Help...Need Quick Turnaround Time [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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Paul M.
08-29-2001, 08:08 AM
Question....I plan on tiling my laundry room over the Labor Day weekend. Unfortuneately, that is where our hot water heater is located. I plan to drain and remove the heater and re-install it as soon as feasible. you guys have any advice or absolute minimum set times for the following:

Minimum set-up time for thinset under hardibacker
Minimum set-up time for thinset under tile
Minimum set-up time for grout

I know the recommended times for normal installs, but I was wondering if you guys have successfully used less time in situations such as these?

We can go without the Washer and Dryer for a few additional days, but the water heater is critical. I plan on working on this Friday morning through Monday evening....


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Rob Z
08-29-2001, 09:09 AM

In your situation, you will need to use a rapid setting thinset. There are additives that can be added to grout to make them rapic setting.

Rapid set thinset can take traffic with a few hours for grouting, and within 6 or so for regular traffic.

Be prepared to hustle with this stuff!


08-29-2001, 11:14 AM
If you decide to use a "rapid setting" thinset, be sure and make all your cuts ahead of time. That way, the thinset won't be "setting up" in the bucket or "glazing over" on the floor while your making cuts...they will be ready to place as the thinset is spread.

If you don't mix the grout to a "runny" state, it should be walkable in 4 - 5 hours in a flat sole shoe. (No heavy treads, cleats, or anything else that will put your step below the tile surface and into a grout joint)

Be careful not to spill any additional water into the still curing grout joints while re-hooking water heater and/or washer.

John Bridge
08-29-2001, 11:58 AM
I'm probably going to catch it over this one, but we don't take water heaters out in a remodel situation. We cut around the legs (usually three) and push pieces of tile under and around behind the heater, making it appear that the tile goes all the way under.

1. There will always be a water heater covering this spot, if not the current one, then another. When a new heater is installed down the road, floor repairs can be made.

2. When you remove and reinstall a water heater you stir up all the sediment in the bottom, which can cause problems in the heater and with adjacent plumbing.

3. If you are determined to take the heater out, and it's a gas heater, you should build a platform to reinstall it upon so that it's 18 in. off the floor (new code). If it's an electric heater you could do the same thing, thus eliminating the need to tile under.

Okay, come and get me.

Paul M.
08-29-2001, 11:59 AM
Thank you all very much. I look forward to getting this last bit of the project completed. Couldn't have done it without this site. Thanks!

Paul M.
08-29-2001, 12:04 PM
John...I understand your point, but I have the hardibacker to contend with also (and the screws required to secure it). I wouldn't be able to get the portion of the backerboard under the HW heater screwed down...I've been thinking of alternatives, but I haven't found one. Our HVAC guy told us we should put an additional air return in the house and he suggested putting it under the HW heater. That would solve the 18 inch problem and the tile problem, but I'm not prepared to have that done yet. So...I could leave a vinyl square under the heater for this eventual's just that it will look a little 2nd rate until then...


John Bridge
08-29-2001, 12:47 PM

If you are going to take the heater out, you should plan on constructing a platform for it. You could cut a return air throuh it later. Cover the sides with wallboard. This gets you out of the need to use quick set, which is a chore even for a pro. Sometimes this old pro isn't quick enough, and the stuff sets up in the bucket. Too much pressure.

Using my scheme you can re-install the WR immediately and keep peace in the family. Install your floor tiles one day and grout the next. Have the washer/drying back in the following morning and still have time for a brewski or two.

You can make the stand out of 2X4s, beefy on the top, with a plywood surface to set the heater on. Screw everything together.