Knowing how long does it take grout to dry can is a really important step in your upcoming home renovation project.
Grout is a cement-based bonding material that is used for filling the space between ceramic tiles. There are four main types of grout available that we will go over in this article.
Choosing wisely between these types of grout is important because the space between tiles, known as the grout joints, need to be sealed and properly maintained to prevent stains and discoloration.
These spaces are very porous, it is important to protect the tile and grout so they will be easier to clean and be more resilient to staining and damage. So after you put in all the hard work, you are wondering how long you have to wait until you can put your furniture back in your room and walk on your new tiles.
How long does it take grout to dry?
Grout drying time depends on a variety of factors such as what type of grout you are using, how humid the room you are working in is, and how humid the climate of your region is. Usually, grout can take anywhere from 24-72 hours to fully dry, but you may need to consider other factors.
Different Types Of Grout available.
Here are some of the main types of grout available for your project:
When choosing grout, you need to make a decision between sanded and unsanded grout. There are many overlapping uses, but there are some notable differences. Sanded grout contains fine sand and is a great choice for most tiling projects because it is cheap and provides a sturdy and tight lock for your tiles.
Pros of Sanded Grout
- Extremely low cost,
- denser joints for a stronger bond
- many color choices
Cons of Sanded Grout
- It can scratch surfaces if the sand is too coarse
- it can be difficult to force into thin seams
- You must be seal it to be effective and reliable.
Unsanded grout does not contain sand and is better to use for thinner grout lines and for spaces surrounding delicate tile surfaces like glass tile. It is better to use on wall tiles because there is less slump than with sanded grout. It looks much cleaner and is more effective on wall tiles.
- Better to use on wall tiles
- Works best on thinner tile seams
- Does not present the risk of scratching fragile tiles
- Grout sealing is not always required, unlike it is with sanded grout.
- It is more expensive than sanded grout
- There are less color choices than there are with sanded grout
- Does not look great when applied to wide seams.
Quarry-Type Grout is similar to sanded grout, but it is made with a coarser grade of sand. This is best to use on tiles that have a wider space available. It can be hard to use this on thinner grout joints because it is so coarse. Also because of the coarseness, it can be very damaging to certain tiles.
Epoxy grout is made of epoxy resin and hardener. This grout is highly resistant to stains and chemicals and has the strongest bonding strength out of the other grouts we have covered. This is great to use on countertop tiles and other areas that are often exposed to spillage and vulnerable to stains.
What are Factors that affecr Grout Drying Time?
Usually it takes between 24 and 72 hours for your grout to dry on average but depends on many factors like the kind of grout you used, temperature of your home, a humid climate, and whether or not there are plants or greenery present.
Let’s explain each factor more closely:
- Unsanded and sanded grout takes about three days to fully set in and dry. After you give it at least 48-72 hours, you can apply a sealer to the surface of your grout and tiles. This is great for protection. Though it will be dry in 3 days, you should give it more time before exposing the area to moisture.
- Epoxy grout only takes about 24 hours to dry. Since it does not need to be sealed, it is ready to go after about 24 hours.
If the room containing your tile project is humid, like a bathroom, then you need to add some time to your grout drying time. Grout drying time can be affected not only by internal humidity, but also by external humidity. Tile grout in Florida will take longer to dry than in a place like California.
Plants and Greenery
Strangely enough, whether or not you have indoor plants can affect how quickly your grout dries. Plants can release moisture which raise the humidity levels inside your home.
How Successfully Get Dried Grout?
Since the drying of grout is a chemical reaction, there is not much you can do to make it go any faster.
Here is a step by step guide to applying grout to your tiles:
Step 1: Plan ahead of time
It is important to decide what room you are going to grout first (if working on a multiple room project).
Whatever room you are working on, you can’t be in there while the grout is drying.
So, if you are working in your bedroom, figure out and set up another room to sleep in for a few nights. If you are working in your kitchen, you need to meal prep ahead of time, or be prepared to eat out at restaurants for a few days while your tiles and grout fully dry and set in.
Step 2: Cleaning your tiles
After applying the grout to your tiles, it is important to remove the excess grout soon after application, so it does not settle permanently onto the tile.
TIP: Apply a wet sponge to the tiles about 15-30 minutes after the application of the grout.
If you wait until the grout is dried, then it is going to be much harder to remove from your tiles.
Step 3: Allowing and assisting the grout to dry
You need to leave ample time for the grout to dry. Like we have said, you don’t want to ruin your project because you were too impatient. To help speed up the process, it can help to use an air conditioner, dehumidifier, or electric fan to help relieve some of the humidity and increase air circulation.
Step 4: Applying a grout sealer
Adding a grout sealer or a latex additive to prevent fluids from penetrating the grout is very important. Much grout includes sand, which is permeable by water. To help protect the grout, the tiles, and the grout under it, it is a good idea to apply a grout sealer.
You should only do this after the grout is completely dried and unfortunately, you will have to wait for the sealer to dry too before you can go back to using your room like normal.
How to choose grout color
Grout comes in many different colors, some have more options than others. It is not just an design element but also ads functionality.
Light colored grout is great but it stains easily. Dark colored grout adds an interesting contrast, but unfortunately it fades over time. You should assess the area of which you are applying the grout and decide what your best option is. For example, it is not a good idea to use light-colored grout for your kitchen because it is a vulnerable area to stains.
Can I put new grout on old grout?
Though it is a hassle, it is not recommended that you apply the new grout over the old. If you do, the new grout will not adhere properly to the old grout and it will not be as aesthetically pleasing.
Luckily, it is not too difficult to remove that old grout. All you need is a grout removal tool. To use this, you just run it through the cracks where you want to remove the old grout, and it will come right up.
How can you tell if the grout is dry?
If you’ve waited the recommended 72h, it is usually safe to assume that the grout is fully dried, unless you live in a humid place, like we talked about. If you want to double check, all you have to do is sprinkle a few drops of water on the grout line and watch what it does.
If it beads up, then the grout is dry and good to go. If it is absorbed by the grout, then unfortunately you need to wait longer and reapply the sealer immediately.
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