Grout doesn’t only fill in the gaps between your wall tiles; it has a bunch of other applications. It goes into building materials and fills concrete walls and hollow blocks. So, whether you’re installing new bathroom tiles or renovating your kitchen backsplash, you’ll need to know how long to leave your grout to dry.
Grout typically dries in 1–3 days, depending on its type and the surrounding conditions. Humidity levels may affect the duration, as well as room temperature. As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t let your grout expose to moisture for 3–7 days after applying it, even if it’s dry.
How Long Does It Take for Grout to Dry
The duration of grout drying can vary according to its type. Each type has a different time due to different application methods and components. Here’s a roundup of the most common grout types and how long they take to dry.
Cementitious grout is mainly used in residential projects. It has a sand-like texture, and it needs mixing with water before application. To prevent it from absorbing too much moisture, the grout contains a water retention additive, which typically causes it to dry in a long time. The average drying time of cementitious grout is three days.
Epoxy grout is one of the most expensive types on the market. That’s why it’s not too familiar. It’s also hard to apply, so not anyone can do it, which is another reason it doesn’t have many uses.
The reason some people use it is that it’s resistant to weather conditions and grease. It doesn’t stain, either, which means it’s one of the most durable types, if not the most.
Epoxy grout doesn’t need any sealants as cementitious grout does, so it only takes one day to dry.
Furan grout is the most common type for industrial projects. It’s as durable as epoxy grout, and it’s also resistant to weather conditions and staining. It doesn’t have the same structure, though. Instead, it’s made of fortified alcohol polymers.
Like epoxy grout, it takes around 24 hours to dry.
How Humidity Affects Grout’s Drying Time
The humidity level in the room where you’re applying grout is a major contributor to its drying time. For instance, your bathroom is typically the most humid room in your house. If that’s where you’re applying the grout, you’ll wait for long before the grout dries. Plus, you’ll need to avoid walking on the grout for a couple of extra days.
On the other hand, if you’re using the grout in the kitchen or any other room, there won’t be enough humidity to affect it or make the process take longer.
The climate can also affect how long grout takes to dry. For example, if you live somewhere dry, the grout won’t take long to lose its moisture. We can’t say the same about tropical climates, where grout will surely take longer to dry.
How to Make Sure the Grout Dries Properly
If you want to ensure a successful grout application, there are a couple of steps you can take. Otherwise, you may expose your grout to unnecessary risks, and reapplying it isn’t convenient. Here’s everything you should do.
Leave the Grout to Dry Well
We all want to see the results of our work in the shortest time possible. However, with applications like grout, it’s better to leave it as long as you can. Giving it sufficient time to dry will let it look better, and you’ll be sure it’s ready to use.
Otherwise, the tiles may come loose if the grout hasn’t dried properly. Even worse, the adhesive can seep through the openings and discolor the grout. In that case, you’ll have to endure the hassle of redoing it, and no one has the time for that.
It’s always better to abide by the package’s instructions for the drying time. If you can leave it for longer without exposing it to moisture, do it. The longer, the better.
Plan Your Grouting Well
Planning is vital to get everything right. You don’t want to walk into the kitchen when the grout still isn’t dry for a snack. With appropriate planning, you’ll be able to leave each room to dry in a sufficient time without having to enter it.
For example, you can’t ditch your bathroom for one or three days without showering, so you’ll have to plan how you’ll shower. Bear in mind that grout shouldn’t get exposed to moisture even after it’s dry, so the showering thing may have to wait for days.
The same goes for any other room in the house. Plan for alternative accommodation if you need to. What’s important is staying away from the grout until it completely dries.
Encourage the Grout to Dry
If you can’t wait for the grout to dry, you may use external help. For example, an electric fan will do a wonderful job if you direct it to the wall. It’ll help the grout dry faster so that you can use the room faster.
You may also use a dehumidifier. It’ll reduce the room’s humidity level, leaving the grout to dry without any moisture around. If you’re applying grout in a room where there’s an air conditioner, you may use that on a low setting too.
Remove the Excess Grout
Removing the excess grout before it dries is essential. If you leave it for long, it’ll dry, and it’ll be extremely hard to remove it. Plus, it’ll cause the grout to take longer to dry, and you don’t need that.
After 15 or 30 minutes of applying the grout, remove all the excess parts. You can use a wet sponge for the process.
As long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and leave the grout to dry for a sufficient time period, your tiles will turn out sleek and neat. Waiting for it to dry is inconvenient; we’ll give you that. However, the results will be worth the effort!