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Can You Install Vinyl Plank over Ceramic Tile

Installing vinyl plank over ceramic tile makes a great choice because of its cost-effectiveness and stylish look. Vinyl flooring resists scratches, mold, mildew and stains. 

You can install vinyl planks over ceramic tiles given that the ceramic sub-floor consists of leveled surface and minimal grout lines. 

Vinyl floor and ceramic tile

Otherwise, you can fill in imperfect or deep-set grout lines by using self-leveling concrete or putting an underlayment to level the floor’s surface. Failure to address these issues cause a dip in the vinyl flooring once installed.

Should You or is It Okay To Install Vinyl Plank over Ceramic Tile 

Guy with a wall of tools behind him

It’s fine to install vinyl plank over ceramic tiles as long as the existing flooring is a level and smooth surface. Aside from that, vinyl flooring provides a lot of benefits

Vinyl flooring lowers the noise caused by ceramic tiles because of its foam-backed cushioning. The vinyl has a high amount of Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) which means that the vinyl flooring causes less distraction. That flooring characteristic suits you well if you have kids or pets at home. 

This type of flooring feels smooth and pleasant under your feet. The spongy effect causes less fatigue especially when standing on the floor for a long time, or when simply walking. It makes good flooring insulation for floors prone to coldness. Compared to ceramic tiles, it feels warmer, especially during the winter months as temperatures dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Installing vinyl flooring costs 40 percent less than ceramic tile.

However, you should also be aware of the disadvantages of installing vinyl planks. Once you glue down the plank, you can’t remove it easily. Vinyl plank can also be dented by sharp objects. They can emit volatile organic compounds known as VOCs, which can damage the central nervous system and other organs. Certain types of VOCs can also cause cancer. 

Should I Remove Ceramic Tile Before Installing Vinyl Plank

Vinyl planks and cracked ceramic tiles on floor

You don’t need to remove ceramic tile before you install vinyl plank. Instead, look for deep and wide grout lines or broken tiles and fix them using a self-leveling compound such as Level Pro or Henry 555. 

Removing tiles and grouts may result in an uneven and bumpy sub-surface. Plus, removing tiles makes the work more laborious, exhaustive and messy. You will create more work for yourself than necessary.

What is Better Peel and Stick or Glue To Lay Vinyl Plank Over Ceramic Tile

Installing vinyl plank flooring

Once your surface is smooth and level, it doesn’t matter if you install vinyl plank using the peel-and-stick or glue-to-lay method. It depends on your preference.

However, each method has its pros and cons.

Peel and Stick

Peel-and-stick involves removing the undercover and simply sticking the plank over the surface. 

Pros:

  • Very easy and fast to install and simple to replace.
  • Not as costly as the glue-to-lay method.

Cons:

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  • When the water gets in, the plank floats up.
  • They move more than glue-to-lay.
  • Requires an underlayment for a leveler surface.

Glue To Lay

On the other hand, glue-to-lay involves cleaning the surface and putting a lot of glue down. Setting the planks and letting the glue dry takes 15 to 20 hours.

Pros:

  • Water can’t ruin the planks.
  • Stabler and steadier compared to peel-and-stick.

Cons:

  • Putting the glue down takes a lot of time.
  • It takes more effort to remove and replace the floor or to work underneath the planks

How to Install Vinyl Plank over Ceramic Tile

Installing vinyl plank flooring with tools

Before we dive into the steps on how to install vinyl plank over ceramic tiles, make sure that the surface is leveled and smooth.

To obtain a smooth and level surface for vinyl plank installation, consider the leveling method below.

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  • First, scratch the extra grout lines on the floor and clean the floor. 
  • Mix a self-leveling compound such as Henry 555 with water.
  • Once the mixture is ready, lay down a reasonable amount over the ceramic tile and distribute evenly on the surface.
  • Level the surface using a finishing trowel. Keep doing it until all the area is covered and leveled.
  • Let the area dry for 24 hours.
  • After drying, mix an adhesive compound such as Bondcrete with water. 
  • Start coating the whole area using a standard paintbrush.
  • Cover the whole area and let it dry.

The purpose of applying an adhesive coating is to seal the self-leveling compound on the floor. With the self-leveling cement, you need to hold the plank in place longer. With the presence of adhesive coating, you can stick it right away without needing to hold it in place.

Now that the surface possesses the right level and smoothness, you can start to lay down the vinyl planks.

Materials:

  • Vinyl planks 
  • Measuring tape
  • Marker
  • Sharp knife
  • Rubber mallet
  • Chalk
  • Spacers
  • Tapping block
  • T-square
  • Tile-cutter
  • Glue (for Glue-To-Lay method)

Vinyl Planks Installation Using the Peel & Stick Steps:

  1. Set the first vinyl plank in the selected corner of your room. Check the arrows found at the back of your plank to make sure that it is facing the right direction.
  2. Peel the paper covering the adhesive at the back of the plank then place it firmly on the surface by pressing it down. 
  3. Keep setting the plank until you complete the first row.
  4. When you reach the end of the row and you need to cut a tile and measure the length of space. Mark the measurement on the plank and cut it using a tile-cutter.
  5. Repeat the steps until you fill the whole room with the planks.
  6. To finish the installation, use a 100-pound roller and rollover your flooring in several directions to ensure a tight bond to your sub-floor.

Helpful Tip:

  • Start setting your first row of vinyl planks in line with the longest wall.
  •  Alternate the alignment of planks to avoid aligning the end joints of the succeeding row.

The glue to lay method follows the above steps but uses additional glue. The vinyl plank gets a bunch of glue underneath before sticking it to the surface. It usually takes more time compared to peel-and-stick because you have to wait for the glue to dry.

What Other Flooring Can You Install Vinyl Over?

Aside from a ceramic tile floor, there are other types of flooring where you can install vinyl planks over it. 

Laminate Flooring – This type of flooring makes a good underlying layer for vinyl planks. Fixing the areas with high-moisture is required first because laminate flooring absorbs water. 

Wood Flooring – You can install vinyl flooring over wood flooring too. Considerations such as the gaps between woods need to be covered as it may serve as a passageway for water to get in the wood. Water can cause the wood to swell and expand.

Concrete Flooring  Given that the concrete surface is free from moisture, you can install vinyl planks over it. You may need an underlayment for this type of flooring, such as plywood, to ensure that the planks stick well.

Vinyl Flooring – You can install vinyl plank over existing vinyl flooring. Like any other type of flooring, the prerequisite is to have a dust-free, flat and clean surface before you stick the planks over it.

Overall, installing vinyl plank over ceramic tile doesn’t require much time and effort. You can finish the job in less than five hours, excluding the drying of it. Make sure that the surface possesses a smooth and level surface—that matters the most for it to cure well. You can achieve this by applying a self-leveling compound on top of the ceramic flooring.

When it comes to installing vinyl plank over ceramic tile, you can choose between the peel and stick or glue to lay method. If you want it to go faster, but at the same time, replace it later, you can remove vinyl plank with the peel-and-stick method more easily. On the other hand, if you want to securely stick the plank to the floor and have it last, use the glue-to-lay method, but it takes a lot of time, and you will have a harder time replacing it later. 

Check out our Vinyl Plank Flooring Project Calculator to estimate your project.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on March 24, 2021.

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