How to Tile Over Slippery Tile Floor
LESLIE: Now we welcome Frances from Florida to The Money Pit who wants to talk about a bathroom floor.
Frances, how can we help?
FRANCES: I picked out the most beautiful, shiny, slick tile.
LESLIE: (chuckles) And now you’re falling down.
FRANCES: Oh, no. I’m hopping from rug to rug. (Tom and Frances chuckle) I just – but anyway …
TOM: She’s doing the Risky Business slide. (Tom laughs)
FRANCES: Do you think – I mean short of tearing it up and starting over, what can we do?
TOM: Well, first of all – and you know what? We should probably tell you, and although it’s too late for you now, that there is such a thing as a slip-resistance rating on tile.
TOM: And …
LESLIE: You know, perhaps you picked up a tile that was only rated for wall use.
FRANCES: I think it was. I believe it was. But what can we do now? It’s down on the floor. It’s been there for years; for several years. But anyway …
TOM: Oh, really?
FRANCES: Yeah, it’s been there. So is there some way you can rough it up or can we put other tile on top of …?
TOM: Yes. You can put – you can tile right over it without ripping up the old stuff. That’s done all the time.
FRANCES: Oh, that’s good.
TOM: Yeah. You know, I was going to say there’s no way to rough it up because the surface is just too darn hard and …
LESLIE: Well, plus then you’d be breaking the glazing process which would just make them really sharp.
TOM: Yeah, good point.
FRANCES: That’s good. That’s good to know. OK. Well then, what we need to do is to find some rough tile and put it down on top of this tile.
LESLIE: Just make sure when you’re shopping for the tile, look for a slip rating and it’ll make sure that it’s – I forget how the number system goes but it’s rated on wall use and floor use, so you’ll know exactly …
TOM: Is that the – that’s the PEI?
LESLIE: The PEI rating …
LESLIE: … is for durability and toughness of the tile.
TOM: Oh, OK.
LESLIE: So there are two things you should look at. You need to look at the PEI number, which goes from one to five, and that tells you if it’s a soft tile or if it’s a pretty hard, durable tile. So it depends on how trafficky your area is. But you want to go with something pretty hardy. And then also look at the slip resistance. Make sure you get something that’s specifically used for a floor and make sure that it’s not going to be slick.
FRANCES: I have written down “slip resistance” and that way I will have the right words when I go to the store.
TOM: Alright, Frances.
FRANCES: Thank you all so much. You’ve been so helpful and I thoroughly enjoy your program every week.
LESLIE: Thank you.
TOM: Thanks for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.