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Old 04-21-2010, 09:29 PM   #1
chrisofot
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How long does thinset take to cure with granite tile

My tile guy laid 12 x 12 granite floor tile on Monday for my new basement bathroom. Due to the concrete floor being uneven he used a mortar and thinset mix (fortified versabond white and mortar/stucco mix) to help level the tiles. He was scheduled to come today, Wednesday, to grout but the thinset was not dry so I re-scheduled for Thursday.

Wondering how long I should wait for the thinset to cure before grouting? Will it do any harm to grout before the thinset is completely cured?

The granite is visibly darker and I am guessing it is due to moisture and will return to it's lighter color...is this a correct assupmtion?

Just some additional info...I live in Metro DC area
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:36 PM   #2
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but the thinset was not dry so I re-scheduled for Thursday.
What did you see that made you think it wasn't dry?


Quote:
and mortar/stucco mix
How did he use mortar/stucco mix?
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:55 PM   #3
chrisofot
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I did not see him make the mix so not sure of the details. He did say that is what he would use and I did see the open/used bags (mortar/stucco mix type S)

I did a test yesterday with the tip of a tool and in the grout lines the thinset was not cured.

Now the thinset in the grout lines appear to be dry, but the tile is still very dark. I did a test with a spare cut piece of tile by soaking in water. It turned the same darker color. I let it sit out and as it dried, it became lighter. So I am assuming that it is still not dry based on the color...but that may be an incorrect assumption??
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Old 04-21-2010, 10:38 PM   #4
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Type S is like a "Fat Mud" (as described in this post). It's got portland, sand, and a little lime in it.

The darkness is from the moisture. Drying and curing are two different things. It'll cure enough in 24 hours for light foot traffic, but it may take several days, to more than a week to dry. It will dry out faster if you continue to leave it ungrouted. With ungrouted tile, the outer perimeter will dry first and work it's way dry towards the middle. What kind of granite do you have? Really depends on enough variables where the best we can do is sorta "ball-park it".

Can I ask about your basement floor before this project? Do you guys get a damp or wet basement floor after heavy rains? And it's a little late to be asking, but can I ask if a Calcium Chloride test was performed?
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Old 04-22-2010, 05:04 AM   #5
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I'm wondering why he decided to make his own mix of two different products (versabond and Stucco mix) instead of just buying a medium bed mortar to do the job. Something like Custom Building Products Marble and Granite Fortified Premium Mortar would have been a good choice.
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Old 04-22-2010, 05:29 AM   #6
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It will probably take a couple weeks to lighten back out, I have seen some stones take 3 to 4 weeks.
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Old 04-22-2010, 06:42 AM   #7
chrisofot
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Delayed grouting another day. Will there be any harm to grout if the tiles still have moisture in them?

What about having people walk on the tile at this point?

We did not do any testing before laying the tile down. It is a basement floor (concrete slab). We did have issues of dampness, but as part of the renovation process we had a company come in and install waterproofing system including a sump-pump.
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Old 04-22-2010, 08:37 AM   #8
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You could get efflouresence, which is calcium deposits on the surface of the grout coming from the water as it evaporates through the grout.

You can walk on the tiles now. I would wait until you grout to bring in heavy furniture or or heavy objects on rollers.

Did the waterproofing include applying anything on the slab? A roll-on membrane, etc?
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Old 04-22-2010, 09:10 AM   #9
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The dampness we had did not come up from the floor, it was weeping in from the cinder block foundation walls. B-Dry water-proofers came in and dug a trench around the foundation and installed a french drain system around the perimeter and a sump pump. They did install a membrane on the interior walls, but not the floor. (I am aware this is not really waterproofing...but water management. This is all my budget and location would allow.)

I can wait on the grout, but would really like to have them continue working on other things...finishing drywall, painting, ect. See any problem with a crew coming in and walking on the tiles?
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Old 04-22-2010, 09:26 AM   #10
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With your basement's moisture history, I think the darkening may never go away permanently. The B-dry modifications may keep visible water out of your basement, but I suspect that there will always be enough water vapor rising through your slab that the granite will get dark during rainy seasons, or may stay dark all the time. I am also concerned about the efflouresence problem, both in the grout and the tiles. Both issues are not fatal. The darkening is appearance only, and the efflouresence will have to be cleaned off periodicly. However, at this point, there isn't much (if anything) you can do about it.

Your work can proceed, but have the workmen cover the floor with tarps when finishing sheetrock or painting and lay down sheets of masonite or plywood if they are using ladders, etc.
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