Can you tile over tile in a bathroom?

Q: Our vintage 1926 rest room floor is displaying its age and some discoloration. I can’t afford to pay for a complete lavatory renovation. Can tile be applied on top rated of the old ground? Can the tile be painted?

A: Certainly, tile can often be applied in excess of outdated tile, and tiled floors can be painted. But before you choose for either of those, you may possibly want to try fixing the flooring.

From the photos you sent, the floor appears to be in fantastic shape, apart from for a few rust places. If that is the case, why not check out to take out the rust? A lot of rust removers are acidic, and their labels warn that they could possibly etch tile, so test an alkaline rust remover, such as ConfiAd Rust Remover Gel. Instructions say to dampen the surface area and implement the remover with a spatula or spoon. The gel changes coloration as it reacts with the rust. In just 10 minutes, wipe it absent and rinse.

A reader’s vintage bathroom floor tile has rust stains. The easiest courses of action are to try to clean off the stains or, if that doesn’t work, replace the marred tiles. (Reader photo via The Washington Post)

A reader’s vintage lavatory flooring tile has rust stains. The best courses of motion are to test to clear off the stains or, if that does not operate, replace the marred tiles. (Reader image by using The Washington Post)

John Forguson, typical manager of My Stone Care, reported getting rid of extended-term rust commonly demands numerous apps. “Put it on, and you are going to get the chemical response,” he claimed. “But there is nevertheless extra within.” Each individual successive software will arrive at rust that’s further in the tile.

If you can’t take out all the rust, or if the rusty tiles are cracked, you may possibly be ready to replace just people pieces. Retro-model hexagonal tiles are extremely well-liked, so you may be in a position to come across an correct or near match. Get replacements just before you just take out the outdated pieces.

On a floor with modest hexagonal tiles, a rotary resource fitted with a 1/16-inch little bit functions properly. Dremel is the most effective-regarded brand for these resources, which are normally offered with a selection of attachments. Dremel’s Grout Removing Package, which consists of a little bit and an attachment that assists maintain the instrument at the most efficient slicing angle, is about $30.

After the grout is out, pry up the outdated tile and coat the back again of the alternative piece with tile adhesive. You’ll need only a little, so you may well want to buy a squeeze tube, these kinds of as the Crimson Satan Tile Paste Adhesive. Press the piece into area. If the adhesive pools up in the gaps all around the tile, clean them out with a toothpick or other slender instrument, so there is place for grout. When the adhesive is dry, fill the edges all around the tile with grout. Use unsanded grout, assuming the grout lines are much less than 1/8 inch extensive. You will have to have only a small, so take into consideration buying it in a squeeze tube also. Purple Devil’s Pre-Mixed Tile Grout comes in a 5.5-ounce tube.

If you want a unique look for your toilet, you can consider portray the ground or introducing new tile on major of the aged. Portray is clearly the less complicated alternative, but the paint will protect both of those the tiles and the grout traces even though you will get a clear, uniform appear, it won’t have the shade contrast of tile surrounded by grout. You also would get rid of the vintage search, and you’d be cleansing and inevitably scratching paint, which does not have the hardier finish of glazed ceramic tile.

Including a new layer of tile receives all around all those troubles: You would still see the grout, and the ground would carry out as if it were being set up from scratch. But there are a few caveats. Initial, including tile on major of previous tile is only a very good thought if the flooring is stiff and the additional pounds isn’t an challenge. If the underlying flooring is concrete, you should really be Ok. But if you have a wood-framed ground with some bounce to it, be careful. The new tiles could possibly pop loose.

Also be mindful that unless of course you shell out interest to specifics, you will have a floor that appears to be like a speedy repair, not a good quality occupation. The new layer will modify the top of the floor. You will most likely want to trim the base of the door, so it swings freely. Door trim and baseboards glimpse odd unless of course the bottom edges overlay the flooring. If there’s one particular place in a dwelling exactly where people today have time to stare at these particulars, it’s the bathroom. So even nevertheless it is added energy, you will most likely want to lower a minor off the base edge of the door trim and clear away and reinstall the baseboards. If you have a designed-in vainness, the greater flooring will lower down on the kick place except you take out the cupboard, install the tile and reinstall the cabinet. You will definitely want to get rid of and reinstall the bathroom or upgrade to a new just one.

If you move forward, you or whomever you retain the services of will have to have to prep the existing tile by scratching up the surface with 80-grit sandpaper to make it much less slick, which will enable the new tile stick. And any substantial places will require to be floor down. But immediately after that, the set up must continue as if you had been having a new flooring. The most suitable adhesive and caulk will depend on the tiles you pick out.