Home bathroom and sanitaryGlue tiles to tiles - DIY guide

Glue tiles to tiles - DIY guide

  • material
  • Tool
  • Stick tiles on tiles
    • cleaning
    • Find hollow tiles
    • Remove tiles correctly
    • laying patterns
    • Prepare surface
    • Apply flexible adhesive
    • Stick tiles on
    • Grouting and cleaning

Tiles are getting old, they can be exchanged in different ways. On the one hand by knocking off the old tiles. On the other hand, you can also attach the new tiles with less dirt. At the same time you save time and money! The right tool and working materials make it possible.

It is not always possible to completely remove old tiles with hammer drill and chisel. Not only in time, the entire removal of all tile remains a cumbersome task. Because if the laying is done directly in the mortar bed, also a lot of power is necessary. Likewise, you must dispose of the rubble professionally. Not to be forgotten is the noise, which can be problematic, especially in multi-family houses. The right material for tiling makes it much easier and saves time! Because with matching tile adhesive, you can stick tiles on tiles. However, this must also be suitable for it. Such products are identified by the term "Flex". Often this tile adhesive is also called flexible adhesive.


Before you can start working, you need the right material. In addition to the sufficient amount of tiles are:

  • Cleaning agents and possibly intensive cleaners
  • suitable tile adhesive
  • primer
  • Grout in matching color
  • silicone
  • clear lukewarm water


Not only enough material is needed when pasting over the old tiles. You should also have the tool handy. For the different steps you need:

  • rubber hammer
  • Multi-cutter with milling attachment
  • whisk
  • spirit level
  • tile cutter
  • Cleaning and climbing trowel with toothing
  • Tile crosses or wedges
  • tile sponge
  • spray cartridge
  • Fugenglätter
  • Drilling machine with hole milling attachment
  • Cleaning bucket and wiper
  • dustpan and brush
  • scooter

In addition, of course, the personal protective equipment such as gloves, old clothes and, if necessary, goggles are not missing. Whether respiratory protection is necessary depends on the nature of the old tile substrate.

Stick tiles on tiles


To be able to stick the new tiles on the old surface, it must be free of dirt and grease. For this you have to clean the surface thoroughly. It is usually sufficient to wipe clean with cleaner. For more stubborn dirt, an intensive cleaner is recommended. Before, rough dirt should be scraped off with a spatula. A clean surface is a prerequisite. Otherwise you run the risk that the tiles will not adhere or fall insufficiently on the old tiles. But not only the dirt can be a problem.

Find hollow tiles

Especially if the tiles have been attached to the wall or floor for several decades, individuals may have loosened up. These must be removed before laying. Because only if the substrate is sustainable, the new tiles also last a long time. To find loose tiles, use a rubber mallet or a screwdriver and gently tap each tile. If the corresponding tile sounds hollow or moves, mark it first. Once you've checked all the old tiles, it's time to remove the loose areas.

Remove tiles correctly

If you have been able to locate individual loose tiles you must remove them. To do this, first put on your personal protective equipment and ensure adequate ventilation in the room. Then glue with painter foil and masking tape doors, plugs and switches. This step is also necessary if all tiles are firmly connected to the ground. Tile adhesive and grout can not be removed well from all surfaces. Once these preparations have been completed, you can use the multi-tool and a suitable milling cutter to carefully cut the tile mass around the affected areas. Then hit a hole in the middle with a hammer and a chisel. Piece by piece, the loose material is removed. Fill the gap with putty after carefully removing the old tile adhesive.

Tip: This is one of the most important steps. Therefore you should do it very conscientiously. Even if the new tiles are larger than the old ones, the entire surface must be sound. This is the only way to enjoy the new tiles for a long time and to save on long-term costly rework.

laying patterns

Once the preliminary work has been completed, you should definitely decide on the laying pattern. Especially if the new tiles have a different format, it makes sense to lay the tiles dry and mark the laying pattern with a pencil or masking tape. So you also see in advance, where you may have to cut tiles. During this planning phase, make sure that you start against the wall and then tile the floor. Decisive is also the main view direction. Symmetry is also needed here. Because then the tile picture looks consistent. Therefore you should glue the tiles in smaller formats from the middle out. For large tiles, however, you start at the bottom and work your way to the desired height, row by row. Draw the top of the first row of tiles with a spirit level.

Tip: If you are not sure whether the desired pattern is also suitable for the room, try out different laying techniques. Allow the tiles to take a few hours, if time permits. In the end, maybe you decide on a different pattern than the one that used to float in your head.

Prepare surface

Once you have decided on a pattern and marked the guides, it goes to the surface again. This is now prepared for final tile bonding. For this you take a scooter and apply the primer generously. Make sure when buying that this is also suitable for laying tile on tile. When applying yourself, keep the manufacturer's instructions. Be accurate here as well, because not only the plane surface is important for the adhesion. In retrospect you can hardly or only with difficulty correct mistakes.

If you want to lay granite or glass tiles on old tiles, conventional products are often not suitable. Here you must pay attention to suitable primer, tile adhesive and grout! Otherwise, cement-based adhesives could cause unsightly stains. You should also stay with a manufacturer or brand. So you can be sure that all components fit together.

As an alternative to the primer, you can fill in highly flexible tile mortar. This not only compensates for unevenness on the wall. You do not have to let this layer dry out completely. Drying hands can then be continued optimally with tile adhesive.

Apply flexible adhesive

If the primer has dried out, you can apply the flexible adhesive to the old tiles. Stir it according to the instructions for use. Then let the tile glue ripen before you stir it again with the whisk on the drill. Note the processing time during this step. Therefore, always prepare only as much glue as you can process in the given time. The mass is applied with a smoothing trowel. Depending on how strong the tiles are, the teeth on the trowel should be selected. Because the thicker the adhesive layer must be.

Tip: If you have little practice experience, at first just stir the pulp for 1 tile. So you can estimate how fast your work speed must be in order to be able to process a larger amount of tile adhesive. This will save you the trouble of cleaning your bucket when the glue is on.

Stick tiles on

Now the actual tile bonding begins. Take the first tile and press it into the adhesive bed. You move the tile back and forth slightly. For the appropriate distance to the adjacent tiles, attach the joint crosses to the edge. At the bottom you can either attach tile wedges or thicker tile crosses to get a visually pleasing final joint. If you need to cut tiles, turn the cut side of the tile towards the edge. Drill holes in the tile with the hole drill. Once the first row is done, you work your way to the finish piece by piece.

Tip: In order to get an approximately even joint distance, a certain sense of proportion is required. Always take a step back while working. You will notice uneven joints immediately and you can still correct them. Also, do not remove the crosshairs until the tile adhesive has already been tightened. Especially with heavy tiles, these could slip if the wedges or crosses are pulled out too early.

Grouting and cleaning

Once you have set the last tile, let the tile adhesive dry out. Then mix the grout and apply it to a joint board or a spatula. The working direction runs diagonally to the tile. Once the mass has dried, excess material can be wiped off with a sponge. Be careful about the joints. If the pressure is too high, otherwise the grout can be washed out. If a film remains on the tiles, it is wiped off with a clean cloth. After the surface joints are completed, the transition joints are still injected with silicone. With the joint straightener, you can pull the one even closing joint. This is the last step before you can admire your finished work as a whole!

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