Grouting your bathroom tile is one of the more important projects when redecorating or maintaining your bathroom. As the glue that holds your tiled floor and walls together, your grout must be done right. For a DIY project, you might wonder about how to successfully grout. Drying and setting are important steps; it's important to know the exact time grout should spend drying. Luckily we here at Home Decor Bliss have researched the answers for you.
Grout generally takes anywhere from 24 to 72 hours to dry completely. If that seems like quite the range to you, it's due to several factors that can lengthen the process, depending. The type of grout you use will impact how long it takes to dry. The humidity in both your general location and room will lengthen the expected dry time. Essentially, more water in the equation will lengthen the waiting time.
As in any situation with compounding factors, you are likely curious for more information on what to expect when drying fresh grout. Continue reading, and we'll go into depth on the process in your bathroom.
The Types of Grout
There are several types of grout frequently used in home renovation projects. The differing compositions of these types of grout make them dry at different rates, some taking longer than others. Knowing what type of grout you're using in your project gives you a much better window of reference for drying time.
Cementitious grout is what you'll generally find in use in home renovation projects. In its base form, cementitious grout has a sandy rough texture. It needs to be mixed with water before application, which requires it to be made with a water-retentive additive. This additive prevents it from absorbing too much moisture, but as a result, makes it take longer to dry. It also requires some form of sealant to protect the grout. Cementitious grout, due to these factors, will take upwards of 72 hours to dry completely.
Epoxy grout is another type of grout found in home renovation projects. A more expensive grout, epoxy grout, is much harder to apply than cementitious grout. In return, you get an incredibly resistant grout that can last through weather changes and stains. Research and potential professional help are likely with this type of grout, but if you're willing to put in the effort, it could be the grout for you.
Epoxy grout lacks any moisture additive and doesn't require sealing, unlike cementitious grout. As a result, its average drying time is drastically shortened to around 24 hours.
There are other types of grout like furan grout, but these are generally used in industrial settings and don't serve the purpose of a homeowner. Cementitious and epoxy are the grouts to look out for.
Read about it on Home Decor Bliss: "Should floor and wall grout match?"
Grout Drying Implications Based on Location
Another situation that plays into dry time is the location of where you are placing your fresh grout. There are multiple places to grout in the bathroom alone, from the floor to the walls where you are grouting impacts how you should react and what to expect.
How long does bathroom floor grout take to dry?
The bathroom is one of the more humid rooms in a house, generally speaking. A lot of water usage happens in the bathroom, and this can contribute directly to the length of time it takes for the drying process to finish. Considering the type of grout you're using, you should probably expect bathroom floor grout to take on the longer side of the stated timeframe.
Remember, when grouting your bathroom, always have an alternative place to shower and clean up. You must keep any use and moisture in the bathroom to an absolute minimum until it dries.
How long does grout take to dry on wall tiles?
Wall tiles don't differ much from floor tiles in terms of drying time. The grout is susceptible to the same varying factors that impact floor grout tile dry time. Being somewhat higher in the air than the floor level, wall grout can experience a slight increase in the dry time. But overall, the experience will be much the same, highly dependant on grout type and humidity levels.
Even though you can get away without touching walls far more so than the floor, it's recommended not to use your bathroom too much until wall grout is dry. Usage will only increase humidity levels and, therefore, dry time.
How long does tile grout take to dry before showering?
Always err on the long side of a cautious estimate when dealing with shower grout, given its obvious proximity to humidity and water. Keep in mind the grout type, whether or not it needs sealant. It's recommended to give another 24 hours of dry time between grouting and sealing if it's required. Have backup plans for showering. Having other methods of bathing and keeping clean will make the process of waiting infinitely easier.
Read more on Home Decor Bliss: "How to clean bathroom tiles."
What happens if grout gets wet before it cures?
It should be obvious by now, but avoiding moisture is the main goal of this grouting stage. Yes, it's inconvenient not to have a bathroom for up to 96 hours, including a sealant application. Wet grout fundamentally loses structural stability, and moisture can even lead to issues such as mold. If you noticed water got on uncured grout, take care of it immediately. Run fans on the compromised area, and make sure no moisture gets sealed onto the grout.
The best solution to prematurely wet grout is prevention, but accidents do occur. Keep in mind the problems that occur and act accordingly.
Can you speed up grout drying time?
Generally speaking, the only thing you can do when drying grout is waiting, so be patient. Acting prematurely will only damage the grout and undo the work you put effort into. Because it's based on chemical reactions, there is simply no magic bullet that causes the grout to cure in a couple of hours instead of up to a few days. You can do several things to reduce and keep humidity in your bathroom to a minimum, even if you live in a humid area.
Purchasing and running a dehumidifier will help keep the air in your bathroom as dry as possible. This is a beneficial tool if you live in humid areas where keeping your house free of moisture poses a challenge. If you live in drier climates, it's likely more cost-efficient to skip this purchase, but you can use your own discretion.
Remove Plants from the Room
Another contributing factor to humidity levels you might not have even thought of is house plants. Plants are constantly releasing moisture into the air, and their removal from your bathroom will help reduce moisture levels down. If your bathroom has a lot of plant life in it, definitely place them elsewhere for the duration of the grouting process.
These are some easy steps you can take to reducing external factors that compound the drying process and keep problems from arising. Ultimately, however, patience is the key.
Grouting your bathroom is a process. Factoring in the time and working with that required timeframe is as much a part of the said process as doing the grout itself. If you attempt to cut corners, your entire home can suffer for it. Understand the needs of your materials, help as best you can, and be willing to show patience, and your bathroom's grout will end up beautiful and strong for years to come.