The short answer is yes! You *can* install carpet over tiled floors. However, it is not a completely straight forward process and there are a few important considerations to bear in mind when it comes to avoiding common pitfalls.
This is definitely a job for professional installers too – keen and green DIY amateurs should ‘not try this at home’.
Why lay carpet over tiled flooring?
There are a number of reasons why you might consider laying carpet over an existing tile floor.
Perhaps the tiles are ugly and outdated and you want to refresh the look of your home or investment property without the expense of ripping up the existing floor. Or maybe your tiles are too cold or in rooms you use for bedrooms so you want to make them warmer and softer. You might have a tiled downstairs rumpus room that you want to make more comfortable and softer underfoot too, without breaking the bank.
If you’re a tenant, you might even want to cover over tile floors to make your home warmer and more comfortable without affecting the original tiled floor underneath, so you can pull the carpet up when you move out.
Can you lay carpet over any tile flooring?
You can lay carpet over any type of tile flooring as long as the flooring is in a sound condition. If tiles are broken or drummy (hollow sounding when you tap them with a pen, indicating their about to come off, weren’t installed properly or are faulty), you will need to remove the broken or faulty tiles and fill in those areas with something like Rapid cement to ensure the sub-floor is even.
The other instance where it might not be a good idea to lay carpet over existing tiles is where you have unusually wide and deep grouting between tiles – for example, in enclosed patio areas with large terracotta tiles that have extra deep and wide grouting. Normal ceramic tiles with 1.5 to 3mm grout lines are completely suitable to be carpeted over, provided the flooring is in a decent condition.
An important thing to note when considering whether to lay carpet over your tile floor is that you won’t be able to use the flooring again. There will be some damage to the perimeter tiling where carpet is glued and nailed down so the original flooring will not be in tact if you wanted to pull up the carpet at a later date.
Carpet *can* be laid over tiles as a temporary measure, for example for tenants wanting a warmer environment while preserving the original flooring. In this case the carpet is simply applied over the tiles without nailing or glue, kind of like a wall-to-wall rug.
So how is carpet laid over tile floors?
Carpet is laid over existing tiled flooring in much the same way as it is over cement. It is stretched in over the flooring, with the smooth edging of the carpet glued down onto the tile at the perimeter and nailed into the grout at the nearest grout line to the wall on each side.
When carpet is laid over tile flooring it’s important that you use a decent underlay that will absorb any minimal unevenness in the floor surface so that grout lines or other minor variations to the surface won’t be visible once your carpet is laid.
Opting for a 10mm high density underlay is a great option and will provide the added benefit of softness and shock absorption underfoot too.
What kind of carpet is best for laying over a tiled floor?
When it comes to laying carpet over an existing tiled floor, in addition to making sure you use a decent underlay, it’s best to choose a carpet that has a pile like a twist pile which will help ensure you don’t notice any undulations.
Avoid thin, flat carpets with tight loop piles that can be particularly unforgiving when it comes to minor undulations in the subfloor, although even thin carpets are usually okay if you use a decent underlay which should do all the work of absorbing any small undulations.
What about the flooring height difference between rooms when you lay carpet over tiles?
You would treat the transition between rooms and different flooring types in the same way you would if you were laying carpet directly onto a cement subfloor, using a Multipurpose Trim that provides a clean, smooth and aesthetically pleasing transition from carpet to floorboards, tiles or other kinds of surfaces.
Skirting boards do not need to be removed and hung higher either since it will only be a difference of around 20mm in height once your new carpet is laid. It’s also not easy to remove skirting boards from tiled floors because skirting boards are typically installed first, with flooring tiled all the way in to the wall’s edge, above the level of the bottom of the skirting.
CARPET PICKS FOR INSTALLATION OVER TILED FLOORS
Considering new flooring options for your home, office or rental property? Contact your local Carpet One store to get expert flooring advice tailored to your needs.
Please note, the above does not constitute advice – you should always consult a flooring professional and check the Australian Standards before installing carpet over an existing tiled floor.