Porcelain Tile Installation Over Vinyl

Porcelain tiles in a stack.
  • 8 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 1800
What You'll Need
Porcelain tile
Tile spacers
Wet saw
Sponge
Water
Bucket
Notched trowel
Thin-set
Grout
Grout float
Tape measure
Chalk line

If you are considering a porcelain tile installation over vinyl, there are several factors that you will need to keep in mind. Here are the basics of how to properly install porcelain tile on top of the vinyl.

Step 1 - Check Out the Vinyl

The process of installing ceramic, porcelain, or stone tiles over a resilient flooring material such as sheet vinyl, vinyl tile, or linoleum is sometimes possible especially if the vinyl tiles are properly glued down and don't curl up. So before you install the porcelain tile on top of the vinyl, you want to first assess the condition of the vinyl. Ideally, you would not install tile on top of a vinyl floor. However, if you have no other choice, it can be done. You need to make sure that the vinyl is secured to the floor well. If the vinyl is coming up off of the floor, the tile will also come up off of the floor.

Step 2 - Estimate

The next thing that you should do is estimate how many tiles you are going to need. In most cases, you should plan on purchasing at least 10% more than the square footage of the floor space. Therefore, you should multiply the length and width of the room together and then add 10% to that number.

Step 3 - Layout

It is recommended that you spend some time determining how you are going to lay the tiles out. Draw a diagram on a piece of paper and then sketch how you are going to install the tile. In most cases, you will want to center the tile in the room. This can be done by snapping two chalk lines from the center of each wall. You can then use the chalk lines as a guide for laying your tile.

Step 4 - Install the Tile

At this point, you should be ready to install the tile on top of the vinyl. When you are installing porcelain tile on top of the vinyl, you should consider using a latex fortified thin-set. Latex fortified thin-set is a product that allows for superior dimensional stability as well as some flexibility. You will need to spread the thin-set out over the vinyl with a notched trowel. This will create ridges in the thin-set which will help you with getting the tile to stick. Press one of the tiles firmly down into the adhesive. Then put four tile spacers on the corners of the tile. Press another porcelain tile directly next to the spacers. Continue putting spacers on all of the corners of the tile and installing tiles until you get to the wall.

Step 5 - Cut to Fit

When you have a gap between the tile and the wall, you need to cut a piece of tile to fit. You can do this by using a wet saw. The wet saw will spray water on the tile while you cut to ensure a smooth cut. Then put the cut piece on the floor in the gap. Continue filling in all of the gaps around the room. Then you will want to allow the adhesive to dry overnight.

Step 6 - Finish the Job

After the adhesive dries, you can grout the floor. Apply the grout with a rubber grout float. Then thoroughly clean the floor with a wet sponge. Allow the grout to dry overnight before walking on it.