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Unread 05-23-2020, 06:14 AM   #1
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Big area and hall; whole tiles then cuts, or finish each area?

Starting on my biggest tiling job yet (yeah I know it’s no biggie for some of you). But I’m putting down 12x24s in a hallway and a dining room and family room. For efficiency sake and keeping things moving I can finish each room, and make cuts as I go. Or get the whole tiles down, then make all the cuts around the room perimeter at the same time.

There’s efficiency in making many cuts at once, but that is lost if you have to put down thinset for those pieces.

Curious how others handle this.
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Unread 05-23-2020, 07:21 AM   #2
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I am a DIYer. I mix small batches of mortar say 10-15lbs at a time. So I layout a section make the necessary cuts, mix up the mortar and then lay those tile. I might have a few cuts to make in the middle of a batch. I then repeat the process for the next section.
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Unread 05-23-2020, 09:46 AM   #3
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If you mark things out and make your cuts before you start setting you can set the cuts as you set your field. Going back and doing cuts last is the least efficient IMO.
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Unread 05-23-2020, 10:05 AM   #4
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I suggest making all your cuts as you go. One thing you learn the hard way when leaving your perimeter cuts for last is that little bits of mortar dry 'here and there' and create pesky, annoying obstacles in the form of hard lumps. This prevents you from setting the tile and you typically only find them while...or after spreading your mortar. It's a bummer searching for and scraping away these little lumps under your wet mortar.

Also, laying the perimeter tiles as you go gives you one more tile's worth of grout lines to align while everything is still wet and easily adjustable.

In addition, it's harder to spread mortar for individual tiles when you've got an off-set pattern like you're likely to employ with 12" x 24" tiles.

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Unread 05-23-2020, 12:17 PM   #5
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For the pros, a lot depends on how they were taught. We always snapped chalk lines making a grid across the whole area to be tiled. We spent extra time making sure our lines were accurate and square. Then we made all the cuts laying them in place dry. Then we would install the cuts as we installed the full tiles.

I never liked leaving the cuts out till last for the reason Bubba mentioned. If the full tiles are already bonded, you can't adjust them when installing the cuts. Another reason, especially around door jambs, if the full tiles are set, sometimes it's difficult or impossible to get the L shaped cuts installed.

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Unread 05-28-2020, 06:38 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone. So I’ll cut as I go. Yes, putting down thinset for those smaller pieces can be a PIA and not as much consistency for the thinset depth.

Yeah getting my grid down and “tight” means I can cut more perimeter tiles ahead of time. Also, since I removed 3/4” round and will reinstall there’s a little wiggle room.
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