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Can You/Should You Put Concrete Over Tile Floor

Upgrading the home is a great way to improve its value and make it more livable. Some jobs are going to be easy to do while others are going to be extensive and may even create more problems than they are worth.

Male smoothing concrete floor

Redoing the floors is something to consider. It may be a large job, but it is one that makes a large difference as well. One of the popular options for upgrading the floors is putting down stained or textured concrete. If you already have a tile floor in place, however, can you lay concrete over the tile or will you have to remove it?

Can You Lay Concrete Over Tile Floor?

Handyman with tools mounted in the background wall

Generally speaking, it is possible to lay concrete over a tile floor. As long as the tile is in good condition, sound, and there are not any problems with what is under the tile, then the concrete can be laid successfully.

Putting down concrete overlayment is a rather tedious process. There are many different factors that must be considered, from the preparation of the existing tile floor to finishing the concrete at the end of the job. Having a good plan in place is vital for the process to be successful and beautiful.

It isn’t simply enough to pour a concrete mixture over the tile floor, as that will produce lackluster results. You need to choose the right microtopping for the concrete overlay if you plan on having a truly decorative concrete floor.

Not all tile is going to be suitable for a concrete overlay as well. As long as it is a sound, sturdy tile, such as ceramic, marble, or terracotta, it can provide what is needed for the subfloor. As you will see, however, it’s not just a matter of looking at what is on the surface, you need to look below the surface before you get started.

Should You Lay Concrete Over Tile Floor?

Tools for remodeling house

The fact that you can lay concrete over a tile floor has already been established. The question as to whether you should put down a concrete floor over a tile floor is entirely different. It really depends upon a number of factors. It also involves how much work you are willing to put into preparing the tile for concrete.

One of the most important factors to consider is the type of subfloor that is under the tile floor. If you are dealing with a concrete subfloor with tile over top, then it will likely be able to stand up to the additional weight of a concrete overlay. On the other hand, if it is a plywood subfloor, you need to carefully consider how much additional weight you will be putting on it.

Depending on the type of concrete overlay you are putting down, it can weigh anywhere from 14 – 18 pounds or more per square foot. That is a considerable amount of weight to add to a subfloor. Do the math and make sure that you are not jeopardizing the subfloor.

Another factor to consider is the amount of height that you are adding to the room as well. In most cases, the additional height added by a concrete overlay is not going to be substantial, but if you are adding it over the existing tile, the extra height could be a problem.

The bottom line is, if you have a quality, sound, problem-free tile floor, it can make a good subfloor. Preparing it in advance will help to make the project flawless when all is said and done.

What Type Of Tile Does Not Make A Good Subfloor?

Tile floor

Although you can generally use any type of stone or composite tile as a subfloor for concrete overpayment, there are some types of tiles that should not be left in place. Fortunately, in most cases, the tiles you should not use are easy to remove. Here are some tiles you should not use as a subfloor for concrete.

Peel and Stick

The bond between the peel and stick tile and the subfloor is not strong and that could cause problems after the concrete has been laid. In addition, preparing the floor may be more difficult than simply removing it.

Vinyl Tile Floating Floor

Since a floating floor is capable of moving, it will not make a good subfloor for concrete. In addition, a floating floor will expand and contract, depending on the conditions in the room and this could be problematic as well. In most cases, a floating floor is easily removed by simply pulling it apart piece by piece.

Why Choose Concrete For Your Home?

Male researching question on laptop

If you are going to put down concrete over a tile floor, it’s not a simple matter of pouring concrete or mixing Sakrete. You need to have a specific product that was made for that purpose. Not only will it save you time, but it will also result in a beautiful finished product that can be dyed, stained, or textured.

One of the reasons why you would choose microtopping rather than just standard concrete is because of the weight. Even a thin layer of concrete can add a significant amount of weight to the floor and if you are already pouring it over tile, it could quickly overwhelm the existing subfloor. Generally speaking, you would only use concrete over tile if you had a concrete subfloor under the tile.

You also have a wide variety of design options available. Many people mix an acrylic polymer with concrete and apply it directly. Any type of colorfast dye or stain can produce a very desirable result. One of the reasons why stained concrete is so popular is because there are no two types of floors that are exactly alike. With a little creativity, you can have a beautiful and unique finished product.

Durability is another consideration, and even though you are putting down a thin layer, it can last for many years. The true durability of the floor is because of the sealer, not the thin layer of concrete microtopping. The sealer is what keeps the floor from being damaged or stained over time.

How to Choose the Right Concrete MicroTopping

Concrete floor installation

Since you are putting the microtopping over tile, you need to consider the type of tile in place and if it will cover the grout lines and any imperfections. That is why it is often a three-step process, with a layer to prepare and seal the tile, the microtopping, and then the sealer on top.

Although microtopping is always thin, there may be variations in the thickness that can make a difference in the finished product. Obviously, the thickness of the topping will also make a difference in the weight. Some people prefer a microtopping that is only about 0.2 inches thick. It would need to be applied in numerous coats and can be troweled with a textured look.

In order for a concrete floor to be self-leveling, it needs to be applied at least 1/4 inch thick. Microtopping does not generally fall into that category. That is why it may be necessary to work with the topping rather than to simply pour it on and allow it to seek its own level.

Choosing a Concrete MicroTopping Sealer

Living room with concrete floor

A number of different options are available for concrete sealers. The one that you choose can be determined according to the type of concrete that is used, the amount of foot traffic in the area, and even the design you choose.

One of the best choices is to go by the recommendation of the microtopping manufacturer. They put in a lot of time and effort to determine which sealer will work best with their product.

The good news is, if you aren’t happy with the finish, it is relatively easy to redo the floor to a different color or texture. It is just a matter of sanding to scuff the surface and applying a new layer.

How To Install Concrete Over Tile Floor

Installing concrete flooring

The process of installing concrete over a tile floor is relatively straightforward. In most cases, you would simply pour the concrete microtopping over the floor and allow it to seek its own level. Some texturing may be needed or perhaps even desirable, depending upon the type of decorative floor you choose.

The real work comes in preparing for the project, and this would include gathering all of the tools and supplies that you need, prepping the tile floor for the concrete overlay, and mapping things out so that you have a plan before you get started. This would include knowing where you’ll start working with the concrete and the path that you will take as you continue through the room.

Tools Needed to Put Concrete Over Tile Floor

Concrete mixer in yard


A small chain will be used to determine if the tile adheres to the subfloor properly. It will help you to find gaps in the adhesive. The chain should be heavy enough to make noise but not so long that it will span multiple tiles.

Floor Sander

This will be necessary if you have porcelain tile with a glazed finish. In order to get the concrete to adhere properly to the tile, you will have to scuff the finish.

Cleaning Supplies

If you don’t realize that this is going to be a dusty and dirty project, you will find out quickly. Having cleaning supplies, including a dust mop, broom, dustpan, mop, and mop bucket will help you to keep the dust under control.


It may be necessary to remove a greasy film from the tile, so adding some degreaser to your mop bucket should do the trick. Be sure to clean the floor after degreasing following the manufacturer’s instructions

Concrete Mixer

Although you may be able to mix a bucket of concrete overlay by hand for a small job, having a power mixer will go a long way out for you to get the job done. If you don’t have one of your own they can usually be rented from a local hardware store.

5-gallon buckets

These are going to be used and beneficial in more ways than you probably realize. It may be handy to have a few on hand for the project.

Concrete Smoother

Although the concrete will seek its own level, having a smoother tool on hand will help to float the floor properly. These tools should only be used in line with the manufacturer’s instructions.


Having plenty of sponges on hand can help with everything from cleanup to smoothing out and texturing the floor as it dries.

Painters Tape

Protect the surrounding baseboard and edges with painter’s tape. Be sure to use a high-quality product so the edges come out clean

Sheet plastic

Have the floor in adjacent rooms covered with some plastic so you can exit the workspace without damaging the existing floor.

Safety Glasses (Goggles)

Be sure to have protective eyewear when working with concrete. Prescription glasses do not provide adequate protection. If you wear glasses, you can get goggles or safety glasses that fit over them.

N-95 Masks

Silica dust is a real danger when you are working with concrete and a normal dust mask will not offer the protection you need. Wear an N-95 mask that is fitted properly when working with a dry concrete mixture.


A pair of all-purpose gloves will help protect your hands and keep them from drying while you are working with concrete.

Preparing to Put Concrete Over Tile

Square tile flooring

Any type of home improvement job is going to require some degree of preparation. In fact, the more you prepare for the job, the easier it is going to be to have a professional-looking finished product. When you spend more time at the beginning preparing, everything goes more smoothly.

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In preparing for putting down concrete over tile, you need to check the tile thoroughly. This is more than a visual examination because it is often what is going on under the surface that causes the biggest problem.

You may have been walking on the tile for years and did not realize that some of it did not adhere properly to the subfloor during installation. This may not be a problem for foot traffic but once you put the concrete over it, then it could be a big problem if the tile shifts under the weight.

In order to check for hollow areas under the tile or for where the adhesive may not have worked as it should, you can do a chain drag test. You can use a small chain to drag across the floor, one tile at a time. You will hear differences from one tile to another, especially when there is a hollow area underneath the tile.

If a hollow area is found, the old tile must be removed, and the adhesive under it must be scraped up. You will have to put down another tile in its place and wait until it has been set properly.

Will Grout Lines Show When Putting Concrete Over A Tile Floor?

Female sitting on ground confused and thinking while scratching head

Another factor to consider is the grout line. If the grout line is extremely thin, it is not likely to be a problem but if it is 1/4 inch wide or more, such as if it is Mexican tile, then it will show through the concrete overlay. Even thin grout lines may sometimes show. This type of issue is sometimes known as ghosting, as you will see the pattern of the grout line through the concrete.

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In order to overcome this issue, you must first seal the grout with a priming system. Not every overlay is going to require this, but it is still a good idea to prime it with a layer of the overlay at the very least. Check the manufacturer’s directions to see what they require or recommend as a good priming system.

In some cases, the tile floor will have a glaze finish. This may be desirable for tile, but it will cause problems with a concrete overlay. The concrete may not adhere properly to the tile so you need to prepare the tile.

Scuffing the finish can be done by hand and some sandpaper in a small area. If you are doing a larger floor, however, you may want to rent an industrial scrubber and some sanding pads. It will make short order of the process. Be sure to wear your mask while sanding.

Finally, you will put down the concrete overlay according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In some cases, this may include putting down fiber and a bond coat before the overlay is put in place. In other cases, you will mix the overlay, pour it over the tile and allow it to seek its own level.

When it is time to begin pouring the concrete, you need to have your exit plan in place. The last thing you would want to do is to work your way into a corner of the room and then ruin your work as you were trying to exit. It may seem like a small factor, but it can be a big problem if you don’t consider it in advance.

A finished concrete floor is beautiful. It is also often understated, but when it is a decorative style of concrete or if it is stained properly, it can provide you with a durable and beautiful floor that you can live with.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on August 14, 2021.

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