Optimizing Grout Drying Time: Factors, Tips, and Mistakes to Avoid for Perfect Results

Optimizing Grout Drying Time Factors, Tips, and Mistakes to Avoid for Perfect Tiling Results

Grout is the final filling between the tiles to stick them together properly. You invested in beautiful trendy tiles and are ready to make them shine in your house, but if you haven’t given enough time for the grout to dry, your efforts and time will be in vain. For the grout to strongly fix the tiles together, you need to give it the proper time to dry so it might not crack or weaken later. Grout might take longer to dry completely, depending on a few factors listed in this blog post.

Usually, grout packaging has its drying time displayed on it, but besides this, there are some external factors such as climate, humidity level, and the spot where the grout is applied that determine significantly how long it will take to dry. But before looking into the determinants of grout drying time, look into the various terms related to grout.

Grout Application/Setting

This term refers to applying grout between the tile to ensure that the tiles remain fixed together.

Grout Drying

It describes when the grout gets dry and does not feel sticky or wet upon touching.

Grout Curing

It describes the whole purpose of grouting, which means that the molecular changes that occur in the grout result in the development of a strong bond between the tiles that come under the umbrella of grout curing.

Only drying the grout is not necessary for strong tiling, but you need to ensure the grout is properly cured before you start walking on the floor. A whole curing process happens between the tiles in which a well-bonded structure is developed between each tile after the calcium silica components in the grout are bonded with the sand particles.

Factors that Determine the Drying Time of the GroutFactors that Determine the Drying Time of the Grout

It’s not the grout application or drying time that takes hours, but the drying time of the grout that significantly affects the finishing of the tiles. Before walking upon the newly installed tiles, ensure they have completely dried because any negligence might aggravate mold growth, cracking, or peeling. It is important to allow proper time for the grout to dry, which can be estimated using a tile calculator, to save your floor from such disasters.

Mixing grout with too much water increases the drying time, so knowing how to mix the grout correctly is important. Here are a few factors, including the use of a tile calculator, upon which the grout drying and curing time depends a lot; if you take care of these factors, you will produce less damage to the tiles.

Environmental Factors

First and foremost, the environmental conditions determine a lot about how much time the grout will take to dry. The humidity level, the surrounding moisture, and the traffic in the area, are some of the external and vital factors. For example, a room has a lower moisture level as compared to the bathroom, so grout in the bathroom tiles will take longer time to dry as compared to the room. Also, during the winter, the drying time of all types of grout increases due to the absence of heat. Any grout done on the exterior takes more drying time than indoor grout, as the humidity and heat level are easier to control during the interior projects compared to the exterior.

Types of Grout

No. Not all types of grout take the same amount of time to dry. The drying time significantly depends upon the type of grout being used, so if you are thinking about how long you should wait to take a shower in a freshly tiled bathroom, look for the type of grout that has been used. Whether it is epoxy or cementitious grout, both work great as an adhesive agents but with a few differences.

Epoxy Grout

If you are looking for grout that dries faster, epoxy grout will work great for you. It only takes 24 hours to cure completely, so you don’t have to wait for days to let it dry. It is made by simply mixing a hardener into epoxy resin, and due to being non-absorbent, it is a much better option than cementitious grout.

Cementitious Grout

This type of grout is available in the sanded or unsanded form and takes longer to dry than epoxy grout. The sanded grout is effortless to apply and easier to remove from the top of the tiles. It takes 72 hours for the sanded grout to dry completely, but the time can get long sometimes. After applying it to the bathroom tiles, you should layer it with a penetrating sealer to establish a stronger adhesive bond.  The unsanded grout takes a maximum of 72 hours to dry and is quite difficult to handle while applying.

Cementitious grout comprises water-retentive additives, so while it is applied on the tiles, it does not quickly absorb the moisture, which is why cementitious grout takes longer to dry compared to epoxy grout.

Furan Grout

Furan grout comprises polymers of fortified alcohol and is usually used in industries. The durable furan grout takes almost 24 hours to dry completely. Due to the thermosetting materials used in the furan grout, it can withstand harsh conditions and are ideal for application in industries and kitchens.

How to Find out If the Grout is Completely Dry?Grout is Completely Dry

So after the given drying time of the grout has passed, this is the time to see if the grout has dried or not. The wet grout looks darker in color as compared to the dry grout, which is lighter. The grout is applied in the patches, and as time passes, the first grout gets lighter in color, exhibiting that this batch has dried. If the grout is not dried, it will start to crumble upon walking or touching. To ensure the longevity of the grout, it is recommended to give it a proper time to dry and cure. When mixed with a large amount of water, the grout will become flaky and peel away easily upon drying.

How to Make Grout Dry Fast?

The grout will dry in its given time, and there is no magical formula to let it dry before time. However, if you have less time and want to dry it faster, try removing humidity from the surroundings. You may use a dehumidifier or an electric fan to keep the humidity level as low as possible. You may also remove indoor plants to decrease the moisture, eventually speeding up the grout drying time.

However, waiting patiently and giving the grout proper time to dry is advised. The hard work you put into applying it should not get wasted due to hassle. Looking for faster ways of drying grout may lead to ruining the entire project, so always consider that beforehand.

What will Happen if the Grout is not Dried Properly?Grout is not Dried Properly

We all fear the terrible-looking flakes from the grout if it is not properly dried. It happens when the seal is applied on the wet or partially wet grout, negatively affecting its strength. Improperly dried grout establishes a strong bond between the tiles, eventually resulting in cracks and holes. These holes provide enough way for moisture to sneak in between the tiles. This is another reason the molds and fungus penetrate the tiles, weakening the strength between them and eventually breaking them. Also, If the partially wet grout comes in contact with the moisture, it leads the grout to peel and flake out.

Bottom Line

Always adhere to the manufacturer’s directions during grouting. Some advise drying for 24 hours, while others advise up to 10 days. So, it’s crucial to check. Cementitious grout typically needs 24 hours to cure, while epoxy and furan grouts need 72 hours. It is always suggested to never go out of patience during the drying process of the grout and wait for the time specified by the manufacturer. Until the grout is completely cured, do not walk on the floor, touch the tiles, or take a shower, as it can cause long-term damage to the tiles.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can grout dry in 12 hours?

Grout takes at least 24 to 48 hours to dry completely.

How do you make grout dry faster?

To speed up the drying process of grout, you need to decrease the room’s humidity level. You may take steps to decrease moisture from the surroundings, such as by using a humidifier to ensure that the grout dries out quickly.

How long after grout can I take a shower?

After grouting the tiles, you must give them a proper time to set and cure. You need to wait for at least 48 hours to shower after grouting as the freshly grouted tiles start peeling off when coming in contact with the water.

Can I dry the grout using a hairdryer?

A hairdryer can be used to dry grout, but it is always suggested to be patient with the grout drying process, as any hassle may lead to cracking or crumbling of grout.

Can I tile and grout on the same day?

You should wait for at least 48 hours to layering the grout after tiling to allow it a proper time to set.

Can I grout using my fingers?

Yes, you can grout with your fingers. Apply the grout with a float, then clean the excess grout with your fingers.

What happens if the grout is wiped out too soon?

If the grout is wiped out too soon, it may result in scratches and gouges.

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