In recent times, laminate flooring has become increasingly popular. Its ease of installation and replacement makes it a convenient option for any homeowner. But how does tile fare when considering a laminate main floor? Does tile get in the way at all?
Laminate Floor can be placed over tile. Ensure that the tile already installed is still in good condition or fix it until the condition is stable. Install the laminate and adapt the planks to fit around immovable objects.
Tile is a structurally solid flooring choice. But sometimes something extra is required. Whether it be for an extra layer of protection, aesthetic choice, or ease of cleaning, sometimes laminate can be a nice solution for any of these issues.
Can You Put Laminate Floor Over Tile?
Yes, you most certainly can. Laminate floor creates a floating flooring over tile, getting rid of the need to fasten it to the subfloor. Even more so, replacing the laminate floor is much easier than chipping away at and replacing tile. The lack of adhesion needed to install laminate flooring makes the process rather simple as well.
Why Should You Install Laminate Floor Over Tile?
The ease of cleaning and replacing laminate compared to tile is by far the best selling point for laminate installation. Chipping away at tile with a mortar and pestle, then pasting in another tile takes a lot more effort than snapping in one laminate plank to replace another.
Are the Conditions of the Tile Important?
Cracked or chipped tile can complicate the process. These issues can mess with the elevation and overall stability of the laminate, making it difficult to have stable flooring. If any tiles are cracked or chipped, they must be fixed before work is done.
Is Thickness Important When Install Laminate Floor Over Tile?
Thickness is not necessarily important, but this depends on how tall you are. The thickness of your laminate flooring can make entryways and doorways a little too short for taller people, so keep that in mind when adding a laminate. Other than that, there are no real issues with this.
What Do You Do If the Final Height After Adding the Laminate is Too High?
Unfortunately, you will have to replace the laminate flooring if this is the case. As there is no way to modify the height of the laminate after installation, the only thing that can be done is to remove the flooring itself and starting over.
NOTE: Make sure to measure the thickness of your laminate flooring to ensure that it won't be too tall for you or for anyone else in your home.
Do You Need an Underlayment, if Installing Laminate floor over tile?
An underlayment is definitely helpful when installing laminate flooring, as it provides many advantages to the stability of the floor. Heat insulation, moisture protection, and sound absorption are just some of the benefits provided by adding an underlayment.
Why Underlayment Would be Needed
Underlayment can assist well if the subfloor itself has some imperfections, such as a lack of sound absorption or moisture protection.
If your laminate flooring happens to be floating above your subfloor, an underlayment between the two can close the gap enough to add extra strength to the laminate.
Why Underlayment Would Not be Needed
Sometimes, landowners will prohibit the use of underlayment entirely. Other times, the manufacturer will state that underlayment may not be necessary at all. There may even be instances where an underlayment won’t even be possible, such as if the laminate is going to be stapled or glued to the subfloor directly.
NOTE: Underlayment does a lot to contribute to floor stability and longevity. It provides so many benefits to any flooring that most anyone would recommend this. If you have the ability to, installing underlayment before the laminate flooring is strongly recommended.
Which Type of Underlayment Should You Use?
For Laminate, there are three main types of underlayment to look out for: Cork, Standard Foam, and Combination Foam. Each foam comes with its own set of utility.
These are my top three recommendations, which I am confident you will enjoy.
As the cheapest option, a standard foam underlayment works for just about any situation. While its sound reduction can varies from manufacturer to manufactur, it has solid thermal insulation and subfloor correction. Most importantly, foam underlayment is amazing in preventing leakage and penetration.
TIP: Check my best underlayment for laminate floors post, where I written ratings next to each underlayment so you know what to expect. How sound and termo-proof each really is.
The main use of a cork underlayment is its ability to absorb sound. While it ends up being the most expensive option, it is uncontested in its ability to soak noise. It also has good use in its ability to make up for imperfections in your tile, which is most certainly useful.
The only other issue aside from cost is its lack of moisture protection, which is a factor to consider.
Felt underlayment comes with just about everything you would need. It has good sound insulation, waterproofing, and heat insulation.
While cork underlayment is still stronger regarding sound insulation, felt underlayment is superior as an all-rounder.
How Do You Install and Lay the Laminate Floor Over Tile?
When installing laminate flooring over tile, you will want a few tools.
Laminate Transition Strip (Color Dependant)
While some won’t be necessary for each and every room, each tool has specific uses that the other can’t account for. It is best to have every one of these tools available, but not all of them will be needed for certain rooms.
TIP: You might like my post: How to lay laminate floors?
Make Sure the Tile is in Good Condition
If the tile is chipped or cracked, then it will be difficult to work with. Be sure to account for any depressions and leveling differences too, as these things can complicate installation even more than it needs to be.
If problems such as depressions do arise however, the cause of this issue should be determined first. Resolving that should be the primary focus over installing laminate floor, maybe even requiring hiring a professional to inspect your tile.
If there are no issues, this whole step can be ignored.
Even Out the Grout Joints
Just about any room with tile has grout joints, and those will need to be filled if you are going to install laminate above it. That way the tile will be completely even, ensuring a smooth installation process. Simply fill in the gaps with more grout and let it dry after filling.
Remove Everything in the Room
Perhaps this should go without saying, but you will want to get move absolutely everything from the room you will be working on. This not only includes furniture but doors, wall trims, floor transitions, door rails, and anything else that may get in the way.
Clean the Room Before Installation
Cleaning the space you will be reflooring is always a good idea, as this makes it so any potential dirt or other barely visible messes don’t find their way between the floors.
Lay Down the Laminate Boards
Begin by simply placing the flooring where you want it to go, using the rubber mallet to gently pound the boards into place. If needed, use the pull bar keep boards together when necessary.
Measure Out Snags
Should you hit a snag, different measuring tools will be needed depending on the type of snag it is. Should the snag be something straight like a vent or a door jamb, a measuring tape will do. If it’s something more circular like a toilet flange, the speed square will be preferred. And if it’s a more awkward multi angular one, then a multi angle ruler will work.
Measure out the cut you will have to make in the laminate and saw it down. Mechanical cutting saws will provide the most accurate results, but a standard hand saw can do just fine. Make sure the cut isn’t too shallow or too long and place the board inside.
Fill in Doorways
After finishing the laminate placements, fill in doorways with a laminate transition strip.
Are Vapor Barriers needed?
Yes, they are! An extra layer of protection against moisture is certainly nice to have. If the underlayment you chose is not naturally resistant to moisture, a vapor barrier is an excellent back-up option.
Should I Use a Tapping Block?
Having a tapping block or two handy will always be nice if the laminate needs some extra hammering. With a tapping block, you don’t have to worry about damaging the flooring anymore.
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