My basement has flooded twice due to sump pump failure (has been repaired, an electrical issue). The glued down carpet was removed, and underneath was found ceramic tile which are now covered with old glue, and has grout that has chipped away in spots. I'd like to replace with waterproof vinyl floating planks. It's a 33x15' room.
I have had three differing opinions by contractors on how to prep the floor: 1. Take out all tile and start over ($$$) ; 2. Regrout low spots and lay planks; 3. Just lay the planks, no prep needed. Any thoughts? Pictures included.

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2 Answers 2


The best solution is to do it properly; remove the ceramic tiles, patch/level the floor underneath, and then install the vinyl as per manufacturer's instructions.

If you lay the vinyl over the floor as is, the peaks and valleys from the old glue and grout lines will transfer through the thin vinyl. It likely won`t be significant, but noticeable if a person was looking for it.

Patching the grout lines as is may not allow proper adhesion due to the excess glue. The patch could come loose, crumbling and/or shifting, and cause a lump in the floor. The glue and any loose material would need to be removed prior to patching the grout lines. Depending on the amount of patching required, this may be just as much work as removing the tile.

Side Note: You mentioned that the vinyl planks you`ve picked are waterproof. While the planks themselves do not absorb water, the final floor will likely not be waterproof. If you were to have another flood of the basement, water will seep through the seams in the planks and along the edges. The floor would have to be removed in order to remove that moisture.

  • 1
    I would agree with removal for a vinyl overlay. As a DIY project chipping the tile is not really that hard with a few hand tools. +
    – Ed Beal
    Nov 20, 2016 at 16:50

We are doing the floor of a commercial building that had vinyl installed a year ago. Water is coming up thru the vinyl. We replaced a very wet section with ceramic tile and it has been dry for 6 months. The ceramic seems to hold the moisture and they realize the water under the slab will just move past the ceramic so now we are installing 3500 sq ft of ceramic. The water may eventually come out in the warehouse, which is acceptable.

Engineers can not figure out where the water is coming from, tho. It is a half mile from the river.

I would leave the ceramic down and use self leveling over to accommodate vinyl flooring, only if the ceramic is tightly bonded tho.

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