Advise on ceramic bath wall tile installation


Old 09-21-00, 06:18 PM
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I hired a contractor who claims that he can install new bathroom ceramic wall tiles directly on top of the old tiles without removing the old tiles. He says that the old tiles are flat and not loose therefore this type of installation can be done.

I never heard of this technique and would like some other opinions.
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Old 09-21-00, 07:41 PM
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Sure, you CAN lay ceramic wall tiles over ceramic wall tiles, but it's not necessarily a good idea. All you have to do is spread mastic over top of the ceramic tiles you have now, and set the new tiles in that mastic.

The disadvantages to setting tile over tile are:

a) the new tiles will last only as long as the old mastic holding the old tiles on.

b) The hot and cold water knobs might not close all the way, and you may have to trim the bottoms of the knobs down because of the increased wall thickness.

c) The reduction of valuable real estate in the corners of the tub where you set shampoo bottles and such.

d) Finishing the edges of the second coat of tiles so that it looks decent is going to pose a problem. What does your contractor propose to do with that? I suppose you could run them over the edge of the original tiles and just grout the perimeter.

My person feeling is that this is a short cut. He's going to charge less for this job simply because he doesn't have the additional work of taking the old tiles down and preparing the wall for the new tiles. I would say if you want to save money, install a tub surround over your existing tiles yourself until you can afford a bit more to replace the existing tiles. He's probably telling you it's a good idea simply because he can do a lot of bathrooms in short order doing it this way, so from his perspective, this is a more profitable method.

I suppose if your existing tiles are in good shape, and the wall behind them is solid, I can't think of a GOOD reason not to tile over tile. However, if your wall is in good shape, and the tiles are stuck on well, why not just give your grout a good cleaning and save the cost of doing anything?
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