Can I re-tile over these existing shower tiles ?

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Old 01-13-15, 10:15 AM
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Can I re-tile over these existing shower tiles ?

Can i tile over these stand up shower floor tile?

 
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Old 01-13-15, 11:27 AM
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Wantboost:

Yes you can.

And, just for your own understanding, the reason why you can is that your existing tile floor is dimensionally stable.

The reason you never want to tile directly over wood of any kind (including plywood) is that wood swells and shrinks with changes in it's moisture content both as a result of the humidity changes in your bathroom and due to seasonal changes in the weather. Ceramic tiling simply doesn't have the elasticity to accomodate any movement in the wood, and so you normally have to put something over the wood before you tile to prevent any expansion or contraction in the wood from causing stresses in the tiling grout lines above.

In this case, you're wanting to tile over a dimensionally stable substrate (the mosaic tile floor), and so you don't need any sort of layer between the old tiles and the new to isolate movement cuz that bottom layer ain't gonna swell or shrink like wood would.

Clean that floor really well to remove any soap scum and maybe sand it down to roughen it's surface so your thin set sticks better to the existing tiles. The best cleaner I know of to remove soap scum is oven cleaner, and I can explain why that is if you're interested.

If you're new to tiling, you should be aware of a company called Schluter. Schluter makes all kinds of accessories for tiling walls, floors, counter tops and whatever else can be tiled. Basically, Schluter caters to new homeowners instinctive compulsion to tile over everything in their houses. If there's a common problem people who are planning on retiling shower floors face (like the drain height), Schluter will have already designed a product to solve that problem. Just phone around to the tiling retailers and wholesalers in your area to see who carries Schluter products, and pop down there to flip through their Schluter catalogue. Often newbies aren't aware that Schluter makes products specifically to solve tiling problems, and try to figure a way to solve those problems themselves, and that's a bit of a shame. They'd do so much better and get a much longer lasting result if they turned to Schluter to see if a solution was already available to them to solve the problems they face.

Alternatively, spend a few evenings snooping around Schluter's web site.
 
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Old 01-13-15, 03:25 PM
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If that is a shower floor, the answer to tile over it would be no in my opionion. A shower floor consists of a concrete base with a pan membrane sometimes below, but many times sandwiched between two layers of concrete. The pan is sloped so that water that gets past the tile and grout is channeled toward the drain and eventually away from the shower. In addition to the pan sloped toward the drain, the tile should have a final slope that is toward the drain also. Think of it as a large flattened bowl that forces the water toward the drain. Therefore, the tile may look flat, but it is not. Also, the shower drain is a 3 part system that is cemented in place. Adding another layer will create a transition issue with the drain body.

Question is - why do you want to tile over it? Is there a leak? if so, tiling over it will not correct a pan leak. It is also either a poor tile job, or you took a panoramic picture and it stitched it together poorly to get the odd grout line in the left hand side of the picture.
 
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Old 01-13-15, 03:35 PM
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It's a poor tile job . They didn't seal it so grout is dirty. And seems like where u stand it's sunken and water gathers there. To the left of the drain.
 
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Old 01-13-15, 03:54 PM
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Grout gets dirty even when sealed. I can understand you wanting to do a better installation or change the color. Are there any other issues with the floor? You can tile over the old, but you need to raise the strainer.

Retiling over the old will not eliminate that 'bird-bath' that doesn't drain well. But it can be fixed.

Jaz
 
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Old 01-13-15, 04:01 PM
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No other issues......




...
 
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Old 01-13-15, 04:41 PM
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czizzi..... I was wondering about that interesting grout line too. It's the glass door in the picture.
 
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Old 01-13-15, 08:43 PM
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Wantboost:

What Czizzi is saying is not that you can't lay tiles over your existing tiling, but that you may end up with a problem with your shower floor drain. Typically a shower floor consists of 4 layers:

1. The bottom layer is a bed of brick mortar or concrete which slopes toward the drain.

2. Over top of that bottom mortar bed is glued a PVC membrane or "liner" which attaches to the drain and has weep holes in it so that any water on top of that PVC liner ends up flowing into the shower drain.

3. Over top of the PVC liner is a second mortar bed that also slopes toward the drain, and

4. The top layer is the ceramic tiling that is set over that upper mortar bed.

The idea here is that if there's any leakage in the tiled shower floor, that water won't drip down and rot the wooden subfloor or joists under the shower. It will be intercepted by that PVC liner and diverted into the shower drain instead.

What I think Czizzi is saying is that putting another layer of tiling over what you have now will cause a problem with the drain. You want water on your new tiling to flow to the shower drain AND allow any water that leaks through your new tiling and is intercepted by your old tiling to ALSO flow into that same drain.

I'm not entirely sure that this will create a problem as both tiled surfaces are sloped toward the drain. I think I can understand Czizzi's concern that water might end up flowing from the drain onto the old tiling instead of going down the drain, and thereby causing problems with mold and mildew growth under the new tiling.

However, I think the more correct way to look at this situation is that if water is coming out of the shower head at 5 gallons per minute, and your shower drain will handle 6 gallons per minute, then water from BOTH tiled surfaces will flow toward the drain simultaneously. There won't be any reverse flow of water under the new tiles because the drain can handle all the flow from both tiled surfaces.

All you have to do is turn both your hot and cold faucets wide open next time you have a shower and see if water backs up in your existing shower floor drain. If not, then there won't be any water drainage in the wrong direction, and the drain won't be a problem.

Still, it's worth checking out. I'd phone up some tile setters and inquire about tiling over a tiled shower floor and see what they say. I expect every one of them has been asked to do that a dozen times or more, and they'd know right off the top if the drain is going to be an issue or not, and if so, how best to deal with it.

You will also need some longer stainless steel screws to put your drain grate on the new tiling.
 

Last edited by Nestor; 01-13-15 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 01-14-15, 03:34 AM
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I don't think I will ever understand putting a tub spout in a stand up shower, never made sense to me.

Do you by chance have any additional floor tiles left over from when the shower was built?

I just discovered that if you click on the picture, it will open up in a new window to get a better look. I see the shower door now, as well as the low spot.
 
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Old 01-14-15, 08:16 AM
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Nester, I think you're over-thinking this project and what czizzi had in mind when he said;
Adding another layer will create a transition issue with the drain body.
All he meant is that the new tiles would be higher than the grate, creating a depression. Which is why I said it needs to be shimmed. The easiest is with Extend-O-Drain I believe. Done it many times.

Originally Posted by czizzi
I don't think I will ever understand putting a tub spout in a stand up shower, never made sense to me.
LOL, haven't you ever taken a shower in a tub enclosure? Same reason, and it's very smart to test the water before you pull the knob.

Originally Posted by czizzi
I just discovered that if you click on the picture, it will open up in a new window to get a better look. I see the shower door now, as well as the low spot.
Congratulations, now you won't haveta strain your eyes. LOL

Jaz
 
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Old 09-30-15, 10:35 PM
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I'm confused some say I can others say no
 
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Old 10-01-15, 05:19 AM
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Yep, that's the way it often goes. You have to weigh what one person says over another and make your own decision.
 
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Old 10-01-15, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by wantboost
I'm confused some say I can others say no
Glad to see you're still working on this. Can you give us one of the reasons you were told not to tile over tile in this case?

Jaz
 
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Old 10-01-15, 04:05 PM
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In my opinion, it is not whether you can or can't, it is why even attempt. It is fairly easy to pop the small format tile off the mud base and build back up from scratch. It, also gives you the opportunity to correct the low spot so you don't get pooling. I hate short cuts, especially when the shortcut may lead to an end result that is less than favorable compared to the small additional effort to remove the tile. Do it right, do it once.
 
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