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Tiled floors, to tile over or remove old tiles first?

  • 26-12-2022 1:22pm
    Registered Users Posts: 404 ✭✭

    Curious on opinions. I have a large enough tiled area , ground floor, approx 60sqm between multiple rooms. Want to have new tiles put in over about 2/3rds of it and laminate over the 1/3rd. Was fishing around for quotes one builder was adamant we should put the new tiles/wood on top of the existing raise the level a little and adjust doors etc. another builder I ran this idea laughed said I must have had invited a lazy crook in who just didn't want to smash the existing tiles because it's a lot of work.

    A family member I take opinions on these matters from backed up the first one, primarily citing that putting an extra layer on is a bit of insulation which is not great but it's something. I got a peek under the tiles (underside of a cabinet wasn't tiled over) and could see that what I really have there is currently solid concrete, and on top of that 2 layers of tiles. no insulation foam no nothing just tiles. I'd be adding a 3rd layer. In an ideal world I'd rather take it all off and insulate with something proper... but the cost and work would be quite a lot I'd imagine. Esp given how on edge the 2nd guy was about taking the tiles off I am glad I didn't invite him back imagine he started and found a second layer...

    What would you do? What is the normal thing to do here?


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,624 ✭✭✭✭Penn

    Your insulation in the floor is likely all under the solid concrete. Adding another layer of tiles/timber will make f*ck all difference in terms of the insulation of the floor construction. Even if you took up both layers of tiles that are there and re-tiled with a single layer, the difference in thermal resistance will be minimal and barely noticeable, if at all.

    Tiling over the existing seems ridiculous to me, especially if there are already two layers of tiles there. If you raise the floor level throughout only part of the ground floor, you're going to end up with steps of about 10-15mm between the new floored areas and other areas which could be a trip hazard. What effect might it have on fixtures and fittings (sanitaryware, kitchen units, doors)?

    I'd suggest taking up both layers of existing tiles and put down new flooring to the existing level.

  • Registered Users Posts: 404 ✭✭Kurooi

    As for levels - I would be doing the entire ground floor effectively so tripping/level difference does not come in play. I have considered whether it would affect stairs up but they are sort of edged with a landing which I think people don't step over.

    Kitchen units - planning to redo kitchen so won't mind what level it is at. Doors are an issue I have no idea how i'd do it.

    Fair feedback regarding insulation being under concrete, I wasn't aware of that! I'm increasingly thinking of just doing the darn thing myself I'm clueless but young I've a good back can go at it... If I was to take off the 2 layers of tiles, is there anything I could do to insulate extra under the tiles? The wooden part, assuming I take off 2 tile layers, I could replace with hardwood that would probably feel warmer! But could I put any material under tiles, take off 2 layers, replace with some insulation plus tiles, bring it back roughly to the level it is currently not mess with doors?

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,624 ✭✭✭✭Penn

    Not a lot you could do with insulation under new tiles. Any insulation would be too thin and soft that you could end up with cracking and separation in the grout between the tiles. The hardwood flooring you could fit an underlay below the flooring which might provide a bit of insulation, but again it'd be fairly negligible. The main areas of insulation in the floor (depending on the age of construction) would be the thickness of the concrete floor slab, and any insulation under it. It's like trying to insulate a wall but putting two layers of plasterboard on the inside; the insulation layer is in the cavity of the wall and thickness of block work, the effect of additional plasterboard would be minimal.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,998 ✭✭✭ratracer

    Taking up the tiles is a slow laborious task, but I’d do it every time.

    Hire a decent kango with a flat chisel bit, get a decent dust mask and goggles ( you’ll need them!!) and then just take it in small sections at a time!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,379 ✭✭✭Rows Grower

    If the tiles you can see are level and have no cracking in any of them or the grout I'd be tiling over them Save an enormous amount of work, mess and expense for little noticeable gain.

    "Very soon we are going to Mars. You wouldn't have been going to Mars if my opponent won, that I can tell you. You wouldn't even be thinking about it."

    Donald Trump, March 13th 2018.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,423 ✭✭✭893bet

    What happens at the thresholds for the outside doors if the floor level is being raised 15mm?

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,379 ✭✭✭Rows Grower

    "Very soon we are going to Mars. You wouldn't have been going to Mars if my opponent won, that I can tell you. You wouldn't even be thinking about it."

    Donald Trump, March 13th 2018.

  • Registered Users Posts: 984 ✭✭✭Still stihl waters 3

    There's usually loads on the bottom cill of most doors to allow for a new tile or laminate

    Op I'd tile over 90 percent of the time if I could, less work, less dust, and most of the time its not necessary, unless you're caught with levels it's the easy way out as you dont know what prep went into the floors previously, if you can its a no brainer to just retile