Can I lay laminate over tile?


Old 10-23-14, 02:52 PM
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Can I lay laminate over tile?

I'm getting some quotes for laminate flooring. One estimator told me he can lay the laminate over some tile I have and that the underlaying would compensate for the uneven areas where the grout is. A different estimator told me they would have to flatten the area with cement before laying the laminate. Who is right?

The tile looks like this:

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Old 10-23-14, 02:56 PM
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What does the manufacturer of the laminate say? You don't want to install contrary to their instructions and void your warranty.
Old 10-23-14, 04:20 PM
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Laminate is going to want a nice smooth base to sit on. Uneven or bumpy floors such as yours are problematic for laminate. It over-stresses the joints as the floor bounces between high and low spots. I would tend to agree with the contractor who would want to level the tile out first. Your flooring warranty will say that there should be no height variations in the subfloor (your tile) greater than "X" in so many feet. Your "X" will be adjacent to each other.

You also want to make sure the tile is really stuck well to the subfloor (slab?). Tap on tiles and listen for hollow spots. If by chance this is a tile over vinyl situation, or a tile direct to plywood, I would strongly suggest that you rip it out. Nothing but trouble down the road if you don't. Rapping on the tile will tell you a lot about the installation quality of the tile. Judging from the lines and pattern of the install, it was an amateur installation which raises some red flags in my head.
Old 10-23-14, 04:33 PM
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@Mitch17: After some searching, I found this from the manufacturer: "Make sure the subfloor is flat. Any unevenness greater than 2 mm (1/16”) over the length of 1 meter (40”) must be smoothed out. It is vital that you use underlayment to smooth any unevenness in the base floor. "

The largest dip I could find was exactly 2 mm deep, so it looks like I'm ok there. The flooring I'm looking at also comes with underlayment built-in.

@czizzi: The tile has been there since the house was built. I tried your tap test and I couldn't find anything that sounded hollow.
Old 10-23-14, 05:41 PM
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I can't imagine a skim coat of leveling compound (not cement) of the correct type would add that much cost. You might need to strip the tile of any finish, but thats just a bit more work.

I like guy 2's work ethic. Do it once, do it right. If it's $500 more, it's probably worth it for a good job.
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