Are you currently remodelling your home and having to decide between unsanded or sanded grout? When it comes to tile installation, deciding between unsanded grout and sanded grout is important as it can significantly affect the final finish of your project.
The type of grout finishing you use influences the final look and the overall durability and endurance of your tiled surface. Whether you’re tiling a floor, a shower, or a backsplash, this article will offer you the information you need to select the best material for the job.
So, let’s take a look at the differences between unsanded and sanded grout.
What Is Grout?
Grout is an element used to fill the spaces between tiles. After being applied, it solidifies, bonding the tiles together and reinforcing the entire tiled surface. In addition, grout protects the surface by preventing liquids and other foreign items from entering the space between the tiles. Thinset, the mortar that secures the tile to the substrate, is occasionally mistaken for grout.
What Is Sanded Grout?
The word “sanded” can bring to mind imagery of materials that have been sanded to a smooth surface. But sanded grout does not refer to grout that has been sanded with a sander. On the contrary, sanded grout is simply grout that has been mixed with fine sand. Most tile applications can use sanded grout, which is typically less costly than unsanded grout.
To ensure that you properly use sanded grout, here are some recommended uses for this material.
Sanded grout is the ideal grout for tile floors because it is more rigid, denser, and often more durable than unsanded grout. There are two reasons for this. First, since tile floors typically have wider joints, sanding grout is necessary. Second, tile floors are subjected to significantly greater wear and tear than tile walls, and they benefit from the added strength of sanded grout.
Tile Work With Wider Grout Lines
Large grout joints can be easily filled with unsanded grout, but it won’t work well in gaps wider than 1/8 inch since it has the inclination to crack and shrink. Sanded grout is a better choice for joints measuring 1/8 inch to 3/8 inch.
Surfaces That Are Subjected To Weight And Pressure
Unsanded grout does not operate as well under pressure as sanded grout, which results in less shrinkage and cracking. This is why sanded grout is preferable for applications like floors or other tile surfaces that will be subjected to weight and pressure.
What Is Unsanded Grout?
Unsanded grout, also known as non-sanded grout, is grout that doesn’t contain any sand. While unsanded grout is more costly than sanded grout, it can be a superior option in some situations.
If you’re thinking of including unsanded grout in your home interior design, here are some recommended uses that could help you make the right choice.
Tile Work With Narrow Grout Lines
It is challenging to work sanded grout into narrow grout joints because it is thicker than unsanded grout. This will result in inefficient work and inconsistent fill because the thick sanded grout cannot fill the narrow joint.
Most of the time, sanded grout can be used on walls, but you’ll probably get better outcomes with unsanded grout. Unsanded grout is stickier than sanded grout due to its polymers and lack of sand, which helps it stay in vertical grout lines without drooping. As a result, grouting shower walls and backsplashes is a lot easier, and the results are much better.
When sand is added to sanded grout, the mixture becomes gritty. Sanded grout can cause swirls and scratches on smooth tiles like the following:
Unsanded grout is smooth and lacks the same silica aggregate as sanded grout, making it excellent for scratch-free application around delicate tiles.
Which To Choose?
Sanded grout should be your first choice for general-purpose tiling, such as on walls and floors. Grout shrinkage is minimised with sanded grout, which is readily accessible and offers the widest selection of mixed-colour options. Sanded grout serves as the preferred grout for most applications, with the exception of a few outliers that require unsanded grout.