Best Flooring Options to Go Over Ceramic Tiles

tiled, living room

One of the first things people notice when they walk into a home is the flooring.  The flooring you choose sets the entire feel for your home. Many people choose to upgrade flooring when they are preparing to sell their home, not only for aesthetics but to add value to the home, as well. If you have a home with ceramic tiles, you likely don’t want the hassle of removing the tiles. 

What is the best flooring to put over ceramic tiles? There are several options of flooring that can easily go over ceramic tile with minimal adjustments.  They include:

  • Carpet
  • Laminate flooring 
  • Vinyl plank flooring 
  • Engineered hardwood flooring
  • Hardwood flooring

When choosing the type of flooring you want to use, you need to factor in the location the flooring is going and the cost and the preparation required to install the floor.  This article will highlight the types of flooring that best to cover ceramic tiles and the specifications of each. 

Types of Flooring

Choosing flooring to cover ceramic tiles can be overwhelming.  Not only do you need to look at the composition of the flooring, but you also must choose the style, color, and durability.  When it comes to laying floor over the top of ceramic tiles, you have four options that can work well. 


Carpet can be a good option to go over ceramic tiles depending on which room is being upgraded. Carpet is a comfortable floor covering to use in living areas such as bedrooms, lounge rooms, and hallways.

Since carpet is soft and also uses a thick underlayment, it’s very forgiving if the ceramic tiles underneath are not perfectly flat or have any missing grout. So long as the tiles are properly glued down and not loose then carpet will work perfectly.

Carpeting costs can vary greatly depending on the quality and type of carpet material. Anywhere from $3-$25 per square foot installed can be expected.

Vinyl Plank Flooring

Another popular choice is vinyl plank-style flooring. Vinyl plank flooring is designed to resemble hardwood, and it comes in strips. This flooring option is also budget and installation-friendly.

Because of its low price and ability to match a variety of designs, this is a favored flooring option for homeowners. The ease of laying the floor over ceramic tiles is also a bonus. You can plan to spend $7 per square foot to install the flooring.

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is commonly used throughout homes. Laminate flooring consists of four specific layers; backing, inner core, design overlay, and the protective layer.

This type of flooring is quite popular for the look, price, and durability.  While it may not be as classic as hardwood, it provides a clean look to a living space.  When looking at laminate flooring, you can plan to spend $3-$8 per square foot installed.  This price makes it an affordable option to go over ceramic tiles.

Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood is a great way to get the wood feel without the price tag or fear of scratching and refinishing hardwood. Engineered wood is made of two specific layers.  The base, which may consist of several layers of plywood, hardwood, or pressed wood and the veneer, which is a thin piece of wood as the top layer.

While engineered hardwood gives the classic appearance of hardwood, it is much more durable when it comes to moisture and hardness. Not to mention, it is also a bit easier to install than real hardwood flooring. If you choose to install engineered flooring, you can look to spend $6-$15 per square foot with installation.

Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring is viewed as one of the most classic floor choices by many. It is often chosen for its look as well as it’s stability over a long period. Hardwood flooring is often a popular choice because of the non-uniform and unique look that can be achieved at installation.

While hardwood flooring is unique and timeless, it is also a more expensive option and may require more maintenance than other options.  If you choose to install hardwood, you can expect to spend $16-$30 per square foot with installation.

Can I Install the Flooring Myself?

Installing flooring over ceramic tiles is something that can be completed as a DIY project depending on the floor covering chosen. But there are several factors to consider before beginning the project.

Tile condition – When preparing to lay flooring over the ceramic tile, you must examine the tiles first.  The ceramic tiles are going to be acting as a subfloor, so you want to make sure it’s strong enough. When examining the tiles, you need to make sure they are securely anchored to the floor, and they are not chipped or cracked.

Attempting to install flooring over damaged ceramic tile can cause issues with the way the flooring lays. If there are breaks in the tile, it can show through the flooring, or it won’t allow the flooring to lay appropriately.

Grout line width – All tile floors have a grout line.  While some grout lines are very narrow, some are very wide.  If the grout lines are wide, you will need to fill them in to ensure the floor is completely level.  While filling in the grout lines will add time to the project, not doing it will harm the project.

Height differential– When installing flooring over the top of ceramic tiles, it is crucial to know how much height you are adding to the floor.  The flooring may not seem to be thick, but when you are layering flooring, you are adding height.  Extra height can cause problems with doors opening correctly and the floors transitioning from room to room.

How Do I Level the Floor?

If you are in a situation where the floor is uneven because of the grout lines, you will need to make sure you fill in the grout lines to level it up.  To fill in the grout lines, you will need to use a leveling compound.  The leveling compound can be put on with a trowel.  When using a leveling compound, you need to make sure it is completely dry before putting the new flooring down.  Failure to let the compound dry will add moisture and will likely cause problems with the new flooring.

When looking at leveling compounds, you will find many to choose from. Here are three highly-rated options that may interest you.

3 Part EPOXY Mortar Patching System This offers an ultra-strong method of filling in grout lines to help level the floor.

DAP 59184 QT RTU FLR Leveler, Light Gray This is also a premixed compound that can be used as soon as it is opened.

Ardex Feather Finish Grey/Gray/Gris Self-Drying Cement If you prefer to mix your compound, this option may be right for you.  The product comes in a 10-pound bag and is ready to mix with water.  Make sure you have the proper tools to mix with before beginning the project.


When spreading the compound, you will need a quality trowel to do so. Not all trowels are created equal, so it is essential to make sure you have the best for your job.

Here are some trowels you may want to try out:

6 in. x 2 in. Flat Margin Trowel This trowel is ideal for getting into small areas like corners to ensure the compound is spread equally.

Paddle 80 Flat Trowel This trowel is a bit smaller and can be used with many compounds.  It allows for precision when working to level a floor.

M-D Building Products 20062 Premium Flat Trowel This is a more professional trowel that is made for harder jobs and has a comfort grip handle.

In Conclusion 

No matter what your reason is for updating the flooring in your home, there are several easy and affordable options that can give you the fresh, new look you want! With the help of this article, you’ll have your ceramic tile covered in no time.

All of these flooring options can lay nicely over a well-prepared ceramic tile floor. Be sure to take the time to prepare the floor correctly before beginning the project. The best part is there is no demolition needed!

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