Take the 2-minute tour ×
Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I want to re-tile my laundry room. The existing linoleum tile is glued directly to the concrete slab with some sort of black adhesive.

I don't want to pull up the old tile. If I put down backerboard and lay ceramic penny tile over it, will I have problems with the new tile cracking?

Additional Info: The original linoleum tile is asbestos and that's why I don't want to pull it up unless it's absolutely necessary.

share|improve this question
3  
If you don't want to do it right the first time, what are your thoughts about doing it right the second time? –  BMitch Dec 6 '12 at 18:33
1  
Don't do it. If only from the perspective of not wanting the next owner to be pissed off at you for doing something that he/she considers so brain-dead. I'm having to clean up an absolute mess in my basement from a previous owner's doing things quick rather than right, and it's annoying me to no end. –  John Dec 6 '12 at 19:26
    
More info: The old tile is linoleum tile, which contains asbestos. They don't have beveled edges. They're not ceramic. –  Laxmidi Dec 7 '12 at 15:08

3 Answers 3

You may get by and not have cracks doing this, or you might not. There's no way to know for sure. Given the cost in material and labor (and occupant inconvenience) of new tile, it's not worth the risk. You want any tile work to be as reliable as possible. This means removing any old material down to a solid substrate and starting fresh and doing it right. When you think of all involved, and how problems crop up even in "good" installations, there's really no other option.

Removing old tile is hard work, but it's not really that bad, and it's better than tearing out two layers to do it right the third time.

EDIT 12/7

Hehe. I thought you meant existing ceramic tile. Asbestos containing linoleum tile! Ick! Never mind! Bury that stuff under layers so no one ever need encounter it again!

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks for the comment. The problem is that the old tile is asbestos, and that's why I don't want to pull it up. –  Laxmidi Dec 6 '12 at 23:56

Don't disturb the asbestos if you can avoid it.

Check with your town to see if there are special rules, but in general the process will be: clean the existing tiles thoroughly, with something that will remove grease and dirt. If any old tiles are loose, nail them in place with 6D nails, then use a nail set to countersink the nail heads. Use a thin coat of floor leveler on the old tile to fill the seams between tiles and level off any dents and depressions that have formed over time. When it cures, lay down plywood as a new subfloor.

Check the directions for the new tile to see what they recommend for thickness and type of subfloor, as well as the recommended gap between sheets of plywood, and the number and type of fasteners to use to attach the subfloor. Be sure your fasteners are long enough to get all the way into the original subfloor, under the asbestos floor (unless you're really fond of squeaky floors and popped tiles).

Sweep the subfloor, then use a thin coat of floor leveler to fill the gaps between the plywood sheets as well as the dimples created by the fasteners. When it cures, clean the subfloor thoroughly, then lay your new floor. If you leveled things well, and fastened the new subfloor properly, your new floor should be fine.

I think most people picture ceramic tiles with curved edges when you say "tiled floor" rather than flat linoleum tile, which is what I'm guessing is actually there. Trying to put a new floor over ceramic tile would be a recipe for failure, but putting it over linoleum would be fine.

share|improve this answer
    
Yup: when you say "old tile", absolutely nobody is going to picture anything with asbestos in it. "Tile" is equivalent to "ceramic tile", pretty much. –  Martha Dec 7 '12 at 2:47
    
Thank you very much for the message...Yes, I should have been more clear. The old asbestos tile is linoleum, so the edges aren't beveled. How would I drive the nails into the old tile? The old tile are glued directly to the concrete with some sort of black adhesive. There's no underlayment. Do I need some sort of special drill for concrete? –  Laxmidi Dec 7 '12 at 14:49

I'd hire some professionals and have them remove the asbestos tile. If you tile over it, then when someone does have to remove the asbestos tile, everything has to come up and be specially treated. They can't just remove your layer of tile on top, it will likely be considered hazardous waste because of what it's attached to. So the costs and effort of fixing it will significantly increase if you don't do this right the first time.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.