Question: Installing LVT Planks over existing Ceramic Tiles

Discussion in 'Vinyl Flooring Q&A' started by chi-chi, Feb 23, 2015.

  1. chi-chi

    chi-chi Member

    Hello All,

    I am new here so its my first post please be patient. I wanted to know is it ok to install Vinyl LVT Planks over top of Ceramic Tile in a below grade basement?

    If so what type of leveling, compound or underlayment would be needed?

    I am a DIY and I plan on installing the Tiles directly on top of the ceramic tile using a roll of LVT underlayment such as a floor muffler LVT or magic all in one LVT. Will this be enough to make the floor even due to grout lines or do I need some sort of compound first?

    Any help would be appreciated and if more info is needed please let me know. Thanks in advance!
  2. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    No, I wouldn't do it. I'd probably Ardex feather finish to smooth out, 2 coats of the tile is bonded well. I'd forego the Underlayment foam.
  3. Bud Cline

    Bud Cline Tile Expert Charter Member Senior Member Published

    What's the tile like? How about a picture?
  4. chi-chi

    chi-chi Member

    Sorry, see attached. I took a few close ups but they are 6x6 tiles which should help.

    There is a small hairline crack that I also took a picture of. I bought the house like this so I assume that the foundation settled and caused it.

    Attached Files:

  5. Bud Cline

    Bud Cline Tile Expert Charter Member Senior Member Published

    Okay great!!!
    Now, the first thing to do is to use a broomstick or a screwdriver handle or maybe even a wooden hammer handle and go around the entire area tapping on each and every tile in a few places.

    What do you hear? Does the tapping produce a solid dead-pan-thud or does it report a hollow sound with maybe a slight ring or ching sound?
  6. chi-chi

    chi-chi Member

    Oh I can tell you now that in some places it is solid as if I were tapping directly on the concrete with a solid sound, but there are areas where it is shallow sounding as if it was hollow underneath with the slight ring ting tin sound...

    I hope this isn't an issue? The tiles are still pretty solid.
  7. Bud Cline

    Bud Cline Tile Expert Charter Member Senior Member Published

    It is an issue and the tiles should be removed.
  8. chi-chi

    chi-chi Member

    Thanks very much. May I ask what the issue is and what will happen if installed?

    Removing the tile would be to labor intensive and not worth the hassle. Is there any other options for installation without the removal process?

    Hopefully this will help others besides just me alone.
  9. Bud Cline

    Bud Cline Tile Expert Charter Member Senior Member Published

    Okay...are you here for some legitimate assistance or did you come here to argue?

    You have loose tile by your own admission. What will you do with that situation? That offending crack has loose tiles surrounding it I can guarantee it. Some of those tiles are also showing some lippage, how do you propose to deal with that issue?

    The crack is following some kind of hidden joint or concrete fracture under the tile, it isn't going to get any better down the road.

    I would bet my bottom-dollar the tile in that room is in the process of "tenting" and the tile installation is slowly destroying itself.

    I've seen too much of this condition over the years. You now have for free what I would normally charge a client $800 to tell them in a written inspection report and I haven't even set foot on your property...yet.:ohno:
  10. Grant H

    Grant H I'd rather be patting my dog.

    Sounds like budget is an issue here which I can understand.
    A couple of questions. Has the crack got noticeably worse since you purchased the house ?. How long have you been in the house ?. If you put a straightedge / ruler on the crack does it "rock" ?. This would be Buds tenting.
    Are you looking at particular LVT products ?. Since you mentioned an underlay I sort of thought you may be leaning toward a floating one.
    The subfloor, in this case the ceramic tile, is integral to the future of the floor as a whole. If it is unsound you could have problems in the future. What will the area be used for ?. High use living area or storage ?.
    Mikes idea about the Feather skim coat is a good option "IF" that crack is stable. I know some manufacturers say that the underlays are fine but if it is a floating floor any sort of deflection/movement in the product can cause "Click" floors to unclick or just plane wear the the joining tabs out so they separate.
  11. chi-chi

    chi-chi Member

    @Bud I am not here to argue I am a DIY and sincerely want to learn and also help others who may be in the same boat as myself. I have scoured the Internet and couldn't find one thing on this.. I appreciate the help.

    @mike thanks for the tip!

    @grant this will be additional living space. Standard furniture and some light to moderate foot traffic. I just purchased and it has not been long enough to monitor the crack, but there is no rocking when I put a square on it.

    Budget is a issue and that's also the reason I chose LVT plank flooring. The product I am looking at is a floating click and lock floor made by Vesdura. It is 4mm thick so it's pretty thick and not flimsy at all. I have compared several samples from various vendors, and this by far was one of the best.

    The underlay was pretty expensive and this forum has repeatedly suggested not to use it in several posts for floating floors which is enough of to deter me. I will look into the feather finish unless you all suggest otherwise.

    If not I will update the post ongoing with pictures etc. This way it can help someone else since I seem to be the only guinea pig to install over ceramic tile
  12. Del

    Del New Member

    Just Curious.... What did you end up doing and are you happy with the results?
  13. chi-chi

    chi-chi Member

    To be honest I just finished the floors and decided to install laminate wood flooring. I know its not the best option for a basement but I found some really inexpensive good looking stuff at sams club.

    So far so good, but it has only been installed for two months now so I can speak to the durability yet.

    There are a few places where it wasnt 100% level so it is a little spongey but not very noticable at all.

    The real test will be how it deals in all four seasons with the different humidity levels but I left the recommended amount for an expansion gap so we will see..
  14. Floor Boss

    Floor Boss Flooring Professional and Mgr. I Support TFP

    I would have suggested carpet, but glad you didn't waste time and effort on the LVP.... for sure you were heading for a disaster without removing the tile.
    You said not 100% level and Squishy along with 'inexpensive' laminate. Whether noticeable or not, you could be headed for joint failure.
    You also mentioned 4 seasons. Is this room HVAC controlled to between 65-85 degrees year round?
    I'd be curious as to what the temperature was when you installed the floor. I'd be guessing on the cool side since it's winter.
    I've seen inexpensive laminates installed by the book, in the winter, here in the mild weathered Bay Area that have expanded far past the mfg specs once summer hit. And some more problems when excess moisture found it's way into the area.
    Keep an eye on your temp and humidity levels!
    I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.
  15. chi-chi

    chi-chi Member

    Yes this is a controlled space that will be well within the 65-85 degree range, but like you said my worry is the joint failure even though I made sure the seems were tight and that the expansion gap is there, I'll update this thread after summer. And spring as well.

    So you are right and especially about summer.. I placed a few water alarm sensors near any location water may enter as well as plan on running a dehumidifier on occasion durring the summer to keep humidity controlled as possible but let see what happens..

    With the cost of the floor and self installation cost savings I'd be happy to get 5 years but hoping for 15 lol

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