Grout is the specialized mortar between floors and coatings. It may seem solid and impenetrable, but it is the most porous part of the tile surface. Applying a special liquid chemical sealant helps prevent moisture from entering it and prevents stains from forming. Sealing too soon after installing the grout is a mistake because if moisture is still present, the sealant will not work properly. However, waiting too long is also a problem, as the grout could absorb stains and water damage during that time.
How long does it take for grout to dry?
Grouting is the last step that is carried out in the whole process of laying the tiles, however, it is a very important point and that we should not overlook. It will take 18 to 20 hours to dry.
Install the grout
Proper grout installation is crucial for sealant application to work properly. There are two basic types of grout: with and without sand. The grout with sand is for grout lines of 1/8 inches (3.2 mm) or more and is standard in ceramics, porcelain and most clay-based tiles. Marble, slate and other stone tiles are generally placed 1/16 inch (1.6 mm) and require grout without sand to fit in narrow lines.
Both types need sealing. Let the grout sit for 10 minutes in the bucket before application, to allow the chemicals to mix. The grout should sit on the tile lines for a minute before you wipe off the excess with a damp sponge.
Heal and prepare
Healing is the process in which grout is completely dried and fixed to its final state, so there will be no movement or transfer of moisture. Different types of grout require different curing times before sealing, some as little as two days.
In general, it is better to wait 30 days to make sure that it is completely cured. During that time, the grout is vulnerable to stains, so use the area carefully. To prepare the grout lines for sealing, clean them completely, using 50-50 water and bleach solution and a stiff toothbrush. Let it dry completely. Make sure there are no stains on it before sealing it.
The sealer comes in two general types: superficial and penetrating. The surface sealer fits on the top of the grout and forms a glossy layer and is the best choice for tiles with high gloss varnish. The penetrating sealant permeates the grout and is less shiny, making it better for smooth or natural stone tiles.
Both types are usually applied with a thin sponge applicator on the sealant canister, although for very thin grout lines you may want to use a brush for artist details. Keep a damp cloth on hand to clean any sealant that passes to the tile surface. Let the sealer settle for a day before resuming use of the area.
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