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
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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 longer 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.
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 overtime while light-colored grouts stain easily. It is not ideal to use light-colored grout for your kitchen.
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.