How Long Do You Have to Wait to Take a Shower When Retiling the Unit?

Posted by Marilynn F. on 7th Jun 2023

One of the keys to a long-lasting DIY tiled shower unit is allowing everything to cure properly between each step and before taking a shower.

This means that while the wait between each step may not seem long, it adds up to quite a long time before you can use the shower again. Here are some details about how the wait times for this popular home improvement project work out.

After Tiling

Tile adhesive manufacturers typically recommend waiting for one to two full days before you start applying grout. This ensures that the tile won't move while you work and that the seal will remain intact.

After Grouting


Grout makers recommend waiting between two and four days before moving on to the next step, which is sealing the grout. Without grout sealant, water will penetrate the grout and cause it to crack and flake. Cracks in shower grout aren't just unsightly – they can allow water to get behind the tiles and cause rot in the wall. Of course, unsealed grout will also become stained and ugly in a short time.

After Sealing

You will need to wait another two to three days for the grout sealant to cure. Then, you can finally jump in and take your shower!

Total Time

When all of these wait times are put together, it amounts to between five and nine days of simply waiting for things to cure. This does not include the time spent actually tiling, applying grout, and applying sealer. That can seem like a long time if you only have one shower in your house! Even so, it is important to wait the entire time, or else all of your work could go to waste in just a short period.

Why the Range of Times?

Shower Head

This is because different materials manufacturers have different suggested curing times. These differences arise due to the variety of formulas used by the companies, alterations between each brand of product they make, and differences in the assumptions the companies make about the conditions their products will encounter. Be sure to read the instructions for every adhesive, grout, and sealing product you use to get their manufacturers' recommended curing times.

Do I Really Have to Wait That Long?

This question leads to plenty of controversy on DIY and contractor forums. Some swear that manufacturers put excessively long curing times in their instructions just to be able to deny refunds if their products fail. Others swear, with equal vehemence, that the long curing times are absolutely necessary and that rushing it is a sure way to end up with a failed project.

What is the truth? The true curing time depends on the environmental conditions, such as humidity and temperature, at the location of installation. However, without conducting extensive and time-consuming testing at that exact location, there is no way to know for sure how long curing will take. Therefore, it's best to stay on the safe side and wait as long as the manufacturer of each product recommends. These times ensure that it will be cured even in a "worst-case scenario," and that this part of your bathroom remodel will stay good for years to come.

About The Author

Marilynn F. has been writing professionally since 2009 and writing for her own sites since 2000. She has written a lot of articles for builders and contractors. Most of these articles provide an overview of the services provided by clients in the industry or promote the idea of hiring them to do a certain project. Several articles offer tips for finding a builder in a certain area. Other than writing, Marilynn enjoys gardening, figuring out how to fix things, upgrading her computer on her own, green products, and many other things.

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