Ask the experts: Can I tile over old tiles?

They say there’s no such thing as a stupid question, and that’s especially true when it comes to refurbishing your home.

When you’re investing in a new bathroom, you want to know that it’s all being done properly, so arming yourself with knowledge is essential. At MyBuilder.com, expert tradespeople are available to answer any questions people have about home improvements. We’ve collected some of the most common queries people have about bathrooms to get you up to speed before you get to work.

In the first of our series of “ask the experts” tips and advice for your bathroom planning, we answer the question “Can I tile over old tiles?”.


Can I tile over old tiles?

The answer to this is simple: yes, but why would you? Tiling on top of old tiles means that any problems with the originals, such as becoming loose, will still be an issue with the new layer, while the extra thickness can also make it more difficult to accurately install fixtures and fittings. People worry about removing plaster from the wall when stripping old tiles, but re-skimming the plaster as a preparation for the new layer is part and parcel of achieving a good finish.

BJD Building & Roofing say: “You can tile over tiles, with the right preparation, but I would never do this—the proper way is to strip right back to original wall finish. Don’t worry if you do pull a bit of plaster when stripping the tiles, as it’s easy enough to replace. Tiling over tiles can make it awkward, i.e. extra thickness when tiling around shower fittings. For the sake of a few hours work, I would take them off.”

Tiling your bathroom


Alternatives to tiling

Bathroom tiles are a popular choice for walls and floors and with good reason: They are hardwearing, easy to clean and come in a range of colours, sizes, textures and shapes to perfectly match your décor.

However, you certainly don’t have to limit yourself to tiles when considering the type of wall and floor coverings you want in your bathroom.

Wall panels

If you’re searching for a more cost-effective alternative to tiles, an acrylic wall panel could the solution you’re looking for.

Designed to fit over tiles or almost any existing wall covering, wall panels can be quickly and easily cut to size and fitted in one go. This cuts down the time you’d require for tiling with no tricky grouting to contend with.

Shower wall panels

Available in a range of colours and designs, wall panels provide an almost seamless finish that is easy to clean. Plus, with no grout joins, there’s nowhere for mould to develop.

Check out the following ranges:


Vinyl flooring

Tiles look great when used on bathroom floors, offering a solid surface that will easily withstand everything a busy bathroom has to throw at it. The only downside being the time it takes to fit and grout your tiles for a professional finish.

One neat alternative which could save you both time and money is vinyl flooring.

Krono Xonic vinyl flooring

Krono Xonic vinyl flooring is a far cry from the lino style flooring you might imagine when thinking about vinyl. With a stunning range of wood effect finishes, they look every inch the elegant and beautiful floor, but the beauty is, you won’t need a professional to fit it. No messy grout or adhesives, simply lay each plank down and clip together.

Discover more about Krono Xonic vinyl flooring.


Doing your own tiling

Of course, we would always recommend hiring a fully qualified and experienced professional for anything to do with your bathroom. However, if you are competent at DIY, tiling is a job that you may want to attempt yourself.

At VictoriaPlum.com, we have plenty of resources available when it comes to tiling:

DIY tiling


Still need your questions answered?

If you have your own questions about bathroom fitting, you can ask MyBuilder’s expert tradespeople.

However, if this article has helped solve your query and you're ready to get started on your own bathroom changes, you can post a job and get started today on MyBuilder.com.