old country house blog


I have Loved it for years..
….ever since my New York City Subway days…

 In preparation for the photo shoot…I was like my own little “while you were out” extreme makeover show…literally running from room to room, making curtains…touching up paint…cleaning like nobody’s business.
The kitchen was still awaiting new countertops and appliances…it was what it was…and  I planned to do subway tile backsplash when I got the new countertops…
but the area behind the stove needed something for the photo shoot…anything!
I decided to do a quick and easy

behind the stove..:

apartment therapy
apartment therapy
DILEMMA– I knew that if I ripped the old tile out…I risked creating a MUCH bigger job than I had time to tackle…
so I did some sleuthing and found out that YES, YES, if the proper steps were taken…I could put the NEW tile, over the OLD!!!
to freshen the look… and to HIDE the
current 40 year old tile…OLD TILE


..after trying white grout (too WHITE) and then dark gray (too DARK)
I settled on

a pale tan grout.



I consulted this site for reference
and I did it myself!
SUPPLIES: I just bought a
TUB at Home Depot with all my supplies in it, and then added a tile sander (looks like a big nail file)
Here are my VERY BASIC Instructions:
1.Prep area by washing surface, cleaning thoroughly (use a strong DE GREASING SOAP) and then sanding lightly (steel wool is easiest to work with)
to make the surface less slippery.
2. Begin your pattern from one corner, (I did not use spacers) working across, checking with your level.
3.Apply the adhesive to the wall with the trowel..making little grooves, so it can dry.
4. I did not have an electric tile cutter (which can be rented and I HIGHLY recommend if you do a big job) BUT only had to cut 3 tiles – in half for 6 end pieces. I scored them with a mat knife, then used the
nipper, and then used the sander with the tile in water, to smooth the edges.
5. I let the tile set for about 8 hours, then I applied the grout.  I got a tad excited and I used a tan colored sanded one, by mistake but I actually like the look. Apparently the rule is – thin space between tiles – no sand  and floor or deep groove – SANDed because the sand prevents the grout from sinking down. makes sense.
I did this whole thing in ONE HOUR!
…have you ever put tile over tile?





The kitchen is finished! see the completed Renovation HERE!!!


so don’t wait…go find some ugly tile and TILE OVER IT!!!


14 thoughts on “YES YOU CAN – TILE OVER TILE – TAKE 2

  1. Lesli— great info, as always. However, as one who has done custom mosaic tile work for years, I would add a suggestion: FIRST make sure your existing tile is in sound shape, and well stuck to the wall. If it is loose in any spots, it will compromise the finished look and function. There is nothing worse than wasting your time, energy and $ on a project that fails because you didn’t do a bit of “homework” first. And what you said about sanded vs. non-sanded grout is based on the space between the tiles, not floors vs. walls. Wider grout joints need sanded, on both walls and floors. Non-sanded is also recommended with glass tiles, as it won’t scratch the surface when you wipe it off.

  2. It’s beautiful! I have been thinking of tiling over my worn out laminate counter tops! Keep up the beauty Lesli! Michelle

  3. I am so glad you posted this Lesli. I have a very similar situation with old ugly tile in my kitchen. If I ripped it out, it would damage the plaster underneath and turn into a huge job. Good to know there is another option. Thanks for the encouragement!

    Beautiful job with the tile and kitchen reno

  4. Hi love your dyi attitude, and love your home, especially the kitchen!!!! I’m doing countertop and tile and want to do exactly what you have done. You commented that when applying the tile you started at a corner? I’ve also read you should start in center, is this true or does it really matter. Just want your opinion, I know your not an expert, yet 😉 thanks in advance

    1. HI JOANN- I honestly cannot remember if I started in the corner because I read you were supposed to but I have to guess I did read it…but yes, this is tile work not brain surgery so I honestly think….it depends…I think if you have totally symmetry…the middle would be good to beep things even??? The corner worked for me….good luck with yours…I actually found it quite fun once I figured out the tile cutter…but buy a few extra tiles for “boo boo’s”…they all can go back if you don’t use them.

  5. Hi! I’m getting the same countertops and not sure about what color of subway tile. Do you remember what you used? Thanks! Great work by the way, very inspiring!!!

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