Can you put vinyl flooring over tile? Contractors share their thoughts

Looking to speed up your renovation? Covering up old tiles could be the way to go

(Image credit: Amtico)

Home renovations can be messy and time-consuming at the best of times, and it only gets worse when laying new flooring is involved, especially if the old flooring is tile.

This begs the question, can you put vinyl flooring over tile? According to the experts, it could be the best way to complete your renovation ideas without breaking your budget or making a huge, disruptive mess.

Here, professional contractors explain why this reno hack could be the perfect time-saver that doesn't compromise on quality.

Can you put vinyl flooring over tile

If you have come to the conclusion that vinyl flooring is right for your home, leaving the original tile down and laying right over it is usually the best option, begins Jodi Peterman, CEO and owner of Elizabeth Erin Designs.

boot room in glazed porch with herringbone flooring and butlers sink

(Image credit: Lifestyle Floors)

‘Installing vinyl over existing tile can save a significant amount of time compared to removing the tile first,’ she explains. ‘Avoiding tile removal reduces dust, debris, and disruption in the home and it can be more cost-effective, as it eliminates the labor and disposal costs associated with tile removal.

‘Perhaps more importantly, keeping the existing tile intact maintains the subfloor’s integrity, especially if the tile is securely adhered to and in good condition,’ she notes.

A kitchen with vinyl tile flooring in a grey and white checkered pattern

(Image credit: Amtico)

That being said, before you go rethinking all of your flooring ideas, there are several important caveats to consider before laying vinyl right over tile. Preparation is vital if you want the new flooring to last, adds Richard Ala, director at Six Brothers Contractors.

First and foremost, the existing floor tiles should be smooth and undamaged, free from cracks, with the grout lines smoothed over and any loose tiles replaced or repaired. ‘Faults show through vinyl floors over time, so you need to make the existing floor level smooth first,’ Richard warns.

‘The first step is to clean the tile surface, checking for any damages or gaps that could show through. Fill any gaps you find with a leveling compound so the floor becomes smooth.

‘Once prepped, the next step is to apply a primer before laying the vinyl. How you lay the vinyl will ultimately depend on the type you’ve opted for floor, planks, tiles, or sheets. You’ll need to follow the manufacturer’s directions to the letter to get the best results. But, if laid well, you’ll have an extremely durable floor that’ll last for years,’ he assures.

Amtico vinyl flooring living room

(Image credit: Amtico)

If you are concerned about the tile’s condition, or the condition of the underflooring beneath, Peter Brady, Mercy Flooring director, recommends ‘speaking to a professional about underlayment, this helps protect the vinyl from moisture and will help add a little soundproof effect,’ while also adding a cushion to cover any minor imperfections in the tile.


Do vinyl tiles need underlay?

So long as the surface you are laying vinyl tile onto is smooth and secure, you will not need underlay. That being said, if you would like an additional layer of insulation, soundproofing, or comfort, underlay can be the perfect cushion.

Should vinyl tiles be glued down?

Most of the time, vinyl tiles will not need to be glued down – this is thanks to the click-together planks. That being said, if the room is subjected to inconsistent temperatures or the floor you are laying them over is uneven, gluing them down using the appropriate adhesive can help the floor to last longer.

‘Installing vinyl over tile is one of the most cost-effective ways to update the look of your floor,’ assures Richard Ala, contractor. ‘What’s more, it’s a clean DIY project to transform your home in a weekend that most DIYers can handle themselves. Most times, you wouldn’t need to even bring out your dust sheets.’

Chiana Dickson
Content Editor

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for two years, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.