Tiling can be therapeutic or frustrating, depending on whether it’s going well or not. Different projects and areas will need different kinds of grout, like sanded or unsanded grout. If you’re still not sure which to use after reading this article, Tim Hmelar and his team at The Kitchen and Bathroom Company of Palo Alto will be happy to help.
The most commonly used grout for tiles or stone with a grout joint of 1/8 inch or more is sanded grout. Sanded grout is very absorbent and if it isn’t sealed, can soak up liquids or stains. It is a mixture of sand and Portland cement, with a few other additives and it is applied by mixing it with water and then troweling it into the joints. It takes about twenty-four hours to dry, and then it is as solid as concrete. To prevent discoloration, some grouts are mixed with latex additives, however it is generally recommended that that they are still sealed once they are dry.
Unsanded grout is also known as wall grout and as you may have guessed, it’s like sanded grout but without the sand. Sanded grout can be used for joints that are smaller than 1/8th of an inch and also for marble tiles, which can get easily scratched by sanded grout. It has the same problems with cleaning and discoloration that sanded grout has, so it is also recommended to be sealed.
The problem with unsanded grout, is that if you use it for larger joints, it is likely to crack with time. Sand gives the grout more strength and means that the grout will last longer.