Sanded vs Unsanded Tile Grout: Differences + Uses and Pros & Cons of Sanded vs. Unsanded

Sanded vs Unsanded Tile Grout: Differences + Uses and Pros & Cons of Sanded vs. Unsanded

Sanded vs Unsanded Tile Grout: Differences + Uses and Pros & Cons of Sanded vs. Unsanded

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1 Sanded vs Unsanded Tile Grout: Differences + Uses and Pros & Cons of Sanded vs. Unsanded
1.5 Sanded or Unsanded Grout FAQs

What is Sanded Grout?

Sanded grout is a type of grout that has sand mixed into the dry powder, giving it a rough texture so you can see where the joints between tiles are. It creates an uneven surface and allows water to drain more easily.

Sanded grout is a cement-based grout used for grouting slate, quarry, and treated terracotta tiles, or where wider joints are required.

The grainy combination is inexpensive since sand is a cheap filler and generally comes in a variety of colors. There are many uses of sanded grout.

Applications for flooring Sanded grout is the most common choice for interior flooring. Its resilience and stability enable it to withstand the pressures of foot traffic.

Sanded grout are used for joints that are thick. Sanded grout is suitable for any tile with joints 18” to 12” thick because it binds better and shrinks less than unsanded grout.

What is Unsanded Grout?

Unsanded grout is similar to liquid latex in that it has almost no grain or roughness, but unlike liquid latex, unsanded doesn’t dry out quite as fast.

As a result, unsanded grout takes longer to dry and can be used indoors more easily.

Unsanded grout is grout that does not have sand in it. The main purpose of sand in grout is to provide a saturated paste between bricks or other materials to provide a barrier along the joints.

Unsanded grout is a type of grout that is more elegant than the typical dry-mix tile grout. It can be used in residential areas, commercial areas, and in other places where you need a more refined grout.

The white of unsanded grout provides a great contrast to the color of the tile and it does not show marks as much as unfinished grout does. It’s easy to clean up and is more resistant to staining.

Sanded vs. Unsanded Tile Grout: Choosing the Right Grout for the Joint Size

If you are planning to tile your floor or walls, you will also need to decide between sanded and unsanded grout. The difference is in the size of the pores.

Sanded grout has bigger spaces between its particles for easier filling and cleaning, while unsanded grout has smaller ones for a more durable finish that resists staining from spills or food colors.

Choose grout that is suitable for your floor type and the size of the joints. For floors, use a grout that is suitable for concrete floors such as porcelain, stone, marble, or ceramic.

For concrete floors, you can use a sealer and sanded grout to protect the surface from staining from spillage or food coloring.

Use sealer after you have grouted to finish it off and increase its durability. Before sealing, sand the grout so it will polish smoothly when applied.

Check the label on any grout you buy to see if it is suitable for concrete floors. You can also paint a layer of sealer onto your grout floor before you apply grout.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Grout for the Joint Size

When it comes to grouting, there are a variety of factors you need to consider. From color to consistency, joint size is important because the wrong grout can lead to cracks or gaps.

If you aren’t sure which size joint you have, check out this infographic that will help explain the different types of joints and which type of grout is best.

1. Durability

When choosing the right grout for the joint size, there are also certain factors that affect the durability of the material including how well it will snap back into place.

The test for durability is something called compressive strength.

2. Color

Choosing the right color grout for your joints is important because it can make a big difference in how your final product looks. If you don’t choose the right color, the grout can cause cracks in your joint.

3. Consistency

Choosing a consistent grout for the joint size is important because it can help better hide any imperfections in your tile and it will also prevent any gaps or cracks from forming.

4. Sealing

When choosing sealing, you must consider the type of sealant you are using. There are different sealants on the market that have different uses.

You must also consider how well it will hold up over time and how much care you will have to take when cleaning or maintaining it.

5. Size

When choosing a grout for the joint size, you need to pick one that is appropriate for the size of the joint you plan to use.

For example, if you are working with small joints, there are certain types of grout that would be more effective than others.

6. Suitability

When you are choosing the right grout for a joint size, it is important that you choose one that is suitable for the type of tile you are using.

For example, if you are working with an area tile set, there are certain types of grout that would be more effective than others.

7. Environment

When choosing a grout for the joint size, it is important to consider any surrounding conditions such as temperature and humidity levels.

If you are working with a chemical that could be damaging, you must ensure that the product is not only strong but also resistant to the chemical.

There are certain types of grout that can withstand heavy amounts of traffic, which is important if you plan on using it in busy areas such as public spaces.

Sanded or Unsanded Grout FAQs

1. What’s the difference between sanded and unsanded grout?

The presence or absence of sand is the primary distinction between unsanded and sanded grout. The smooth combination of Portland cement, powdered colors, and water constitutes unsanded cement-based grout.

In joints smaller than 1/8-inch wide, unsanded grout should be applied. It has a smooth texture and adheres nicely to vertical surfaces, making it an excellent choice for grouting ceramic wall tiles.

Because it resists shrinking and cracking, sanded grout should be used for flooring and wall tile joints wider than 1/8 inch.

2. Is it preferable to use sanded or unsanded grout?

Sanded grout is the most common type of grout used in interior flooring installations. This is due to the fact that it is more durable than unsanded grout, can withstand foot activity, and may be used in bigger tile joints.

3. Do all grouts shrink?

Sanded grout shrinks more than unsanded grout due to its gritty texture, with 1/8-inch joints typical for interior flooring installations. This isn’t an issue for walls, which typically have joint widths greater than 1/8 inch.

4. What’s the difference between sanded and unsanded grout color?

Sanded cement-based grout is available in a variety of colors, while unsanded is usually only offered in white or gray. This is because unsanded grout oxidizes faster than sanded and develops a “tooth” with age.

5. When is it appropriate to use unsanded grout?

A non-sanded grout is best suited to vertical tiles, such as that seen in bathrooms and showers. This grout is easier to work with and adheres to vertical surfaces better than sanded grout. Unsanded grout is utilized for joints less than 1/8 inch wide.

6. What is the difference between sanded and unsanded grout hardness?

The grout’s hardness is another way to describe how likely it will cling to the tile. The higher the number, the more likely it will adhere to a surface. Both sanded and unsanded cement-based grout are classified as having a hard finish.

7. Can I use sanded grout on glossy tile?

Sanded grout will achieve the best results on most glossy wall tile designs, as it will improve the gloss and smoothness. However, it may not adhere as well to highly textured tiles.

As a general rule, non-sanded grout should be used if your grout junction is 1/8 inch or less. When putting sanded grouts on highly polished tiles, use caution since the sand might damage the surfaces. It is a good idea to test the grout on a sample tile.

8. How do I clean unsanded grout?

The easiest way to clean unsanded grout is with a damp sponge or mop. You can also use alcohol-based cleaners or ammonia-based ones if you want to be extra careful.

9. Why does unsanded grout crack?

Grout can crack and come loose for a variety of reasons. Unsanded grout is suitable for grout joints ranging from 1/8″ to 1/16″ broad and any space bigger can result in cracking.

Occasionally, too much water is used in mixing the grout and/or washing the grout immediately after installation. Excessive water weakens the grout and causes it to crack.

10. How do I apply unsanded grout?

The best way to apply unsanded cement-based grouts is with a bristle brush or clean trowel.

The grout should be applied to the tile using even strokes in all directions. Start in a corner and work your way out with short, diagonal strokes until you reach the other corner.

After covering each area, use your trowel or soft bristle brush to spread the grout over each individual tile. Being careful to apply only enough pressure so that any excess grout on the tiles is removed.

11. Can I use sanded or unsanded grout for the kitchen backsplash?

Unsanded grout is most often used on vertical surfaces, such as a kitchen backsplash. Since wall tile installations with narrow grout lines are less prone to cracking, the extra durability of sanded grout won’t matter.

 12. Can I use sanded or unsanded grout for shower walls?

Unsanded grout is suitable for shower walls in a pinch. However, it is more durable and has better adhesion when used with expanded polystyrene.

13. Can I use sanded or unsanded grout on the sink?

Sanded and unsanded grouts both adhere well to most sinks, but unsanded is preferred for its durability and easier cleaning. If unsanded grout is used, it should be cleaned regularly to avoid stains and mildew.

14. Can I use sanded or unsanded grout for the toilet?

Unsanded grout is generally used on horizontal surfaces because it allows for more flexibility when cleaning and fixing cracks.

Sanded grout will create a much harder barrier and may not clean easily. Sanded tiles should be avoided since they will scratch the porcelain of your toilet bowl.

15. Can I use unsanded grout in the shower?

Unsanded grout is perfectly suitable for shower walls, but for best results unsanded cement-based grouts are typically used. These can be cleaned and maintained easily.

16. Can I use sanded or unsanded grout on the floor?

Generally speaking, it’s a better idea to use sanded cement-based grouts on flat surfaces like floors and countertops.

One exception is that you might want to use unsanded grout if you are installing tile on an vertical surface, such as a tile on the diagonal pattern.

This is because unsanded grout allows a more flexible installation and easier maintenance.

17. Can I use sanded or unsanded grout in my kitchen?

Sanded cement-based grouts are preferred for use in kitchens and bathrooms so that they can be cleaned easily and regular maintenance kept up to date with minimal effort.

Sanded grout is commonly used in flooring applications because it can withstand more foot traffic strain. Sanded grout may be used on a bathroom floor tile and unsanded grout can be used on a shower wall.

12. Can I use sanded or unsanded grout in my shower?

Using sanded or unsanded grout in your shower is a great way to give it a more finished look.

13. Does unsanded grout shrink?

When used in between tiles, unsanded grout will not shrink, but when used in horizontal areas, it can and should be treated like sanded grout and apply according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

14. Can I use sanded or unsanded grout for glass tile?

It is best to use sanded grouts with ceramic tile for a more desirable look. Sanded grout enhances the surface of the  tile, making it appear more like a natural stone. However,

sanded grout will scratch polished or honed soft marble surfaces which is why unsanded is recommended be use for these materials!

15. Can I use sanded or unsanded grout in my shower?

You can use either type of grout for your shower, but it’s generally recommended that you stick with sanded grouts for regular maintenance and cleaning purposes, as they are easier to clean.

13. What’s the difference between liquid latex and unsanded grout?

Both have somewhat of a grainy texture but unsanded has a bit more texture than liquid latex.

When making repairs, unsanded grout is usually considered superior because it is less likely to bleed or pool out on the floor, compared to liquid latex. It can also take two weeks longer to harden or dry properly than liquid latex.

14. What’s the best grout for a walk-in shower?

If you’re really looking for a specific look or to try something new, you should start with sanded grout.

In terms of cost, sanded grout is usually the more economical choice because it can be cheaper than unsanded options.

Also, if you are going with a variety of tile patterns and colors, leather-look tile grout may work better than conventional tile grout.

As for walk-in showers, unsanded grout will give you a cleaner, neater look which is preferable for most people. You can use a variety of colors and patterns to create a unique look.

15. What’s the best grout for floor tiles?

If you’re looking to update your bathroom floor tiles with a different color and texture, you should go with liquid latex.

Its grainy texture is more uniform and consistent than sanded grout. However, since it is a water-based material, you should avoid using liquid latex for marble or granite tiles.

16. What’s the best grout for kitchen tiles?

To get rid of unsightly stains from hard-water buildup on kitchen and bathroom floors, you’ll need to use sanded grout. In addition to getting a new color; this will help you get rid of the stains.

17. How do you choose the right grout for the joint size

If you are planning to tile your floor or walls, you will also need to decide between sanded and unsanded grout. The difference is in the size of the pores.

Sanded grout has bigger spaces between its particles for easier filling and cleaning, while unsanded grout has smaller ones for a more durable finish that resists staining from spills or food colors.

Choose grout that is suitable for your floor type and the size of the joints. For floors, use a grout that is suitable for concrete floors such as porcelain, stone, marble or ceramic.

For concrete floors, you can use sealer and sanded grout to protect the surface from staining from spillage or food coloring.

Use sealer after you have grouted to finish it off and increase its durability. Before sealing, sand the grout so it will polish smoothly when applied.

Check the label on any grout you buy to see if it is suitable for concrete floors. You can also paint a layer of sealer onto your grout floor before you apply grout.

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