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Installing new bathroom tile over old??

Is it possible to install new tile over existing wall tile in the bathtub area? If not what would be the next step after removing old tile. My guess would be to remove old adhesive and put down backerboard. Or would I have to gut the walls and start from scratch? Thank you. Owen

Cardiac Paul
Re: Installing new bathroom tile over old??

Do it ritht, strip the walls to the studs & use a proper ceramic tile backer, You will have a finished project you can be proud of & happy with

Re: Installing new bathroom tile over old??

From the timbre of your question it seems you don't have much tile experience. If that's the case I'd highly recommend either letting someone else do it or attending a tiling class given by one of the 'big-box' home improvement stores. Beyond that a short answer to your question would be that yes, the old tile must go before new tile is laid. If you're very careful and very lucky removing it you might not need new backer but don't count on that; it rarely happens except when the tile setting mortar was too dry the first time around or if the tile was dusty or dirty when set. You'd want to scrape all the old mortar off in the first case and reskim it in the second. The new tile will project slightly more either way but it's usually workable. Doing a re-tile job makes a good DIY project but it takes a lot longer than you think it will so I hope you have another bathroom to use in the interim!


Re: Installing new bathroom tile over old??
owenpga wrote:

Is it possible to install new tile over existing wall tile in the bathtub area?

It's definitely possible. I've done it in my bathroom. There was a recent episode of Ask This Old House where Richard helped a guy install a shower basin, and the homeowner said he was simply tiling over the existing tile. It would seem like if it were ill-advised Richard would have said something to the viewers or they would have edited that part out.

Regardless, it's held up fine in my bathroom. I was afraid the raised tile would look bad around the toilet, but it's not noticeable once it's been laid. In no way ideal, but if money is in extreme short supply, it's definitely possible.

Re: Installing new bathroom tile over old??

I took a big box class and it helped. I installed my own beautiful Travertine Tile in my Kitchen remodel I recently finished.

Re: Installing new bathroom tile over old??

per the Tile Council Of America YES you can Tile Over Tile.
(see TCNA detail TR712-09) with that said ,remember that the new Tile is bonded to the old so, it must be sound and well bonded , free of any bond breakers.(soap scum ,wax,oil,ect) Mechanical abrasion is recommended .
I however ,do agree with the others that removing it back down to the studs is the way to go.

Re: Installing new bathroom tile over old??

My suggestion is remove the old tile , use new backer board. If you tiled over the old tile. How would you handle the outside edges towards the exterior of the tub. It will always look like a remodel job, unless theres a finished bullnose tile to wrap around the old to hide the edge.
Make sure you put some protection in the tub while removing and installing new tile. You dont want to damage the tub surface with adhesive or drop a tile.

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