Floors

Published on January 13th, 2013 | by Henri

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Installing ceramic tiles over vinyl floor

Q.   I installed Armstrong Solarian floor covering on my kitchen floor some years ago. It is glued down wall to wall and the kitchen counters were installed over it. Now I would like to install ceramic tiles but removing the Solarian, which is tightly glued, is not practical. Can I install ceramic tiles directly over the Solarian and how? If not, it was suggested that I install plywood over the Solarian and use quickset for installing the tiles. Is plywood the way to go, and if so, what thickness?

A.   You should not install the ceramic tiles over the Solarian; it’s not a sound base for them. If the Solarian is glued throughout as you indicate instead of only perimeter-glued, I can understand your reluctance to remove it – although that would be the best way to proceed. Instead of plywood, use a 1/4-inch backer board made for the purpose and screw it down to the subfloor through the Solarian.

However, do consider that you will be raising the floor a minimum of 1/2-inch (1/4 inch for the backer board, plus the thickness of the ceramic tiles). This can lock your dishwasher in unless there is enough space between its top and the countertop to raise it.

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