When to Use Sanded Versus Unsanded Grout

It is important to know the difference between sanded versus unsanded grout. Both of these types of grout joint compounds come from Portland cement. One type is called sanded or “rough” grout, and the next type is unsanded or “smooth” grout.

how to grout tileNow the type of grout you should use does not depend on how you want the tiles to look, and it does not even depend on the type of stone or tile you are installing. It only depends on the width of the grout lines. If you are installing tile that has joints that are 1/8 inch or larger, then you should use sanded grout. If they are under 1/8th inch, you should definitely use unsanded grout.

The reason why you should use sanded grout when you have larger joints, is that over time, the compound with the sand in it will not shrink. If you try to use unsanded grout, you end up with your grout shrinking, and it will no longer work as efficiently as it should to hold your tiles in place and to prevent them from getting damaged. If you ended up using unsanded grout for quarter-inch grout lines, you will definitely have to re-grout, and you may even have to replace the tiles entirely.

Likewise, if you try to use  sanded grout with a very narrow joint space of less than 1/8 of an inch, you won’t get enough of the actual compound into the joint to hold it together ( many times, the grains of sand will just fall out).

Most professional tile installers understand the difference between sanded versus unsanded grout. If they don’t, they probably have not been installing tile very long. Or, it is possible that they specialize in either installing exclusively large tiles or installing small ones. Either way, I would suggest that if you want to hire a professional installer, get someone who obviously knows what he is doing, and someone who has a lot of experience in installing both large and small types of tile and grout.

Epoxy Grout Versus Sanded And Unsanded Grout

grout sealerAn epoxy grout is a very high quality grout that is very resistant to water. It is not porous like most types of grout, and will not even absorb stains or pet odors very easily. It is like having sanded grout for thin grout joints, only it uses very miniscule grains as fillers rather than sand. This keeps the grout joints from shrinking after installing. Epoxy grout is expensive and many times, it isn’t justified by the cost. 90% of the time, it is probably not even needed, because regular grout compound works perfectly fine. However, if you find that you are constantly being attacked by mold and mildew, and you decide to redo your grout, it is a good idea to use epoxy grout. Also, it is a good idea to use epoxy grout on your counter tops since you probably don’t want to have counter tops that are absorbing stuff all the time.

If you have any other questions related to sanded versus unsanded grout, please be sure to ask us in the comment section of this article. We will try to answer your questions as soon as we can and get back to you with correct and authoritative answers every time.

This site is a good  reference, and we suggest that you also check it out: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg100743484245.html

More suggested readings: How To Grout Ceramic Tile and How To Grout Bathroom Tile

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