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Tile over T&G oak floor

Please advise. I want to tile my kitchen floor. However, under the vinyl floor that I pulled up is tongue&groove oak harwood. I have heard that you cannot lay tile overtop of this type of tongue&groove because it will shift, thereby cracking the tile or grout. Is this true?

Is there another route I can take without cutting out the tongue&groove? I hoped that I could put down 1/4in hardybacker or cement board over top of the T&G and then thinset and tile on that. Can this be done or will this still result in cracked tile? I want to do it the right way, but I'm trying to avoid cutting out the T&G.

Another issue is that laying the tile over top of the T&G and hardybacker will raise the floor about 3/4in higher than the adjacent floors. Can someone tell me what is an "acceptable" height difference. I understand I could put a transition strip between the two floors, but I don't want it to be noticeable.

Please advise! I appreciate your expertise!!

Re: Tile over T&G oak floor

The wood floors will expand and contract which is likely to cause you some problems with cracked grout and possibly broken or loose tiles. You could always skip the tile and refinish the oak floors if they are in pretty good shape. Otherwise if it was my house I would pull up the flooring (if you can do it without to much damage they may be re-usable). The only other option I can think of is the snap together tiles which would float on top of the floor. I have never used them and don't know much about them. Hope this helps you out.

Re: Tile over T&G oak floor

IDK, considering that oak floors, even in the kitchen, are very desireable come resale time, I don't see why you would want to cover them up. Most people see house after house of wall to wall carpeting covering up ugly plywood subfloors or concrete slabs. Real wood is such a treat, it gets immediate attention. If durability is a concern, maybe a floating-floor laminate system over the wood would work for you until you make that inevitable move to another home. Then you can pull it up in prep to sell, & reap the rewards of original wood floors.

Re: Tile over T&G oak floor

I have to agree that it would be a shame to waste good hardwood flooring. Take it out but do it as cleanly as you can. Even if you don't want to save it for your own use somewhere else, somebody will want it. Remember the old adage waste not, want not.

Re: Tile over T&G oak floor

OK, I understand, if you wanted to have hardwood floors then you would not be asking how to change to tile. Right?
Hardwood is nice but if it is not what you want then it is not. Here is a suggestion for you. I have seen this done in some very highend homes. The home owner went to a flooring store and purchased vinyl material. A good factory second. Layed the vinyl face down on the hardwood. Stapled the edges of the vinly really good(first make sure your hardwood is nailed down tight). Now you are ready to start laying tile. No hardy board needed. People do this all the time in places where earth quakes happen. Because the floor can shift under the vinly and the tile stays nice. This really works and it takes care of the floor height problem too.

Re: Tile over T&G oak floor

I think what bergmanmd1 is describing is not a "ceramic" tile installation, but a "pergo" type of ceramic tile look alike from Congoleum. I think installing ceramic tile as described in the post would result in grout line cracking and maybe even the tiles cracking if there was enough flex in the subfloor.

The installation of the Congoleum stuff involves flipping a sheet of vinyl and letting that "float" on the subfloor. Then using adhesive to fasten the "tiles" to the backside of the vinyl sheet. You can seal the joints with a liquid sealer. I don't have firsthand experience with this product, someone I know installed it themselves withing the past month and was describing it to me yesterday. I haven't been there yet to see what it looks like or feels like with respect to the bounciness of the floor. Don't know how long it has been around to testify to its durability either. I would bet the "tiles" are very durable, what I question is how the joints between tiles will look after some wear and tear.

Re: Tile over T&G oak floor


Oak Flooring is an element which is certain to add certain uniqueness to your house, both in terms of looks and durability. Natural forest products are the best in terms of quality as there is no dilution which usually accompanies any form of artificial manufacture. Oak wood is known universally for its natural hardiness and its longevity. Not only that, it is available in a variety of warm shades and colors, which lend a very pleasant feel.

Re: Tile over T&G oak floor

I have tile in my kitchen and wood just about everywhere else.

I would also refinish the kitchen floor...even if the shape of it looks poor. You'd be surprised how good it can look.

One thing I do not like, is the look of wood (stained) cabinets on a wood floor unless there's a good contrast in color. I much prefer a colored cabinet against wood floor.

Save yourself some money and grout aggravation, and go with wood.

Ron remodeler
Re: Tile over T&G oak floor

I can't recommend tiling over an oak floor without some underpayment like hardi backer and use their thinnest product as the floor should be sturdy enough.

Normal old school wood thresholds are 3/4 inch.

Have seen broken tile floors over T&G oak with no backer:eek:.

Ron remodeler
Re: Tile over T&G oak floor

just a thought did you consider Konnecto floorings faux tile??? or even their faux wood in vinyl strips that self stick edge glue.

Re: Tile over T&G oak floor

My first question is, is this really tongue and groove hard wood flooring or simply the old wood under-layment which would also be tongue and groove.

My sister made this mistake. She ripped out all the carpet and linoleum in the house and is simply walking around on the under-layment over her crawlspace. She thinks she has a real find but I doubt it's oak or even a valuable hardwood used for flooring.

That being said, if you want to just put a cement/hardy board over it, I would do everything I could to stabilize the floor, cross (oh heck I forgot the term)pieces between the joists, strengthening the joists as much as possible to really give you a solid foundation.

Personally, the greenovation person in me is screaming, NO, don't waste that wood just to save yourself a little work.

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