What is grout? Now, this is an intriguing question and the most interesting element of this question is the various impressions used by homeowners to describe what it is.
- ‘The foul stuff on the shower walls’
- ‘The dirty mud-like material oozing from our tiles’
- ‘the reason why we have to scrub our tiles all the time’ “OR”…
- ‘mucky stuff on the floor’
Grout, for all intent and purposes is an excellent material used to fill gaps and openings in surfaces during construction. Its basic components are water, cement, and sand. Primarily, grout is used in tiling, because when tiles are laid on the floor or walls, grout is used to fill the gaps, adding a level of permanence.
However, that is not the only task it is used for. Grout is also used to fill deep-rooted voids in the building materials, for instance, it is used to fill up hollow concrete blocks or holes in the walls.
There is no definitive time frame of when or how long you should wait before sealing the grout. The process can be as short as a couple of hours or as long as a couple of weeks, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions. In terms of tiles, first, you grout the tiles. Then, you wait for three days until your grout sets and apply the sealer which takes several hours before drying.
Your grout manufacturer is going to ask you to cure the grout for a week or two (this will be mentioned in your sealer’s instructions). The amount of time you are supposed to let the grout cure, how long will it take for the sealer to dry before you could walk on the floor, when to apply the sealer and when to allow the water to touch the tiles – all of this should be clear from the instructions. There is a seven day wait period after tile installation before it can be submerged in water. It takes three days for the grout to get cured depending on the level of humidity in the environment.
Most sealers dry within 5 hours, however, there are a few that take over 2 days, which is why it is recommended to always wait 48 hours before allowing traffic to be on the safe side. If you are not sure whether the sealer has dried up, test it by sprinkling a few drops of water onto the grout line. If the water drops accumulate over the grout line, then you are good to go. If the grout absorbs the water, it means it has not dried up fully and you should reapply the sealer immediately.