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Old 05-30-2012, 01:52 PM   #1
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Grout Drying Times

I'm hoping to get some advice on the working times of different grouts.

I'm a DIY'er and most of my projects over the last few houses have been small areas. (40 sq ft bathroom floors, 30 sq ft entryway, backsplash, fireplace face, etc.)

Now I'm about to grout 140 sq ft bathroom floor. 6" x 24" tiles, 3/16 grout joints.

I have mostly used Permacolor grout, but I find that it tends to become stiff very fast (even when I add a little extra water to start). I am afraid at the rate that I grout and the experience that I have with the Permacolor, I will have to mix up about 10 buckets in order to keep the grout properly workable for the area.

To add to the problem, the color that I want to use is only available from Hydroment (Delorean Gray), but the one time I used Hydroment on a fireplace it felt like I was working with really wet beach sand, for lack of a better term, which also seemed to stiffen very quickly.

Is grout only easily workable for about 30 minutes, or am I doing something wrong? If 30 minutes is normal for Permacolor and Hydroment, is there another brand that lasts longer?

Epoxy is out due to the budget.

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Old 05-30-2012, 04:40 PM   #2
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First, grout, like any cement product, doesn't 'dry', it cures (it's a chemical reaction, not a drying action). But, that time seems about right for it to get hard.

Grouting is a labor intensive operation that generally must be done fast! Epoxy grout might not be better, especially as we get into warmer weather. You can extend the gout set time some by using very cold water. The chemical reaction releases heat, and when it starts colder, it takes longer to reach the point where it fires off and becomes stiff.

Mixing smaller batches of grout works sometimes, but it can happen that the color component isn't perfectly blended in, or if you mix with slightly different amounts of water, the color can change between batches.
Jim DeBruycker
Not a pro, multiple Schluter Workshops (Schluterville and 2013 and 2014 at Schluter Headquarters), Mapei Training 2014, Laticrete Workshop 2014, Custom Building Products Workshop 2015, and Longtime Forum Participant.
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