How to Remove Dry Grout from Tiles
When you are adding a tiled finish to your porch or garage, grout comes in handy in fixing and settling the tiles. It is a runny mixture of water, cement and sand which fills the gaps and securely places your tiles and gives a smooth finish. It makes your ceramic tiles water resistant in all weather conditions.
Actual Drying Times of 5 Popular Grouts
However, the drying time of grout depends on many factors. The average is anywhere between 24 to 72 hours. There are 5 popular types of grout. Quarry type, cement, unsanded, epoxy, and finely sanded. Ideally you should allow them to dry overnight and let rest for at least 24 hours. Most packages come with instructions, so be sure to follow them.
For example; unsanded grout usually takes 48 to 72 hours. Cement grout takes about 72 hours. Sanded grout ideally needs longer than 72 hours. Epoxy grout dries in about 24 hours. Quarry types take an average of 24 hours. Hence Epoxy and Quarry are quicker than the rest. A rule of thumb is to wait longer than recommended time just to be sure.
Factors That Impact the Drying Times of Grout
A lot of environmental factors are at play when it comes to drying time of grout. Number one factor is humidity of your room or area you are applying the tiles in. Grout dries when its moisture is evaporated in the air. In high humidity, the grout will dry out slower.
Location also matters; whether you are working indoors or outdoors, if you live near the sea or even have indoor plants, it will ultimately affect the amount of moisture in the air. But you can fix that if you want the grout to harden faster. Get a dehumidifier or turn on an air conditioner. Moreover, the weather plays a major role too. If it’s rainy, snowy, or cold outside, it will take longer to dry.
Warmer temperature will make grout dry faster by increased evaporation. Climate also plays a role, for instance tropical climates will take longer for it to dry, whereas if you live in a desert climate it will take less time.
How to Make Grout Dry Faster:
You must be wondering of ways to make it dry and harden faster. Well, in addition to using an air conditioner, you can turn on a fan, that will do the job too. You can also protect your project from the harsh weather conditions like rain or snow, by using a water-proof covering or shield. You can also remove any plants near the project to reduce the water content in the atmosphere. All these tips will keep the air dry and help grout in hardening.
What Happens if Grout Doesn’t Dry Properly:
It is quite a sorry sight when your home project is ruined due to improper drying of grout. It can look very ugly as well. It can crack and split open if it’s exposed to moisture too soon. Similarly, the gaps may not fill properly, causing seepage through the porous cracks and holes. It may peel and flake away if you try to seal it before it has completely dried up. If you have used a light-coloured grout, it may lose its colour due to not being cured properly.
Simple tip to remove dry grout:
Suppose you have almost finished the project but need to clean up leftover dry grout from the tiles, here’s what you need: Get a tub of hot water, mix with granulated sugar and scrub like you have never scrubbed before. Or you can use sulfamic acid cleaner and scrap it with a paper towel to get a clean finish.
Needless to say, you need a lot of patience when doing a ceramic tile DIY home renovation project. But we hope this article has answered some of the inconveniences that appear when getting your hands dirty. Happy renovating!