Thinset Dry Time: How Long Does Your Thinset Need?
It’s not always easy to know how long your thinset needs to dry. Factors like temperature, humidity, and even a room’s airflow will affect the time it takes to dry. But by using the knowledge in this easy guide, you’ll be able to tell how long your mortar needs before you can grout.
Read on to find out what you need to know!
3 Things to Know About Thinset Dry Time
1. Thickness Matters
You need to make sure your thinset is the right consistency so it will dry the way it should.
Your mortar will come with manufacturer’s directions for how to mix it. Be sure you follow them so you get the right consistency.
Then, when you apply the thinset, apply it in thin layers. If you use too much, the tiles won’t stay in place and will take longer to dry.
Although guidelines will vary slightly, a good general rule is to mix your mortar until it has a texture like mayonnaise. Apply with a notched trowel for the best results.
When it comes to deciding what size trowel to use, this will depend on the tile size you’re working with. Again, check what the manufacturer recommends so you use the right size.
2. Give Enough Time Before Grouting
The above factors like humidity and air flow affect how much dry time your thinset needs. However, it will almost always need between 24 and 48 hours to dry before you can grout your tile.
Try to apply thinset when the temperature outside is between 50 and 100 degrees. High or low temperatures can make dry time more difficult to predict. Make sure there isn’t excess heat or wind where you’re applying mortar.
Keep in mind that the edges will dry before the thinset at the center of the tile does. Even if it looks dry, give the right amount of time to make sure the mortar has dried completely.
3. Allow for Curing
Your mortar doesn’t just need to dry — it needs to cure.
Curing happens while the mortar is drying. Thinset will go through chemical changes as it dries, which is what allows it to work properly. Curing gives the mortar the strength and durability that you want.
As soon as you take dry mortar and add water, the curing process begins. It will keep curing until it’s dry – which makes it that much more important that you allow the proper thinset dry time.
Thinset helps make tiling easy to do on your own – as long as you do it right.
It’s very important to allow for the right amount of dry time, so that curing can happen and grouting will go smoothly.
Keep all the above factors in mind, and always allow for more dry time when in doubt.