wearing the proper safety gear.

Step 6 – Install the Grout

After you allow the tile adhesive to dry for 24 hours, you can then install the grout. Using a grout float, apply the grout to the grout joints. Then, clean the rest up with a sponge dampened with water.