Tiling over Tiles – Your Comprehensive “How to” Guide
August 15, 2019

If your tiles are out of date and looking a little lacklustre it can really drain the atmosphere of your home. Most people dread re-tiling because it often means that you need to remove all the old tiles first. But this isn’t always the case. Instead of removing the old tiles you can often update them by tiling over tiles. This essentially means laying a new layer of tiles over the old layer.

Don’t worry if you’re not sure how to go about tiling over old tiles, we’re going to dive into a step by step process in this article. Then, if you’re not sure whether you want to tackle the project on your own you can hire a professional tiler instead!

It's also easy to plan out a budget for your tiling project with our handy tiling price guide. Learn about all the factors which could influence the cost of your tiling project. 

Can You Tile over Old Tiles?

The answer to this question brings good news. In most cases, you can absolutely tile over old tiles!

To determine if your floor or wall is a good candidate for retiling, you need to consider the state of the old tiles. Are they in relatively good shape or have they completely degraded over time? If the tiles are in good shape structurally and are mostly still intact then your floor is an excellent candidate.

On the other hand, if your tiles are mostly chipped, broken, cracked or loose you should just remove them entirely.While it may seem counterintuitive to bother worrying about the old tiles when the goal is replacing them, the old layer is key to the project’s structural integrity.

No matter whether you are tiling over tiles on a floor or a wall, your new tiles will need a stable base. If the old tiles are in bad shape, the new tiles won’t adhere correctly. In the case of a floor, this could cause both layers of tiles to lift up. If there are extensive chips and cracks then the top layer of tiles might even weaken over time due to pressure from daily walking.

Shower tiles

Why Should You Re-Tile?

While the process might seem daunting, you shouldn’t avoid the retiling process. It is important to keep your tiles in top shape both for the sake of aesthetic and practicality. If you don’t tend to broken, chipped or uplifted tiles it will not only be unsightly but it could also lead to further damages later on.

For instance, if you leave a bathroom floor or bathroom walls untended water damage could easily strike. Damaged tiles or tiles that are literally lifting off your floors or walls provide the perfect entry for water. Moisture and steam from your shower can easily creep behind these tiles. When this occurs moisture will continue to build up threatening the plaster and dry lining which lies behind the tile. It could even lead to mould growth!

So, if you notice that your tiles are in need of repair, you should make this a top priority.

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What Are the Best Rooms to Tile?

The kitchen and bathroom are by far the most popular rooms to tile in your home. In these rooms, the aesthetic and practicality of tiles make a perfect fit.

Both the kitchen and bathroom are generally exposed to substantial amounts of moisture from cooking and showering. Whereas other materials like paint or wood can bubble or warp due to moisture absorption, tiles are less likely to be affected by this. Though your tiles will still need to be up kept and depending on the type, even resealed every so often, they are nonetheless the most moisture-repellent option.


Tiling over Tiles Step by Step

Ready to begin your tiling over tiles project? Then check out the following steps below to discover the best way to go about it!

Step 1: Find the Right Tools

The first step of any project is to gather your tools and supplies. To simplify this part of the process we’ve included a handy list of the most common tools and supplies you will need for your tiling project.

Top Tools and Supplies for Tiling

  • Spare old tiles (to replace damaged ones)
  • Wooden mallet
  • New tiles
  • Tiling adhesive
  • Sandpaper or an electric sander
  • Vacuum and cleaning supplies
  • Plastering trowel
  • Wooden spacers
  • Grout

Once you have gathered all of these supplies and any other tools or supplies particular to your project you are all set to begin!

Repair Old Tiles

Step 2: Repair the Old Tiles

Before you can lay your new tiles down, you will first need to repair any old tiles which are damaged. So,  if any of the tiles are chipped or have come loose you will need to fix them. At first, this may seem counterintuitive, given that you are going to end up with a brand new tile floor that covers this old one. However, repairing the old tiles and ensuring they are set correctly will provide you with a solid base for your new layer of tiles.

Do your old tiles have any cracks or chips? Then, you will need to repair or even entirely replace these. Otherwise, pressure from people walking on the new layer of tile will not evenly disperse. This could ultimately cause your new layer of tiles to chip as well.

Aside from chips, you should also firmly set any tiles which are loose. You can easily find loose tiles by tapping each one with a wood mallet. If you hear a hollow sound, chances are that that tile will need more adhesive.

Step 3: Even out the Old Tiles

Now that you have secured each tile and there aren’t any chips you can even them out. For this part of the process, use an electric sander to level any uneven areas. Evening out these tiles will ensure that when you lay your new tiles that they won’t carry forward the flaws of the older tiles. After all, you don’t want your new floor to be just as uneven as the old one!

Even if the old tiles are all level you should still scuff them up with a piece of sandpaper. Scuffing your tiles with sandpaper helps to roughen them up. Then when you go to spread the adhesive, it will stick better. In the end, this will result in a layer of tiles which is firm and secure.

Sponges to Clean Tiles

Step 4: Clean Grime and Dust

After sanding off your tiles there is going to be plenty of dust flying all over the place. When you apply the adhesive it could easily trap this dust for years to come. So you should remove it before you start laying your tiles.

The easiest way to remove this dust is with a vacuum cleaner. While it is possible to remove some dust with a broom, a vacuum will be far more effective.

If the grout in your old tiles is particularly grimy you may want to give this a good clean with a strong detergent. Then after scrubbing off the old dirt, wipe your old tiles clean with water. This will remove any detergent that got left behind and could prevent your adhesive from sticking properly.

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Step 5: Dry Lay Your Tiles

This is a simple step you don’t want to skip. Dry laying allows you to find the best spot for your tiles before you permanently stick them in place. All this step requires is that you lay out your tiles on the old tiles in your preferred arrangement.That way you will know exactly how you want them laid out well before you apply the adhesive and it dries.

Parallel Tile Adhesive

Step 6: Add the Adhesive

Now that your tiles are mended, scuffed, cleaned and you know just where to put them it is time to apply your adhesive. During this step you will want to cover the back of the tile you plan to lay with the adhesive. Your plastering trowel will help you to effectively cover the tile’s backing.

Apply a layer of adhesive on top of the old tiles as well. Then, comb the adhesive in one direction – don’t get fancy here. Your tiles will stick better if the adhesive is combed in one direction in parallel lines without swirls.

Step 7: Press the Tiles Down

Once you evenly apply the adhesive it is time to lay your tiles. Make sure that each tile is properly aligned before you set it down and slide it into place. Then, as you add new tiles you wooden spacers to ensure that spacing between each tile is even. When you are certain that the tile is in the correct location, press firmly on it to set it in place.

Now the waiting game begins. Once you have laid out all of your tiles you will need to patiently wait for it to set. The adhesive can take anywhere from 24 hours or more to set. To find out precisely how long it will take your adhesive to set, make sure to take a look at the package’s instructions.

Don’t rush this process. It is crucial to leave your tiles alone while they set. Otherwise, you could end up with an uneven layer of tiles.

Tile Grout

Step 8: Grout the Tiles

As soon as the adhesive has firmly set beneath your tiles you can then begin to grout them. To grout, use the tip of the grouting tube to apply a straight line of grout between the gaps in the tiles. If you get any grout on your tiles, clean this up immediately. You don’t want this to set or it could leave a permanent and unsightly mess. To clean it up, a damp rag should be all you need.

Once the grout sets, your project is finished. Now just sit back, relax and enjoy your new tiles!

All set to install new tiles in your home? Easily find a top tiling expert in your area when you submit a free request!

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How to Remove Tiles Easily and Effectively in 7 Simple Steps

Learning how to remove tiles can seem like a daunting process. However, if you take the proper safety precautions and tackle the process with patience you are bound to succeed. To get you started we’ve included 7 simple steps that you can follow as a guideline for removing tiles.

Not sure if you’ll have the time to remove the tiles yourself? Don’t sweat it Bidvine has you covered. Simply click to submit a request for free and then get bids from local tile repairmen for your project!

Then, to plan a budget for your tiling project check out our handy tiling price guide to learn more about which factors influence tile installation, repair, and removal in the UK!

How to Remove Tiles - Safety First

1. Safety First

First things first, when removing tiles you need to keep safety at the forefront of your mind. Sometimes in order to remove the tiles, you will have to break them with a hammer and chisel. This could cause shards of tile to fly out from any direction. Needless to say, to protect yourself from these shards you need to take a few key precautions.

The main safety related items you will need are a hardy pair of work gloves, a pair of safety goggles and a dust mask. While the gloves protect your hands from fly away shards, the safety goggles will protect your eyes. Then, the mask will help to filter out any tile dust that begins floating in the atmosphere as a result of the removal process.

If you don’t own any of these items, don’t stress. Safety goggles and work gloves are available at most hardware shops.

Keep in mind that if you have allergies to dust or you have asthma, you may want to avoid tackling this project on your own. Your health is a top consideration.

Protect Your Surroundings

2. Protect Your Surroundings

After you’ve looked after protecting yourself you should also protect your surroundings. Shards of tile can easily scuff or dent the other surfaces in the room.

Are you removing bathroom tiles? Then you should cover the tub, the sink and any other porcelain fixtures with a drop cloth. In the case of removing a tile wall, you should also cover up the floor. As you remove the tiles they may accidentally drop and shatter. This could scuff a hardwood, laminate or even tile floor.

However, if you take the time to cover up these surfaces in advance, you won’t need to worry about any stray shards causing damage.

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Tiling a Bathroom – 9 Essential Steps to Get Great Results

Tiling a bathroom is something that many people don’t feel very confident about doing for themselves. However, learning how to tile a bathroom doesn’t have to be daunting! As long as you properly prepare and practice your tiling technique, learning how to tile a bathroom can be easy. You don’t need to have lots of experience, but our handy tips and tricks will keep you on the right track.

So, simply follow our step-by-step guide to tiling a bathroom and you’ll quickly become a tiling pro! If you don’t have enough time to dedicate to this project, you can always hire a local tiler to help speed up the process. Simply click the button below to get free bids.

Which Bathroom Tiles Are Right for Me?

First of all, when tiling a bathroom, you should bear in mind that the size of the room should influence a lot of your decisions. Small bathrooms won’t be suited to large bathroom tiles, as they can make the room look even smaller. Instead, medium or small tiles are a far better option for small bathrooms.

Most bathrooms tiles are either porcelain or ceramic. They tend to be affordable tiling options. There are benefits to both options. Porcelain tiles tend to be more hardwearing than ceramic tiles. However, this means that sometimes they can more expensive than ceramic tiles. If you are tiling a bathroom wall, you won’t need to choose tiles that can withstand a lot of wear. So, you can opt for whatever style of tile that you prefer.

Natural stone tiles are also increasingly popular in bathrooms. If you are looking to learn how to tile a bathroom for the first time, you may want to avoid these tiles. Tiles made of stone or limestone are far more porous and absorbent than their ceramic or porcelain counterparts.

Essentially, natural stone tiles will need sealing a lot more regularly. So if you’re a D.I.Y. novice, or short on time, you might want to steer clear of them as they require quite a lot of upkeep.

Always order sample tiles before you start tiling a bathroom. It can be tricky to picture the size of a tile when you’re looking online or in a bathroom store. However, taking the tiles and living with them will make your more confident that you’ve chosen the right colour and size.

If you need some bathroom tiling inspiration, why not check out our bathroom tiling ideas article?

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Are you looking for some fantastic ideas for your new kitchen splashback? Installing a new splashback is a great way to update your kitchen without going through a full remodel. To inspire your future renovations, we've collected our favourite kitchen splashback ideas from across the web.

If you're ready to install a new splashback in your kitchen, you can find a local tile installer on Bidvine. All you need to do is answer a few questions about your project and we'll shortlist bids from interested professionals for you.

Now, let's get into the best kitchen splashback ideas for your dream kitchen. We've collected tile splashbacks, cooker splashbacks, and even a few ideas for DIY splashbacks.

Best Kitchen Splashback Ideas


1. Arabesque Tiles

If you want your kitchen splashback to have an exotic and high-end feel, Arabesque tiles are perfect for you. These tiles are relatively expensive to purchase and install due to their shape but the final result is definitely worth it! We love this example of marble Arabesque tiles reaching from the counter to the ceiling, complete with a butler sink and vintage-looking fixtures.


2. Black Glass Splashback

This modern kitchen is accented by a black glass splashback and glossy white cabinets. For a stark and modern aesthetic, look no further than black glass splashbacks for kitchens. They are easy to clean, given their flat surface, and can be found in many different colours, depending on your taste.


3. Chalkboard Splashback

If you always find yourself forgetting your grocery list or bits of your family's schedule, this idea is for you. This is one of the most customisable kitchen splashback ideas on our list, simply due to the fact that you can draw on it with chalk! A chalkboard splashback will allow your family to write down a grocery list in one spot or to just write notes to each other. Chalkboard paint can add function to many parts of your home, check out this article to find some inspiration.


4. Chevron Tiles

Chevron has been very trendy for the past few years, and it's not going away anytime soon. This kitchen splashback runs from the floor to the ceiling in the entire room, but you don't have to go that far. If you made the stripes shorter, you could recreate a similar look between your worktop and upper cabinets.


5. Copper Splashback

You already know we love the idea of a copper sink, but why not take it a step further and install copper as your kitchen splashback? Copper is durable, long-lasting, and easy to clean, and these qualities make it an ideal material for kitchen splashbacks. It is also antimicrobial, meaning that it kills almost 100% of bacteria that cause healthcare-related illnesses. Who doesn't want a more sanitary kitchen?


6. Diamond Kitchen Tiles

If you want tiles that look a bit more exciting than subways tiles but don't want to go straight for Arabesque or hexagonal tiles, diamond-shaped tiles are perfect for you. These beautiful tiles are available in a wide range of materials and colours depending on your tastes and the colour scheme of your kitchen. This kitchen features marble diamond tiles and neutral finishes, giving the kitchen a high-end look.


7. Geometric Tiles

Add some visual interest to your kitchen by installing one of our favourite kitchen splashback ideas. This is just one of the many modern kitchen splashbacks available to you, and we think it looks perfect. The diamond tiles are rotated to create a chevron pattern featuring different shades of grey, yellow, and cream tiles. The tiles pair well with the asymmetric kitchen cabinets and unique kitchen island.


8. Herringbone Tiles

Do you love the look of a chevron splashback but only want to use one tile colour? If your answer is "yes," rectangular tiles arranged in a herringbone pattern is right up your alley. For this look, you can either use skinny rectangles (pictured) or ordinary subway tiles. Both will look great, it just depends on your preference. Installing tiles in a herringbone pattern is more laborious than installing them in a traditional manner, so keep that in mind when you're reviewing bids.


9. Hexagonal Wall Tiles

These wall tiles look perfect arranged in a random pattern (pictured) or all in one colour. Hexagonal tiles add a unique flare to any kitchen, and your guests are sure to be impressed by your design taste when you install them. Like Arabesque tiles, hexagonal tiles are relatively expensive to install due to their shape. Keep this in mind when you're shopping for tiles and reviewing bids from interested professionals.


10. Iridescent Kitchen Splashback

If you're going for a truly glam look in your new kitchen, these tiles are perfect for you. You can often find iridescent tiles in shades of white, like the example in the photo. We love the use of both iridescent and glossy tiles in this kitchen, as it adds an extra bit of flair to the splashback. If you're installing small tiles like these, the installation cost can get quite expensive due to the labour required, but you may be able to find larger tiles that have a pattern built into them already.
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