Wood Laminate Flooring Over Ceramic Tile

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by Kiko, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. Kiko

    Kiko New Member

    Messages:
    175
    Location:
    Royal Oak, Michigan
    My brother was told by Home Depot that they wouldn't install a wood laminate floor over his ceramic tile in his kitchen unless: (A) they removed the existing tile floor ($1400) or (B) they applied a self-leveling skim coat to fill in the grout lines ($1200).

    I am under the impression that these floating floors use some sort of a foam underlayment that should fill in the small recesses caused by the grout lines.

    If this is true, we can install it ourselves. My question then is how to attach this foam underlayment to the tile, since you obviously can't just nail it. Is there an adhesive foam underlayment for ceramic tile?
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,143
    Location:
    New England
    Each manufacturer has their own limits on flatness. On the floating floor I did install, neither the foam nor the top layer (mine was actually wood but installed and locked together like many laminates) are often attached to anything. So, if yours is like mine, you don't need to attach anything to anything. The distributed weight of the whole thing and the friction between the laminate and the foam and the foam to the floor keep it in place.

    I will, though, again warn you about the overall flatness...it is pretty strict, and your tile may or may not actually be flat enough. Many tile has a slight dome shape, and the grout may not be level with the top of the tile. Plus, at least on the one I installed, it had to be flat to within 1/8" over 10'. If an edge happened to align with that low point, you might delaminate the flooring which is the reason they want it really flat. Some will allow you to use something like a layer(s) of roofing felt to help fill in a depression (sort of like contour lines on a topographic map), but a hump could be lethal to the floor.

    This is more a question of contacting the manufacturer and reading the instructions carefully. If the overall tile floor is flat enough, squeegeeing in a leveler to fill in the grout areas shouldn't be all that hard to do.

    Verify with the manufacturer what their recommendation are.

    Cutting laminate material requires a very sharp blade
  3. dj2

    dj2 Member

    Messages:
    425
    Location:
    California
    Any manufacturer will tell you to lay laminate on a flat surface because the foam moisture barrier can't fill grout spaces.
    HD offers to skim the floor with self leveling mortar - if you don't mind the added height to the floor, this is what you should do.
  4. Kiko

    Kiko New Member

    Messages:
    175
    Location:
    Royal Oak, Michigan
    Thanks jad and dj2.

    IMO, the easiest way to deal with minor grout indentations would be some kind of seam tape - either rigid or perhaps with a narrow band of foam in the middle that could fill the grout spaces.

    Maybe I'm just dreaming. :cool:
  5. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,249
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    With many laminates, compression from normal foot traffic will eventually cause any underlaying ridge or contour (like a grout line) to become visible through the laminate, even with the foam underlayment in place. We often see this where screw holes or knots are left in the underlayment without being filled. Not sweeping the underlayment clean of tiny debris can give bad results also.
  6. Colbyhuston

    Colbyhuston New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Franklin, MA
    Its good that first they removed the existing floor, because it will be better if they level the floor first and make a flat surface. Then by applying the laminate flooring it will look more better.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2014
  7. snokel

    snokel Member

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Wi
    That's funny because I want to do just the opposite, get rid of the laminate in the kitchen and put down tile, laminate in a kitchen is horrible IMO.
  8. snokel

    snokel Member

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Wi
    Not that I think laminate is a good idea in the kitchen, but could'nt they just fill the grout lines with more grout so it's level?
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,143
    Location:
    New England
    Grout in thin horizontal layers isn't very strong, so it's doubtful you could get grout to stick and stay in place.
  10. snokel

    snokel Member

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Wi
    true but with something on top of it, it might work. or what about filing the grout lines with a self leveling polyurathane concrete crack filler?
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