If you are tired of that beat up, scratched up, badly stained laminate countertop, then you may want to consider laying tile over the plastic laminate. If you have laminated flooring that is bubbling, peeling, and cracking, then solid floor tiles might be the answer for you. You can, if you are willing to put in the preparation time, install tiles right over existing laminate surfaces. The key to success in these ventures is the preparation process.
Remove Loose Tiles
There will be times when you need to remove some of the laminate before you can lay tile over it. As a rule, if any substrate surface is loose, peeling, cracked, bubbling or in any other way deteriorating it must be removed. Laying tile over plastic laminate that is already falling off is a recipe for disaster.
Your new tiles will come loose as the laminate underneath continues to come loose. Continued traffic will cause the laminate to break free and take the tiles with it. This is why it is vitally important that you make 100% sure that all loose laminate has been removed.
A second important preparatory step in laying tile over plastic laminate is leveling the surface. If there are areas where you had to remove some loose or broken laminate, then there is probably a small lip or ridge left at the breaking point.
All of these types of defects must be repaired using a floor leveling material. This can be mixed up and poured out onto the floor, or even the counter top, and must then be allowed to dry. The result will be a smooth, hard surface that is very well equipped to receive tile mortar.
Before this step is complete, you must ensure that no area exists where the tiles may rock back and forth. This will cause the tiles to crack as the mortar dries and shrinks. You must also make sure that there are no hollow places underneath the tiles. This is especially important on floors. Tiles that are not evenly supported will eventually crack under heavy traffic.
The third preparatory step in laying tile over plastic laminate is making sure that you have the right mortar. You should use a latex based polymer mortar. This product ensure that you will have equal adhesion over all of the substrates that you may have.
If you used leveler, the latex mortar will bond with that just as well as with the laminate, so you don’t have to worry about transition points in the floor coming loose. Since laminate is not very porous, you may also have trouble getting traditional dry-set mortars to bond well with the plastic.
As you learn more about laying tile over plastic laminate, you will discover that the tiles are actually installed in the same way that they would be over any other substrate. The biggest difference is in the quality of the preparation that you must do. It is the most important phase of your project.