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How Do I Choose the Right Tile for My Home

Floor Tile Guide: Can You Tile Wooden Floors?

Homeownership is an exciting adventure, but sometimes the home we purchase needs some improvements to align with your aesthetic. If your home has wooden floors throughout and you had envisaged floor tiles, then don’t despair as you can still achieve this in your home. Tiles can transform the look and feel of any space, whether you are looking to tile over a small portion of floorboards or tile over your whole home.

If you have ever wondered can you tile over wooden floors, today we are going to find out!

Tiling directly only wooden floors

So, can you tile wooden floors? Not directly! There needs to be a layer between the wooden floors and the tiles so that they have something to be laid onto. Typically this layer is a thin concrete or plywood layer, referred to as an intervening layer. If you choose to tile directly onto your wood, you may not get the same longevity from your finished look, as the wood can change over time causing the tiles to move and change over time as a result.

The condition of your wooden floors

One of the main things to consider before tiling over wooden floors is the condition of the wooden floors. It is possible to tile over wooden subfloors or hardwood floors if there is a layer in between, but often times there is preparation work that needs to be completed prior. If your flooring is not totally level, tiling your floors will be challenging. Over time, hardwoods can warp and change shape, so if these hardwoods have weathered then you will need to first level the flooring before you lay living, bathroom or kitchen floor tiles. This can be achieved through significant sanding or addressing and replacing a problem area with plywood or backer boards to level the floor.

Can you tile wooden floors in wet areas?

If you are tiling over your wooden floors in wet areas, you will need to apply waterproofing to that space before you lay the bathroom floor tiles. This ensures that the area is protected in the unlikely event that moisture would penetrate the tiling and grout work. Whether that waterproofing is done on the hardwood floors or the subfloors is dependent on the age, size and condition of your floors. You might not know what the floors are like until it comes time to waterproof them, so be sure to work with your tiler on the best solution for you.

Kitchen Interior Design With Wooden Table

Other flooring surfaces

If you have ripped back your carpets to reveal hardwoods underneath, you can still tile over them. You will need to make sure that you remove all of the carpet underlay that might be stuck to the hardwood floors or wooden subfloor before you commence. The reason is that the underlay consists of a thick cluster in various areas which all contribute to an unlevel floor. Carpet underlay can be easily removed with hot water and a reliable scraping tool – and that’s it. If these rooms have been steam-cleaned for many years, then the underlay might be stuck tighter to the wooden floors which might present a bigger job. The last thing you want to overlook is setting up your foundation, as this will take away from the beauty and impact of your stunning ceramic floor tiles.

How to tell if your flooring is level so you can tile wooden floors?

You now need to work with your trade team to understand if the flooring is even before you start the kitchen floor tiles or bathroom floor tiles job. If you have consulted with your builder or tiler about whether can you tile wooden floors in your home, here is the checklist for going about it.

  1. Ensure that the wooden floors are in good condition (not water damaged, warped)
  2. Test to see that the floors are level (you can use a level tool, or laser level tool)
  3. If floors are level, begin treating the hardwood with a primer
  4. Lay an intervening layer (thin concrete or plywood) over the hardwood floors
  5. If the area being tiled is a ‘wet area’, begin waterproofing the space
  6. Begin laying your tiles and then adding grout

Are there tile selections that are more ideal for wooden floor areas?

The collection of indoor floor tiles and outdoor floor tiles from Tilemall are made from quality materials and are designed to be laid over various surfaces in and out of the home. There is no distinction between tiles that are better for laying over wooden floors, but the weight of the tile should be considered if the wooden flooring is on a deck and does not have the same reinforcements and support as a home flooring would.


If you would like to understand what your tile options are for tiling over wooden floors, be sure to take a look at the selection online. You can also request a tile sample prior to placing your order so you can have a look at the colour and texture in situ.

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