Powdered and pre-mixed grout expires one year after manufacture. If the grout container has been opened, it will expire 6 months after opening. The only type of grout that will not expire is epoxy grout. As long as it is kept above freezing temperatures, unopened epoxy grout will not go bad. For best results, use all non-epoxy grout within 6 months of opening the package.
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How Long Does Grout Last Once Opened?
Both powder and pre-mixed forms of grout expire 6 months after opening. Before you go to use old grout, think back to when you purchased and used it. If the grout is more than 12 months old, or it has been more than 6 months since you opened it, toss your old grout and buy new.
- Pre-mixed and powder grout expire 6 months after the package has been opened.
- All cement-based grouts expire after 12 months if unopened.
- Only save expired, unused grout if you need to keep a record of special grout colors that were used.
It is sometimes worth saving unused grout. The packaging may list important product information. If your design requires unique grout colors, keep a record of which were used in case you need to order more in the future.
Why Does Grout Expire?
All non-epoxy grouts contain cement. Whether it is mixed with water, cement will be exposed to ambient moisture in the air. This will occur even if the grout is kept in a sealed container. When cement reacts with air, the calcium silicate in the cement undergoes a reaction. Once this chemical reaction has occurred, it won’t happen again. Cement grout that has undergone this chemical reaction won’t bind together properly. Although your powdered grout may look fine after a few years, it won’t form a cement-like hold if you use it.
- The cement in non-epoxy grout reacts with ambient moisture and undergoes a chemical reaction.
- Once the cement in grout has reacted to moisture, it will no longer bind together.
- Even “airtight” packaging won’t stop grout from expiring.
Whether your grout is packaged in a bag or tub, it will still undergo this moisture-driven reaction. Cementitious grout isn’t designed to sit on the shelf for more than a year before use.
What are the Signs of Expired Grout?
Sometimes, grout shows visible signs of expiration. Premixed grouts will begin to harden over time, forming hard chunks rather than retaining the cake batter consistency of properly mixed grout. A sure sign that powdered grout has gone bad is if it has begun to form hard clumps or “pebbles.”
- Premixed Grout: Will appear dry, with hardened clumps.
- Powdered Grout: May exhibit clumps or a lumpy appearance.
- Powdered grout may have no clumps at all. Even if it has the same appearance as new grout, it may have expired.
Some grout will not show any visible signs of expiration. Powdered grout that is past expiration will often maintain a powdery, clump-free consistency. However, if it’s past its expiration date, it won’t perform well.
What Happens if You Use Expired Grout?
Expired grout will not bond together. If you grout tile with expired grout, the grout will deteriorate as it dries. Sometimes, the expired grout will bond poorly immediately, falling out of grout lines within days. Other times, bad grout will last for a short while (a few weeks or months) before it falls apart.
- Expired grout bonds poorly, resulting in grout that falls out of tile grout lines as it dries.
- Bad grout may deteriorate immediately, or it may last a short while.
- Grout sealers will not improve the functional strength of expired grout.
If your grout is expired, there’s no saving it. It simply won’t hold in grout joints. Even if you mix the grout to an ideal consistency and seal it after installation, expired grout will fall apart soon.
What is the Best Way to Store Grout?
Store grout in a cool, dry place to ensure the best shelf life possible. If your grout is pre-mixed (meaning it contains liquid), store it someplace where it will not freeze. Pre-mixed grout exposed to freezing temperatures will be destroyed.
- Store grout in a cool, dry place.
- Do not expose pre-mixed grout to freezing temperatures.
- If grout is exposed to moisture, it will destroy the grout prior to the expiration date.
Grout does not survive exposure to excessive moisture. If your grout is stored in a damp basement or has direct contact with water, the cement in the grout will undergo a chemical reaction. This will destroy the grout’s usefulness immediately, regardless of the expiration date.
Does Unsanded Grout Have a Shelf Life?
Like all forms of grout that contain cement, unsanded grout expires after 12 months if unopened. If you opened the package, your unsanded grout will expire in 6 months. Never use unsanded grout that is past its expiration date.
How Do You Dispose of Grout?
The best way to dispose of grout is to wet the bag (if the grout is a bagged powder), allow it to harden, and then dispose of it in the trash. This prevents powder from breaking loose and creating a mess. Premixed grout can be thrown away in the trash. If you wish, you can scrape pre-mixed grout out of the bucket and recycle the container.
- Dispose of expired grout in the trash.
- Spray bagged powder grout with water, allow it to harden, and then put it in the trash.
- Do not spread grout powder on your lawn or garden—it may harm grass and plants.
- Never pour grout down the drain. Doing so can cause a clog.
Do not throw grout onto your yard or garden. Grout contains acids that can harm plants. Additionally, never wash grout down the drain. The grout may harden in your pipes, causing clogs and creating the need for extensive plumbing repairs.
Does Grout Have an Expiration Date?
All cement-based grout expires 12 months after manufacture. Additionally, if your grout has been opened, it will expire in 6 months. This general rule applies to powder grout, pre-mixed grout, and unsanded grout. The only exception to this rule is epoxy grout, which has no expiration date as long as it remains unopened and is prevented from freezing.