Sanded vs unsanded grout – which one is better for your tiles?

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Sanded vs unsanded grout – what do you need to know? What is the difference between sanded grout and unsanded grout? How to choose the right grout? It is quite natural that once you have chosen the tile for your kitchen backsplash or bathroom you will face the question about grouting.

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What is grout? Grout is the colored mortar between the tiles which helps holding them in place and seals the space between them. In addition to the practical function, grout has a decorative function as it is a frame around the tiles and can complement their color or create a visual contrast. Grout comes in a wide range of colors and there are different types of grout. When you have to choose between an epoxy grout, furan grout, other types of grout, grout sealants, the numerous colors, finishes, properties, it becomes a complex task and people get confused.


Sanded vs unsanded grout – what is the difference?

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Sanded vs unsanded grout – what is the difference, which one is better, where and how to apply them? Before all, choosing the type of grout will strongly depend on the style of your tiles, the tile color, the water resistant properties of the grout, etc.

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Sanded grout is a cement-based grout, containing silica sand, which is literally added to the mix in order to provide additional strength to the grout joints. It is the sand that creates a strong bond within the grout mixture and makes it resistant to cracking and shrinking. Sanded grout adds to the slip resistance of the flooring in wet areas as well.

Unsanded grout or non-sanded grout, has a smooth texture, it is a cement-based grout and does not contain an addition of sand.


Sanded vs unsanded grout – how to use them?

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Sanded vs unsanded grout – the decision which type of grout is suitable for your home should be based on the particular area of application.

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Sanded grout is recommended for larger joints and tile installations with grout lines wider than 1/8 inch as it is strong and will not crack. The coarser texture may be a bit difficult to clean and maintain, though. Can you apply sanded grout on thinner tile joints? Yes, but you should keep in mind that it could be difficult to force the sandy mixture into tight joints. Sanded grout is an excellent choice for natural stone, marble tiles, glass and other heavier tile materials.

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Unsanded (non-sanded) grout is recommended for smaller narrow grout joints which have a spacing less than 1⁄8 inch wide. You could use it to fill larger joints, but there is a possibility that it will crack due to the lack of bonding that the sand provides. Unsanded grout is easier to work on vertical surfaces because of its “sticky” property and the solidity of the mixture. Unsanded grout can be used for ceramic tiles, glass tiles or highly polished surfaces as it is unlikely to scratch the surface.

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