Have you ever fixed tiles? Do you ever feel the need to know how much time a grout takes to get dry? If you work as a manufacturer and want to get details over the usual time taken by grouts to get dry and the factors that affect it, then read below.
When constructing a building, regardless of the wall or floor type, the basic requirements of ingredients to keep the tiles together without dissolution. Therefore, Grout came into existence. It acts as a binding agent and helps build floors with the utmost trust of no disintegration.
An important factor about the Grout is the time taken to get dry. Regardless of the fact that you are going to do it for the first time or you are a professional, this article can definitely help you understand the job better.
Grout normally takes 24-72 hours to dry, but there are still many factors that play a big role in determining how to long it takes grout to dry. You can check the same in this article below.
Grout Types and There Drying Time
Drying time is one of the significant factors in classification because different grouts exhibit different drying times. This is essential to note because, keeping in mind the point of application and whether that part is of immediate use or not, the grout is to be selected.
The below mentioned are a few grouts based on drying time –
Cementitious Grout has Portland Cement as the main component. In addition to this, filler substances, water-retaining agents, and pigmentation-inducing products for different colors are mixed. Majorly used for residential purposes and minorly for commercial purposes.
The color variation availability is very cool if you want to mix and match with other things, and the water retention part reduces drying time significantly. Also, it is porous and can stain floors. It can be used as tiling grout or flooring grout.
Cementitious Grout takes an average time of 72 hours to get dry.
Epoxy Grout strictly does not involve Portland Cement along with no water inclusion. It constitutes Epoxy (a resin in its nature), fillers of silica material, coloring pigments, and a coagulant for quick hardening.
- Less porous than cementitious grout
- The fastest setting among the three
- Implying heavy usage in commercial constructions.
- Can cause staining to a pervasive level. Hence, must be used with caution.
- It can be used as resin grout.
The average drying time taken by epoxy grout is just 24 hours.
Furan is also a resin but falls in a different category to Epoxy Grout. It needs no water involvement. Composition is of furan resin and fillers with an acid. This acid acts as a catalyst and catalyzes furan resin from an inactive state to an active form.
It requires a wax coating on the floor to be applied beforehand to prevent it from staining Suitable for exposure to hard chemicals and gases. It is the most challenging form of installation due to the compulsory use of a mask to not breathe in fumes and particular temperature maintenance during application. They are prominently used in laboratories and industrial plants. It can be used as resin grout.
This grout strictly takes 24 hours to get dry.
Factors Affecting Drying Time
- Humidity: Obviously humidity plays a vital role and hence we need to be extra careful of that. If you are applying the grout on the bathroom floor where humidity is much more or you live in a place where the air is usually humid, then the grout will take preferably more time to get dry.
- Indoors or Outdoors: Grout applied indoors will take more time to get dry than the outdoors because it does not get as much sunlight and heat as the outdoors. Also, the air and other factors make the outdoor grout dry faster. But in case, it rains, then Bad Luck!!
- Quality of Grout: There are various brands present out there and different brands have different drying times. You should choose wisely. Mostly expensive grouts of good brands are supposed to fix tiles properly and dry out fast.
- Proportion: The proportion of the grout and water also affects the drying time. In general, the proportion should be 1:1 for the best quality and fast drying time. In case you add more water mistakenly, remove the excess water as much as possible and then add more powder to it.
How is Grout Applied on Tiles?
In the application of grout on tiles, the main aim is to fit the tiles together, not leave any cracks and crevices for the growth of microbes, and save your feet from getting cut from the edges of tiles laid.
The process of applying grout is not complex as it may sound. The steps given below will easily guide you on how to apply grout on tiles –
Dry the tiles completely
Not even a single drop of water should be missed. If water is present while application, the tile glue will mix with grout and discolor it.
Prepare all alternatives, especially in applying grout to your kitchen or bathroom, by keeping your food in another room or storage space and finding another bathroom. You do not want to ruin the applied paste by accidentally stepping on it.
Let the Grout dry wholly
This may take around a day or two, but thorough drying is crucial for the grout to work. If the grout gets disturbed and distorted or doesn’t reach its drying time, then it’s just a waste of time and money. Be patient.
If opting for the additional option of ‘sealing’ (see below), you will have to wait even longer than the drying time, i.e., 2-3 days.
Use Drying Appliances
These may include AC, Hairdryer, Fans (ceiling/tabletop), Dehumidifier, etc. They help with removing excess moisture rapidly.
Remove excess Grout
This can only be done when the mixture is still wet and not completely dry. The best time would be after 20-30 minutes of application. Using a damp cloth or sponge yields the best results.
Sealing is the second-last step of grout application. It is done to protect the grout and, the tiles from damage by prolonging its durability, making the grout layer last longer than its original expiration. It is a coat over the dried grout which guarantees defense against anything harmful to it.
It is done at least for 2-3 days (exception: epoxy grout does not require a long time) after the grout application, double-check if the grout has dried or not.
A test can be performed by sprinkling a few drops of water; if the drops standstill, then the grout has dried, and if the drops get assimilated, then the grout has not yet dried and must immediately be reapplied.
Lastly, a closing step. Damp-curling refers to the process of layering the floor (sealed/non-sealed) with water-retaining material like a mop/cloth/paper for 3 days while continuously dampening the layer with water at the end of each day.
How To Make The Grout Dry Faster
- Make sure the tiles you are applying the Grout on are completely dry. Wet tiles will make the grout more watery and the drying time would just increase.
- Be patient and let the grout dry properly before you check up on it to avoid any deformity. If you touch them before it properly dries, they might fall off and you have to do the job all over again.
- You need to wipe away the excess grout over the tiles. It will provide the work a finishing touch as well as help the grout to dry faster.
- Dry air helps the grout to dry faster. So, turn on your air conditioner, fan, or dehumidifier.
- If the grout is applied in the bathroom or in any wet place, make sure not to run a single drop of water at that place. Keep the doors and windows open to let the air in as much as possible.
- Plants should not be at the place of applied grout as they release water vapor into the air.
Why is Drying Grout necessary?
Grouts are something that we need to be careful with. Imagine you have a wound and you took off the bandage without the wound properly healed, then you just have to suffer more. In the same way, if we don’t let the grout dry completely, then the tiles might not stick to the wall properly and you will have a poor result.
Let the grout dry so that you can have a good finishing in your bathroom, kitchen, floors, or any place where you have applied it. Make sure to read the instructions and follow the steps, so that you would get the work done perfectly and faster.
Grouting is a complex process. A person or a group of people planning to use it must go through each aspect of it, its merits and demerits, its types, and find the perfect one for your requirement. Wear gloves and a mask while doing this task. Also, if it is done by a professional, then it’s always better. Though applying grout doesn’t require much professionalism, use the right tool.
It is still a developing process and may reach greater heights soon with research and innovations. New types can be introduced with better characteristics and even broader applications than today.