i'm hiring a contractor to install ceramic/porcelain tile in my kitchen. the house is 20 yrs old. the existing floor is approx 300sq ft of linoleum. my guess the house was built with 3/4" plywood with a 1/4" of subfloor on top of that. the floor is level with no existing squeaks.
i have received quotes from 2 different companies but their method of application is opposite of each other. each company says they do all their tile jobs their way, with no problems & each is equally confident that their way of install is the way to go.
guy #1 wants to put the tile directly over the existing linoleum. he plans on putting screws every 6" right through the linoleum to be sure linoleum & subfloor is secure. he says the adhesive is specially formulated to go over & adhere directly to the linoleum. when i mention method #2 to him he says he will do it that way if we want, but there is no need for it except to raise the cost.
guy #2 wants to rip up linoleum & existing subfloor. then put down a new 1/4" plywood subfloor to affix the tile to. this will not raise or lower the height of the existing floor. i could see going with this method if the height of the floor needed adjusting but it doesn't. when i mentioned method #1 to him he says he will do method #1 but won't warranty the work because he doesn't have faith in the adhesive directly on top of the linoleum. if i go with this method should i request he use concrete backer board? is that recommended instead of plywood?
i want the job to look great, stand up to traffic, not crack or shift & last for many years, so i will pay the extra $ if that is what it takes to accomplish that goal. but if method #1 will accomplish the same, i do not want to spend extra $ unnecessarily .......which way to go?
Personally I wouldn't do either. Since your sub floor I solid lay half inch backer board on top of the linoleum. Uouwillraisethe floor a bit but it makes a solid smooth base wo the cost of ripping out the existing floor.
Personally, In my opinion installing a tile over a linoleum provides a weak foundation. They are made of different material, linoleum is smooth while tile is rough. Maybe ceramic first and linoleum at the top. Just my opinion.
I would never suggest putting tile directly on top of Lino, at the very least I would put another 1/4 or 3/8 subfloor on the lino to give your new tile a sold floor to adhere, however this will raise the exiting height quite a bit. My suggestion would be to rip up the lino and see what you are dealing with, you never know what you're dealing with, I'm in the middle of a bath reno right now and once we pulled up the old lino we found 3/8 particle boadr that had to come up, and be replaced with 3/8 ply. Sub floor is one are you don't want to skimp, it would be a shame to install tile and have the grout and tile crack due to a poor sub floor. But thats' just my opinion.
General Contractor and Renovation Contractor
BC Licensed Home Inspector
I would at the very least rip up the lino floor and the 1/4 plywood. Make sure the original subfloor is in good shape. Install concrete board or a new product called Dietra. The kitchen is a wet room where spills could occur, with the concrete board or Dietra you are creating a waterproof floor that is strong and will outlast you and the house. It may cost you extra, but if done right you will more than likely never have a problem. Also make sure the structure underneath is strong enough for the added weight. People make the mistake of spending money on the finishes instead of what is behind and end up having more problems and redoing it, which always costs more.
I see it has been 1.5 years since you posted this, I hope you made the right choice. That decision was to rip up the Lino and particle board and replace with a masonry board such as Hardi Board. Have you ever seen particle board get wet? It swells! This will happen even if you seal the edges and caulk the base. Water will work its way under it from a neighboring toilet over flow, basin sink that gets clogged or a washer hose that bursts. You will/ may have already regretted the decision to install tile over ANY particle board. As a contractor, I can say that removing the old floor and prepping the space is the cheapest thing about your project. Set yourself up with a good base and it will last for years!
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