When to grout tile is a common question from almost every client. Grouting usually happens within 24 to 48 hours after setting the tile. Waiting at least 24 hours is required because tile adheres to the surface with thinset mortar that needs to cure, or dry, before applying the grout.
Surface and Air Conditions Affect Drying Time
High humidity, hot temperatures or poor air flow increases the thinset drying time. Although mortar visible on the outside edges of the tile may appear dry, the center receives no air and dries more slowly.
The installation guide for VersaBond, a popular thinset mortar, says, “curing time is affected by ambient and surface temperatures and humidity. Use the following as a guideline. Allow 24 hours before grouting and light traffic, and 7-10 days before heavy or vehicular traffic. Submerged installations must cure for 14 days before filling with water.”
For small residential jobs and repairs, VersaBond SpeedSet mortar allows for grouting in as little as 3 hours and light traffic in 4 hours.
While the thinset cures, leave the tiles undisturbed. Prevent pets and people from walking on, touching or moving the tiles. After the tile installation, your installer will advise when to schedule your grout application. NC Tile clients can schedule the grout application online or call 866-973-4653.