Tiling on top of Existing Victorian Tiles

Discussion in 'Tilers' Talk' started by Ross Farquhar, Aug 30, 2018.

  1. Ross Farquhar

    Ross Farquhar New Member

    Hello all,

    Hoping I can benefit from your expertise on a topic I know next to nothing about.

    I have some original Victorian tiles just outside my front door (small area, only around one square metre if that), but unfortunately they're at a lower level than both the front door and the driveway causing you to have to step down before you then step up every time you walk out. Also not ideal for drainage.

    What I'd like to do is raise the level of this area to match the door and the driveway and put in some new reproduction Victorian tiles, but in doing so I want to preserve the original tiles so that I or a future owner could return them to their original state if so desired.

    I'm imagining I should use some sort of underlay or membrane first, but don't really know where to start and want to avoid doing a DIY botch job that then ruins what are a nice original feature forever. Any advice on the best way of doing it?

  2. rogerk101

    rogerk101 Screwfix Select

    You could screw some cement board into the grout lines of the original tiles such that the cement board became the new surface to be tiles with your repro tiles. If you needed to add more height, you could lay a screed on top of the cement board of the thickness it needs to be to get the finished floor to the desired height. If anyone ever wanted to restore to the original, they would simply knock all the additions off, and then fill in the screw holes in the grout lines of the original tiles.
    Ross Farquhar likes this.
  3. Ross Farquhar

    Ross Farquhar New Member

    Brilliant, thank you! Exactly what I needed to know.
  4. Russel

    Russel New Member

    If its original Victorian tiles there wont be grout lines and any screws will just damage the tiles. Fixing to the lime based screed (if original) will damage it and it will crack as they can be quite flimsy.

    If you have a good 3 cm or so of additional height to add you are best off just putting down a membrane (anything to separate the screed from tiles) and laying a screed on top of it. The weight of the screed then the tiles will be enough to be fairly stable. You will need a very strong screed though as its likely not going to be too thick. Ordinary sand /cement wont be good enough. Use fibers and SBR in the mix.
  5. Ross Farquhar

    Ross Farquhar New Member

    Thank you, this is really helpful. Upon closer inspection you're right, there aren't really any grout lines or obvious places I can screw in a cement board. And it's a bit touch and go on having 3cm of additional height...

    Is there any kind of adhesive I could apply to either a cement board or a membrane that would help improve stability, but wouldn't cause damage to the tiles? Or is that just wishful thinking?
  6. CGN

    CGN Screwfix Select

    Why not just bite the bullet and remove and restore the existing tiles?
    KIAB likes this.
  7. sospan

    sospan Screwfix Select

    As above the existing tiles will clean up with a bit of effort and retain a period feature. Most professionals would suggest taking them up, laying a good base to the correct height and then reinstate the tiles
  8. Ross Farquhar

    Ross Farquhar New Member

    I'm just nervous of breaking them really, but I would absolutely love to use the same tiles and just raise the level they're at. Is taking them up easier than I'm imagining? Any tips on how to do it safely?
  9. ramseyman

    ramseyman Screwfix Select

    Do you have any working space at the sides, back or front of the existing tiles where you could affix an oversize cement board rather than screw into the non-existent grout lines as per roger's suggestion?
  10. Ross Farquhar

    Ross Farquhar New Member

    Not really - the tiles are pretty snug against the sides. But I'll take another look when I'm home later and if there's anywhere I could get a screw into I will!
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
  11. Russel

    Russel New Member

    Taking them all up is a mission. Wherever it feels solid you will break some no matter how hard you try. Some obviously will just come up but generally the tiles are held tightly together and there are invisible cracks that start to break tiles as you loosen things. Then to reinstate the tiles you will need to shave every tile on the sides and backs with a grinder to clean off screed material and ridges on the backs. The old tiles are not consistent so relaying is hard to get a good result. You will also need to introduce new tiles (original style/olde English) for the ones you broke. Personally I would avoid this option
  12. Ross Farquhar

    Ross Farquhar New Member

    Sounds way beyond my DIY capability, thank you! I'll stick with the membrane/cement board plan if I can find a way to fix it without causing damage to the original tiles...
  13. Russel

    Russel New Member

    there will be gaps between cement board and tiles if not stuck down with adhesive. These need to be sorted out possibly lay down some kiln dried sand. And good luck
    Ross Farquhar likes this.

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