How Long Does It Take to Grout a Backsplash?

Grouting a backsplash is one of the final steps when installing new tile. It’s an important process that helps protect the tiles and provide a clean, finished look. But grouting is also time-consuming. So how long does it actually take to grout a backsplash?

What is Grouting?

Before getting into the time it takes, let’s quickly review what grouting is exactly.

Grout is a cement-based material that is applied between the tiles. It fills in the spaces (known as joints or grout lines) to seal the tiles together and create a water-resistant surface. Grout also gives the tiled area a polished, uniform appearance.

There are two main types of grout:

  • Sanded grout – For joints wider than 1/8 inch. It contains sand for durability. Most often used with ceramic or porcelain floor tiles.
  • Unsanded grout – For joints 1/8 inch or smaller. It has a smoother consistency. Typically used with wall tiles, like in backsplashes.

Grouting is an essential step when installing tile. It:

  • Seals the tiles to prevent moisture damage.
  • Binds the tiles together for strength and stability.
  • Allows for cleanability by filling the grout lines.
  • Gives a consistent look.

Proper grouting requires patience and precision for best results.

Factors That Determine Time

Grouting a backsplash is a process. There are several factors that determine how long it will take:

Size of the Backsplash

The larger the backsplash area, the more tiles there are to grout. A small 4 ft x 4 ft backsplash above a single sink will take less time than a large backsplash spanning an entire cooktop or kitchen wall.

Number of Tiles

More tiles and grout lines equate to more time grouting. Especially if the tiles are small mosaics with many intricate grout lines versus fewer large tiles.

Type of Tile and Grout

Rough, porous tiles will take longer to grout than smooth, glazed tiles. Similarly, sanded grout is thicker than unsanded and can take more time to apply.

Grout Joint Size

The thickness or “width” of the grout lines impacts time. Thin grout lines take less time to fill than wider grout channels.

Grout Application Method

Applying grout by hand takes longer than using a grout float or squeegee tool. Skill level also plays a role.

Drying Time

Grout needs ample drying time before sealing or using the surface. Depending on the grout and size of the job, drying can range from 24-72 hours.

With all these variables, it’s hard to give an exact timeframe. However, we can provide some general estimates for how long the process takes.

Grout Application Time Estimates

Here are some ballpark figures for how long the actual grouting process takes:

  • Small backsplash, about 6 sq ft – 30 minutes to 1 hour to apply grout.
  • Medium backsplash, around 25 sq ft – 1-3 hours for grouting time.
  • Large backsplash, 50+ sq ft – 3 or more hours for grout application.

Those estimates are for grouting only based on average DIY skill level. The total project time is longer when including tile prep, drying, sealing, and cleanup.

Total Project Timeframe

When planning your backsplash grouting project, here are some guidelines for the total time investment:

  • Small backsplash project – Set aside a full day or weekend.
  • Medium backsplash – Allow 1-2 days from start to finish.
  • Large backsplash – Plan for 2-3 days for the complete installation and grouting process.

Keep in mind for a pro tiling job, an experienced installer can grout a backsplash significantly faster than a DIYer. But the general drying and curing time remains the same.

Tips for Grout Success

Grouting tiles does take time and patience. Here are tips to help the process go smoothly:

  • Use a grout float or squeegee for faster application.
  • Mix grout to package instructions for proper workability. Don’t let it get too firm or stiff.
  • Apply in small sections so grout doesn’t dry before wiping off excess.
  • Use a damp sponge in diagonal motions to clean grout lines.
  • Let the grout dry completely before sealing or using the surface.
  • Follow all manufacturer instructions for prep, application, curing, and sealing.

With some planning and preparation, you can get beautiful grouted results on your backsplash project. Just be sure to budget ample workspace and drying time based on the scope of your tile job.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the tile size affect grouting time?

Yes, smaller tiles and mosaic sheets will have more grout lines to fill, increasing application time. Larger tiles have fewer joints, speeding up the process.

Can I walk on a newly grouted backsplash?

It’s best to avoid walking on or cleaning a new backsplash for at least 24-48 hours as the grout cures. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper curing time.

How soon can I seal grout after application?

Sealing should only be done once grout has fully cured, generally about 72 hours. Seal too early and it can prevent proper curing and lead to cracking or discoloration.

Is sanded or unsanded grout better for backsplashes?

Unsanded grout is recommended for backsplashes because tile joints are under 1/8 inch. Sanded grout is thicker and better suited for wider floor tile joints.

What’s the easiest way to apply grout on a backsplash?

Using a grout float or rubber squeegee allows you to spread grout quickly and evenly into the joints. Work in small sections for best results.


Grouting a backsplash beautifully enhances the tiles and provides a water-resistant finish. How long it takes depends on the size and layout of your tiles and the tools used. Small backsplashes can be grouted in under an hour, while large backsplashes require several hours and multiple days from start to finish. With some patience for drying and curing, your effort will pay off with a gorgeous new backsplash.