BuildDirect Blog: Life at Home

Laminate Flooring Over Ceramic Tiles


Wood laminate flooring has grown exponentially in popularity over the last few years, for several reasons. Wood laminate provides the warm look of hardwoods flooring at a fraction of the cost. The soft feel of laminate flooring is easy on the feet, and provides a soft cushioning effect while walking. Finally, the factory finish of laminate flooring is more durable than just about any finish a hardwood flooring refinisher can put on a hardwood floor at a job site.

In addition, radiant laminate floor heating is becoming immensely popular for the constant radiant warmth it provides, as well as the energy efficiency it provides. An electrical radiant heating under laminate will increase the warmth of the room, and reduce your heating bills. Laminate floor heating is perfect for poorly heated rooms, basements or even garages. This type of heating comes with easily programmable thermostat controls.

Many homeowners now wish to replace their old ceramic tile with laminate flooring.
There are many concerns of the type of flooring a laminate can be placed over for installation. A big question is, can a laminate floor be placed over a ceramic tile floor? The question is valid. Removing a ceramic tile floor is hard work, chipping away old tiles and mortar is extremely time consuming and labor intensive. If a laminate can be placed over a ceramic tile, the labor of the installation is decreased dramatically.

Fortunately, the answer to the question is yes. Many laminate manufacturers specifically indicate that their product may be installed over ceramic tile. Since tile is a durable substrate, there is little risk of deterioration when another flooring substance is placed over it. There are a few precautions though.

First, the tile should be in good shape, level and free of depressions. As with any flooring surface, if there are major depressions and extensive cracking, the issue may be with the subflooring. If your flooring has such depressions, it may be a good idea to determine the cause, and have a professional inspect the flooring, if needed. Often, a visual inspection of the sub floor from the basement will indicate whether a problem exists. However, minor cracks, not due to a defective sub floor; they can simply be filled with epoxy.

Second, the grout joints should be filled to level with the top or face of the ceramic tile, to ensure a smooth surface for the laminate to rest. You can simply grout as normal, using very light pressure on the grout joint, to keep the joint level. Or you can use a grout bag to fill the joints.

Third, the ceramic tile should be free of loose dirt, grease, and moisture. After cleaning, ensure the tile has dried thoroughly.

Fourth, remember that since you are not removing the tile, there may be a slight height differential between the newly laminated room and an adjoining room, if the adjoining room was level with the tiled area. This usually doesn’t create a problem for most people.

Provided the sub flooring is in good condition, the tile is clean, dry and the grout joints are level with the tile, you are now ready to install your laminate flooring. Your moisture barrier will go directly over the tile, which is why the flooring must be dry when beginning the installation.

BD 486x60 Samples Laminate Flooring Over Ceramic Tiles

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Rob Woods

5 Comments

  1. Susan Corley Reply to Susan

    We were in the process of purchasing Pergo flooring from Home Depot. We already have two rooms with Pergo and it has held up well for the past two years. In fact it looks brand new even though one room is used as an
    office with lots of traffic. We wanted to finish the rest of the house, the living rm, dining rm, family rm, kitchen,
    and master bedroom with the same Pergo. However after the measuring company came out I was informed my
    ceramic floor had spots that were uneven by 3/8 of an inch. The ceramic has been down since the house was
    built in 1990 and it has no cracks or damage. I don’t like the color which is white and very hard to keep clean.
    Now Home Depot refuses to install the Pergo but they are sending another “installer” to look at the 3/8″ problem
    before I get a final answer. I do NOT want to rip up the ceramic as that would be an expense of $3000 plus
    a terribly dirty job. We did it in our last home and we had to move out because of the tremendous amount of
    dust and noise. So if you could give me an opinion as whether there is a fix for this so called 3/8″ problem
    I would appreciate it.

    • My immediate thought was to find an installer of your own not affiliated with HD to make sure that you’re getting an unfiltered opinion about the extent of the project. But, if there is a problem with uneveness, you want to make sure that you don’t install a laminate floor over it. It will cause you grief later on. An expert eye not attached to the vendor you’re dealing with is the first step, I think.

      I hope this helps!

  2. ceramic tiles are best options for flooring due to it’s durability, cost effective, easy to install, easy to clean and easy availability in the market make it convenient for the user

  3. hello sir,

    I installed the vinyl ALL OVER my house – I even removed tile and carpet to do so.Decorative tile,marble tile,tiles,flooring My folks had a bad experience with laminate in the kitchen/breakfast, and I was trying to do something dog/child proof. It is! And if a single plank becomes spoiled, it can be replaced easily. My only gripe about the flooring – and this would happen with any solid surface – is the dust. You will be totally grossed out by how much dust and hair was hidden by your carpet.

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