AcrylPro Tile Adhesive Not Drying: Causes and Solutions

Tile adhesives like AcrylPro are essential for installing tile in any setting. They create a strong bond between the tile and substrate to hold the tile in place for years to come. However, sometimes AcrylPro or other adhesives fail to dry and cure properly. This leaves tile installations at risk of failure or tile popping off. There are several potential causes of AcrylPro not drying correctly. The good news is there are also solutions to tackle each of these issues.

What is AcrylPro Adhesive?

AcrylPro is a popular premium tile adhesive made by Custom Building Products. It is designed for indoor and outdoor use on floors, walls, countertops, and other tile applications.

Key features and benefits:

  • Acrylic-based formula – Offers strong adhesion and flexibility.
  • Non-slump – Holds tile in place without slipping or sliding.
  • Extended open time – Allows more working time for adjustments.
  • Freeze-thaw stability – Can withstand freeze/thaw cycles outdoors.
  • Water-resistant – Repels water once fully cured.
  • Suitable for most substrates – Works on concrete, cement boards, masonry, and more.

AcrylPro is a versatile, high-quality adhesive ideal for most tile installations. However, like any adhesive, it relies on proper drying and curing to reach full strength.

Why Won’t AcrylPro Dry or Cure?

There are a few common reasons AcrylPro or other tile adhesives may fail to dry and cure properly:

Cold Temperatures

One of the most common causes of bonding failure with AcrylPro is low temperatures during installation and curing. Acrylic adhesives like AcrylPro require warm conditions to dry and cure correctly.

Ideally, the temperature should be between 50-90°F during application and remain consistent for at least 24 hours of curing time. If temps drop below 50°F, the curing process slows significantly or even stops.

High Humidity

High humidity can also prevent AcrylPro from drying fully. The moisture in the air gets absorbed into the adhesive and delays curing. Humidity above 75% increases drying times.

Insufficient Curing Time

AcrylPro needs ample time to cure fully before grouting or exposing it to moisture. On floors, it requires 24-48 hours of curing time at 70°F. Rushing this process by getting the tiles wet too soon can ruin the bond.

Too Much Moisture

Excess moisture on the tile surface or beneath the tile can cause bonding problems. Floors need to dry fully following cleaning before installing tile. Water from fresh concrete or flooding can also impact curing.


Chemical contaminants like salts, oils, sealers, or cleaning residues can interfere with proper curing. Porous substrates may absorb these contaminants, blocking adhesion.

Incorrect Mixing

Improper mixing or mixing ratios can affect drying. Hardened or dried material around the container edges must be removed. The adhesive also should not be overwatered, as this slows curing.

Substrate Issues

An unsuitable substrate or lack of proper substrate prep can lead to curing problems. Concrete needs to fully cure for 28 days before tiling. Other substrates may require priming first.

Solutions for AcrylPro Not Drying

If AcrylPro or acrylic tile adhesive is not drying correctly, there are ways to troubleshoot and resolve the issue:

Adjust Temperature/Humidity

Maintaining proper temperature and humidity is key for installation and curing. Use space heaters or fans to maintain consistent temps between 50-90°F. Dehumidifiers can lower humidity.

Allow More Curing Time

Be patient and allow more curing time if needed before grouting or exposing to moisture. Wait the full timeframe recommended by the manufacturer.

Check Moisture

Use a moisture meter to check for excess moisture in the substrate and tile. Allow concrete subfloors to completely dry first.

Clean Contaminants

Clean the substrate fully to remove any residues or contaminants before retiling. Use an appropriate cleaner for the specific contaminant.

Properly Mix

Mix only as much adhesive as can be used in the working time and discard any hardened product. Follow instructions carefully.

Prime/Prep Substrate

Use a primer or properly prep substrates like plywood or plaster to create a uniform surface for adhesion.

If tiles become loose or unstuck, they will need to be removed, the substrate cleaned and prepped, and fresh adhesive applied. The entire drying environment will need optimization as well.

Tips to Prevent Future Bonding Failure

It’s much easier to take preventative steps to ensure proper curing than to deal with fixes later on. Here are some tips for flawless results with AcrylPro or any acrylic tile adhesive:

  • Only install when ambient temperature and substrate will remain between 50-90°F for 24+ hours.
  • Use dehumidifiers to keep humidity below 75%.
  • Allow mortar beds, concrete, levelers, etc. to cure fully before tiling.
  • Check moisture levels in all substrates with a meter.
  • Clean surfaces fully and remove any residue, grease, paints, etc.
  • Prime surfaces like plywood and plaster before adhering tile.
  • Spread adhesive evenly and use proper trowel size.
  • Mix adhesive thoroughly but do not overwater.
  • Work in smaller sections so product does not skin over before tiles are set.
  • Maintain recommended curing times based on temperature before grouting.
  • Protect newly tiled surfaces from water exposure during curing.

Following manufacturer guidelines precisely and controlling the whole installation environment are key to success with AcrylPro and other tile adhesives. Pay close attention to temperature, humidity, substrate moisture, and curing times. With proper installation conditions, AcrylPro offers a super-strong bond for durable, long-lasting tile work.

What to Do When AcrylPro is Not Drying

If you’ve followed all the proper installation guidelines and AcrylPro or another acrylic tile adhesive is still not drying correctly, don’t panic. There are still solutions for salvaging the job.

Test Adhesion

Start by testing tile adhesion once the recommended curing time has passed. Try lifting a tile – if it resists without moving at all, adhesion is likely fine. If tiles detach too easily, bonding has failed.

Remove Affected Tiles

Any tiles that are loose or unstuck will need to be removed and disposed of. Carefully chisel or pry these affected tiles off the installation surface. Take care not to damage the underlying substrate.

Clean Surface

With tiles removed, thoroughly clean and prep the substrate. This means scraping off any old adhesive, residue, or loose material. Check the floor flatness and make any needed repairs too.

Identify Cause

Try to pinpoint factors that prevented drying – was the room too cold, humidity too high, or substrate contaminated? Identifying the cause will prevent repeat issues.

Adjust Installation Conditions

Remedy any environmental factors that contributed to the bonding failure. Get temperatures above 50°F, reduce humidity below 75%, allow substrate to dry fully, etc.

Re-Apply Fresh Adhesive

Once the surface is prepped and conditions controlled, apply fresh acrylic mortar with proper mixing ratios and coverage. Carefully follow all directions and open times.

Reset Tiles

Re-install any tiles that were removed due to lack of adhesion, using spacers for even spacing. Press each tile firmly into place while adhesive is still fresh and wet.

Allow Proper Cure Time

Do not grout or expose to moisture prematurely. Give the adhesive ample undisturbed cure time recommended for the product, keeping temperature and humidity within range.

With the right troubleshooting and adjustments, even initially stuck tiles can be lifted, adhesive issues resolved, and tiles successfully reinstalled. Just take things slow and ensure every step is done properly.

When to Regrout vs. Retile a Floor

If a tile floor was installed with improperly cured adhesive, the question arises whether the floor simply needs regrouting or a complete redo. Here are some guidelines:

Regrout if:

  • Tile surface is firmly bonded but grout is cracking or worn.
  • No more than 15% of grout joints are affected.
  • Grout issues are limited to a small area.
  • Grout haze or film is present on tiles.
  • Grout is an older type like cement-based.

Retile if:

  • Tiles are loose, hollow-sounding, or can be pried up.
  • Large chunks of grout are missing from multiple joints.
  • More than 15% of grout joints are affected.
  • Cracks run right through tiles and joints.
  • The underlying substrate is damaged.
  • There are widespread bonding problems.
  • Moisture issues are present.

If grout is crumbling in just a few limited spots, regrouting may do the trick. But if tiles are unbonded across large areas, a full redo is likely required to prevent future failures. Moisture issues will also lead to continuous problems without a tear out.

Preparing to Regrout a Tile Floor

If it is determined regrouting is the appropriate solution, follow these steps:

  1. Clear area – Remove all furniture and belongings from the space.
  2. Deep clean tiles – Wash floor fully with a tile cleaner using a stiff brush. Rinse thoroughly.
  3. Dry completely – Allow tile floor several days to dry fully before regrouting.
  4. Remove old grout – Use a grout saw, Dremel tool, or oscillator to rake out failing grout at least 1/4″ deep.
  5. Vacuum – Thoroughly vacuum up all grout debris and dust.
  6. Seal tiles – Apply penetrating tile sealer and allow drying per product instructions.
  7. ** Mask off surfaces** – Protect walls, trim, etc. with painter’s tape and drop cloths.
  8. Mix and apply new grout – Follow product guidelines for ratios and application. Firmly pack into joints.
  9. Clean excess grout – Wipe diagonal across tiles with sponge and water to remove haze. Re-seal floor.

With the right prep, regrouting can effectively and affordably refresh a tile installation. Always test adhesion carefully beforehand.

When to Call a Professional

DIY-minded homeowners may want to tackle tile adhesive and grouting repairs themselves. However, there are certain scenarios where calling a professional tiler is advisable:

  • The failed installation covers a very large area.
  • Moisture problems or leaks are contributing to issues.
  • The substrate under the tile needs significant repair.
  • Special tools like dust-free tile saws are required.
  • Multiple issues like tiles popping off and grout crumbling are present.
  • The original installation was done by a pro.
  • The tile being removed is especially thick, brittle, or expensive.
  • You simply do not have the time or knowledge to do it properly yourself.

Don’t be afraid to call in an expert if the tile redo is beyond your skill level or comfort zone. The cost of hiring a pro now can prevent even costlier repairs down the road.

Finding a Qualified Tile Installation Contractor

Follow these tips when selecting a tile pro:

  • Check reviews – Online reviews, referrals from family and friends, and references all help identify quality contractors.
  • Verify licensing – Contractors should have an active license if required by your state.
  • Ask about experience with your specific tile material and installation challenges.
  • Evaluate knowledge of proper installation standards and methods.
  • Interview multiple contractors and compare several written quotes.
  • Choose an installer who provides detailed warranties.
  • Look for membership in trade organizations like the National Tile Contractors Association.

Take your time choosing the right tile pro. Getting the job done correctly is worth more than the lowest bid.

With some patience, troubleshooting, and potentially calling in a tile installation specialist, acrylic adhesive bonding failures can be overcome. Just address all contributing factors and start fresh. A bit of extra time invested upfront will save tons of headaches with a loose, unstable tile floor down the road.

AcrylPro Tile Adhesive: Product Options

AcrylPro manufacture several versions of their adhesive mortar to suit different needs:

  • AcrylPro Standard – All-purpose adhesive for indoor floors and walls. Up to 15 minutes working time.
  • AcrylPro Planiseal – Low-odor, non-slump formula for moisture-sensitive stone. Extended 30 minute workability.
  • AcrylPro Tack-Free – Rapid-setting mortar that allows grouting in just 3 hours.
  • AcrylPro Flex – Extra-flexible adhesive for wood and unstable substrates.
  • AcrylPro Super Flex – Maximum-flex formula with superior adhesion for challenging surfaces.
  • AcrylPro Outdoor – Durable adhesive resistant to weather and freeze/thaw cycles. Exceeds ANSI A118.4 standards.
  • AcrylPro Epoxy Grout – 100% solids epoxy grout available in several colors. For high-traffic commercial use.

Always choose the appropriate mortar for your specific tile material and project conditions. Consult manufacturer guidelines for each product’s suitability.

Tips for Proper AcrylPro Installation

Follow these tips to ensure AcrylPro adhesive cures and performs as intended:

  • Carefully read and follow all instructions on the product packaging.
  • Check that adhesive has not expired before mixing and using.
  • Maintain temperature between 50-90°F during installation and curing.
  • Use below 75% relative humidity level.
  • Mix thoroughly according to given ratios, usually with clean, cool water.
  • Only mix what can be used in the stated open time; discard any leftover.
  • Apply adhesive using proper trowel size and technique for the mosaic or tile.
  • Achieve full coverage with no voids or bare spots and proper thickness.
  • Check occasionally that tiles are fully bonding with solid adhesion.
  • Respect all cure times prior to grouting, light foot traffic, and water exposure.
  • Protect the installation from temperature fluctuations, direct sunlight, and drafts during curing period.

With mindful installation and plenty of curing time, AcrylPro serves as an excellent adhesive base for tile projects. Carefully follow all guidelines to prevent adhesion problems down the road.

Alternatives If AcrylPro Fails

If AcrylPro repeatedly fails even in ideal installation conditions, there are other quality tile adhesives to consider:

  • Mapei Ultraflex 2 – Flexible, non-slump mortar good for large tiles.
  • Laticrete Glass Tile Adhesive – Bright white adhesive designed for glass mosaics and metal tiles.
  • CustomFlex Premium – Acrylic formula with high flexibility and strength.
  • TEC Super Flex – Maximum-flexibility adhesive to handle unstable substrates.
  • Bostik Hydroment Vivid – Lightweight mortar that resists efflorescence and shrinkage.
  • MAPEI Kerabond/Keralastic – Low VOC system with tenacious bond strength.

Always check that the adhesive complies with ANSI ISO 13007 Standards for optimal performance. Test unfamiliar adhesives in small sections first. With multiple quality options available, there is a solution for every tile type and project.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is AcrylPro waterproof when dry?

Yes, AcrylPro gains waterproof, water-resistant properties once fully cured, making it suitable for wet areas like showers.

Can AcrylPro be used outdoors?

AcrylPro Outdoor is specially formulated for exterior use. Other versions can work outside but may not withstand weathering and freeze-thaw cycles long-term.

How long does AcrylPro take to cure?

Standard cure time is 24 hours but a full 72 hours is recommended before grouting or exposing to moisture. Longer at colder temperatures.

Can I apply grout over AcrylPro that hasn’t fully cured?

No, only grouting after the adhesive has cured for the full recommended time, usually 48-72 hours. Grouting too soon increases risk of failure.

Can AcrylPro go over existing tile?

In most cases, AcrylPro cannot bond directly to existing tile. The top layer of tiles must be removed first to expose the substrate underneath.


From cold temperatures to high humidity, many factors can potentially prevent acrylic tile adhesives like AcrylPro from drying and curing correctly. However, by identifying the causes, adjusting installation conditions, and following product directions closely, successful results are always achievable. Keep the temperature comfortable, substrate moisture-free, and take the full adhesive cure times seriously. With some thoughtful troubleshooting and patience, that tile floor or wall will turn out picture-perfect.

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