Lee Morgan is a fiction writer and journalist. Polyblend Plus Bright White Non-Sanded Grout: The curing time for this grout is affected by temperatures and humidity levels. These issues weaken the joints and allow moisture to sneak in under the tiles. However, the exact drying time depends on the type of grout, humidity levels, and whether you’re working indoors or outside. The humidity, temperature and air flow in a room affect how long it takes to dry, but thinset generally is cured and ready to walk on or grout in 24 to 48 … The drying time is similar between sanded and unsanded grout, typically 72 hours, but you should wait even longer before exposing it to moisture. Most options come in powder form, but premixed containers are available as well. If you plan to seal the grout, which is typical for most cases, the grout needs to dry even longer so that all moisture is released before you expose it to moisture again. It’s a sand-like texture that you mix with water. So be patient for a day and night not to use the floor. For extra protection, seal the grout with SurfaceGard® Stone, Grout & Tile Sealer after the grout has had time to cure for between 48 and 72 hours. Different jobs require unique types of mortar, each of which may have a distinct drying time. It only takes a little too much to create soup. © 2021 Prudent Reviews LLC. This guide explains how to apply tile grouting, how use the float and sponge and how to apply sealant and caulk. Do not expose to wet weather elements for at least seven days and maintain temperatures above 50°F. Plants, such as the lily and philodendron, release moisture, raising the humidity levels inside your home. If you are thinking about sealing your grout after you have installed it, you need to wait even longer than that so that all of the moisture has had time to be released. The guys at the John Bridge Tile Forum recommended the Fusion Pro grout to give a consistent grout color since I would be grouting at different times. Cement-based grout is a dry powder that you mix with water (or a liquid additive) prior to application. Use the sponge again to clear away the excess material. If you want the grout to remain level with the surface of the floor the diagonal motion of the trowel should have filled it to the proper level. But by using the knowledge in this easy guide, you’ll be able to tell how long your mortar needs before you can grout. It can take up to a full day for grout to dry. Sanded grout is made from Portland cement, sand and other additives which are mixed with water and applied to the grout joint. Thinset mortar is a reliable and easy way to attach tiles to floors, walls and counters, as long as you mix it to the right consistency and allow proper drying time after setting the tiles. Simply add a bit of water to fix the consistency of dry grout. Keep any leftover dry mix for future repairs, but make sure to store it in moisture-free areas. Whatever type of grout you end up using, always plan for a few days of inconvenience as it dries. Merno Vasquez/Moment/Getty Images. Humidity levels also affect the drying time of grout. For exterior projects, the manufacturer recommends misting the area occasionally with clean water for three days. Be sure to scrape any dry, unmixed grout from the bottom of the bucket with your margin trowel. Grout takes between 24 and 72 hours to dry on average. If your grout is runny or too wet, add additional dry grout to the mixture until it reaches the proper consistency for use. For example, try these tips: If grout doesn’t dry properly, here’s what can happen:Peels and flakes: This is usually related to applying the seal before the grout has fully dried. So it’s important to check. When you're getting close, dribble in water from a sponge. If the mold grows behind the tiles, it can be impossible to remove without breaking the tile. It takes grout longer to dry outdoors than indoors, especially if it’s humid, wet, snowy, rainy, or cold outside. Clean off the excess grout in small sections. Step 2: Now that your countertops are no longer at risk, you can mix your grout. That’s why it is recommended to wait up to 48hours before allowing movement on the floor just to be safe, some grout formulas may require longer or shorter drying time, and epoxy-based allows you to skip the sealer. You do not want to leave and gaps or bubbles in the grout. Mortaring tiles or other masonry, adds a final polish to all your hard work. A grout cleaning and sealing service can clean and seal the same day. Notches affect how much mortar is applied which could either shorten or extend dry times. After sealing, wait a minimum of 24 hours before using the shower; some products may recommend three days instead. The application will usually achieve full cure in 24 hours. Make sure you consult the packaging or instructions before you start working with premixed grout to find out the exact times. Factors That Impact the Drying Times of Grout, What Happens if Grout Doesn’t Dry Properly, How Long Does Primer Take to Dry? Once you form a paste, apply it with a flat trowel. Whether you’re installing a new kitchen backsplash, tiling a bathroom, or redoing a fireplace surround, you might be wondering: Grout takes between 24 and 72 hours to dry on average. Dry Time. Like concrete, the mortar has to be cured in order to be an effective adhesive. Indoor plants can also affect how long grout takes to dry. Most sealers dry within 5hours; some take up to two days. Typically, cement-based grout takes 24-72 hours to cure, and epoxy and furan grouts take 24 hours. Those factors include the type of grout, humidity levels, and whether you’re working indoors or outside. In the following sections of this article, I provide: The best way to understand how long it will take grout to dry is to read the instructions on the packaging. How can I tell for sure that it's ready for grout? Applying finishing touches to newly reconstructed or refurbished surfaces results in eye catching aesthetics. In most instances the surface will be sealed, dry and ready for use within 2 hours. Once completely dry, take the cloth and wipe away any remaining grout … Because grout cures due to a chemical reaction, there’s not much you can do to speed up the curing time. Read on to find out what you need to know! The goal should be to get the grout to a peanut-butter-like consistency. Same question with the grout? It takes at least seven days to cure outside, even in good weather. Weak joints: If it doesn’t dry properly, grout can’t provide a strong joint between the tiles, resulting in holes, cracks, or gaps in the grout lines. Many people choose to have recessed grout lines. Mold and mildew: Not allowing the grout to dry properly increases the risk of mold and mildew build-up. What do I need to do with the tiles after they have been sealed? Choose the finished look you want to achieve. Crack and crumble: Not letting grout dry properly increases the chances of the grout cracking and crumbling. But this grout isn’t suitable for all tile types. Epoxy grout contains epoxy resin and hardener, so it’s ideal for tiles that will be exposed to harsher materials, like acid and grease. Grout Cure Times Most cement-based grouts require a cure time of 48 to 72 hours before applying a penetrating sealer. View the full instructions. 24 hours . It takes approximately 24 hours to dry and gets harder the longer you leave it as the cement sets. Sanded vs. unsanded grout: When using cementitious grout, you’ll face two options: sanded and unsanded. By Staff Writer Last Updated Apr 13, 2020 8:32:51 PM ET. However, there are many kinds of grout and their dry times can range from 5 to 48 hours, so consult your grout container for the actual time you need and add an extra 30 minutes on top of the recommended time to account for real-world conditions like humidity. It contains a water-retentive additive that keeps the grout moist to slow down the drying time to ensure maximum hardness. Drying time usually takes a minimum of 24 hours, but it also depends on the kind of tiles (usually ceramic), type of grout you use, and the width of your grout joints. Run a fan to distribute air across the floor or walls. A good general rule of thumb—allow grout to dry for at least the time stated in the product manual for the specific grout you use, but the longer you wait, the better. It’s more expensive and difficult to apply since it dries quickly, but it lasts for a long time. Since this grout doesn’t always need to be sealed, it’s cured and ready to go much sooner than cementitious grout. Adding a sealer after the grout fully cures adds durability, improving both the functionality and appearance. Press the trowel into the spaces to ensure plenty of the pre-mixed grout gets into the area. For shower walls, let it cure for three days, and, for shower floors, let it cure for seven days. Depending on the type of grout you use, the recommended drying time can change. For A FREE In Home Estimate For Tile and Grout Cleaning and Sealing give us a call at (832)303-3546. Some of these projects, materials, and techniques may not be appropriate for all ages or skill levels. If you choose to have your grout lines lower than the surface of the tiles you will need to use a grout tool or the corner of your trowel to run along the lines to smoothly remove a small portion of the grout from the spaces. Epoxy-based grouts don’t always need to be sealed, so the waiting time will be somewhat shorter with these. Let’s look at two examples of grout sealer to examine the difference between each manufacturer’s instructions. Here are the types of grout commonly used for ceramic tiles. If it’s a big job, make alternative accommodation arrangements. Most manufacturers advise waiting three to seven days before exposing grout to moisture. In all cases, it is an absolute minimum of 24 hours, but I recommend always exceeding the manufacturers’ instructions. Allow the grout to a thoroughly dry (at least a few hours). After three days of curing, the grout can be exposed to intermittent water exposure. Here are a couple of examples of popular epoxy grouts: Starlike Classic, Starlike Crystal. Starlike EVO Crystal Glass: After 24 hours, the grout can be exposed to light foot traffic. Clean the spaces between the tiles on your surface and remove any spacers used to lay the actual tile. The idea is to clean the grout off the tile while leaving it in the spaces between the tiles. It can also be affected by outdoor humidity. It makes the grout resistant to water, stains, and bacteria build-up. A general rule of thumb is to let it set for 24 to 48 hours. Do this to find out the time necessary for the grout to dry before the second cleaning as well. Here’s a look at a few common types of grout: Cementitious grout: The average drying time for cementitious grout is 72 hours. If it's properly installed, the tile is durable, but if you do not allow the mortar to cure properly before grouting, it can crack or crumble, causing the tiles to also crack or become loose. Swipe the trowel over the grout lines a second time, moving in a diagonal motion to further fill the space and avoid leaving gaps in the surface. Discoloration: This is especially noticeable if you use white or light-colored grout. You need to make sure your thinset is the right consistency so it will dry the way it should. Sanded grout is less likely to shrink and crack, making it ideal for wider gaps and floor tiles. Furthermore, before beginning a grouting project outside, make sure the temperature will be at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit for the next seven days. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communications from Middle Tennessee State University. Most manufacturers advise waiting three to seven days before exposing grout to moisture. Make plans, so you’re not rushing to use the newly-grouted area. Minimum 24 hours before exposing to water. View the full instructions. Hopefully, this encourages you to always read and follow the instructions before using any grout sealing product. You may use a brush, broom or a vacuum to clear away any debris that might get in the way of your grouting job. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Do not use a dry sponge to attempt clean up of your grout lines. 1) Unsanded grout. In a rush to get your grout to dry faster? How Long Does It Take for Mortar to Dry? How to Protect Grout Lines From Discoloration, Bathroom Flooring Ideas: How to Grout Tile Like a Professional, Floors Transformed: Premixed Grout and Thinset Warning, How to Grout Thin Joint Lines in Mosaic Marble Floors, How to Use a Grout Bag to Grout Ceramic Tile. Make sure your sponge is not too wet and that you do not press into the grout lines too hard. It’s common to find mold and mildew in between tiles because of the porous nature of grout. White Dry Non-Sanded Grout: Mist occasionally with clean, cool water for three days. Use this as an excuse to go to a nice hotel or camping for a few days nearby, where you can still go back home to check on the grout or do some touch-ups. View the full instructions. The best thing you can do is wait longer than the recommended drying time that’s listed on the manufacturer’s label. If you found this article helpful, you should also check out: Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, Prudent Reviews earns fees when you click on links within our articles and make qualifying purchases. Instead of hardening within a few hours, you may find that some pre-mixed grouts take days or even weeks to harden. This is lengthened by low temperatures and shortened by higher temperatures. The grout lines should look even with the surface of the floor at this time, but there will still be excess grout around the lines and spread around the edges of the tile. It’s ready to use and resistant to chemicals after five days, as long as the temperature has remained above 73°F. Furan grout: The average drying time for furan grout is 24 hours. For example, a bathroom is usually the most humid room in the house, so the grout will take longer to dry there compared to the kitchen. Here are a couple of examples of popular cementitious grouts: Polyblend Plus, Starlike Crystal. Step 3: Now it’s time to grout. Unlike grout that you mix yourself, pre-mixed grouts have long drying times. 3 Things to Know About Thinset Dry Time 1. Instead of hardening within a few hours, you may find that some pre-mixed grouts take days or even weeks to harden. The information provided on this website is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for professional advice.Contact us: [email protected]. Epoxy grout is already water-resistant, so it doesn’t usually require sealing. The timing depends on the grout you use, so check the package for any directions it may list. Sanded grout is the most commonly used grout for ceramic, stone & porcelain tiles. However, if you install grout directly after installing ceramics, then you need more time, at least you have to be patient for 72 hours. However, the exact drying time depends on the type of grout, humidity levels, and whether you’re working indoors or outside. View the full instructions. The drying times of five popular tile grouts, according to the manufacturers. How Long Does Mortar Take To Cure? As construction projects progress, it can be exciting to reach the final stages. In most cases, you need at least 24 hours to dry the grout that you use there. (With 20 Examples), How to Fix a Cracked or Chipped Porcelain Sink (8 Easy Steps), How to Make a Shower Floor Less Slippery: 4 Simple Methods, The Ultimate Home Maintenance Checklist (Printable), How to Remove Candle Wax From Wood (4 Easy Methods), The Ultimate House Cleaning Checklist (Printable), How to Fix a Weak Flushing Toilet (8 Simple Solutions), Average Cast Iron Bathtub Weight (With 15 Examples). Averages are helpful, but real examples are even better. Here’s our guideline. Areas of high foot traffic may not be ideal for many pre-mixed grouts because they are less durable than cement based grout that you mix on your own. Thinset mortar is the cement used to place ceramic tile to floors, countertops, walls and other surfaces. Both are subject to variation depending on the brand and environmental conditions, but a basic recommended drying time is 72 hours when used in a shower tile job. The cracks, crumbles, weak joints, and flaking all allow moisture to penetrate the grout, which can lead to mold and mildew. In most cases, you should allow the grout to dry overnight before using that room as total dry time may take up to 24 hours. Take one of your buckets and mix the grout using your putty knife and following the directions stated on the grout’s packaging. You should typically give your grout 24 hours to dry. Once completing the tiling, allow 24 hours for the grout to cure completely before using water near the tile, such as taking a shower. Some recommend 24 hours of drying time, while others recommend up to 10 days. how long does it take for Mapei tile adhesive to dry? Grout can be sealed immediately after the cleaning whether wet or dry if you use the right product. The grout should definitly be dry or you simply seal the remaining water in the grout mixture in the grout. While traditional dry-mixed thinset only takes between 24 and 72 hours to cure on average, pre-mixed thinsets can take between four and six days in normal conditions, and up to two weeks to dry in humid and cold climates. You may get similar results using the tip of your index finger and running it along the lines. How long does it take for grout to dry? Allow the grout to dry for 15 minutes. I'm using Lowe's Lacrete modified. Be certain you have allowed the mortar to set on the tiles and that they are completely stationary before cleaning or applying the grout. If you are expecting poor weather conditions, make sure the area is covered by tenting while allowing at least a foot of space for airflow. If it’s in your bathroom, plan to use another bathroom for a little while. If you’re in a humid climate, time requirements are likely to be greater. And don't mix grout with a drill and mixing paddle. Grouting your own tile floors or walls is not difficult for a do-it-yourself project, and using pre-mixed grout found in most home improvement stores allows you to skip the hassles of mixing your own grout and instead apply a ready-to-use product that will save you some time. This will fill up the grout lines and will likely leave excess grout around the edges. Sealing your grout too early may damage it, most cement-based grout requires a 48 to 72 hours dry time before applying a sealer. Grout often takes longer to dry in tropical climates like Florida than in desert climates like Las Vegas. Some grouts may require you to wait 45 minutes or more between the time of application and when you clean off the grout for the first time. The only possible variables on this time would be caused by extreme humidity, air temperature and tile/grout porosity. I could not find it in my area so went with a premixed TEC grout - which has been working fine and has a similar price. Cure time may be extended, depending on caulking thickness and ambient conditions. Meal prep in advance so that you don’t have to cook. In general, the more moisture that’s in the air, the longer it takes for grout to dry. Overly dry grout is difficult to stir and crumbles. A few days of inconvenience outweighs the risk of damaging the grout by walking on it or exposing it to moisture too soon. Thickness Matters . For interior and protected installation, maintain a temperature of at least 50°F and leave for 72 hours. Dry sponges can actually stick to the fresh grout and pull it out of the lines, meaning you’ll have to reapply. The grout can peel and flake, which reduces its overall strength and appearance. Whichever option you choose, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to mix grout. Scoop a generous amount of the pre-mixed grout onto a trowel and apply it along the grout line between your tiles. All content on PrudentReviews.com is intended for informational purposes only. 24 hours? Although much less common, it is possible to mix grout too dry. For curing, leave it for 24 hours in temperatures above 50°F. And if you are going to seal it afterward, you will need to wait longer, around 72 hours, for it to dry completely. The less moisture that’s in the air, the quicker it will dry. Move items to another room so you don’t increase foot traffic in the newly grouted area. 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