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We recently pulled up the vinyl in our bathroom to discover that there is backerboard underneath. It is in good shape but has a thin layer of glue on parts. The surface is completely smooth. Can I install tile on this existing backerboard, or do I need to replace the backerboard?

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If the glue is spread out quite a bit, you'll have issues getting the tile to adhere to the backer board. If it's just spots here and there, you're probably OK. –  DA01 Jan 5 at 23:12
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If it's in good shape (clean, planar, etc.), then it is fine to put tile on top of it, assuming that putting tile on it doesn't make the floor too high at the entrance to the bathroom.

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