Flooring and Carpeting/tile grout

Advertisement


Question
This is regarding shower tile grout, not flooring.

First, what is the minimum amount of time quick drying thinset should have to dry before grouting 4x4 ceramic wall tile?  And what is the minimum dry time for the regular thinset?

Also, we removed about ten tiles around shower faucet for plumbing updates.  When tiles are reinstalled, if we let thinset dry 24hrs before grouting, is it ok to tape up a plastic tarp and shower during the thinset drying period before grouting?

Finally, after grouting, is it ok to shower with it taped off with a tarp?

Thanks

Answer
Thank you for your question James....sorry I'm slow replying been out sick for a few days.

First question about the minimum time for "quick" drying thinset before grouting and then minimum time for standard thinset dry time. Depending upon climate (summer/winter) and interior conditions (humid/dry) typical speed set thinset takes about 1-2 hours to cure/set then grouting can progress. This is of course an average as the hotter the environment is the quicker things will kick. If this were Florida in the Summer and on the floor rather than the wall then it would be closer to 45 minutes before ready to grout and then foot traffic. Now as for standard thinset it too is affected by interior conditions that contribute to how soon something may be grouted. Typically also the wall tile will securely set in about 4 hours but will remain green for between 12-24 hours before grouting should proceed. If you should grout earlier than that timeframe you will greatly slow down the "curing" process of the installation and the strength of the overall bond between tile and adhesive...follow me?

Now the second question of course is kinda subjective. If you are determined to use the shower anytime prior to a 24 hour cure time then it would benefit you to guard the suspect area of getting any further moisture onto or into the material at risk. So taping/covering with some plastic would lend adequate protection if you can't simply wait for things to cure out at their normal pace/time frame.

Lastly the similar condition combo of employing the usage of the shower prior to a prescribed cure time frame. Again if completely protected it is possible to use the shower (carefully) as the grout in this instance cures to completion. I will just add this caveat to this scenario. Keep things warm and as dry as possible so as to promote the cure time to not be slowed by having additional moisture in such close proximity to what is being repaired...ok?

With this ongoing condition I would extend this protection operation for up to 72 hours giving a full 3 days of extra protection to increase the likelihood of a successful conclusion, fair enough? That's it James I hope this helps you with your project. Feel free to return anytime...

Perry V.  

Flooring and Carpeting

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Perry Vellenga

Expertise

Ceramic Tile/Marble. I can answer questions about floor preparation, tile selection, layout questions, performance of products, expectations of finish, compatabilities, questions about grout and epoxies, evaluating an installer, asking the right questions to check competence...more? 33 years this August 2012/ many years in commercial application from exterior finishes to Mall store fronts/ interior finishes like floor packages in stores inside Malls examples: The Limited, Lerner/NY, Lane Bryants, Bombay Co., Now involved in Residential new construction covering all types of interior finishes and designs.

Experience

I worked in an exclusive field of floorcovering called "Tenant Development" which is by invitational bid only, by way of a National bid list. These are large floor packages usually over 3500 sq. ft. of 18" x 18" Marble and Granite and many other types of Marble and sizes. They are specialty stores where the floor package can cost upwards of $50,000 for one store. I have also done "Structure" stores and J. Riggins stores, Lane Bryant,Express and Body Shop stores where wood flooring is used. Presently work for a National Flooring Company in the Residential new construction arena that covers most interior design elements..Granite Slab tops/wood flooring both job finished and prefinished ect..

Publications
My response's are published all across the Internet and picked up by multiple Interior Design sites and Industry related web sites where people have questions...

Education/Credentials
too many most of which don't count...

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.