Are you retiling your bathroom or remodeling the kitchen? New tiles are a must-have item for your project. A set of new tiles really makes the room pop, and it increases your valuation.
However, laying new tiling can be tricky, and you need experience with handling grout if you want the best installation results with the job.
Grout is a challenging material to work with if you have limited experience handling it. While working with it is complicated, it’s even more difficult to deal with it after it starts to dry.
I get so many questions from readers asking, “can you add a second layer of grout?”. Even popular discussion forums are flooded with this frequently asked question, from first-time DIY’ers looking for assistance with grouting their projects..
You can add a second layer of grout only after the first layer has not yet fully cured.
Can You Add More Grout After It Dries?
The grout takes around 48 to 72 hours to reach a full cure. Adding more grout after a full cure is a waste of time. However, if you manage to catch the grout just before it sets, you might successfully get new grout to bond with the initial job.
If the grout dries, you’ll have to dig it out at a 90-degree angle before laying new grout. If the grout appears fresh enough, you can be rough with the work and get out around 75% of the old grout before applying the new stuff.
Can I Touch Up Grout the Next Day?
Typically, you should be fine with adding a second layer of grout within 24-hours of completing the first run at your tiles. Mix up some grout and use the new batch to fix any holes or trouble areas in the original work.
It’s easy to fill problems like scratches, pinholes, or low spots with fresh grout the following day. The trick with the second application is to get the mixing to the same consistency as the old grout.
Pack the grout into the gap by going over the line several times with the flat and removing any air.
Can You Re-wet Grout?
Yes, you can rewet grout the following day and keep using it for your projects. It takes grout around 72-hours to start to set and fully cure.
After the grout cures, you can’t bring it back to a runny consistency, no matter how much water you add.
Can I Touch Up New Grout?
The day after you finish the project, review your work. The chances are that you’ll notice a few areas that could do with a touch-up.
Mix some new grout to the same consistency as before, and use it to patch up your old work. Spread your grout over the lines where you removed it using the edge of your grout float.
Can I Touch Up Old Grout?
No, grout that has gone past the 72-hour mark is usually fully cured. Fully cured grout won’t adhere to new grout applications.
You can’t pack fresh grout into gaps created by crumbling grout. The material doesn’t have the same packing features as plaster.
The new grout will also shrink as it dries, meaning that it will create a larger gap, which will then require more fresh grout to fill.
In conclusion, you can add a second layer of grout if the first layer has not yet fully cured. The second layer should be applied in thin strips to avoid pulling up the newly-cured grout in thicker sections.
Grouting a tile is not an easy task and does take patience. It is important to use the right tools, such as sponges, scrapers, and brushes which can be found at your local hardware store. The best thing to do is plan ahead and account for what you will need before you start.