Winter is on its way, and you may wonder how this will affect the grouting jobs you have planned for your home. It is best to install grout when temperatures are moderate, that is to say, not extremely hot or cold, but if you keep the conditions within your home comfortable, you shouldn’t have a problem.
Read on to find out how grout reacts to the cold and other temperature settings.
Grouting in Cold Weather
Grout takes longer to cure in cold weather but a high performance, fast setting grout will do well. For best results, store the grout in a warm room and mix it with room temperature water. You can use a heating coil to warm the water. Hot water should never be used for mixing grout, so don’t boil it.
It’s important to use the right amount of water for mixing. If you use too much water, a white layer called efflorescence will form on the grout. This is caused by the cold weather slowing the cure and allowing salts to come to the surface of the grout. While it’s best to keep this from happening, if an efflorescence does form, you can remove it with an acid cleaner or minor abrasive.
Keep temperatures to at least 50-degree Fahrenheit during the installation process. If grout is being installed in new construction where there is no heating system installed, a space heater will help maintain temperature. You can also use a concrete blanket to insulate the tile as it cures. While grout can be installed in temperatures as low as 35 degrees, it will increase curing time, sometimes by twice as much. It’s best to keep your thermostat set to at least 50 degrees during installation.
Grouting in Hot Weather
While winter’s chill may cause people to put their grouting off until the weather gets warmer, it’s important not to wait until it’s extremely hot. If you delay until the summer, you will have issues because the moisture in the grout will start to dry up due to the heat.
To prevent this from happening, use cementitious grout that is formulated to retain moisture. Keep the grout cool by storing it in a cool shady spot until it’s ready to be used. Mix the grout with cool water. Keep ice on hand to lower water temperature if necessary.
Avoid grouting in mid-day when heat is at its most extreme. Early morning and late afternoons are ideal for installation. Keep the area you are working in shaded if possible.
Dampen the tile with clean, cool water before grouting. This will cool down the tile and prevent porous tile from drawing moisture out of the grout.
Cover the grout with 30 lb. non staining Kraft paper immediately after installation and leave it on for 72 hours to hold the water in. If you leave the grout exposed, periodically mist the area with clean, cool water.
Grouting is a project you can do year-round, but you must take precautions if you are working in extreme heat or cold. Will you be getting your tiling completed this winter? Call Us today for your next Grout Project.