Guides|14 May 2023

Can Timber Floors Be Tiled Over? A Comprehensive Guide


Trimline-The Trusted Partner to Tilers

Timber floors offer a timeless and elegant look to any space , but there may come a time when you want to change the aesthetic or upgrade to a more durable flooring material like tiles. This raises the question: Can timber floors be tiled over? In this blog, we will delve into the considerations, preparation, and potential challenges involved in tiling over timber floors. So, let’s explore whether this is a viable option and how to prepare substrates for the perfect decorative tiled covering.

Assessing the Condition of the Timber Floor

Before tiling over timber floors, it is essential to evaluate their condition. Look for signs of damage, such as rot, unevenness, or excessive movement. If the timber floor exhibits severe issues, it is essential to address them before considering tiling. Damaged areas should be repaired or replaced to ensure a stable and even surface for the tile installation.

Stability and Subfloor Considerations

One crucial factor to consider is the structural stability of the timber floor. Tiles require a stable and rigid subfloor to ensure long-lasting results. Timber floors are prone to excessive movement and so are not suitable for tiling over directly without decoupling and in some cases floor strengthening.

If you have a solid and stable timber floor, it is generally possible to tile over it. However, it is important to allow for and factor in that additional layers will increase the overall height of the floor. Pay particular attention to transitions with adjacent rooms or doorways, and plumbing connections etc for surface-mounted fixtures, such as WCs. Adjustments may be needed to maintain a smooth transition between different flooring materials.

Preparing the Timber Floor

  1. Clean the floor: Remove any dust, dirt, or debris from the timber floor to ensure a clean and smooth surface for tile adhesion. Vacuum thoroughly. Prime if necessary.
  2. Level the floor: Use a levelling compound or self-levelling underlayment to address any unevenness or irregularities in the timber floor. This step is crucial for achieving a flat and stable surface.
  3. Secure loose boards: If there are loose or squeaky boards, make sure to fix them securely. Use screws of an appropriate grade and length. Never rely on nailed-down floorboards fixing. This will help prevent movement and ensure the stability of the tiled surface.
  4. Consider moisture issues: Timber floors can be susceptible to moisture. Before tiling, it’s important to assess and address any moisture-related concerns. Using a tanking system or waterproofing membranes can help protect the tiles from potential moisture damage.

Seek Professional Advice

If you are uncertain about tiling over timber floors or encounter significant challenges during the preparation process, it is wise to seek professional advice. An experienced flooring contractor can assess the condition of your timber floor, provide expert recommendations, and ensure a successful tile installation.


In conclusion, tiling over timber floors is possible with proper preparation and assessment of the floor’s condition. A stable and well-maintained timber floor can serve as a suitable base for tile installation, providing a beautiful and durable flooring option. However, it is crucial to ensure the timber floor is structurally sound, free from excessive movement, and properly prepared before proceeding with tiling.

Remember, every flooring project is unique, and seeking professional advice is always recommended to ensure the best outcome. With careful consideration and proper execution, you can transform your timber floors into a stunning tiled surface that enhances the overall aesthetic and functionality of your space.

Trimline, the trusted partner to professional property developers, is the go-to source for tiling solutions that can be relied upon. With an unwavering commitment to excellence, we provide complete tiling solutions to support the success of our clients. From start to finish, we have their back, offering unmatched reliability and expertise, ensuring that their projects are completed with confidence and precision.



The Trusted Partner to Tilers

With over 40 years in the industry, Trimline boasts unparalleled tiling expertise, delivering quality and innovation rooted in extensive experience.