Can you tile over backsplash tile?

  • By: Sam
  • Date: February 2, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Can you tile over backsplash tile?

Can you tile over backsplash tile? This is a question that many homeowners find themselves asking as they prepare to renovate their kitchen.

Backsplash tiles are a popular way to add color and personality to a kitchen, but what happens if you want to update the backsplash? Can you just remove the old tiles and replace them with new ones, or do you have to start from scratch?

In short, yes, you can tile over backsplash tiles but that doesn’t mean it’s the best idea in every case! Each option comes with its pros and cons, so think about your specific situation before making a choice. You can title over backsplash tile only if the existing tiles do not have cracks, do not have moisture in them, and are placed evenly.

In this post, we’ll explore the options for tiling over existing backsplash tile and help you decide which option is best for your home.

What factors should be considered before tiling over backsplash tiles?

Before you commit to tiling over backsplash tile, consider these factors:   

Cracks in the current tiles

Your current tiles should not have any cracks or breaks for best results. If they do, it is better to replace them with new ones rather than trying to patch up the old ones. A new layer of ceramic tile is more durable and will protect against moisture damage like no other material can.

Moisture problems

If the existing tiles are glazed and porous, moisture may be trapped underneath even after you remove them from the wall. In this case, you will want to install a barrier made from plywood or cement board before placing your new tiles on top of the surface.

Tile size and spacing

If there are any gaps, chips, or breaks in the existing tiles, it is best to replace them with whole tiles rather than trying to fill in the gaps. You should also make sure that the new tiles will fit exactly over the old ones; even small differences can look sloppy and may damage your new grout.

Can you tile over backsplash tile? What are your options?

There are a few different ways to tile over your existing backsplash. Think about the work involved with each option, as well as how they look and how much they cost. Each has its pros and cons!

Option 1: Resurface Old Tile With a Thin-Set Mortar

You could resurface your old tiles by applying a thin-set mortar directly over them. This method will completely cover the old grout lines and significantly change your kitchen’s appearance.

There are three downsides to this method though. First, since you’re covering up the grout lines (a very prominent feature of tiled walls), it’s nearly impossible to clean your new backsplash.

Second, thin-set mortar does not adhere well to most tile materials, causing the resurfaced tiles to crack and crumble over time.

Finally, due to the way that thin-set works, you can’t use this method if you want to remove the tiles later for any reason.

Option 2: Remove Your Backsplash Tile

The first option is almost always a bad idea, as it requires extensive work with expensive materials that are only guaranteed not to fail for five or ten years at best.

Instead of worrying about all of those problems, it’s better just to remove the old tiles entirely! Then you’re free to do whatever you want with your walls without worrying about anything down below. Your options are virtually limitless.

Option 3: Re-Grout the Tiles You Have

An alternative to removing your existing tiles that preserves at least some of their original look is to re-grout them while leaving them in place.

This method won’t work if you have tile, stone, or any other natural material on your walls, but it can be a great choice for glass mosaics and ceramic tiles.

Unfortunately, this option will require the labor of a professional tile setter, who will normally charge more than just removing your old tile and applying new grout throughout the entire kitchen.

The good news is that once they’re done, all you’ll need to do to keep things clean is wipe up water spills as soon as they happen.   


So, can you tile over backsplash tile? In conclusion, it is possible to tile over backsplash tiles, but this method is not highly advisable. Instead of wasting your time and money on a botched project, would be better off removing them entirely or hiring a professional to re-grout the tiles you have. Whichever option you choose will give you a long-lasting renovation that truly improves your kitchen’s look!

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