What is the Best Adhesive for Tiling Over Tiles? Explained!


Handyman tiling over tiles

Changing your tiles can be a cool way to renovate your home or to change things up a little. But often the idea of changing tiles seems very daunting because you’d think that you need to take out the existing tiles first. But fortunately, you can retile over the existing tile! Let’s find out what is the best adhesive for tiling over tiles so you can use them with the best techniques. 

If you prepare the layer of tiles underneath properly, then any kind of tile adhesive should work well. Pre-mixed tile adhesives work well over tiles. The Robers 5900-1 Ceramic Tile Adhesive is one of the bests out there. It should work well with your tiles. 

With proper preparation and technique, water won’t get in below the new set of tiles, so you don’t have to worry too much about your glue being water-resistant or waterproof. So making the adhesive work the best is really up to how you perform the process. Let’s go over how you can get the best results! 

Can Tiles Be Laid on Top of Tiles?

First things first, yes you can very easily lay tiles on top of existing tiles. There’s no need to remove your entire floor for a tile renovation. As long as the existing tiles are in good condition, there is no mold or mildew, and the surface is even, you are good to go!

This saves you a lot of trouble. Because removing old tiles and preparing the concrete underneath is a lot of work and can be very expensive. Just simple retiling will cost you far less money and time, and it’s pretty easy to do as well! 

The Best Adhesive for Tiling Over Tiles

When choosing an adhesive for working on top of tiles, try to choose non-slip ones. This way it’s easier to lay the tiles on top of each other without them sliding off. 

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Before we move on to technique, let’s check out the adhesives that work best on top of existing tiles. All of these options are pretty reliable, you can choose the one you like best.

1- Robers 5900-1 Ceramic Tile Adhesive

If you are looking for thin-set ceramic tile adhesive, then this is your best bet. This pre-mixed adhesive is easy to spread and dries quickly. It’s not messy at all, and you can just clean it with water. 

It’s meant to be used with porous or semi-porous ceramic tiles. Furthermore, due to its great bonding capabilities it works amazing over existing tiles, as well as cement or concrete and a lot of other surfaces as well. 

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Spreadable
  • Lightweight formula
  • Resistant to heat
  • Creamy texture
  • Dries fast

Cons

  • Weak packaging; lid may pop open and leak

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2 – Weldwood Multi-Purpose Ceramic Tile

The Weldwood multi-purpose ceramic tile is very strong and works amazing over tiles. It has a tacky texture and takes 20 minutes to dry at first and you can use it with ease. But it does take days to dry completely and solidify. 

For the best results, once you put your tile on, remember to weigh it down with something heavy while the adhesive dries. This ensures that the tile doesn’t move and you get a stable surface. 

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Multi-purpose
  • Low VOC
  • No toxic smells

Cons

  • Takes a long time to dry and set
  • Consistency may be too runny 

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3 – AcrylPro Ceramic Tile Adhesive

This product is amazing for beginners and DIYers because it’s so easy to use and forgiving of mistakes. If this is your first time laying tiles on your own, then the AcrylPro adhesive is a great option. 

And if you make any mistakes, it comes off pretty easily with water, before it’s dried out. It’s smooth and spreads evenly making your work surface flat and even. 

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Pros 

  • Easy to use
  • Thin and spreadable
  • Smooth texture
  • Fix mistakes with water 
  • Not messy

Cons

  • Might take a long time to dry

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How Do You Tile over Existing Tiles?

What matters more than the adhesive you use, is how you use it. Especially with tiling on top of tiles, you need to be careful to use the right techniques. Start by examining your current tile situation and see if it’s fit to tile over. Then prep the surface to be even and smooth. Finally, just add the adhesive and layer the tiles as you go. 

Step 1: Assessing the situation

The preparation is half the battle won. You should start by ensuring that the existing tiles are firmly stuck. It’s best if they are stuck on concrete. Concrete also makes it okay for you to use heavy tiles. Otherwise, if the weight is too much, it can cause structural issues or cracks to form. 

It’s better not to attempt to retile over tiles that are already stuck on another layer of tiles. If your foundation is stable, then your new tiles won’t slide off. It’s also important that your tiles are flat and even. If not you might have to rethink your game plan, and take the tiles off. Without a good surface, to begin with, it’s not worth all the effort. Easier to just rip it off. 

Step 2: Cleaning

The next step is to clean the tiles very well, getting all the grout out. The grout is where molds might appear. So remember to properly wipe down the tiles and rake out all the grout. 

The ideal way to wipe the tiles would be with white spirit on a rag made with coarse wire wool. Wear gloves because the spirit can harm your skin. 

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Step 3: Creating friction 

Since tiles are so smooth, it can often have a hard time sticking to a new layer of tiles due to a lack of friction. This is why no-slip adhesives work well in this scenario. 

A cool trick to introduce some grain into the surface is to apply a layer of PVA adhesive with some sand mixed in onto the surface of the tiles. This creates a coarse surface and makes it easier to stick on the new tiles. 

Step 4: Lay the tiles

Apply your tile adhesive to a small section of the tiles and spread it evenly. Don’t attempt large areas at once. Place the new tile on top and firmly press it into place. You can put on heavyweights on top of the tiles to help it set faster and stay stable. 

One by one, spread adhesive, score the area, and then lay the tile and move across the entire space. 

Step 5: Grouting

The final step is perhaps the most important. Grouting the grooves between the tiles is essential as this is what prevents water or moisture from getting beneath the tiles and making them come apart. This also prevents mildew or mold from growing in the edges. 

There are plenty of amazing premixed grouts available on the market and you can use them with a nozzle tube for easy application. It’s always better to mix the grout yourself though, as it works better that way.

Laying tiles over existing tiles is not that hard, as long as you know the correct technique. It’s an amazing project that you can take on yourself and give your room a makeover. 
Since you now know what is the best adhesive for tiling over tiles, you can start prepping your floor and get to work with new tiles! Best of luck!

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