How Long To Wait Before Grouting Tiles? [Fully Explained]

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You’re done tiling your house. Now you have everything you need to ground. But you have no idea how long it might take the tile to dry. Wondering what to do now? We have just the answer!

How long to wait before grouting tiles?

It may take 24 to 48 hours for the mortar to dry. However, this may vary depending on the grout material. Moreover, temperature, humidity, and air flows can also affect the drying time. But you can also use an air conditioner, or dehumidifier to speed up the process. 

Now, this was just the general idea of the entire explanation. To know more in detail, take a tour of our segment down below. 

How Long Does it Take for the Tile to Set or Cure?

The mortar will take about 24 to 48 hours to dry. However, for it to completely dry, it might take anywhere between 28 to 30 days. 

This curing process does not always necessarily follow a set schedule The temperature, airflow, water, and humidity will also affect this process. So let’s have a look!

Temperature

For the mortar to dry quickly, the temperature should be between 40°F and 100°F. Room temperature is ideal to speed this up. But if the temperature is really low the mortar would take longer to set in. 

Air Flow

Allow the mortar to dry naturally. Using other methods can dry up the mortar quickly without bonding it with the floor. Thus be patient and water teh tiles according to the instructions. 

However, in the case of exterior work, protect the mortared tiles from high wind. If necessary, add more water, it will prevent cracking. 

Water

When mixing the mortar follow the ratios specified by the mortar manufacturer. Otherwise, mismatched portions can make the grout watery or too dry and elongate the process. Hence you have to be mindful about this!

Humidity

The moisture in the air can also intervene in the drying process. Hence, if you’re working in a low humidity environment add more water to the mortar to help it cure. 

While in a high-humidity environment, add less water. However, comparatively, it might take longer!

Can You Wait Too Long to Grout Tile?

Nope. You can wait as long as you want before you grout the tiles. But maintain the 24-hour limit. However, make sure to keep the area clean and free of debris. 

Moreover, waiting too long might be a safer option in some cases. Such as if you’re not sure if the mortar has dried etc. otherwise, grouting too quickly can lead to a lot of problems. Moreover, it will also lessen the strength between the tile and cement!

What Happens If You Grout Before Mortar Is Dry?

If you grout too early, you might run into a lot of problems along the way. Hence, every grout package shows a time limit up to which you have to wait!

Let’s see what happens!

Weak Joints Between The Tiles 

If the grout doesn’t have enough time to bond with the tile, the joints will be weak. This might result in hole splits or gaps in the grout lines. Thus moisture from grout might seep through these gaps and ruin your tile!

Moreover, these gaps can also cause your tile to crack, shrink and crumble. Hence you might have to redo this again!

Peeling, Flaking & Discoloration Of The Tiles

The grouts and cement might mix together and form a weird combination. This might cause the grout to peel and flake. Also, the grout might lose color and turn into an ugly color. This won’t match with your tiles, moreover, won’t last long!

Mold and Mildew

The gaps formed by the mixture might become a breeding ground for mold and mildew. This will slowly cause the mortar to decay and emit a disgusting smell! There are ways to remove mold and mildew from tile grout. But this can be time-consuming.

How To Speed Up The Drying Process?

Although you have to wait a day for it to dry, you can definitely speed up the process. Firstly, make sure to use the accurate proportion of water mentioned in the instruction. 

Secondly, you can use a high cement content mix. This takes comparatively less time to dry. And to help you out we have some suggestions:

Product 1
Product 2

You can use one of these and see how fast the mortar dries.

Moreover, instead of using lightweight aggregates, use synthetic ones. These don’t absorb water and hence will reduce drying time. 

Also, maintain the temperature, airflow, humidity, and water limit. This will also help speed the drying process.

Trying to speed up the drying process is much better than grouting early. Because otherwise, you’ll have to redo the tiling process. Retiling can take a long time and you’ll have grout again as well.

Can You Tile And Grout On The Same Day?

Unfortunately, tile and grout cannot be installed on the same day. It takes at least a day for the mortar to dry. Only after that, you can start grouting your tiles. 

However, for high content cement mix, you can start grouting within 12 hours or so. Hence always read the instruction manual for the appropriate waiting time!

That’s basically everything you need to know about this. You can now move on to grout your tiles. However, make sure the grout is in proper condition before you mix!

FAQs

Question: Can you apply thinset over dried thinset?

Answer:  New thinset can be applied over existing thinset. But only if the previous thinset is leveled. Use a floor grinder to go over the old thinset until it is totally smooth and level. You can now tile directly on top of it.

Question: Can you replace the thinset after it dries?

Answer: Yes, you can replace it. Using a chisel, scrape away any dried thinset. Chip the thinset from the tile without scratching it. Remove any residual thinset from the grout lines with a grout scraper. 

Question: Does Thin-set shrink while drying?

Answer: Thinset does shrink while drying. But that too only a little bit. The thinset can also shrink due to the weight of the tile. That’s why you should buy the thinset recommended for small and large tiles. This will reduce the shrinkage. 

Conclusion

Lastly, we hope you know how long to wait before grouting tiles. Hence follow these instructions and suggestions carefully. And by the end of this, you’re going to have yourself a beautifully tiled and grouted floor. 

That’s all from us. Until next time, take care!

Melissa Hawkins