You might be wondering how long it takes for grout to cure while installing a new kitchen backsplash, tiling a bathroom, or replacing a fireplace surround.
How long for grout to dry?
To ensure that tiles on walls adhere to one another, grout is used to fill up the spaces between the tiles. Grout needs to be given enough time to dry in order for it to do its magic otherwise, your hard work will be for nothing. The average drying time for grout is between 24 and 72 hours.
The amount of time it takes for grout to dry varies on the type of grout, humidity levels, and whether you’re working inside or out. Before exposing grout to moisture, most manufacturers suggest waiting three to seven days. Allowing grout to dry for at least the time specified in the product instructions for the exact grout you use is an excellent general rule of thumb, but the longer, the better.
Actual drying times for grouts
Reading the directions on the container is the best approach to figuring out how long the grout will take to dry. A minimum of 24 hours is required in all circumstances, but I usually encourage going beyond the manufacturer’s recommendations. Suppose you intend to seal the grout, which is common in most circumstances. In that case, the grout must cure for an additional period to ensure that all moisture has been removed before being exposed to moisture again. Before applying a sealant to cement-based grouts, allow 24 to 72 hours for them to cure. Because epoxy-based grouts don’t necessarily need to be sealed, the waiting time will be reduced.
Factors that influence grout drying times
Although you should always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, various factors might affect how quickly or slowly the grout dries. The type of grout, humidity levels, and whether you’re working indoors or outside are all elements to consider.
Types of grout
The suggested drying time varies depending on the type of grout you use. Here are some of the popular grout types:
1. Cementitious grout
Cementitious grout takes 72 hours to dry on average. Cementitious grout is a widely utilized substance in home construction. You combine it with water to get a sand-like texture. Apply the paste with a flat trowel once it has been formed. It has a water-retentive component that keeps the grout wet, allowing it to dry more slowly and achieve maximum hardness. Here are a few examples of commonly used cementitious grouts: Starlike Crystal and Polyblend Plus.
2. Sanded vs. un-sanded grout
There are two types of cementitious grout available: sanded and un-sanded. Grout that has been sanded is less prone to shrink and break, making it perfect for more significant gaps and floor tiles. Un-sanded grout is smoother and simpler to apply to vertical surfaces such as shower walls, but it’s only suggested when the grout junction is less than 18 inches wide. Both sanded and un-sanded grout takes the same amount of time to dry, usually 72 hours, but you should wait even longer before exposing it to moisture.
3. Epoxy grout
Epoxy grout takes 24 hours to dry on average. Epoxy grout is made up of epoxy resin and hardener, making it appropriate for tiles that will be subjected to harsher elements such as acid or grease. It’s a stricter grout that resists stains, fractures, chemicals, and changes in the weather. Because it dries rapidly, it is more costly and difficult to apply, but it lasts long. Because this grout doesn’t need to be sealed all of the time, it cures and is ready to use significantly faster than cementitious grout. Here are a few examples of commonly used epoxy grouts: Starlike Crystal and Starlike Classic.
4. Furan grout
Furan grout takes 24 hours to dry on average. It’s comparable to epoxy, except it’s constructed of fortified alcohol polymers. It’s generally utilized for brick pavers and quarry tile and industrial environments like labs, breweries, meatpacking facilities, and commercial kitchens because it cures into a thermosetting resin that can withstand high temperatures and powerful chemicals. If you’re not sure what sort of grout you have, the label will tell you all you need to know, including how long it needs to cure.
The drying time of grout is also affected by humidity levels. A bathroom, for example, is usually the most humid area in the home, so that the grout will dry more slowly there than in the kitchen. Outdoor humidity might also have an impact. In tropical conditions like Florida, grout takes longer to dry than in arid settings like Las Vegas. Indoor plants can also impact the time it takes for grout to dry. Plants that emit moisture, such as lilies and philodendrons, raise the humidity levels in your house. Grout takes longer to dry in general when there is a lot of moisture.
Indoor vs. Outdoor
Grout takes longer to dry outside than it does indoors, especially if the weather is damp, wet, snowy, rainy, or cold. Even in ideal weather, it takes at least seven days to cure outside. If you foresee lousy weather, make sure the area is covered with tenting and at least a foot of gap for airflow. Furthermore, ensure that the temperature will be at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit for the following seven days before a grouting operation outside. The majority of kinds of grout take 72 hours to cure for interior jobs.
How to make grout dry more quickly?
Do you need your grout to dry as soon as possible? It isn’t much you can do to speed up the curing period because grout cures due to a chemical process. However, you can keep it from slowing down due to external circumstances. For instance, consider the following suggestions:
- Turn on the air conditioner or a dehumidifier to keep the air dry. It will dry faster if there is less moisture in the air.
- Use a fan to circulate air across the room.
- If the room has plants, remove them; if the room is outside, protect the grout from the elements such as rain, snow, and humidity.
What happens if the grout isn’t dry enough?
Here’s what may happen if grout doesn’t dry properly:
- Flakes and peels: This is frequently due to the sealant being applied before the grout has completely cured. The grout tends to peel and flake, lowering its overall strength and look.
- Weak joints: Grout can’t offer a firm bond between the tiles if it doesn’t cure correctly, resulting in holes, splits, or gaps in the grout lines. These problems cause the joints to deteriorate, allowing moisture to seep in between the tiles.
- Grout cracks and crumbles more easily if it isn’t allowed to dry completely. This happens when you expose the grout to moisture before it has fully cured.
How do you know if grout is dry?
Grout is a mixture of cement, sand, and water that is used to fill gaps between tiles, creating a smooth and uniform surface. When it comes to installing grout, it is important to ensure that it is completely dry before moving onto the next step. But how can you tell if grout is dry? One way to check is to gently press the surface of the grout with your fingertip. If the grout is still wet, it will leave an indentation, whereas if it is dry, it will remain solid.
Another way to test whether grout is dry is to look at its color. When grout is first applied, it is typically a darker color than when it dries. As the grout dries, it lightens in color, and when it is completely dry, it should match the color of the surrounding tiles.
It is important to note that the drying time for grout can vary depending on factors such as humidity and temperature. Generally, it takes around 24-48 hours for grout to dry completely, but it is best to consult the manufacturer’s instructions to determine the specific drying time for the type of grout you are using. Once you are confident that the grout is dry, you can then move on to sealing it to help protect it from staining and damage.