I want to replace an old linoleum floor in my kitchen with tile. What is the best type of tile to use? Do I need to remove the linoleum, or can I put the new the tile over it? What are the step-by-step instructions for laying a tile floor?
Charlene P. ~ Miami, Florida
There are many different types of ceramic tile to consider using in your kitchen. Many people use larger tiles such as 12" x 12" or 8" x 8". One thing to consider is that you will probably spend a lot of time standing on this floor, so tile with an uneven surface might be uncomfortable after awhile.
If your kitchen is on a concrete slab, and your vinyl floor has a sponge type backing, then you will need to remove it prior to installing the ceramic floor. Otherwise, you can lay the ceramic over the vinyl. If the vinyl has a gloss finish, you will also need to use a de-glossing compound so that the ceramic adhesive works. If your kitchen floor is on a plywood sub-floor, you will need to install an underlayment prior to laying your ceramic tile.
The underlayment may be put directly over your vinyl floor, and should be at least 5/8 inch thick. The underlayment can be exterior grade plywood or cement board, and there are other products that may also be used.
Once you are ready to start laying your tile, spread the tile adhesive with a trowel in a smooth motion. Only put down a small area of adhesive at a time, and sit your tile in the adhesive as soon as possible. Press the tile down firmly, and continue until you have finished the tile installation. Let the adhesive dry completely, usually 24 hours, prior to walking on the floor or grouting between the tiles.