Skip to Content

Can You Put Plywood Over Tile? (How To)

Plywood is a great flooring option, but installing it over tile may seem like an impossible task. The biggest question about this kind of project is ‘how do you do it?’ and the answer isn’t as simple.

Installing plywood over tiles is not an easy or uncomplicated task, and you’ll have to follow several steps to ensure you protect your tiles against damage. You may need to rope in the assistance of professionals.

It is not recommended that you install plywood over tiles; it would be better to remove the tiles and install the new flooring after cleaning up. But if you really have to, do your best to avoid damaging the tiles during the installation and afterward.

Should You Put Plywood Over Tile?

Sometimes, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should go ahead and actually do it. For the most part, that is true of installing plywood over tiles, though there are exceptions.

If you really want to put plywood over tiles, you need to take preparational steps that will ensure you don’t damage or break the tiles. These steps are also necessary to keep the installation from failing. The most important consideration is the state of the tiles: they must be secure.

Before you start any attempt at putting plywood over tiles, you need to check if the tiles are damaged in any way. If they are cracked (or cracking) or crumbling, you may not be able to install any type of flooring on top of them. After all, a floor can only be as secure as the subfloor underneath it.

Your floor should be as even as possible if you’re going to install a floating plywood floor (which is your best option). If the floor below isn’t even and level, the floating floor will shift and move when you walk over it, which will lead to damage.

Remember that you need to ensure clearance height for your doors and any cabinets or appliances that are in the room. Make sure you will be able to easily open and close doors, or you will have to shave them shorter. 

Also, the room in which you want to install the new plywood floor should not be prone to flooding or regularly exposed to moisture. This can lead to difficulties with the wood.

What Tools Do You Need to Put Plywood Over Tile?

There aren’t many tools required to pull off this kind of project despite it having several precautions to follow.

You will need cleaning supplies, nails, and perhaps some good adhesive to install plywood over tiles. You should also have a level to ensure that your floor is even before starting the project.

What Preparations Do You Need to Put Plywood Over Tile?

Installing plywood over tile is not really something that is recommended by professionals, so you’ll have to take extra care when taking on this kind of project.

There are several preparations necessary if you want to put plywood over tiles, such as properly cleaning the tiles. You’ll also have to be sure the tiles are in good condition and scuff the floor if you’re going to use adhesive.

First, you need to clean the floor and then make sure that any raised edges are level. These edges can create pivot points that cause movement and that is not something you want. They can also negatively affect the floor’s stability.

You may have to install sturdy wooden lattice work over the tiles if you’re going to create floating floors to prevent any issues.

You need to closely inspect your tiles and make sure none of them are damaged or poorly grouted. Any imperfections, no matter how minor they may seem to you, can cause difficulties in the future.

Before you can start your project, you need to scuff the surface of the tiles. This is an especially important step if you plan to use adhesive to install the new flooring. Use a high-quality stainless steel wire brush tool to create a surface on the tiles that will be more appropriate for glue application.

How to Put Plywood Over Tile

Installing plywood over tile is seen as quite uncommon and not always recommended, but if you really want to take on such a project, you can.

There are three ways to install wood over tiles, but some preparations are required and the methods aren’t completely guaranteed. You should lay a subfloor to prevent damage to the tiles if you want to nail the plywood in place. Otherwise, you can glue the plywood, which also requires preparation.

Here is how you can install plywood over tiles:

Nail the Flooring

To nail your plywood onto your tiles, you will require a subfloor, which should be made of wood and about ¾” thick. This wooden surface must have enough structure to secure the nails.

This method is not really recommended, though.

Glue the Flooring

Typically, you won’t be able to glue plywood onto tile flooring because the glue needs a smooth and porous surface to stick to. If you can successfully install a layer of material between the two floorings, you may be able to install plywood on tiles in this manner.

Consider using the floating floor method instead of this one if you want to avoid frustrations with your floors in the future.

Float the Flooring

The best way to install plywood on tiles is to make it ‘float’. This method involves attaching the wood pieces to each other with a click mechanism without directly attaching them to the floor. You must lay a layer of foam underlayment on top of the tiles below the wood.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on November 21, 2022.

This barrier will prevent the wood from rubbing against the tiles and wearing them down. You can also float the wood by applying glue at the joints, though this method isn’t as secure as using click mechanisms. You install a floating floor by securing it through the base molding around the edges.

Related Articles

Can You Put Plywood Over Plank Subfloor? (How To)

Can You Put Plywood Over Particle Board?

Can You Put Plywood Over Old Hardwood? (How To)

Can You Put Plywood Over Insulation? (How To)

ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on November 21, 2022.

Can You Put Plywood Over OSB? (How To)