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Lay tiles on tiles
Lay tiles on tiles
Video: Lay tiles on tiles
Video: How To Tile Over Tile 2023, February

Laying tiles on tiles - this is relatively easy these days, because there are flexible adhesives in the hardware store that enable what would not have been possible in the past. The times of tedious tapping of old tiles are usually over.

What a mess: Traditionally, you have to laboriously lift old tiles with a hammer and chisel from the wall and then deal with a lot of dust and debris before you can start re-tiling. On top of that, uneven walls make it difficult to lay the tiles after they have been knocked off.

In many cases, however, this is no longer necessary, because with the help of suitable adhesives, you can easily lay tiles on tiles and thus, for example, quickly give the bathroom a new look. Laying tile on tile is particularly useful if no pipes are to be installed in the wall. At the same time, you can avoid health risks under certain circumstances, because until the 1980s, many tile adhesives were reinforced with carcinogenic asbestos fibers, which could be released when tapped and sanded.

A prerequisite for laying tiles on tiles is of course that the old tiles are sufficiently load-bearing. Neither should they be hollow. Tiles with cavities can be found by tapping with a hammer handle. You have to go.

Tile adhesive makes it possible

Special tile adhesives and grout ensure good adhesion on smooth surfaces and can also compensate for tension on moving surfaces. This is made possible by the plastic additives in the adhesive. Unfortunately, there are no standardized product names in this area, so you have to look closely at the market shelf. The product names can include the terms flex adhesive, tile adhesive or flex joint, for example. Before you buy, be sure to read the detailed product description and instructions for use to ensure that you add the right product to your shopping cart.

If you only want to tile a few square meters, you can use dispersion glue, which is offered as a ready mix in buckets and can be used directly. On the other hand, if you tackle larger areas, cement tile adhesive is the first choice. You must mix the dry mixture with water according to the instructions for use. A special case is the laying of natural stones on old tiles. When choosing the adhesive, it is important to note that some products can discolor natural stone. Therefore, in this case, you must take special care that the adhesive is suitable for this purpose.

When preparing, also think about the other tools and accessories so that you don't have to take a break later. The tile cutting machine, a tile plier, a perforated tile device or a sponge board are also likely to be necessary equipment.

Fliesen an der Küchenwand
Fliesen an der Küchenwand

With modern tiles you can also give the kitchen a contemporary look.

Photo: iStock / Chiociolla

Lay tiles on tiles - step by step

Tiles, tools, glue: Do you have the material you need? Then the work can start. We will show you step by step how to lay tiles on tiles.

Step 1:

The preparations are just as important as the later tiling. You first have to dismantle radiators, sanitary objects and bathroom equipment behind which you want to lay tiles. As a precaution, you must interrupt the electrical lines affected by the measures. Turn off the water pipes as well. You can protect sensitive areas with masking tape and masking tape.

Step 2:

Thoroughly clean the old tiles of dust, grease and other dirt. Some residues may have accumulated in bathrooms over time. Then dry the tiles properly.

Step 3:

All clean? Then you can now apply the primer with the deep roller. Ideally, the primer and adhesive are matched, which is why it makes sense to buy these products from the same manufacturer. Once the primer has been applied, it must also dry well.

Step 4:

Now the flexible tile adhesive - properly mixed or as a finished product - is used. If possible, only mix as much glue as you can process in this step, because it can only be used for a certain time (manufacturer's information).

Use a notched trowel to spread the mass evenly over the tiles. Tip: To ensure that the new tiles are held securely and to compensate for old joints, you can fill in the old tile covering beforehand with a thin layer of tile adhesive and using a smoothing trowel.

Step 5:

Now press the new tiles evenly onto the adhesive. Do not wait too long, otherwise the glue may bind. Pay attention to the correct distance between the new tiles. It may have to be chosen a little larger than the old tiles, especially if the new tiles are larger. Tile wedges or tile crosses help with this step.

Large tiles in particular should be laid from bottom to top when tiling walls, with smaller formats you can also work from the center. Cut tiles, i.e. the narrower finishes, belong to the side.

Openings in the tiles, for example for water connections, must be drilled or cut. Hole saws and angle grinders are used here.

Step 6:

Once the adhesive has hardened, you can start grouting. To do this, apply the grout with a rubber wiper and sponge board diagonally to the course of the joint. Once the joints have dried, you can clean the surface with water and a sponge board. Be careful not to wipe any material out of the joints. As soon as the grout has dried further, residues on the tiles can be wiped off with a clean cloth.

The transition joints are grouted with sanitary silicone in a color matching the remaining joints. You can remove the corner joints elegantly and evenly with a joint straightener.

Tip: quality pays off

Our tip: Pay attention to the quality of the tiles as well as the adhesive and the other materials, then there is less risk that you will experience nasty surprises later. After all, nobody wants the lovingly laid tiles to flake off, right?

Florian Würth editors

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