Laying Tile Over Linoleum
LESLIE: Alright, now we’ve got Dave in Texas who’s calling in with a tiling and flooring question. What can we do for you?
DAVE: I was just wondering – we’re going to put ceramic tile down.
DAVE: And I have an area – I want to do my family room and my kitchen. So the kitchen currently has linoleum. Is it OK to put the tile down over the linoleum?
TOM: Well, you can’t glue it to the linoleum. If you’re going to put – you can put an underlayment down on top of the linoleum and then adhere the tile to that. So if you use like a tile backer board, you could nail that to the floor right through the linoleum and then adhere the tile to that. You can’t put the tile right on the linoleum because it’s not going to stick.
LESLIE: Yeah, but that’s going to add quite a bit of height to the floor.
TOM: Yeah, it’s going to add thickness. You’ll have to work around that.
DAVE: Yeah, yeah. Because the linoleum right now is only maybe a 1/16-inch. I figured I could smooth out that transition.
DAVE: But if it’s not going to stick, then I can (inaudible at 0:27:17.0).
TOM: No, it’s not going to stick. Can’t do it.
LESLIE: But keep in mind, Dave, that when you’re adding, say, the backer board and then the mastic and the tile, you’re looking at maybe an inch of height added to the floor and you want to make sure that you’ve got clearance for your appliances – especially like a dishwasher that would be under the counter. Pull it out; tile underneath; adjust the legs to make sure it fits. Don’t tile in the dishwasher; I’ve seen that done a million times. Tom has had to deal with that at his sister’s house.
TOM: Yep, mm-hmm.
DAVE: OK, so then what’s the easiest way to take up linoleum? That’s what I was trying to avoid; to just try and get that stuff up off the floor.
TOM: Well, I mean it can be difficult because the glue is so unknown. If it turns out that the glue is fairly weak and you can rip it up in pieces, that’s fine. But then again, you’re going to have a rough surface. Now even in that situation, you can’t adhere the tile right to the subfloor. You must have a proper base for tile. If you don’t take the time to create a proper base, what’s going to happen, Dave, is the tile is going to get loose or it’s going to crack and you’re not going to be happy. I mean it really is important that you have a good base for tile or it won’t work.
DAVE: It’s a cement foundation, so it’ll be all cement.
TOM: Oh, it’s a concrete foundation? OK, well that helps.
TOM: Alright, well that helps.
TOM: Well, you’ve got to get the linoleum up nonetheless and then the question will be how much glue is under there and can you get a good portion of that up so that you can get the thinset down on top of that.
DAVE: So there’s some kind of scraping tool or something I can rent to do that or …?
TOM: Well, a big floor scraper. Yeah. Not something – well, you could rent it or buy it, I suppose.
DAVE: OK. OK. Well, thanks a lot, guys.
TOM: Alright, Dave. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.