Using a grout sealant is essential for ensuring your tile projects last a long time. You want to know you’re using it correctly, so it helps to understand how long it takes to dry.
Grout sealer can take 24 to 48 hours to dry completely but cures in 72 hours. However, it depends on what you use and other factors. For example, a spray-on sealant takes one hour to dry, but you’ll need at least three coats to protect the grout effectively. But liquid sealant takes much longer.
In this article, I’ll discuss how long it takes grout sealer to dry. Several conditions can speed up and slow down the amount of time, so you’ll want to keep reading.
- 1 How Long Until Grout Sealer Dries?
- 2 Factors That Impact Drying Times
- 3 How To Speed Up Grout Sealer Drying Time
- 4 How Do You Know Grout Sealer is Working?
- 5 Final Thoughts
How Long Until Grout Sealer Dries?
You’ll start by applying your grout sealer according to the instructions. Most products, whether you’re using a liquid or spray-on variant, will have you wait an hour between applications before you apply the next layer. However, it’s always good to check the label first.
In general, you will want to apply three coats of grout sealer to your tiles for the best protection from water damage. Once the sealant is in place, it’ll take at least 24 hours for your grout sealer to dry to the point it’s no longer tacky. After that, it will take another day or two to cure.
The grout sealant doesn’t offer complete protection until it cures completely, usually taking about 72 hours. You’ll want to be careful with the tile until that amount of time passes.
Most grout sealer products will take a handful of days to dry completely. It’s a long process, but offering your grout protection from water and debris is essential. Plus, it makes it easier to keep the grout lines clean without damaging them.
Grout Sealer Types and Drying Times
Different types of grout sealers will take varying amounts of time to dry. For instance, a spray-on sealer won’t take as long as a liquid sealer. Most spray-on sealants take one to three hours to dry and are safe to walk on after five hours. Although, they take a long time to apply since you need to wait one hour between coats, at least.
Liquid grout sealer takes longer. After two hours, the surface might feel dry to the touch, but it takes at least a full day to dry through completely.
Plus, you’ll need to consider whether you have an acrylic or epoxy-based sealant. Acrylic sealers take less time, usually about an hour, to dry. On the other hand, epoxy-based sealants can take longer than 12 hours.
Factors That Impact Drying Times
Next, many conditions can increase or decrease the time it takes your grout sealer to dry. These include:
● Grout Sealer Product and Brand
Every manufacturer is going to make a grout sealer with different drying times. Some brands even offer products that cure quicker, so you always want to research before buying. The drying time can even vary among a company’s different grout sealants.
● Humidity Levels
First, the air’s humidity can significantly impact drying times. The more humid it is, the longer it takes to dry. If you live somewhere incredibly humid, the grout sealer could take another full day to cure completely.
The moisture in the air makes it take much longer for water in the sealant to evaporate, making it dry very slowly. Overall, you’ll want to plan for this if it’s humid where you live.
● Surrounding Temperatures
Next, the temperature will impact the drying time as well. If you’re applying grout sealer somewhere hot, it will remove several hours of drying time. However, the opposite is true if you’re somewhere colder, so make sure to plan accordingly.
● Layer Thickness
Lastly, how thick you apply the layers of grout sealer will significantly impact drying. It won’t cure properly if you use too much, so make sure to work in thin, even layers.
Making thicker layers adds to the drying time–no matter what brand or product you use.
How To Speed Up Grout Sealer Drying Time
You’ll need to change the above-mentioned conditions to speed up drying times. Start by choosing a product that says it’s fast-drying, then use a dehumidifier to keep the air dry. If you live somewhere especially humid, then a dehumidifier is a must. Putting a fan in the room can also keep air moving, which helps with drying.
If the grout sealer is drying in the bathroom, you’ll want to wait 24 to 48 hours until you run the shower. Warm water would add moisture back into the air, adding time. Plus, if the tiles are in the shower, you don’t want to get them wet until the sealer cures entirely.
You also need to control the layer thickness from the beginning. Take care not to apply thick layers of grout sealer. You’ll have better final results and won’t increase the drying time.
How Do You Know Grout Sealer is Working?
After waiting at least 24 hours, you can test if your grout sealer has cured correctly. It’s quick and simple to do.
You know grout sealer works if you put a drop of water on it, and it turns into a bead that sits on the surface. It’s not working if you put water on it, absorbing it into the grout. If that happens, you’ll need to apply a few more layers of sealer.
You can also spray the grout with water and see how it reacts. Overall, you don’t want to see it disappearing into the grout lines–the water should remain on the surface. You should use this trick every few years to see if you need to reseal the grout.
To summarize, it can take grout sealer 72 hours to fully cure. While it might be dry before that point, you don’t want to touch it too much. If you’re applying multiple layers of sealant, wait for an hour or two between applications so you can build layers.
You must let your grout sealer dry thoroughly to get the best results. Always check the label for more information since drying times vary between brands.