Tiling a floor can be a time-consuming and stressful process on your body, so you might wonder if you can leave a tiling job half-way done.
You can tile half a floor at a time. It is crucial to start tiling in an area that will not be walked on, though, to avoid ruining the completed tiling job. The tile will need to sit undisturbed overnight to set accurately. Only mix the necessary amount of mortar to prevent wasting.
It is okay to leave a tiling job half-way done because you can come back to it later, but you may be wondering if it’s essential to finish the tiling job the very next day?
Can You Tile Half A Floor At A Time?
Yes, you can tile half a floor at a time. Tiling can be a time-consuming and strenuous job. It is most likely you will finish a tiling project within the space of at least a day or two. Finishing a tiling project in less than two days is rare simply because the tiling has to set overnight. If you can tile a floor in one day, that is truly impressive!
Where To Begin A Tiling Job
When you begin a tiling job, you will have a few essential things: a measuring tape, a pencil, tile cutters, tile nippers, tile spacers, a bucket, a mixing paddle, a grout float, a notched trowel, a sponge, the tiles, and mortar.
You will want to begin with a prepared floor. Begin by cleaning the floor thoroughly. Cleaning the floor may seem like an obvious thing to do, but it is crucial to the tiles laying correctly and adhering to the ground like they need to.
Only after you have cleaned the floor can you mix the thin-set. It has a short life, meaning it will harden again in about 30 to 40 minutes. Only make the amount you will be able to use. Apply the thin-set to the bottom of the tile with the notched trowel. Be sure to leave the notches in the same direction every time to ensure the tiles are even.
Apply the tiles to the ground once they have thin-set on them. You will need to add pressure to each tile after it is laid and wiggle it sideways a little to allow the thin-set to stick correctly to the ground. Make sure to add spacers between the tiles, preventing them from moving too close to one another.
You can remove the spacers once the tiles are dry. This will be somewhere around 24 hours after the tiles have been laid.
Why You Might Need To Pause A Tiling Job
There are many reasons as to why you might need to pause a tiling job. These can range from bathroom or food breaks to needing to stop for the evening. You may be afraid to stop, but there is no reason to be nervous about pausing the job.
As said previously, if you can finish a tiling job in a large room in a single day without stopping, you must be superhuman and work very quickly.
When I was about 9 or 10, my Papa asked me to help him add tile to a house he and my Nana were fixing up to rent out. When I went in to start laying tile, I was ready to get to work! I remember going home that night after only finishing about a third of the job and feeling like I did almost nothing.
We needed to work on the project for at least a few days. I was glad we paused when we did because I was sore from bending to pick up and moving around things all day. I was also exhausted!
It is normal to need to extend a tiling job for a few days. It is alright to stop in the middle of the job, but there are specific rules to follow.
How To Pause A Tiling Job
To pause a tiling job, you will need to only make the amount of mortar or thin-set for what you can achieve. Since the thin-set only has so much time that it will last before it hardens, it is essential to mix only the amount you need.
The second thing to remember is to finish placing tiles by placing them in a straight row, not diagonally. If you end in a diagonal, it will be that much harder to continue the next day. Continuing in a diagonal can make tiles appear in the correct place when they are not.
It is crucial to measure the tile placement carefully to ensure they are in line with each other. The tiles may appear to be in-line when you look at them with your naked eye, but they very well might not be where you want them to be. Measure them and adjust them as need be.
Another thing to do is remember to clean all of your tools. They will be covered in mortar, and if they are not clean, you might as well say goodbye to using those tools.
It is also essential to remember not to step on the tiles you just put down. If you step on tiles that have not been set yet, you will have to start all over again because they will move and break, utterly desecrating the job you thought you just completed.
How To Continue A Tiling Job
When picking up a tiling job the following day, continue in the way you first began. You will need to continue the job from where you left off. You will already have part of the flooring done, and maybe even more, so use the same process from where the tiling job ends.
Tiling can be started and stopped multiple times to ensure the tiles lay correctly. Just remember that as you are tiling, you cannot step on the floor you are putting in. The tile needs to set. After it has had sufficient time to set, however (24 to 48 hours), you are free to walk on the tiling you have laid.
After all the tiles have been laid, add grout between the tiles. You will use the grout float to apply the grout to the tiles.
Wipe the tiles with a damp sponge and use a damp cloth to remove the haze. Afterward, apply the sealer to the grout, and the floor is complete.
Make sure you allow the grout you added to the floor set for a full 24 hours before you begin to walk on it to provide it the necessary amount of time to dry.