How Long Does It Take to Grout Tile Backsplash?

Grouting a tile backsplash can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day, depending on the size of the area, tile material, and grout application method. With some planning and preparation, you can efficiently grout your backsplash tile and bring your kitchen or bathroom design together.

What Factors Determine How Long It Takes to Grout Tile?

Several key factors impact how long it takes to grout tile:

Size of the Tiled Area

  • Small backsplashes of 10-20 square feet may only take 2-3 hours to grout.
  • Larger backsplashes of 50+ square feet can take 6-8 hours to fully grout.

Type of Tile

  • Smooth tiles like glass subway tile are the fastest to grout.
  • Textured tiles like travertine require more grout work and cleanup.

Grout Joint Size

  • Small grout lines of 1/8” go faster than wider grout joints.
  • Wide grout lines of 3/8” or more take more time to pack with grout.

Grout Application Method

  • Applying grout by hand with a float is slower than using a grout bag.
  • Using a grout scraper speeds up the process.

Drying Time

  • Allow 2-3 hours of drying time before cleaning the haze off grout.
  • Quick-set grout can be cleaned within 30-60 minutes.

Step-by-Step Guide to Grouting Tile Backsplash

Follow this process for efficient grouting that takes 6-8 hours:

1. Prepare the Tiles

  • Wait at least 24-48 hours after installing tiles before grouting.
  • Remove spacers and debris using a shop vacuum.
  • Dampen tiles with a sponge to prevent grout from drying too fast.

2. Mix the Grout

  • For best results, mix a polymer-modified sanded grout.
  • Follow package directions and only mix enough for 30-60 minutes of use.

3. Apply Grout with Float or Grout Bag

  • Hold float at 45° angle and firmly pack joints with grout.
  • For wide grout lines, fill them halfway and let dry before finishing.

4. Let Grout Set and Firm Up

  • Wait 15-30 minutes for grout to set enough before wiping.
  • Quick-set grout may only need 5-10 minutes before wiping.

5. Wipe Grout Haze

  • Wipe grout off tile gently with a damp sponge in a circular motion.
  • Change rinse water frequently for best results.

6. Allow Final Cure

  • Let grout dry for 2-3 hours before a final haze removal with a soft cloth.
  • Avoid walking on tiles for 24 hours.

Tips for Efficient Grout Application

Follow these tips to grout your backsplash tile faster:

  • Work in small sections of 3-4 square feet at a time.
  • Keep a bowl of water nearby to moisten grout float or sponge.
  • Have a helper wipe excess grout off tiles as you go.
  • Use grout sealing or grout release agent on polished marble or granite.
  • Grout bottom to top and wipe diagonal to tiles to avoid pulling out grout.
  • Make sure lighting is good to see when grout haze is fully removed.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I wait to grout after installing tile?

Wait at least 24-48 hours for thinset mortar to fully cure before applying grout. This prevents tiles from shifting and grout cracking.

Should I seal tiles before grouting?

Sealing natural stone tiles first is recommended to prevent grout stains. Porcelain and ceramic tiles don’t need sealing.

What’s the best grout to use on a backsplash?

Sanded grout is best for joints 1/8” or larger. Unsanded grout works for thin grout lines under 1/8”. Use a polymer grout for water resistance.

Can I walk on tiles after grouting?

Avoid walking on freshly grouted tiles for at least 24 hours. This keeps tiles from cracking and prevents grout from getting pulled out.

How do I get all the grout haze off the tiles?

Make sure to wipe off residual grout film within 15-30 minutes before it gets harder to remove. Change rinse water frequently.


Grouting a tile backsplash thoroughly takes roughly 6-8 hours with proper planning. Allow enough time for the grout to fully cure, and work methodically in small sections for best results. Follow these tips, and you can achieve clean, uniform grout lines that complement your new backsplash. With some patience, the right materials and techniques, you can complete this satisfying DIY project.