Installing Stone Tile over Existing Tile

Stone tiles make an excellent addition to many areas of the home, such as the fireplace, backsplash, and floors. If there is tile already in place on these areas that cannot be removed, either due to expense or the presence of asbestos, it is often possible to install the stone tile right on top of the existing tile, updating the space.

In most cases, stone tile can install right on top of any existing material, provided a few considerations are made. When installing tile over tile, it’s important to consider the thickness of the final installation and make sure that things like doorjambs and cabinets are able to function normally with the new tile thickness. For example, you may need new thresholds to transition the flooring from one room to another after you increase the thickness. In areas like the fireplace or the backsplash, you’ll also need to consider edging to cover the sides of the installation where the existing tile may show. It’s also important that your stone have a smooth, level surface to adhere to, to help prevent problems such as lippage or cracking over time.

To get this surface, thinset mortar can be used to skim the surface of the current tile, filling in grout joints and helping to level the old tile. If you are installing new stone tile over an old floor made with resilient tiles, you can also use a self-leveling floor compound before installing the tile, rather than using mortar.

Once the mortar has had a chance to dry, the stone tiles can be installed over the surface like they would over any prepared site. Large tiles and mosaic tiles should be back buttered prior to installation, and all stone tiles should be beaten into the mortar bed to help prevent lippage and create an even installation.

As long as these considerations are met, it’s possible to update any area of the home with beautiful, new stone tile, regardless of what may have been there previously.


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