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Old 08-20-2004, 08:32 AM   #1
Kelli
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Exclamation Can we walk on tile before grouting?

My husband and I have just finished tiling our kitchen and adjoining family room floor (400 sf); however, we do not plan to grout until at least next weekend. Is it possible to go ahead and move our refrigerator / stove / furniture back into those rooms and walk on the tile until we get it grouted? It has been 48 hours since the last tile was installed. We do not plan to leave the floor un grouted for more than 2 weeks.
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Old 08-20-2004, 08:44 AM   #2
jgleason
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Only my opinion.....

If you move furniture/appliances in you risk damaging the tiles, particularly the edges. I would be very careful with putting large items on those tiles until the grout has been finished.

Light walking traffic should be ok.

Also, in two weeks time quite a bit of debris can end up in the grout lines. you must make certain to vacuum the spaces thoroughly before you grout.

You could cover the area with cardboard, assuming you can find enough or use rosin paper (look in the flooring section of the big box stores - HD, Lowes) to help minimize any dirt/dust.

Also, depending on your installation if you used a modified thinset to set the tiles the thinset may not have completely cured yet.
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Old 08-20-2004, 09:28 AM   #3
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Thank you for the information. I suppose the worst that could happen is a few cracked tiles and clean up of dirt before I grout.
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Old 08-20-2004, 09:51 AM   #4
Mike2
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Kelli:

Light foot traffic 48 hours later is not what I would worry about. It's the point loads on the tile caused by moving the heavy appliances in. Personally if it was me, I'd wait a minimum of 3 days for the thinset to cure then lay scrap pieces of plywood or OSB down to help distribute the load of moving the appliances in.
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Old 08-20-2004, 10:24 AM   #5
Kelli
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What damage would heavy foot traffic do to the ungrouted tile?
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Old 08-20-2004, 01:11 PM   #6
Mike2
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The thinset securing the tiles is hard by now but not fully cured and not at full strength. Heavy loading could cause some deflection and break the bond. You could end up with some loose tiles and might not even realize it,..... for awhile.
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Old 08-20-2004, 03:34 PM   #7
Rd Tile
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I wouldn't move any heavy objects over that floor for 72hrs. and would grout it before moving anything also.

Just my 2 cents worth.
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Old 08-20-2004, 03:50 PM   #8
Raymond S
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Some chipped tiles are virtually guaranteed if you move all those heavy appliances around before grouting.

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Old 08-21-2004, 01:20 PM   #9
Chris the Rep
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The grout adds an element of strength to the floor. As pointed out, the spaces between the tiles are much less likely to chip because the grout adds "support" to the tile edges. If you walk barefoot, you'll feel everyone of those ungrouted edges as well. And the prospect of fixing a few cracked tiles, even before the floor is grouted, creates further delay when you are ready to install the grout.

Use plywood if you have to move the heavy stuff back in. Cardboard is good for foot traffic.

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