Home improvement efforts are maximized if you know how long does it take for grout to dry.
Composed of thin spaces or grout joints, a grout is useful to fill tile gaps and fit them together to protect you from wounds caused by tile edges. It is also used to prevent unwanted dirt and bacteria in between tile spaces.
Different Types of Grout According to Composition
To enjoy the benefits of a grout, you must allow it to dry. 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. Here are the types of grout commonly used for ceramic tiles.
1) Unsanded grout. This is used for grout joints with a width of less than 1/8”. This is commonly used on wall tiles.
2) Finely sanded grout. This is used for grout joints with a width ranging from 1/8″ to 3/8″. This is often used for floor tiles.
3) Quarry-type grout. This is used for grout joints with a width ranging from 3/8” to 1/2″. This is also used for floor tiles, but it utilizes a coarser kind of sand.
4) Epoxy grout. This highly resistant grout, made of epoxy resin and hardener, is maximized in places prone to chemicals and stains. Its material is robust enough to keep tiles together.
Other External Factors Affecting Grout Drying
Drying your applied grout does not only depend on the type used but also involves external factors. Here are other external factors that affect the drying of your grout.
1) Temperature. The higher the temperature, the easier the evaporation of moisture from your grout.
2) Humidity. High temperatures usually create a humid atmosphere. In contrary, closed places contain more water vapor. When the grout starts to dry, the absorption of gas takes a long time since it competes with the space occupied by the existing moisture in the air.
3) Plants and flowers. You may want to decorate your room instantly, but placing your plants while drying your grout is not ideal. Plants also release moisture into the air, which prolongs the moisture on the grout.
Choosing the Right Size of Grout Joints
If you want to dry your applied grout quickly, you must also consider its width or thickness. Here are things to consider in choosing the grout joint sizes to use.
- Find the kind of sand to be used. Coarser sand is highly recommended for wider joints to prevent the cracking and shrinking of ceramic tiles.
- The standard width of grout joints used for walls is 1/16”, while it’s 1/4″ for floors.
- The smallest size of a grout joint should be 3/16″ because straight lines are hard to create with a minuscule joint.
- Thicker grout joints are friendlier to larger tiles, more accommodating to other pipe sizes, and more adaptable to irregularly-shaped tiles. However, thinner grout joints are more pleasing regarding aesthetics.
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Maximizing the Benefits of Your Successful Dried Grout
Finally, to ensure that a successful grout application will dry out easily and will not break right away, consider doing these things.
1) Plan ahead of time
Think of which rooms to grout first. If you intend to grout your bedroom, you need an alternative space to sleep in. You also need to get all your stuff before applying grout to prevent stepping on your tiles accidentally.
If you plan to use grout in your kitchen, you need to prepare your meals ahead of time and place your refrigerator elsewhere.
2) Use an air conditioner, dehumidifier, or electric fan for quick drying of grout. They aid in the circulation of air in between and across the surface of your tiles.
3) Clean excess grout with a wet sponge after 15 or 30 minutes of application.You need extra effort in removing excess grout when it’s totally dried up.
4) Use grout sealers or latex additives to prevent fluids from penetrating the grout.Grout contains sand, and sand is permeable by water. However, grout sealers are not used on epoxy grout and non-glazed tiles.
It can be applied using a brush, roller, or spray. On the other hand, latex additives act as a rubber-like covering on the grout, which does not absorb stains.
5) Grout color is not only a design element but is also beneficial in your operations after a long time. Matching colors give a consistent look and are usually applicable to granite and marble tiles. Contrasting colors aim to highlight your tiles and generally apply to thicker groups.
In general, neutral colors are the safest choice, because dark-colored groups fade over time while light-colored grouts stain easily. It is not ideal to use light-colored grout for your kitchen.
How Can I Get Grout to Dry Faster?
If you are wondering how to get grout to dry faster, there are a few things you can do. Moisture can slow down the process of drying, so using an air conditioner or fan will help speed up the process. You can also open windows and doors to help circulate air. If you are able to control the humidity in your home, that will also help the drying process.
What Happens if Grout Gets Wet Before it Cures?
If you get grout on your clothing, it’s best to act quickly. Wet grout can cause permanent staining.
Grout is a cement-based material used to fill the spaces between tiles. When grout is mixed with water, it forms a paste that is then applied to the joints between tiles. Once the grout dries, it becomes hard and provides a waterproof seal.
If grout gets wet before it dries, it can become soft and chalky. The surface will absorb water and the grout will swell. This can cause the grout to fracture and fall away from the tile surface. In some cases, wet grout can also cause staining.
What Happens if Grout Doesn’t Dry Properly
What may occur if grout doesn’t dry completely is as follows: Flakes and peels: This is typically due to sealing the grout before it has completely cured. Its overall strength and aesthetics are diminished by the grout’s propensity to peel and flake.
Weak joints: If the grout isn’t given enough time to dry, it won’t be able to make a solid connection between the tiles, leading to gaps, holes, or splits. Due to these problems, moisture can enter between the tiles and damage the joints.
Crumble and crack: Grout is more likely to do these things if it isn’t given enough time to dry. This typically happens if the grout is exposed to moisture before it has fully dried.
Grout cracking in tiles: The risk of grout collapsing and cracking rises if it is not allowed to dry completely. This typically happens if the grout is exposed to moisture before it has fully dried.
Discoloration: If you choose white or light-colored grout, this will stand out more. If the grout isn’t given enough time to cure, it becomes discolored, resulting in an uneven tint between the tiles.
Mold and mildew: Improper grout drying increases the possibility of mold and mildew accumulation. Because grout is permeable, mold and mildew are frequently found in the spaces between tiles. Moisture can enter the grout through fractures, crumbles, weak joints, and flaking, which can result in mold and mildew. It can be tough to remove the mold without damaging the tiles if it develops behind the tiles.
And there you have it! Aside from knowing how long does it take for grout to dry, you must also keep in mind the types of grout, the right sizes of grout joints, the external factors affecting grout drying, and some additional advice to maintain your grout through the years. You just have to follow instructions carefully.