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I need to tile the floor in the porch and entry hall (total area about 3 sq m). The problem is that once the tiles are laid, it should stay undisturbed for at least 12 hours (better 24). This is where the issue is. While there is another entry door into the house (via garage), the entry hall is the place where the stairs from the ground floor to the first floor start. There is no option of moving out for a couple of days, so the work will need to be done with the family present. Only using one floor for 2 days is also not an option with the family of 5.

The only thing I can think of is to tile in the evening after the children have gone to bed - and hope that the adhesive will set enough to walk on the tiles in the morning.

The tiles are ceramic and going on 18 mm plywood.

Is there anything I can do to improve my chances of it drying overnight? Maybe some special adhesive?

  • Can you build a platform of 2x4s and plywood that will span the tile? – mikes Jan 2 '18 at 0:11
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12 hours over night will be sufficient to get it set most of the way. You could Cut a piece of 3/4 plywood to fit the space ( one piece is better but two would work ) and lay it down over the tiles for the morning traffic.

The wood will spread/distribute the weight out over a broader area and should help to avoid a corner of the tile from being push down by concentrated weight.

Just an idea.

  • This is along the lines of what I was thinking. I was thinking even further of coming up with something that would "float" above the floor altogether, e.g. a couple of 2x4 with some plywood over them that would rest on the first step of the staircase and something in the two rooms adjacent to the entry hall - through open doors. – Aleks G Jan 2 '18 at 8:07
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You can use a fast-setting thinset to lay the new tile. For example, Speedset (by Custom Building Products) claims you can grout in 2 hours and handle traffic in 6. A skilled tile setter could have the job done in one or two workdays with your family walking on it in the evenings.

  • This looks very promising. Unfortunately, Speedset doesn't seem to be available in the UK (sorry, should have mentioned the location in the question). Would you happen to know any similar products available in Europe? – Aleks G Jan 2 '18 at 8:05
  • Call your local tile shop and ask. There will almost certainly be an equivalent, either as a specialized thinset or an additive to accelerate curing. It's not an uncommon need. – Shimon Rura Jan 3 '18 at 4:01

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