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Can/Should You Put Tile Over Linoleum Flooring?

Linoleum is a type of flooring that has been around for a very long time. It is found in homes throughout the world, and it is also a type of flooring that often needs to be upgraded. Can you put tile over linoleum flooring?

Generally speaking, you can put tile over linoleum flooring and linoleum can actually make a very nice subflooring for any type of tile. Before you jump headlong into the project, however, you should make sure that the floor is sound and free of defects.

Man putting a tile on the floor

Although the answer to putting tile over linoleum floor is yes, there are some things that need to be considered before you get started. Consider the following when determining if you should put tile over the linoleum in your home.

Can You Put Tile Over Linoleum Flooring?

Man putting a tile on the floor

There is a checklist of items that should be considered before you start on a project of laying tile over linoleum flooring. By going down through this checklist, you can ensure that you will have the best job possible.

Is the Linoleum Old?

Linoleum floors have been around for a very long time and you may have had them in your home since you purchased it. It is important for you to understand the general age of the linoleum floor, however, because it may pose some hidden danger.

Asbestos was a common ingredient in linoleum floors that were laid in a sheet prior to 1990. Although you are not generally in danger when it comes to the asbestos in the floor (because it is not airborne) it is not the most desirable option to have in your home.

One of the reasons why you would consider this is because you may have to sand the linoleum as part of the preparation process. If you were to sand the linoleum, it would make any asbestos in the flooring airborne and could pose a serious health risk.

In addition, if you put tile over the linoleum and the linoleum contains asbestos, you are just locking it in place. It may not pose a significant danger under the tile floor, but most homeowners would rather have the linoleum removed rather than have it under their floor.

Is It in Good Condition?

It is important to inspect the linoleum carefully and determine if it is in good condition. If the floor is in great condition, it would do just fine underneath the tile floor you are about to put down.

On the other hand, however, if there is damage to the linoleum floor, that damage is likely to show when you put down the tile. It may not occur immediately but if there are gaps and voids under the tile floor, then the tile is more likely to crack and experience problems.

If there is some damage to the linoleum floor, it may be possible to repair it prior to the time you put down the tile floor. Another option is to float the entire floor, leaving the linoleum in place and ending up with a solid subfloor for the tile.

Is the Linoleum Floor Solid?

In most cases, a linoleum sheet floor is glued down to the subfloor. You will not typically have any problems with the floor being loose.

On the other hand, it’s a good idea to check this carefully and ensure that the linoleum floor is solidly attached to the subfloor. If it isn’t, then the tile you put on the linoleum is not going to be solid either.

Is It Cushioned Linoleum?

Linoleum flooring sometimes has a cushioned backing. If it does, it can compress over the course of time and lead to imperfections that would be a problem if you were to lay tile over it.

If the linoleum sheeting does not have a cushioned backing, it is a much better choice for putting tile over it. It will provide a degree of stability to the tile so it will last for a very long time.

On the other hand, if there is cushioning behind the linoleum, it could lead to problems eventually. Not all tile is going to experience the same problem but any type of natural stone, ceramic, or porcelain tile would likely experience issues as the cushion settles.

Use our tile floor calculator to find out how much it’ll cost you to put tile over linoleum.

Should You Put Tile Over Linoleum Flooring? Reasons Why Not And Why Yes

Man putting a tile on the floor

There are many good reasons to consider laying tile over a linoleum floor. There are also some reasons why it isn’t the best idea.

The top reason to use tile over linoleum is the fact that you are upgrading the floor to one that is more stain-resistant and durable. Linoleum has always been a good choice, but tile is one that offers timeless beauty and usability for the entire family.

Let’s consider some of the pros and cons of laying tile over linoleum. This can help you to make a good decision as to whether you will do it in your home.

PROS Laying Tile Over Linoleum


Compared to linoleum, tiles are resistant to staining. Generally speaking, all you have to do is wash the tiles and they are like new again.


Tiles can last many years, and in some cases may not need to be upgraded or replaced for up to five decades. Linoleum, on the other hand, only has about half that lifespan.


Another feature that makes tile a better idea than linoleum is because tile is waterproof. Linoleum also offers similar benefits, but tile is always going to be ideal for the home.

Cons Laying Tile Over Linoleum

The Process

Although tiles can make a beautiful upgrade to the home, the process of laying them is not always easy for the homeowner.

Height Change

Making the transition from the newly tiled room to another room in the home can be challenging because you have to adjust to the height difference.

How To Put Tile Over Linoleum Flooring

Putting tile floor

Are you ready to put tile over linoleum? Here’s the process to get you started.

A few things need to be considered when putting tile over linoleum. You need to consider the quality of the linoleum, you need to prepare the linoleum, and it is necessary to put the tile down properly. If you take your time and use the proper tools, you can end up with a beautiful job that will last years to come.

Steps For Putting Tile Over Linoleum

Step 1: Check and Repair

Inspect the linoleum floor for any damage and make sure it is glued to the subfloor. If there is any damage to the linoleum it should be repaired before you begin prepping the floor.

Step 2: Prepare the Floor

Thoroughly clean the linoleum floor and then sand the surface. Having the linoleum roughed up a little will help the mortar stick properly.

You might be able to rough the floor using a hand sander if you are preparing a small area. For larger areas, a side-by-side scrubber with a sanding pad will help make the job easier.

Step 3: Apply the Mortar

Use a flat-edged trowel to apply a thin layer of mortar to the linoleum. After it dries 30 minutes, you can put down the second layer of mortar using a notched trowel.

Step 4: Put Down the Tiles

The tiles can be put in place at this point before the mortar dries. Make sure you use spacers so the floor looks its best.

It is best to work from the center of the room out in both directions. Work on half of the room at one time.

Be careful with putting any pressure on the tiles as you lay them and work your way across the room. Come up with an exit plan in advance.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on November 8, 2021.

Step 5: Grout

Most homeowners will wait until the next day to put the grout in. Have plenty of sponges on hand to wipe up any excess.

Step 6: Clean

After the floor dries, it will have a light film from the grout. This can be wiped up with sponges and plain water.

What Tools And Preparation Are Needed?

Tools use for the floor

Very little preparation is needed but you will want to take the following step to ensure that the job goes well.

Lightly sanding the floor is a step that should not be skipped. It will allow the mortar to firmly adhere to the floor and keep the tiles from eventually loosening. In addition, you want to carefully measure the room and strike a line in the center of the room where you can work from in both directions.

The following are some of the tools you will need to put down the new tile floor.

Tape measure – Having at least one high-quality tape measure is going to be of benefit. Most people prefer to have a 25-foot tape measure for measuring the room and a 12-foot tape measure for any small work on the tiles.

Rubber Hammer – It may be necessary to lightly tap the tiles with a rubber hammer at times. This is done to seat them into the mortar or to move them slightly if they are not moving into place easily.

Tile Cutter – If you are doing a small job, you can use a score and snap tile cutter. For larger jobs, you will want to rent a wet saw from your local hardware store.

Notched Trowel – Having a notched trowel on hand is a benefit. You should have one with a smooth edge on one side and a notched edge on the other. It will allow you to spread the adhesive.

Sponges – You can’t underestimate the benefit of having plenty of quality sponges on hand. Use the floor sponges that you can purchase at a hardware store and change them out regularly.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on November 8, 2021.

Generally speaking, it is a good idea to put tile over linoleum if you want an easy upgrade. If the linoleum is sound and free of defects, it can make a great subfloor and the tile floor will last for many years.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on November 8, 2021.

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