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How Long To Let Grout Set Before Wiping?

Grout is applied to fill gaps or as reinforcement for certain structures. Before wiping it, let it set for around 15 to 30 minutes. After that, you can soak a grout sponge in water to remove any excess.

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In this article, you will learn about grout’s capabilities, purpose, common types, and some tips to help you in your next project.

What Is A Grout And Why Is It Needed?

So what is grout, and why would anyone need to use it? In the tile installation process, grout fills the tile joints once the tiles are set. 

Grouts typically come as a powdered mixture of cement, lime, color pigment, and sometimes sand. This mixture then hardens when combined with water and is left to cure.

And using grout has several advantages. It offers your floor or wall a clean look and keeps dirt and debris out of between and beneath your tiles. Additionally, grout gives the tile installation more firmness and stability.

It is best to use the right grout that suits your application. You can start by measuring the tile spacing. If the spaces are more than 1/8 inch, it is recommended that you use sanded grout. 

Using unsanded grout, in this case, won’t fill the joints properly because unsanded grout will shrink as it cures. If the width is exactly 1/8 of an inch or less, use an unsanded, acrylic latex or epoxy grout to fill those tile joints.

How To Properly Grout Tiles?

Now that you broadly understand what grouting is all about, you are now able to start your grouting project. Below are a list of things you need and a step-by-step guide to help you with the procedure.

What You’ll Need

  • Grout mixer drill attachment
  • Bucket of water
  • Sanded grout
  • Grout float
  • Putty knife
  • Sponge

Procedure

1. Prepare Your Grout Mixture And Let It Slak

To properly mix your grout compound, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the container. Working in smaller batches would be ideal too. You can mix the grout with a putty knife or stick. But you could also use a grout-mixer drill attachment to make the process easier.

2. Apply Grout Using A Grout Or Wooden Float

A grout float is a specialty tool for flattening. Use it to flatten across the spaces at an angle to ensure the grout line is filled. If you notice any lumps or excess grout on the tile surface, you can also sweep those off with the float.

3. Remove Excess Grout Using Sponge

Now, the floor is a mess, and there’s grout everywhere. Allow the grout to set for around 15 to 30 minutes, and wipe up any excess grout with a dense sponge soaked in water.

Wait for about 3 hours and repeat the process. This time, make sure there is no excess grout on the tile’s surface or beyond the grout line. Rinse the sponge you are using in a bucket of water and change as needed as you clean off any excess. Then leave the grout to dry overnight.

4. Final Wiping And Clean-Up

Once everything dries, you might notice a haze of grout on the floor. Do not use a wet cloth to wipe the haze off. Doing so will potentially cause the surrounding grout to moisten as well. Instead, use a dry towel to rub it off and sweep the dust with a broom.

What You Should Observe When Grouting Tiles

Grouting can be a very rewarding job when you finally finish the whole project. And filling the tile joints with grout gives the tile a beautiful and neat finish. 

But if you’ve come across a few problems, you know it’s going to be a nightmare. Below are a few tips to help prevent you from coming across these problems.

Apply Only Ample Amounts Of Grout

If you are already in the process of applying grout, don’t use too much of it. Aside from giving you a lot more mess to clean, you don’t want to wipe away a potentially usable amount, which you could have used on the rest of the tiles.

This is also one of the benefits of only preparing a small amount at a time as discussed earlier. In this way, you won’t be using too much at a time and possibly waste your grout compound.

Avoid Intense Scrubbing

Scrubbing too hard will mess up the entire project, especially tiles and grout. If the grout hasn’t hardened, it could ruin the tile placement and waste grout. 

Let The Grout Mixture Slak

After mixing the grout compound, let it settle for around 10 to 15 minutes before beginning the application process. After a while, assess if the grout is too thick or thin. You can add more grout mix to make it thicker or more water to make it thinner.

Maintain By Regular Cleaning

Remove any contaminants on the surface you intend to apply to grout. Doing so will boost the efficiency of the grout.

Seal Porous Tiles Before Grouting

Remember to use a spray sealer on the tiles before applying grout. This spray will keep the grout from permanently staining the tiles.

Snug Grout In Between Joints

Pack the grout into the joints with your float to ensure that they are filled.

Use The Right Tools

There may be alternative tools when doing a DIY project, but don’t forget that there are proper tools for the job. Double-check to make sure you have everything ready.

Observe Proper Finishing For Best Results

Don’t put any force on the grout in the drying process. To test if the grout has already hardened, lightly press it with your finger. Remember, if you need to re-grout an existing tile surface, you must first remove the old grout before continuing the grouting process. 

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