Tile is a wonderful flooring option that is stylish, durable, and water-resistant. It's installed using a type of mortar called thin-set, and then grout is used to seal the spaces in between the tile.
In order for tile to be installed properly, the subfloor that it is installed on should be flat, secure, and level. Subfloor surfaces such as plywood and concrete are excellent choices that allow the thinset to harden and the tiles to be laid evenly.
Tile can be installed over other types of flooring, as long as those types are secure. For example, if you would like to tile over your outdated linoleum in the kitchen, you certainly can. It's not always necessary to rip up the linoleum to install the tile. However, it's important to be sure that the linoleum was laid over a secure subfloor such as concrete or plywood, and the adhesive is secure. If the linoleum is bubbling up in any spots, this will mean that eventually your tiles will start heaving upwards, costing you time and money in the end when they need to be ripped out and laid back down.
The same principle applies to other types of flooring. Tile really shouldn't be laid over any type of floating floor such as laminate or vinyl flooring, as these options won't be secure enough to keep the tiles in place and even. Once they start heaving upwards, the uneven floor can cause home accidents and no longer looks attractive. Tile also shouldn't be laid over carpeting, as the carpeting will eventually break down and cause the tiles to heave and move.
Tile could be installed over the top of hardwood flooring, as it's usually nailed together and secured to the subfloor. However, hardwood flooring can sometimes be uneven, and tile flooring works best when installed on an even subfloor.
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