Q - The wife would like to change the flooring in our kitchen from the ugly linoleum to tile. Can I just lay the tile over the linoleum?
Stan - Villa Rica
A - Generally when I get an e-mail that starts with 'The wife…' it is code for 'I know I had better do it right or I will be sleeping on the couch'.
So to do it correctly you need to take up the linoleum and start from scratch.
It might not be that easy though…
If your linoleum is a product of the '70's you will need a hazardous waste company come in to do the removal due to the presence of asbestos. Fortunately you can find these companies online.
If you install the tile on anything less than a solid sub-floor (which linoleum is not) your floor will shift and wiggle and over time you will have cracked and loose tile and 'The Wife' will not be happy.
Remember - happy wife, happy life.
One more unfortunately here before we go on - if your kitchen floor has a sag in it, that would qualify it as a less than solid sub-floor and you would need to get it shored up before you get to the actual sub-floor for the tile work.
One quick note in defense of linoleum. While it used to come in three styles - ugly, uglier, and ugliest - modern linoleum, is offered in many more colors and styles and you can create quite a unique look for your kitchen. Also, with proper maintenance you can keep that floor looking fresh for a long time.
On the other hand, you will still have to take up the old linoleum first.