Do You Cut All Tiles First Or Cut As You Go? - Tiling - Contractor Talk

Do You Cut All Tiles First Or Cut As You Go?

 
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Old 06-22-2015, 10:26 AM   #1
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Do You Cut All Tiles First Or Cut As You Go?


Just a random question since I've read posts about guys doing it all different ways. Also know it depends on a lot of things like room size and layout, at least for me. But what is your usual way? Do you cut the whole room first and then set? Or do you cut as you go? Do you start in the middle of a big room and work your way to the edge and cut as you get to the edge or let the full tiles set and cut the border the next day? Do you change your method based on the size of the rooms? Meaning does a 100 sq ft bathroom get done one way and a 2000 sq ft open room get done another?
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Old 06-22-2015, 01:29 PM   #2
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Re: Do You Cut All Tiles First Or Cut As You Go?


The only time I've ever seen someone precut every tile was when they used some specialized instruments to measure the room and then they used software to map out the size and shape of every single piece. They sent it off to the factory and within a month every piece was shipped to the site with numbers on them along with a map.

So unless you are very good at measuring your floor and allowing for the grout joints in between, I doubt that you can accurately pre-cut.

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Old 06-22-2015, 01:41 PM   #3
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Re: Do You Cut All Tiles First Or Cut As You Go?


For a big room I'll go center to edge, and cut and set the edge pieces as I go. For a bath with one way out, I'll grid the floor and start at a far corner, and back my way out.
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Old 06-22-2015, 05:49 PM   #4
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Re: Do You Cut All Tiles First Or Cut As You Go?


the only time I ever pre cut was for a backsplash. Took me an hour to mortar up 40' with trim on site.....a bunch of damn diamonds. ug...
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Old 06-22-2015, 06:42 PM   #5
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Re: Do You Cut All Tiles First Or Cut As You Go?


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Originally Posted by tedanderson View Post
The only time I've ever seen someone precut every tile was when they used some specialized instruments to measure the room and then they used software to map out the size and shape of every single piece. They sent it off to the factory and within a month every piece was shipped to the site with numbers on them along with a map.

So unless you are very good at measuring your floor and allowing for the grout joints in between, I doubt that you can accurately pre-cut.
It's completely possible to pre-cut large rooms, even whole sides of a house. It's what grid lines are for, as well as keeping layouts running right. You'd be blown away at how fast some crews can blow out a 2500-3000 ft house down here. I'm not saying it's set correctly or the best products are used but as far as laying it out and getting cuts done they fly.
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Old 06-22-2015, 07:39 PM   #6
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Re: Do You Cut All Tiles First Or Cut As You Go?


As Paul said It comes down to how you layout.

If you Grid your floors then it is quite easy for you to cut before you lay. or more likely have people cutting just ahead of you laying.

I personally do not grid.
I find the most important visual reference and lay out based off that.
The only time I go from center of room is if I am doing a bordered diagonal set.
Any more 90% of what I lay on floors is some sort of pattern (minimum being a running bond), I use a single master line and several cross line lasers.
I suppose this is much like using grid lines with out snapping chalk and not worrying about where I spread mortar.

The only time I precut all tile before is when doing a Floor to ceiling diagonal shower But those are so technical that I want every thing perfect so all my corners fold and keep in perfect facing alignment.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:53 PM   #7
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Re: Do You Cut All Tiles First Or Cut As You Go?


In small bathrooms, I precut a good bit. Maybe not all the tile, but a fair amount. If I can score and snap most of them, maybe not. All depends.
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Old 06-23-2015, 08:28 AM   #8
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Re: Do You Cut All Tiles First Or Cut As You Go?


Small bathrooms I dry lay the entire thing and pre cut everything. That way I can use fast set mortar and grout the same day.
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Old 06-23-2015, 08:50 AM   #9
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Re: Do You Cut All Tiles First Or Cut As You Go?


I usually have my helper make cuts and mix thinset while I set the tile.
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Old 06-23-2015, 05:50 PM   #10
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Re: Do You Cut All Tiles First Or Cut As You Go?


Small baths get entirely pre cut then laid. Bigger rooms depending on layout and how square the room is. If we can we pre cut sections and lat it all at the end of the day. If not we lay all the full tiles and fill in if we have too.

I only have 1 or 2 guys on a tile job, we don't do more than 6-12 a year. Most of what we do is large format, cutting seems to take the most time. Once you start laying tile it limits where you can work. We find this the fastest way for us.
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Old 06-23-2015, 05:53 PM   #11
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Re: Do You Cut All Tiles First Or Cut As You Go?


Also, this is for floors. I usually have my tile sub take care of my showers. We don't do it enough to make money with showers.
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Old 06-23-2015, 05:59 PM   #12
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Re: Do You Cut All Tiles First Or Cut As You Go?


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Originally Posted by PrecisionFloors View Post
Small bathrooms I dry lay the entire thing and pre cut everything. That way I can use fast set mortar and grout the same day.
First time I ever laid tile was in my own bathroom. I mixed a full bag of thin set then opened up a box of tile and started measuring. Take a guess how well that worked out.
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Old 06-23-2015, 06:29 PM   #13
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Re: Do You Cut All Tiles First Or Cut As You Go?


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First time I ever laid tile was in my own bathroom. I mixed a full bag of thin set then opened up a box of tile and started measuring. Take a guess how well that worked out.
I would love to have been a fly on that wall... Gotta start somewhere
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Old 06-23-2015, 07:16 PM   #14
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Re: Do You Cut All Tiles First Or Cut As You Go?


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...... Gotta start somewhere ...
Yup, and down the road we're all ahead of the game even after screw-ups like that. It's a good thing.
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Old 06-23-2015, 09:59 PM   #15
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Re: Do You Cut All Tiles First Or Cut As You Go?


Fastest blow and go floor tile job I saw was in Texas - all precut, sanded grout for both bed and grout. Bed and grouted as they went. It looked like you'd expect...
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Old 06-23-2015, 11:07 PM   #16
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Re: Do You Cut All Tiles First Or Cut As You Go?


When I used to set tile alone, I pre-cut everything.

I layout and ink snap so that I know every tile before it is set, except for showers where I would have everything pre-cut except the finisher runs butting walls.

Nowadays, I start laying and have my helpers cut, and mix, and carry, and...whatever, for me.

I'm fairly sure I was much more efficient back when I was setting alone and pre-cutting.
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Old 06-24-2015, 07:59 PM   #17
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Re: Do You Cut All Tiles First Or Cut As You Go?


I assume the cutting after field is installed, the next day or after mud has hardened recommendation may be due to the time it takes to make cuts and the mud setting in the bucket.

I can't see that setting the cuts after is better, you have to clean the mud in the overspread areas, continuously ensuring no mud seeps into setting area. I've read that in some "old" books and I've read a lot back in the day, yet I have more that I'll probably never get to.
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Old 06-26-2015, 06:42 AM   #18
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Re: Do You Cut All Tiles First Or Cut As You Go?


Quote:
Originally Posted by PrecisionFloors View Post
Small bathrooms I dry lay the entire thing and pre cut everything. That way I can use fast set mortar and grout the same day.
I'm told nothing dries in Florida. It's just different degrees of wet.
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Old 06-26-2015, 02:40 PM   #19
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Re: Do You Cut All Tiles First Or Cut As You Go?


Decide on a total error for the room, let's say +/-1/4" which error can be covered by quarter round.

For a 144" wide room and using ~12" tiles, this comes out to an accuracy of +/- 0.02" for each tile plus grout width.
This is for a worst case that almost never happens and a more reasonable method for figuring tolerance buildup is called root-sum-squared but you will lose some tiles that way.

The tile dims are probably very consistent but how consistent are the grout channels using the spacers?

Using 'ordinary care' how close can you cut tiles? How many do you need to cut?

When you do all the math it probably works to what experienced people are doing, without really knowing why.
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Old 06-26-2015, 05:30 PM   #20
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Re: Do You Cut All Tiles First Or Cut As You Go?


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Originally Posted by GettingBy View Post
Decide on a total error for the room... blah, blah, blah
You really enjoy mental masturbation, don't you? Those who actually do the work instead of guessing about it don't need amateur theoretical analysis:

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueRidgeGreen View Post
I layout and ink snap so that I know every tile before it is set, except for showers where I would have everything pre-cut except the finisher runs butting walls.

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