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Unread 11-06-2019, 08:09 AM   #1
Lou_MA
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Do *you* give floor tile a full 24 hour cure before traffic?

I'm curious how other people schedule their projects.

If I finish setting a floor by 4 or 5 PM, I'm typically back on it by 8:00 the next morning to at least pull any spacers and clean out thinset from grout joints. Most likely to also grout and continue with final project items. Unless the tile moves when I step back on it, this has just been my normal MO regardless of substrate, membrane or not, tile type and size, etc, etc. And I just work as usual, meaning I'm not stomping around, but I'm not making any effort to walk or work lightly either.

But lately, more and more of my projects are over impervious sheet or liquid membranes, clients have been spec'ing larger and larger porcelain tile, and I've started to use more of the modified LHT thinsets (except over Ditra).

Do I need to rethink my approach and allow for a full 24 hours or more cure time? Do other people delay their next-day start? Put down plywood to spread the load (even when grouting??)? Just work like usual? I know with some of the thinsets I've used, instructions just say grouting can proceed when tile is "firmly fixed", and that's kind of bled into being my overriding criteria for any thinset.
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Unread 11-06-2019, 09:42 AM   #2
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From the perspective of a (former) mortar manufacturer, we pretty much assume that if we can keep you off of it overnight, we're doing well. The 24 hour recommendation builds in some extra time for the mortar to set - the longer the better. The cement particles do their thing to mechanically lock down the tile fairly quickly, within 8 hours or so. To your point though, the polymer takes longer to act as the additional 'glue' you're paying for by buying the polymer modified thinsets.

Walking on typical 12"x24" tiles 14-15 hours after installation is risky but probably safe unless there are tiles that aren't well covered with thinset or set on an uneven surface. Certainly don't roll the 'fridge back into place that quickly. Using plywood to disperse the load would be even better. For the large, thin panels I would highly recommend waiting the full 24 hours or longer, check the recommendation from your installation products manufacturer.
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Unread 11-06-2019, 01:35 PM   #3
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Dan--would a rapid set be a better option if 24 hours simply isn't going to happen?
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Unread 11-07-2019, 07:56 AM   #4
Metropolitan Ceramics
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Rapid sets were designed for areas like malls that have to be returned to service quickly. If that's your situation, a rapid setting mortar would be a great option. Typically for large panels though, a rapid set is going to set up TOO rapidly, you need to have some working time to get everything in place before the mortar starts to kick off in earnest. The holy grail of large panel thinset is a long working time but then a rapid setting time. Those mortars are out there but be prepared to pay for the extra engineering that goes into them.
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Unread 11-07-2019, 08:28 PM   #5
Just In Tile LLC
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I'm always on it the next day, I have noticed with products like ditra, specially after a late day the day before the initial cleaning of thinset is noticeably different than setting on a slab or backer. Can almost sponge away the glue.

Which is why I try and stay away from those products when I can. I'm a big believer in modified mortar and products with mass.
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Unread 11-09-2019, 08:44 AM   #6
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As long as there's heat in the house, It's usually the next day which ends up being 16-18 hours. On new construction without heat in the winter, I've had to wait another day. I can usually find something else to do so I don't mind staying off of it if I need to. The problem is keeping everyone else off of it.
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Unread 11-10-2019, 12:42 AM   #7
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I never used to. Same as many folks of finishing at the end of one day and back on it the next.

But over the years, I’ve learned that nearly everything in tiling (and building and everything else) is about risk management to some degree. So, I’ll keep off the floor for 24 hours unless I’m really pinched. One advantage of doing the whole remodel instead of just the tile is the fact that there’s always something else that can be done while the floor is setting.
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Unread 11-10-2019, 10:55 AM   #8
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I'm in a northern climate and sometimes overnight isn't enough. What I do is check the floor before I enter by poking down in the grout joints and trying to get a read on how hard the thinset is. Usually, it's OK. Once in a while it isn't.

Another thing that I do is to schedule some running around the next morning, going to a different job or scheduling warranty work for the next day, or something of that sort.

But what I don't do is just march in. Not in the winter.
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Unread 11-10-2019, 03:11 PM   #9
Just In Tile LLC
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Come on Jim march on it... This will be my third time using Ditra so I'll heed ya'lls advice with this new fangled stuff. I was slightly exaggerating with wiping the mortar with a sponge.
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Unread 11-11-2019, 02:38 PM   #10
tilemanct
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Justin try Mapei's UM Membrane. The nice thing is they allow the use of modified over it. Anyone's. Lays flat with no curling.
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Unread 11-11-2019, 07:11 PM   #11
Just In Tile LLC
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I’ll check it out Dave, I mostly am forced to use whatever my Lowes stocks unless I order in or drive an hour. I’ve tried all ways to get the products I want but I always seem to settle into that go to Lowe’s 10 minutes away and pick up what I need and return it quickly if I buy too much.... which I always do so I’m not stranded on a job.

Kinda envious of the guys who have a tile supply or even a Home Depot in their town. .... then again... I sure love not fighting any traffic, and not having any real competition.
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Unread 11-11-2019, 07:24 PM   #12
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I have every major manufacturer supplier within 15 minutes. Spoiled I am.
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Unread 11-11-2019, 10:08 PM   #13
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Yes sir you are!
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Unread 11-16-2019, 03:09 PM   #14
woodie
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I so overnight repairs in restaurants, I never have the luxury of time. I use a quick-setting mortar and on occasion, I through a little SLC into the mix. We have to demo, retile and grout in a few hours. On top of that, we grout with Epoxy grout.
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