Home ยป Can You Tile Over Linoleum? (Easy Step-By-Step Guide)

Can You Tile Over Linoleum? (Easy Step-By-Step Guide)

Linoleum or vinyl floors are a great option for the home, but time and humidity can easily deteriorate them. That is why many homeowners consider ceramic tiles instead of linoleum flooring or vinyl tiling.

But what happens if I already have my old linoleum floor and I want to change it for new ceramic tile floors? Can it be done on top of the existing floors?

The answer is yes. In this article, we will provide you with information on everything you need to know if you want new tiles in your home. For most people, tile installation can be intimidating and they prefer to pay a professional to do it. But the truth is that it does not take much knowledge to do it.

Read on and find out everything you need to know about tile flooring, from the materials you will need, to the easiest and fastest way to do it.

Materials You’ll Need

One of the keys to the correct installation of new floors is to have the necessary materials to do a quality job. The list may seem extensive and overwhelming, but keep in mind that all the materials listed here are easily available at any hardware store.

  • Tiles
  • Kneepads
  • Mask and eye protection
  • Thin-set mortar
  • Grout
  • Cold water
  • Cement board
  • Putty knife
  • Notched trowel
  • Spacers
  • Rubber mallet
  • Tile puck
  • Oscillating sander or an orbital sander
  • Tile disc
  • Sponge
  • Bucket and mop to clean the floor after sanding

Steps to install tile over linoleum floor

Steps to install tile over linoleum floor

You must follow each of these tips without skipping the steps, since following the instructions guarantees effectiveness in the work you are about to do. No step should be overlooked or not taken into account. Remember that this is the best way to do the installation process. 

Step 1. Check that the floor is in good condition

Make sure your linoleum floor is in good condition so you can glue down the ceramic tiles. Check if you don’t have moisture or leak problems. You should also check that the floor is not all broken.

We will indeed sand the floor before laying the tiles, but it is important that the bumps are not too noticeable or that the floor is uneven.

You should also make sure that the subsoil is not too soft or thin. Otherwise, the floor may buckle and this will cause the tiles to split or crack.

If your subfloor is very thin, you should first install a layer of plywood and another layer of mortar, to prevent subfloor problems.

Step 2. Prepare the surface

Clean the floor and give it a good rap. Then waits for it to dry and after that starts sanding it down. It is important to sand the floor so that the adhesive will stick well to your old floor and to the cloth you will use to set the cement in later steps.

We advise using oscillating sanders as they cover large areas and you don’t have to kneel as you do with orbital sanders. However, orbital sanders can be more practical and comfortable in small spaces.

If you have both types of sanders, it is better that you have them nearby so that you can use them according to the requirements of your space. Many times the rooms have small areas and others with a lot of space, so your best option is to combine these two sanders for optimal performance.

After sanding the entire floor, you must mop it again to clean all the dust and allow it to dry before continuing with the next step. Take the opportunity to take a break or prepare your materials for what follows.

Step 3. Glue the thin skin fabric

Glue the thin skin fabric


Cut the thin leather fabric and prepare several clothes that fit your floor. Then you need to spread adhesive all over the old floor and carefully place the torch. Try to avoid lumps or wrinkles.

The cloth will serve to give the cement base a surface to which it can easily adhere. After having glued all the fabric panels, wait for at least half an hour for the adhesive to take effect and for the fabric to be well attached to the floor.

Step 4. Cover with a layer of mortar

Prepare the mortar mix to cover the entire fabric with the mix. Make sure to use cold water and that the mixture is neither too liquid nor too thick. Some people add sand to the mix, but it’s not necessary.

After you have spread the mixture evenly, you should allow it to dry for an hour before starting the second coat. It doesn’t need to be very neat since we will put a second layer of mortar before placing the tiles.

When the first coat of mortar is completely dry, apply the second coat using a notched trowel. This tool is used to create grooves on the entire surface. This is done to eliminate air gaps that may arise between the tiles and the cement layer.

There must be no air between the layers so that your tiles do not crack under the weight they will receive in the future.

Step 5. Tile installation

You should not wait for the second layer of mortar to dry. If you are covering a very large area, it is better to divide the work into sections, as laying the tiles can take a while to become more fluid and if you cement the entire room, it will most likely dry out early.

Carefully place the tiles against the second layer of mortar and press down. You should also move the tiles slightly to the sides so that the mortar evenly covers the back of the tile.

To make your borders perfect it is best to place one tile next to the other and then carefully slide it apart. We also recommend that you use spacers in the corners where you have two or four tiles.

Spacers are critical to keeping grout lines even and straight.

After laying down each tile, finish by tapping it in the center with a rubber mallet to make sure there are no air bubbles or gaps.

Step 6. Leveling the tiles

Leveling the tiles

Now it’s time to use your tile disk and rubber mallet again. Place the tile disk on each of the tiles in the room. If any are not level, the device will emit a sound warning you.

Hit all tiles that are not on the same level until they are homogeneous.

Step 7. Applying the grout

Lastly, use the grout trowel to grout the gaps between tiles. You must clean the excess grout from the tiles when they are fresh because later it will be very difficult to remove the grout from your tiles.

Depending on the thickness of the tiles and the gap between the joints, you may need to apply more than one coat of grout. Remember to wait for the first batch of grout to dry before applying the next.

Finish by mopping your floor again to make sure there is no dust, mortar, or grout residue on your new tiles.


Laying a new tile floor over an existing linoleum floor is possible, but you must make sure that your floor is in good condition to do so and that it can support the weight of the new tiles.

You will save a lot of time and money if you apply all the steps in this guide very carefully and diligently. We hope that all the advice given will help you and you will soon be able to have your new floor.

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