How Long Does Grout Take To Dry?


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Man grouting tiles in bathroom

Are you planning to renovate your kitchen or bathroom tiles? Then grouting is an essential procedure that you must comply with to ensure the best possible result. Unfortunately, one of the most common questions regarding the whole grouting process is how long it takes for the grout to dry thoroughly. In this article, we will be tackling this question and other vital factors that affect the overall drying time of the grout.

Generally, a grout can take 24 to 72 hours to dry thoroughly. The exact drying time will depend on the type of grout, the brand, and the environment. Checking the label, you will see that most manufacturers recommend giving the grout at least a week to eliminate grout moisture. 

We suggest that you follow the manufacturer’s specific instructions as different brands tend to implement other ingredients and techniques in developing their grout. As a rule of thumb, the longer you wait for the grout to dry, the better. So, if the instruction states to give it five days, it wouldn’t hurt to give it an extra day.

Factors that Affect the Grout’s Drying Time

As stated earlier, there are several factors that you should consider regarding how long a grout will take to eliminate moisture. Below is a detailed expansion on these factors.

The Type of Grout Used

The most vital factor is the type of grout that you will use. There are four different types of grout available, these are:

  • Cement or Quarry Type
  • Un-sanded
  • Finely Sanded
  • Epoxy

It is always best to check the manual instruction on using these grout types. The manufacturer will also note the recommended drying time required, so do not skim the instructions. Also, apply the extra time rule here as it is best to ensure that the grout is fully dry.

Humidity 

Since grout needs to dry thoroughly to achieve its desired application, you can see why having high humidity can be detrimental to its most crucial process. If your bathroom or shower has an exceptionally high level of moisture, you can expect this to affect the overall drying time of the grout severely.

Manufacturers’ instructions tend to base their recommended drying time on an ideal setting. However, areas, where the climate is colder or has higher humidity will require a couple of extra days to ensure that the grout is dry and ready.

You can counter the high humidity by putting a dehumidifier or having an air conditioner on and opening the bathroom/shower.

Grout Type and Their Average Drying Time

To further expand your knowledge about the grout drying time, we list down below specific grout types and the average drying time for each.

Cement-based Grout – The standard drying time of a cement grout is around 72 hours. This type of grout is the most common and the most affordable. It has a rough sand-like texture and is porous, which means it will need a sealant if you plan on using it in the bathroom or shower.

Grouting ceramic tiles

Sanded and Un-Sanded Grout – Cement-based grout comes in two types: sanded and un-sanded options. Like the cement grout, both versions will require at least 72 hours to dry fully. However, we do recommend giving it extra time before you expose the grout to any level of moisture.

Epoxy-based Grout – Epoxy grout is the more expensive option, offering the most advantages. For one, the average drying time of epoxy grout is at least 24 hours. It also does not require a sealant and is waterproof and stain-resistant.

Furan Grout – Furan grout is similar to the epoxy-based option and will require around a day to dry. Furan is composed of polymers and is known for its high temperature and chemical resistance.

Tips on How to Make Grout Dry Faster

Looking to speed up the grout drying process? Here are some techniques that you can implement, especially if you live in an area that has high humidity:

  • Place a dehumidifier inside the bathroom or shower.
  • Turn on the air conditioner and open the bathroom door to help dry the air.
  • Place a fan to help improve airflow inside the room.
  • Remove plants from the bathroom, if you have any.
  • If outdoors, place a layer of protection from moisture and natural elements over the grout.

Why You Should Always Make Sure to Dry the Grout Properly

Several things could happen if you do not let the grout dry properly, and none of them is good. Here are the issues you will encounter if the grout doesn’t dry properly.

The Grout Will Start Peeling Off 

Improperly dried grout will cause trouble once you apply it with a sealant. Problems such as a flaxy surface that peels off are just one of the potential issues you will come across. This issue will leave your grout with an unattractive appearance and pretty much reduces its overall durability.

Gaps in Between Tiles

If the grout fails to dry properly, it will lose its critical adhesive capability. You can quickly tell if the grout is improperly dried if you see visible cracks, gaps, and holes between the tiles. In addition, the weakened joints will lack any water resistance and are pretty much at the mercy of moisture and natural elements.

Visible Discoloration

Another way to determine if the grout did not dry properly is to start developing discoloration. This issue is more prevalent if you use light-colored or white grouts. The discoloration will leave the grout lines with a sickly yellowish hue.

Faster Mold and Mildew Buildup

An improperly dried grout will suffer from cracks and holes, making it susceptible to mold and mildew build-up as it lacks any decent water resistance. In addition, the small cracks will allow moisture and dirt to penetrate in between the tiles, thus the quick spread of mold and mildew.

How Long Does the Grout Sealant Need to Dry?

For those using cement-based grout, a sealant will be a crucial component to help improve its water-resistant capability. Like the grout, the bond will also need to dry to properly provide waterproofing for your tiles.

The drying time for sealers will depend on the brand, but it will typically need about 24 hours on average. Take note that some sealants are recommended to be left to dry for up to three days.

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