Can You Tile Over Tile?

By George

14th Apr 2021

5 mins read

DIY & Technical

Removing tired old tiles can be a laborious job, leading many of us to wonder...can you tile over tile?

tile over tile

Whether you’re less than impressed with your current tiles or you’ve inherited something that’s not quite your style, removing and re-tiling a space can seem like a huge undertaking.

If you’re thinking of taking the job on yourself, it’ll take at least a full day of loud, physical work.

Hiring a professional should take a similar amount of time, but will also lead to additional costs.

These worries lead many of us to consider what may sound like a silly question: can you tile on top of tile?

So, is putting tile on tile a safe corner to cut? Or is it a disaster waiting to happen? We’ve done the research so you don’t have to!

Can You Tile On Top Of Tiles?

Simply put, yes. It can be done. But don’t start prepping your grout just yet!

Though it is certainly possible to tile on tile, the are countless reasons for you not to.

That cracked tile that really bothers you will become an unsightly, uneven surface. Those slightly wobbly tiles that you were afraid of could fall and drag other tiles down with them. Even the tiniest bits of mould could thrive underneath your new layer - weakening walls and floors.

Practically every issue you have with your current tiles will be amplified with the addition of a second layer.

This means that even before tiling over your tiles, you’d need to repair and thoroughly clean the old ones first. This repair job could end up taking a full day of work in itself, completely cancelling out any time you thought you’d save.

Finally, the biggest warning sign we’ve found is that every reputable professional bathroom installer we’ve contacted has advised against doing so. Trust the experts!

Our Top Time-Saving Alternatives To Tile On Tile

If the time it takes to remove and re-do a tiling job is what’s putting you off, there are in fact several alternatives to tiles that can make things that bit easier and massively speed up the process.

Vinyl Tiles - Swapping out traditional ceramic or porcelain floor tiles for vinyl tiles is a quick and effective way to give your space the upgrade it needs.

The Palio Clic range by Karndean, for example, are made using high-grade vinyl and boast a patented click-locking system. This allows them to securely lock into place without the need for any adhesives.

Vinyl Planks - If you’re wanting an entirely new look for your floors but without the hassle of installing and maintaining real wood or laminate, vinyl tiles also come in plank form!

The Harlow range of vinyl plank flooring has been designed to replicate the look of and feel of real wood boards. Similarly to the tiles mentioned above, it uses a patented “Valinge” system to lock in place quickly.

The textured finish on these Harlow Walnut vinyl planks makes them almost indistinguishable from the real thing.

Wall Panels - Shower wall panels are large boards, usually made of laminated MDF, that can be installed to radically change the appearance of shower walls.

A relatively new alternative to tiling, they have really taken off in recent years. They’re now available in a wide variety of eye-catching designs, including options with options wood, marble and stone-effect finishes.

However, despite their impeccable looks, their practical benefits are their main selling point.

Shower wall panels are incredibly easy to install - you simply cut them to size and then fix them to walls using strong silicone sealants. Due to the lack of grout, they require very little maintenance once finished.

Their sheer surfaces make cleaning a doddle too; this is because you’ll find no nooks and crannies in which mould and bacteria can usually thrive.

This panel by Showerwall is one of the most popular options on our site. Its bright Aqua finish is ideal for replacing tiles in bathrooms that are dark and dingy.

Showerwall (that’s a brand, not the type of product!) are one of the leading manufacturers of these panels. Their luxurious products are completely watertight when installed correctly and are made to be as hard-wearing and stain-resistant as possible.

If you’re looking to create a moody environment but some gaudy old tiles are getting in the way, this Urban Gloss panel from Showerwall is our top pick.

The added bonus of Showerwall panels is the fact that - due to their lightweight and watertight designs - you can in fact apply these straight on top of old tiles!

Bathroom Wallpaper (Yes, You Read That Correctly!) - We’re aware this may sound sacrilegious, but trust us. Bathroom wallpaper is a thing!

While not recommended in heavy splash zones, most walls of your bathroom can be easily updated with quality, spongeable wallpaper. Special bathroom wallpapers have grown massively in popularity recently due to the fact that they’re much easier to apply than tiles.

Enjoyed our guide to tiling over tile? Explore our entire range of bathroom tiles and alternatives. Want more bathroom guides and inspiration? Try other helpful articles on the Victorian Plumbing Blog.



George is one of our interior experts. He loves to write about the latest bathroom trends and he's a dab hand with bathroom DIY too.

Related Stories