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Can You Put Ceramic Tile Over Epoxy? (How To)

Epoxy flooring is a two-part mixture that consists of resin and hardener. Most people place it over concrete due to its flexural strength and shiny appearance. But what more can one do with their epoxy floor?

If you are wondering whether you can put ceramic tile over epoxy, here is some good news: you can. Since epoxy is hard, it makes a good base for laying tile. However, you need to prepare the epoxy first to get lasting results.

Man fixing the Ceramic tile

Ceramic tile is always a good choice when deciding on flooring for your home. One of the major benefits of installing ceramic tiles is the fact that they don’t require any special maintenance. Therefore, it would be a good choice if you don’t want to spend much time and effort cleaning the floor. You can also use a heavy-duty cleaner to remove tough stains.

Another reason why ceramic tiles are so popular is their water resistance. That makes them ideal for floors that get wet easily, such as kitchen and bathroom floors. Most importantly, ceramic tiles are hard and durable. If you take good care of them, they can last up to two decades. You don’t have to worry about cracks and dents from heavy foot traffic and furniture.

Should You Put Ceramic Tile Over Epoxy?

Man fixing the Ceramic tile

Epoxy flooring has several benefits, such as durability and eco-friendliness. But despite the several benefits, it has challenges like being too slippery when wet. It also requires special cleaners.

You might wonder if putting ceramic tile over epoxy would be a good idea to overcome challenges such as being slippery when wet. That would be a brilliant idea. Certain epoxy types also attract dust, which can raise allergy concerns. In that case, you can consider covering it up with ceramic tiles.

Besides curbing slipperiness and allergens, putting ceramic tiles over epoxy can be considered a safety measure against fire. Ceramic tiles are incredibly fire resistant, given the conditions under which they are manufactured. On the other hand, epoxy floors tend to melt in the case of a fire.

Contrary to popular opinion, ceramic tile flooring does not have to be boring. The tiles come in various styles, patterns, and designs. Your creativity is the only limit. You can even have a different design for each room. Even better, you can easily cut ceramic tiles to any shape you want so that they can fit in any part of the house.

What Tools Do You Need to Put Ceramic Tile Over Epoxy?

Tools for tiles

Tile installation calls for skill. But even with mastery, you can end up disappointed if you don’t have the right tools for the job.

If you plan on making this a DIY project, you’ll need to know the tools you need to put ceramic tile over epoxy so that you can assemble everything. You will need the tiles, adhesive material, grout, spacers, a leveling system, a trowel, tile-cutting tools, sealers, and personal protection equipment.

It is worth noting that not all adhesives are the same—some work better for ceramic tiles than others. For instance, silicone adhesives work well with ceramic tiles. You can also work with construction adhesive if you can’t get your hands on a silicone adhesive. These products are heavy-duty, but you must be careful not to make a mess. UV-cured glues also do a decent job as far as ceramic tiles are involved. Some people also use gorilla glue. If you choose that route, be sure to buy one specifically made for ceramic tile.

The grout will fill in the gaps between your tiles. You can choose either sanded or unsanded grout. Only use the latter if you place the tiles close together. Since grout comes in many colors, it could be your window to make things a little more colorful.

Consider picking a manual one when picking a tile cutter since it works quickly. And don’t forget a rubber bucket to mix and transport your adhesive. And most importantly, don’t forget protective gear. That includes items like cut-resistant gloves, dust masks, and knee pads.

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

What Preparations Do You Need To Install Ceramic Tile Over Epoxy?

confused man standing

We began by mentioning that ceramic tile will only work over epoxy if you prepare it well.

One of the most crucial steps to do when preparing your epoxy for ceramic tile installation is to check that the epoxy flooring is firm. If the epoxy is loose, your ceramic tile won’t stay in place for long. The next thing you need to handle is cleaning the epoxy floor.

Use a pad sander and 80-grit to clean the epoxy floor. Sanding will remove any loose material that might be stuck on the floor. One way to know that your epoxy floor is ready for ceramic tile installation is to check whether the shine is gone. You should only proceed if the entire floor looks dull.

When satisfied with the results, clean the epoxy floor with warm water and trisodium phosphate. Rinse with clear water and leave it to dry for about 24 hours.

How to Install Ceramic Tile Over Epoxy

confused man standing

Now that your epoxy floor is all clean and completely dry, it’s time to do the heavy lifting—installing the ceramic tiles.

Installing ceramic tile over epoxy does not involve a lot of steps. You start by drawing reference lines, then spreading the adhesive, placing the tiles, and finally applying grout. You will later need to get rid of excess grout.

The reason why you want to draw reference lines is that you can’t afford to have crooked tiles on your floor. While most people like to start tiling from one corner of the room, working from the center outwards will give you better results.

Start by measuring the total length of the room’s wall, then divide that by half. Use a piece of chalk to mark that dimension, then do the same thing on the opposite wall. Place a small nail on each mark and snap a chalk line. Then go ahead and create the second chalk line on the remaining two walls. Now place your first tile against the intersection of your two chalk lines, then complete the first quadrant. Now proceed to lay your tiles on the rest of the room.

While working, you need to ensure that you don’t step on the tiles until the adhesive is completely dry. So, be careful not to find yourself backed into a corner. Consider leaving some rows empty so that you can find your way out. It would also be a brilliant idea to finish with the quadrant closest to the door.

Before laying the tile, you will need to mix your tile adhesive in a plastic bucket. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to know how to mix the adhesive. Since adhesive can set quickly, only work on a small area at a time to avoid wastage. Press the tile firmly into the adhesive to reduce the air that sits between the tile and the epoxy flooring. You will need spacers to leave equal spaces between your tiles.

Once the tiles are in place, it’s time to apply the grout. Before you apply the grout, be sure to clean any excess adhesive from the grout joints. Then mix your grout in a plastic bucket until it has the consistency of peanut butter. Then scoop some of it and use a grout float to spread the grout evenly. Keep the grout float at a 45-degree angle to achieve an even surface. Once you have filled all the gaps, remove the excess grout using a grout float. Then give it time to dry up.

Once the grout has dried up, use a damp sponge for a proper clean-up. You will need two buckets of water for the second round of cleaning. Finally, go in with your grout sealer. The sealer ensures that the grout will not absorb or retain moisture in the future.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on October 26, 2022.

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