I'm preparing my kitchen floor for ceramic tile. Currently it's a sheet of vinyl(linoleum?). The plan was to sand off any gloss and tile over it. I was going around the edges picking off any loose areas and I noticed the top layer of the floor is peeling off and leaving behind a paper like layer which looks to be glued to the original vinyl floor. So it seems the vinyl layer is splitting in half. What would be the better surface to tile on? The paper like surface or the sanded vinyl? Please don't recommend pulling it completely off as that is out of time and budget.
Unfortunately, you NEED to remove or cover the old vinyl. If you attempt to tile over an unsecure base, you are wasting yout time and money because the tile will not stay down. In your case, if you go over the splitting vinyl, the vinyl will continue to separate and up will come the tiles. If you go over the paper layer, the mortar/quickset will not stick properly. If you don't want to strip everything, which is a very thankless job, and your subfloor may not be the greatest either, then screw down a layer of Hardi-backer. Hardy-backer or concrete board is the perfect base for your new tile. Good Luck
Look - I understand you need to do this quick and you know its wrong to put on vinyl. You came and asked a specific question and I though about it (out of the box) I got your answer. This is not the correct way as pointed out by your self and everybody else.. but you already knew that.
You might even get away with this for long term solution. You selling quick? moving out form rented place? Doesn't matter. You asked how to lay tiles on vinyl. I will tell you how!
If you going to be doing it the wrong way, you might as well do it a little bit right to make it last longer!
You had a good idea with taking the gloss off, don't take too much time sand papering it. Just scour it but don't penetrate it. You don't want water to get to the paper under it. You will get some kind of rot and bad smell.
You need to secure the vinyl so that movement wont cause cracks in grout and make the tile come loose.
It is not easy but what you can use is some kind of building mesh - very thin and it doesnt need to be wide. It can even be some kind of builders wire(the stiff stuff)
It will be quite expensive to lay the whole floor with this. So at least cut it into strips or get you local DIY store to do it for you. Run a strip 2cm-3cm length wise so each tile comes in contact with this.
Because you got concrete under there you will have to drill a few holes and attach the mesh and wire in certain areas with screws, tightly! so it doesn't pull away(upwards easily) sideways does not matter.
This isn't the best drawing but it illustrates what you gotta do. Black squares the tiles, orange is the mesh/wires, blue is like the screws/bolts fastening.
What is critical here the the mesh strip or wire does not pull upwards too easily. You will then lay mortar as usual and on top of this wire taking care that the mortar wraps around, sits inside the mesh nicely.
The mortar will still NOT stick to the vinyl but what you have created is a superficial surface that reinforces the mortar and will help the tiles disperse weight and stress over larger areas with out cracking. Because the mortar hardens it will keep the mesh from moving sideways that is why it must be fastened in a uniform way so it does not lift up. That is the key here.
NO This is not the the correct way to do it - you know that - If you finish it off nicely and let it set properly it should be OK.
Liberty is painfull....