You picture yourself laying tiles in the kitchen or laundry room and are thrilled with how your tile flooring looks, yet you wish to start using your areas again. However, when you lay tile in the kitchen, be aware of a few things.
Your refrigerator could be the heaviest and most problematic appliance to move out of your kitchen to lay your tile and back into your kitchen without damaging the tile surface.
You can make the task easier by using an appliance dolly and can use these to move your washer/dryer combo. However, if you don’t wait long enough, putting a large appliance like your refrigerator on a new tile floor can damage the surface or cause the tile to become uneven.
Now, you need to be patient and learn how long for tile mortar to dry enough so you can begin moving things back into your kitchen or laundry room. In our guide, you can learn more about how long does tile take to dry and modified mortar takes to cure. You’ll also see the best ways to move your appliances back on your new tile floor. (Learn How High Should A Tub Spout Be)
How Are Tiles Fixed to the Floor?
Thinset mortar attaches hard tiles to the floor, such as ceramic, porcelain, or stone tiles. This is known as dry-set modified mortar, thin set, or thinset cement.
Using cement, fine sand, and an alkyl cellulose derivative, thinset mortar is created using the water-retaining agent.
However, while having the word “mortar” in the name, thinset mortar acts more like adhesive than a binder to concrete.
Modified thinset mortar must dry for at least 24 hours after tiles have been installed before you can apply grout to the joints between the tile floor.
Following this, grout needs to dry for 12 to 24 hours, or you need to wait longer (an extra day) if you are in wet conditions.
Note: Not all tiles are hard like these. If you use vinyl or linoleum tiles, you fix these to the floor using adhesive. Either you need additional adhesive, or the tiles are peel-and-stick and are covered in adhesive ready to stick to your existing floor.
How Long To Wait After Ceramic Tile Installation?
For hard tiles, the total time from when the tiles are laid and the time heavy items can be placed on them is 48 hours because thinset mortar needs a dry time of around 24 hours and grout another 24.
You can walk on your new durable tile flooring or move the refrigerator back 24 hours after the grout has been applied if you need to use your kitchen immediately.
Before setting heavy items, heavy objects such as refrigerators, on top of vinyl or linoleum tiles, give the tiles about 72 hours to dry unless your specific type of adhesive tile or glue specifies otherwise.
Tile Installation Tips
- Dry-fit the tiles to determine whether any need to be trimmed before tiling a floor. The arrangement can be made more even by using a tile spacer.
- To promote adhesion, you should thoroughly clean and dry the surface. The next step is to prepare thinset mortar and apply it with a notched trowel.
- Let the mortar cure fully before you add your grout and grout sealer. It can appear time-consuming, yet you need to seal grout in kitchens and a laundry because of the water.
- First-time “tilers” tips include composition. For example, smaller tiles on a large kitchen floor are time-consuming and make the area look busy.
- Large tiles may make a small room look bigger.
How To Move Your Refrigerator
Many large refrigerators now include wheels, thus making movement easy. However, rolling it on a large piece of cardboard or plywood can help reduce tile damage. It also spreads the loads, and chances of busting a tile loose are reduced.
If your heavy refrigerator doesn’t have wheels, use furniture sliders or dollies to move it.
Round or long pieces of plastic with felt are furniture sliders, and you can use skids to move a refrigerator or washer and dryer.
Alternatively, you can use an appliance dolly which is a low trolley with wheels. Again, it helps to use a sheet of plywood to move it into the place of rest, as the wheels won’t turn if you try to push it on cardboard.
How Long To Tile Floor In Kitchen or Laundry Room?
This question is trickier than it seems. Several factors affect time, but an untrained DIYer can finish in 16 hours. A skilled technician can finish in 10 hours.
Note that this doesn’t allow for any drying time, and it uses a concrete floor rather than a plywood subfloor that poses other questions or needs attention.
Variables affecting laying tile floor.
Kitchen size determines how long it takes to clean. A 100-square-foot kitchen will take substantially less time to tile than a 250-square-foot kitchen. You can account for a typical kitchen being 150 square feet.
This variable is hidden. The size of kitchen tiles affects installation time. Since you must place tiles one by one, installing smaller tiles is tedious and time-consuming. On the other hand, larger tiles save time and make the space look larger. (Learn How Long For Tile Mortar To Dry)
The tile install job is straightforward if your kitchen is a perfect square. However, it will take longer if it has irregularly shaped crevices, islands, and bars because you can’t put tiles around them. So instead, you can expect to cut them to fit.
Not all tiles install easily. Others take more skill and expertise and should be left to the pros.
Ceramic tile is the easiest to install, making it ideal for novice or inexperienced DIYers. A simpler, quicker job will result from installing ceramic tile in your kitchen.
The hardest and longest-taking tile to install is undoubtedly porcelain tile. For this reason, it may be advisable to let experts handle the installation.
Easy-to-install travertine as no gaps are needed. Therefore, you don’t need grout between tiles, thus speeding up the installation process. All it needs is to apply mortar and position them.
Condition Of Subfloor
Before installing a tile kitchen floor, clean and level the subfloor; cleaning is fast. Subfloor leveling is time-consuming. If you have existing kitchen floors, removing them will take extra time.
Account for the contractors’ crew size and experience if hiring contractors.
How Hard Is It To Tile A Floor?
It is difficult work to tile a floor. Although most of the time, it is not difficult to lay the tile and apply the grout.
Yet, other factors are still to consider, like leveling the flooring, removing old floors, and cutting tiles to size.
Can You Tile A Floor In One Day?
You probably won’t be able to tile your floor in a single day if you’ve never used the tools or have no previous flooring experience.
However, depending on the size of the kitchen, a contractor and his team might be able to finish it in a single day, although a contractor still needs to abide by the thinset and grout drying time.
How Long Before You Can Walk On Tiled Floor?
You should wait roughly 24 hours before walking on your tiles after you’ve completed installing them. (Learn How To Fill Gap Between Baseboard And Tile Floor)
This is because the grouting and mortar must both dry and cure. Always read the directions thoroughly because these times may differ from one product to the next.