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Retiling Floor: OK to Tile Over Cracked Tiles?

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Brian in Illinois needs a hand with a tiling project. What are you working on?

    BRIAN: Yeah. I’m doing some retiling in my house and I was just wondering – I got some eight-inch tile down in front of my fireplace – in front of my entry door – and I was wondering if I have to tear that tile up or can I just go over it? We’re going to put new, six-inch tile down on top of it.

    TOM: Mm-hmm. Are you satisfied with the support the eight-inch tile has? Is it real solid?

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Is everything sturdy?

    BRIAN: Well, the deal is that the guy that put this tile down before we got here, he didn’t put the cement board down underneath it.

    TOM: OK. So is it cracking?

    BRIAN: Yes, it’s cracking.

    TOM: Yeah. You’re going to make it worse.

    BRIAN: Oh, really?

    TOM: You need to take it all up; you need to put a proper base down. If you put the new tile over the old tile, guess what’s going to happen to the new tile? It’s going to crack, too. You can put multiple layers of tile down; that is possible and it’s, you know, sometimes a good idea.

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Mm-hmm. If the base is sturdy.

    TOM: (overlapping voices) But it all comes down to what the base is. Right.

    BRIAN: OK. Because I thought maybe the old tile would work as a support but it won’t, will it?

    TOM: Well, I mean yeah, it’s not going to crack as much as – the new tile probably won’t crack as much as the old tile but I mean it’s just not worth it. So I would pull that up, put a proper tile base down and then go from there. It’s just a much better job.

    BRIAN: (overlapping voices) OK. So go ahead and tear the old tile up and then put some cement board down underneath it and go from there.

    TOM: Yes, sir.

    BRIAN: OK.

    TOM: You’ll be happier. More work but you’ll definitely be happier in the long run.

    BRIAN: OK. Well, thank you. You guys have got a good show.

    TOM: Oh, thank you very much. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 

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