With the rise in popularity of people taking on home improvement projects themselves more people are choosing to tile over their old flooring and although you may believe it is saving you time this can actually cause instability of your new floor. In addition, the floor will seldom be level and will cause your new tile floor to have a shoddy appearance. Here are some of the main reasons you should never tile of the old floor.
The surface of a vinyl floor is very slick and shiny, similar to plastic, and almost impossible to adhere to. It is also non porous which also makes it very hard to get a good bond no matter what kind of glue you attempt to use. Even the method of roughening the surface that is recommended by some people is not going to help. One of the biggest reasons not to lay tile over the existing floor is because the floor may start lifting after you lay it causing you to have to relay a section of the floor or possibly have to redo the entire job. I don't know about you but I hate redoing anything, I want to do the job once and be done with it. This is exactly why you should do the same and save yourself the trouble of the inevitable replacement of the floor.
Another problem with installing tile over vinyl is that it is extremely tough to get your floor level which is crucial when tiling. Additionally making transitions in areas where the floor level changes or you have to fill in areas is hard to do. It is always best to begin with a fresh, clean surface that the mortar will adhere to. Most vinyl floors are put down on top of thin plywood or even particleboard which is not recommended at all for applying tile to.
Laying tile over floors like these in not only unwise it is unsafe and due to the inherent flexibility of the vinyl the tile is likely to crack and you may have to replace the entire floor. If you still want to leave the vinyl floor underneath you will have to make some structural changes to the floor by screwing the vinyl down and then putting down a mortar base with mesh and concrete or lay down a plywood sub-floor that may help lessen the possibility of cracking. It is just as much work to do all of this as there would be if you lifted the vinyl up in the first place.
I hope that I have succeeded in dissuading your ideas to install tile over vinyl. Be sure to keep all of the negatives I have discussed in mind because the short cut of tiling over vinyl is really not a short cut, it will cost you more time and money in the future.
Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Florida. Find more about this as well as Laminate and Hardwood Flooring at http://www.hardwoodandlaminateflooring.com