With the holidays just around the corner, now is a great time to take care of those home improvement projects you’ve been putting off all year. You have some time off work, and with family coming over, you want your home to look its best. If you have tiling projects you need to get done, you may face some challenges with your grout. Grout has a high concentration of moisture and cold temperatures may cause it to freeze or set early. When this occurs, it can be more prone to cracking.
However, you can still get great results, even in cold weather, as long as you take the proper precautions. Read on to find out about what you should be doing to ensure your grout job holds up.
Ensure Powder is Stored at 50 to 80 Degrees Fahrenheit
Starting with powder that is too cold will add to your work time. To avoid this, store your powder at a moderate temperature prior to mixing.
Make Sure Your Workspace is at Least 50 Degrees Fahrenheit
Low temperatures affect bond strength causing the grout to stop curing. If you are working in a cold space, use tents and heaters to keep the temperature over 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Use a Fast Setting Product
When the grout sets faster, it is less likely to be affected by dropping temperatures.
Be Aware of Water Temperature
The water you use to mix your grout should be at a temperature that ranges between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Be Aware of Tile and Substrate Temperature
The substrate temperature can be vastly different from the ambient temperature in the room especially when installing over, on, or below grade. A temperature gun thermometer will help you determine if the substrate is warm enough for installation. And yes, once again, temperatures should range from 50 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make Sure Area Remains Warm
Grout must also set at a reasonable temperature. Make sure the area stays between 50 and 80 degrees for 72 hours after installation. Use tents or heaters if necessary.
Avoid Foot Traffic in the Area for Extended Periods of Time
Cold temperatures can prolong the pot life and the final set of the grout. Therefore, it is important to avoid any foot traffic in the area until you are certain the grout is fully dry.
If You Are Reusing Your Bucket, Be Sure to Clean it Thoroughly
Cross-contamination can further affect grout’s working time and performance. Make sure to clean buckets thoroughly between uses.
Only Use the Recommended Amount of Water
Mix the grout with the recommended amount of water being careful not to exceed what is necessary Adding excess water will cause problems with the bond.
The holidays are a great time for grouting and if you follow the guidelines above, you will get optimal results. Good luck getting your home in shape for whatever the season may bring.