Tile is increasing in popularity as a budget friendly hard surface flooring choice, especially in bathrooms. Tile is sturdy and pretty easy to keep clean. When caring for tile the main attention goes to the grout lines. Those cracks in-between the tiles, as they are porous and can get pretty grimy over time. The substance you choose to fill those cracks when installing is pretty important.
When laying/ installing tile there is a choice between two substances applied to those cracks more commonly referred to as grout lines. These substances are mortar and grout, most people choose grout to hold their tile in place. When it comes to grout there are two basic types: sanded and un-sanded. How do you know which is best for your home?
Just like the name implies, sanded grout contains very fine sand and is a great choice for wide grout lines. Sanded grout reduces the occurrence of cracking in wider grout lines.
Sanded grout is best for general use tiling installations. It is the best choice for tile floors. Sanded grout has a wider range of color choices to go with the style of tile and overall style of the room it is installed in. A variety of sanded grout can easily be found at large chain home improvement stores. Sanded grout also has much less shrinkage. This type of grout is ideal for grout lines measuring 1/8 to 1/2 of an inch.
When using sanded grout you will want to make sure your tile can hold up to possible scratching from the gritty sand particles, especially if you are installing tiles on your own with little tiling experience.
Sanded grout is more budget friendly than un-sanded grout which can cost as much as three times the average price of sanded grout.
Un-sanded grout is best used on very thin grout lines and ideal for using on vertical surfaces such as a kitchen backsplash with glass mosaic tiles or a shower wall.
Un-sanded grout works best in grout lines that measure from 1/16 of an inch to under 1/8 of an inch. When un-sanded grout is used in larger grout lines it has a tendency to slump, crack, or just not provide a proper fill between tiles. Both un-sanded and sanded grout can be used on vertical tile applications, but un-sanded has a better bond to a vertical surface than sanded grout. Sanded grout is a bit heavier and is better suited for floors and other horizontal applications.
Un-sanded grout is a better choice for tiles that are easily scratched, there is no gritty substance in the grout to rough up the surface of more delicate tiles such as glass. If you have a pro installing your tiles they may do fine using a sanded grout, but they have experience in applying grout and this should not be tried with an unskilled hand.
So there you have it, the best and most budget friendly grout for your tile floors is sanded grout. The best grout for fine grout lines and vertical tiles is un-sanded grout.
The best professional tile and grout cleaning in the North Seattle and Snohomish County area can be found at All Kleen. We will also seal your grout for you to keep it protected between professional cleanings. Making an appointment for your tile cleaning is easy online. Image by Robin