How Long Does It Take to Grout Backsplash?

Grouting a backsplash is one of the final steps when installing a tile backsplash in your kitchen or bathroom. It’s an important process that fills in the joints between the tiles and gives your backsplash a clean, uniform appearance. Here’s a closer look at how long the grouting process takes and the factors that affect the timing.

Preparing to Grout

Before you can start grouting, there are a few preparatory steps to take for a successful process:

  • Allow tiles to cure and dry completely – Grout won’t adhere well to damp tiles. Let tile cement dry for at least 24 hours before grouting.
  • Clean tiles – Use a damp sponge to wipe away any dirt, dust or residue on the tiles to allow for maximum grout adhesion.
  • Have all materials ready – This includes grout, grout float, grout sponge, buckets for water, damp rags and sealer (if sealing).
  • Follow manufacturer instructions – Read all instructions on your grout bag to understand proper techniques and drying times specific to the grout you purchased.
  • Work in small sections – Don’t grout a whole wall at once. Break it into 3-4 foot sections to prevent the grout from drying too quickly.

Estimated Time to Grout a Backsplash

The time it takes to grout a backsplash depends on a few variables:

  • Size of the backsplash – A small 4×4 foot backsplash may only take 30 minutes to grout while a full wall backsplash may take 2 hours or more.
  • Number of tiles – The more tiles you have, the longer the grouting process will take.
  • Complexity of the design – Intricate tile patterns or small tiles take longer than simple installations.
  • Skill level – DIYers new to grouting will need more time than seasoned tilers.

As a general guideline, here are some estimates for how long the grouting process takes:

  • Small backsplash (4×4 ft) – 30 minutes to 1 hour
  • Medium backsplash (8×4 ft) – 1 to 2 hours
  • Full wall backsplash – 2 to 3 hours
  • Professional tiler – Will grout much faster than DIYers

Step-by-Step Grout Process

Here is an overview of the typical steps for grouting a backsplash and how long each step takes:

1. Mix the Grout

Time: 5-10 minutes

Mix grout powder and water together according to package directions. Allow to slake for 5-10 minutes. The proper consistency should be thick but still able to flow easily off a trowel.

2. Apply Grout Over Tiles

Time: 1-2 minutes per 3-4 foot section

Use a rubber grout float or squeegee to spread grout liberally over a small section of tiles, forcing it into the joints. Hold the float at a 45° angle and work in all directions.

3. Let Grout Sit Briefly

Time: 5-10 minutes

Allow grout to sit on tiles undisturbed for about 10 minutes. This allows it to start to set up in the joints. Don’t let it sit too long or it will get too firm to clean properly.

4. Clean Excess Grout Off Tiles

Time: 5-10 minutes per section

Use a damp grout sponge in a circular motion to gently wash off excess grout from the surface of the tiles. Rinse sponge frequently. Work in small sections.

5. Smooth and Shape Grout Joints

Time: 5-10 minutes per section

Once all grout is cleaned off tile surfaces, go back over each section with a damp sponge or finger to smooth and shape grout within joints. Remove any haze.

6. Allow Grout to Dry

Time: 2-3 hours

Let grout dry completely according to manufacturer recommendations. Often a minimum of 2-3 hours. Allow even more time for deeper grout joints.

7. Apply Grout Sealer (Optional)

Time: 15-30 minutes

Once fully dry, you can apply a grout sealer as an extra protective layer according to product instructions. Let sealer cure completely.

Tips for Quick & Easy Grouting

Follow these tips for a faster, smoother grouting process:

  • Maintain a wet edge as you work in sections
  • Keep plenty of clean water and rags on hand
  • Don’t spread too much grout initially
  • Work quickly but carefully to clean tiles
  • Use a grout bag for easier application in corners
  • Make sure joints are packed fully with no voids
  • Allow proper drying times between steps
  • Follow all product instructions carefully

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I wait to grout after installing backsplash tile?

It’s best to allow tile adhesive or mortar to cure for at least 24 hours before applying grout. This allows it to dry completely so the grout bonds well.

Can I speed up backsplash grout drying time?

Using fans directed at the grouted area can shorten drying time slightly but there is no way to speed it up significantly. Proper curing is essential for durable grout.

What’s the easiest way to grout a backsplash?

Work in small sections, pre-mix enough grout for each section, and use grout bags to easily apply grout in corners and tight areas. Maintaining a wet edge also helps the process go smoothly.

Should I seal my backsplash grout?

Sealing is an optional step but can provide added protection, especially for grout in high-moisture areas like behind a sink. Use a penetrating grout sealer made for your specific type of grout.

How do I clean grout haze off my backsplash tiles?

Use a grout haze removal cleaner or mix 1 part vinegar with 4 parts water and scrub with a soft cloth. Rinse thoroughly and repeat if needed. Avoid abrasive cleaners.


Grouting a backsplash tile installation takes careful attention to detail but doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out process. Focus on working in manageable sections, allowing adequate drying time between steps, and maintaining a wet edge as you clean for efficient grouting. With some experience, you can learn to grout an average backsplash in just a few hours or less. Paying attention to preparation, having the right tools, and following product directions can help streamline the project. Your patience will pay off when you have a stunning, fully-grouted backsplashfocal point in your kitchen or bathroom.