Replacing Old Linoleum or Vinyl Flooring with Ceramic Tile DIY Ceramic Tile Installation

Replacing Old Linoleum or Vinyl Flooring with Ceramic Tile DIY Ceramic Tile Installation

Replacing Old Linoleum or Vinyl Flooring with Ceramic Tile

admin, 12 March 2013, No comments

Replacing linoleum with ceramic tile will give your room a more upscale look.  However, linoleum and vinyl flooring are some of the hardest types of flooring to remove and some older vinyl flooring may contain asbestos.   This leads to a very common question, Do you need to remove old linoleum before installing ceramic tile.  The answer to the question is it depends.

Typically, you can install ceramic tile directly on top of linoleum or vinyl floors but there are a few things to consider.

Will the thinset stick to the old flooring?

Make sure to read the package of any mortar you plan to buy to make sure it is recommended for installing over linoleum and vinyl.  Home Depot carries a fortified thinset mortar that can be used over old flooring.  If you are unsure about a particular product, ask a sales representative at the store where you are going to purchase your materials.

Is the old linoleum or vinyl securely glued down?

Over time, vinyl may come loose and not be securely glued down.  You will need to check your floors for loose areas.   It is very typical for the edges of linoleum (under the baseboard) to be loose because there is no glue underneath.

If you find some small loose areas, you can cut out the loose areas of linoleum with a utility knife.   Cut all the way through the linoleum.  Cut far enough back from the loose area that you are cutting into linoleum that is not loose.  Pull up the cut section and scrape up any leftover material.  Removing the cutout will leave an uneven surface.  So, you can even it out by applying some thinset in the area of the cutout.  Use the smooth edge of the trowel to apply thinset into the cutout to make it level with the rest of the linoleum.  Let the thinset harden enough that the trowel will not leave grooves before installing tile.  If the cutouts are along the walls, you probably do not need to even out the surface with thinset.  Even out the cutaway edges if you cut the linoleum more than 1/2 inch away from the wall.

If there are large loose areas, you may need to remove all of the linoleum or vinyl.

What type of floor is the under the linoleum?

If you have a wood floor underneath your vinyl or linoleum, you dont need to remove the old flooring unless you want to.  You can install cement board directly on top of the linoleum.  Cement board is installed with an adhesive but is also screwed down to the floor.  You will want to remove loose areas before installing the cement board.

How to Remove Linoleum and Vinyl

If your old linoleum or vinyl is peeling up or loose, do not install ceramic tile on top of it.  For a wood subfloor, you can just pull up the loose areas and install cement board.  If you have cement floors  you will have to remove the linoleum or vinyl and the glue from the cement.

Unless the flooring is already loose, you will not be able to pull it up by hand.  You will need a razor blade scraper.  A long handled scraper  works the best, but you can use a small handheld scraper .

Hopefully you can find a loose piece to get started, but if not cut a piece out with a utility knife.  Then, scrape at the edge of the linoleum.  You need to scrape off the linoleum or vinyl and the glue.  The glue will probably leave stains behind, dont worry about that.  You just want the floor to be basically smooth and even.

Sometimes linoleum layers will separate leaving a paper layer attached to the floor.  You have to remove the paper.  The best way is to wet the paper with a spray bottle and let the water soak in for a while.  If its a large area, you may want to pour the water on and move it around with a broom or squeegee.  You want to soak the paper down to the cement so that the glue is loosened.  Then, the paper will scape up easier.


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