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Tile over tile on concrete slab? Cement board on concrete slab?

I would like to install a tile floor in my basement.  Currently, my basement floor consists of carpet, vinyl tile, and a small section of ceramic tile.  All of that obviously sits on a concrete slab that is in good shape. I would like to replace all of the carpet and tile with new ceramic tile.  Do I need to bust out the old ceramic tile (and adhesive)?  Or can I tile over that?  Obviously, if I tile over the old tile, I would need some way of raising the rest of the floor (where there was carpet).  Can I use cement board and plywood to raise the tile where carpet used to be?

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Posted 2016-05-17T13:00:12+0000  by Jimwit Jimwit

Hello Jimwit and welcome to the Community.

First question would be if the vinyl tile is really vinyl or asbestos.  If it is asbestos you will have to decide how you are going to deal with that.

You stated that a small section of the existing floor is ceramic tile.  If that is the case, I believe it would probably be better to remove the old tile.  Removing the tile is not that difficult once you get started and it would be more cost effective and maybe less labor.

There are non-power tools for removing tile, like the 7” wide Floor Tear-out Scraper.

And there are power tools like the Easy Hammer Cart, available from the Home Depot Tool Rental.

The Easy Hammer cart is an innovative tool for fast and easy removal on a variety of flooring including all tiles, thin-set, vinyl, wood, cork and much more. No more struggling with trying to handle heavy jackhammers. The Easy Hammer cart can be easily adjusted to 5 different positions and is suited for most demolition jobs


You will need to prepare your surface for tiling and here is a brief video outlining what you will need to do.


If you choose to use backer board, open up the product link by clicking on the photo, then view the videos by clicking on box with the arrow below the photo.

Here is Hardie Board for example.

Have fun with your project and enjoy the new basement look.



Posted 2016-05-17T19:48:14+0000  by Char_HD_CHI
If I rented the easy hammer cart, would I need to worry about cracking the slab?  I think that I would be a bit nervous using that big beast on my slab.  

Posted 2016-05-17T20:58:27+0000  by Jimwit
Hello Jimwit and welcome back to the Community.

Sorry for the delay in responding back to you.

This tool is designed just for your type of project.  It forces are more lateral than vertical to pop off tiles.

When you rent something from Home Depot Tool rental department they provide you with detail instructions on how to use the equipment and all the accessories.  Give them call if you have anymore question.

Thanks again for your inquiry.

Posted 2016-05-26T13:20:15+0000  by Char_HD_CHI
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