Laying Ceramic Tile over Vinyl

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If you are laying ceramic tile over vinyl, there are a number of steps that you are going to need to follow, from planning to laying the tile. Here are the basics of how to lay ceramic tile over the top of the vinyl.

Assess the Vinyl

In most cases, it is not advised to lay ceramic tile directly on top of the vinyl. However, if you are forced to do so, you can make the best of the situation. You need to assess the vinyl to see what type of condition it is in. In order to lay the tile, you want to see that the vinyl adheres to the floor well. It should not be coming up in pieces, or the ceramic tile is eventually going to come up as well.

Measuring the Job

You will want to use a tape measure to get the dimensions of the room. You can multiply the two dimensions together to get the square footage. Then add about 10 percent to that number to give you enough material for waste allowance.


You should spend some time laying out the job. You may want to draw a diagram and do some rough sketches of how you plan on laying the tile. In many cases, you will want to center the tile in the room. This is going to allow you to put partial pieces of tile around the wall on every side instead of giving you an unbalanced look. In order to center the room, you can measure with your tape measure and then snap chalk lines to guide you. When you start installing, you can lay your first tile directly against the intersection of the chalk lines.

Laying the Tiles

Once you have spent some time in the planning stages, it is time to start installing. You need to spread out the adhesive on the floor with your trowel. For this job, you will want to make sure that you have a latex fortified thinset. This is going to give you the strength and flexibility required. Spread out some of the adhesives with your notched trowel. This is going to make grooves in the adhesive. When you press the tile down into the adhesive, it will create a better bond, due to this. After you have placed the first tile in the adhesive, you need to put tile spacers around the outside of it on the corners. Then you can push another tile directly up against the spacers. Put tile spacers around the second tile and continue placing tiles in the adhesive in this manner. When you need to make a cut on the tile, you can use your wet saw to do so.

Finishing up

Let the adhesive dry overnight. Then you should be ready to grout. You can use a grout float to install the grout in the joints between the tiles. After the joints are full, clean the tile with a wet sponge. Allow the grout to dry overnight before walking on it.