Whether you’re doing the installation yourself or passing the task off to your partner (hey, we get it), this guide will provide some helpful insights on how to choose the right grout for your tile project!
Choosing a suitable grout for your tile installation might seem like a minor decision compared to selecting the tiles themselves. However, it's a crucial element that can significantly impact your design plan's overall aesthetics and longevity.
Do you want your grout to match your tile? Do you want to have an installation with a stark overall contrast? Do you want the final look to be sleek and elegant or rustic and textural?
Grout is more than just the filling between tiles; it contributes to your tiled surface's structural integrity, durability, and visual appeal. With various types, colors, and formulations available, making an informed choice is essential. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the factors to consider when selecting grout for your tile project.
Grout is a mixture, typically consisting of cement, sand, and water, used to fill the spaces between tiles. It secures tiles in place, prevents moisture penetration, and enhances the overall appearance of the tile installation. Grout comes in different forms, including cement-based, epoxy, and resin-based mixtures. Each grout type has its own characteristics, advantages, and ideal applications, which we break down in this article.
Available in sanded and unsanded varieties, cement-based grout is easy to work with and suitable for most tile types. Unsanded grout is thinner and best suited for narrow joints. Sanded grout has a thicker consistency and gives a stronger hold on vertical surfaces, like wall installations.
Cement-based grout is affordable but requires sealing to prevent stains and water absorption. If you want a thin grout line, a cement-based grout will be the best type to achieve this look. Cement-based grout has a longer dry time, which is helpful if you have less experience and need some room to fix any errors.
This grout type is highly durable, stain-resistant, and ideal for areas prone to moisture exposure. It doesn't require sealing but can be challenging to work with due to its quick setting time. Although epoxy grout is highly stain-resistant, white epoxy grout is known to yellow over time. We recommend choosing a color other than white when using epoxy grout for easier maintenance.
Another crucial thing to note is that epoxy grout is typically more expensive than cement-based grout. It can sometimes cost up to 3 to 4 times the price of regular grout, which is a steep difference, especially when the tile installation covers a lot of space.Many people who have used epoxy grout love it, but it’s not always the best choice for first-time DIYers.
Made by combining cement and resins, this grout offers improved flexibility and durability compared to standard cement-based grout. It's stain-resistant and doesn't require sealing, making it suitable for various tile installations. This type of grout is less popular for use, especially in DIY projects. Leave this material to the pros!
When choosing your grout material and color, it’s important to first think about which tile type you are using. Certain tiles pair better with certain types of grout. We don’t make the rules!
Porous or natural stone tiles require a quartz-based grout. A quartz-based grout is not colored with dye. It actually gets its color from the natural pigment in the quartz stone. This matters because the porous nature of the natural stone tiles will absorb the color of any grout created with an added dye. Quartz grout will not alter the color of your porous tiles.
Glazed ceramic tiles can be paired with most grout types and do not need a specific quartz-based grout. Glazed ceramic tiles are not nearly as porous as natural stone tiles, and the glaze on these tiles adds another layer of protection.
Large format or rough edge tiles need wider grout lines and a more flexible grout to accommodate slight movements and variations. Highly decorative tiles might look better against smaller, less distracting grout lines in low-contrast colors.
For high-moisture areas like bathrooms or kitchens, consider epoxy grout that is highly resistant to water and stains. For less-used areas, standard cement-based grout will be a better option. It’s important to consider the space’s purpose when planning an installation. When choosing each room's tile and grout type, consider moisture levels and foot traffic.
As we mentioned above, using a quartz-based grout with porous tile will preserve the longevity of a porous or natural stone tile installation. Not only do we need to think about colored grout as an aesthetic, but we also need to think about how this color will sit with the composition of our selected tile.
Grout color significantly influences the final look of your tiled surface. Lighter grout tends to show less dirt but might discolor over time. Darker grout can create a dramatic contrast but might require more maintenance. Getting creative with grout color can be the design's defining essence!
Harping back on our point made in the location and usage section of this article, it’s essential to think about the daily usage of the location of the tile installation. Assess the expected wear and tear on the tiled surface. Epoxy grout offers superior durability and is ideal for high-traffic areas, while cement-based grout might be more prone to staining and cracking.
Some grouts are easier to work with than others. Cement-based grout is more forgiving for DIYers due to longer drying times, while epoxy grout requires precise application and quicker cleaning.
This is undoubtedly the most important part of the grout decision process. Consider the location, tile type, expected foot traffic, and desired aesthetics before choosing a grout type. Grout will hold your tile in place, ultimately determining your installation's longevity and durability. Making the right choice at this stage in the process will prevent headaches and unforeseen costs down the line!
Seek advice from tile installers or professionals at hardware stores to understand the best grout options for your specific project requirements. Our team at Mission Stone & Tile is happy to help!Schedule a consultation with one of our interior design experts to discuss your design options today.
Purchase grout samples in different colors and types to see how they look against your tiles under various lighting conditions. The way your grout looks with your tile will either be a beautiful design accent or an eyesore. In our opinion, you can’t be too cautious when it comes to choosing your grout! So make sure you take the time to test!
Factor in the maintenance requirements of different grout types. Some might need periodic resealing or special cleaning agents. It’s crucial to maintain your tile and grout with sufficient maintenance.
Imperial Waraga Deco Porcelain 8X8 with White Grout
While epoxy grout might be costlier upfront, its durability and low maintenance requirements could save money in the long run. It’s all about balance and what will fit into your budget.
When starting this blog, some of you were probably wondering to yourself what grout is. It’s okay, we’ve all been there. Now that we’ve cleared that up, you can confidently select the perfect grout for your next installation!
Selecting the right grout for your tile project involves careful consideration of various factors, including tile type, location, aesthetics, durability, and maintenance needs. By understanding the characteristics of different grout types and assessing your project's specific requirements, you can make an informed decision that ensures not only a visually appealing tiled surface but also long-lasting durability and functionality. Understandably, we tend to focus so closely on the tile when starting a new design, but as we’ve uncovered in this blog, it’s all about the grout!
Remember, while the tiles steal the show, the grout plays a crucial supporting role in creating a stunning and durable finished product. Choose wisely, and your tiled surface will stand the test of time, beautifully complementing your space for years to come.
Start your next installation process by exploring tile options and finding a grout to complement or contrast your tile selection. Browse ourhigh-quality tile collections and evenschedule a consultation with one of our interior design experts to discuss your design options today.