DIY Consumer Tile Installation and Repair Blog

Tile Installation and Tile Repair DIY and How-To Consumer Help Blog |Tile Excellence. Step-by-step instructional posts from Tile Setter and owner, Chris Lawson, a tile layer for over 30 years, the last 15 years spent serving the towns and cities North of Boston, MA, including the North Shore area, Essex County. Gloucester, Rockport, Hamilton, Manchester, Beverly, Danvers, Salem, Newport, Cambridge, Boston, Ipswich, Georgetown and more.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Tile Installtion FAQ: Sanded Grout or Un-Sanded Grout?

Tile Installation and Tile Repair 

Most Frequently Asked Questions from Consumers:

  From Newly Forming FAQ on Tile Installation, Tile Repairs & All Things Tile Related:

Many people have asked me over the years which grout to use in their house particular to their tile installation. There is a simple answer to every question. Always use sanded grout whenever possible.
The industry standard states that un-sanded grout be used on grout joints 1/8  or less and sanded grout is used on grout joints 1/8 and larger up to 1/2 inch. So 1/8 inch grout joints can have sanded or unsanded (non sanded) grout applications. The reason sanded grout is always the best option in my opinion and experience is because it is undoubtedly much stronger and longer lasting. The reason being the sand in the grout acts like the gravel in concrete and binds the concrete together and keeps it from cracking. Unsanded grout doesn't have this binding strength and cracks and chips out over the long term and from my experiences doesn't last as long as a sanded grout. Some applications require a un-sanded grout when joints are too small for sanded grout to penetrate or in instances when sanded grout may scratch the installation material. Such materials as Marble, Travertine and soapstone are easily scratched and a sanded grout is not applicable [according to the manufacturer].  But anytime there is a choice between SANDED AND UNSANDED  grout, and sanded can be used, it would be advantageous to use the SANDED GROUT  whenever possible.

Below are pictures of examples installed this past week in Manchester MA of both sanded and sanded grout applications. As well as glass and 'metal mosaic tile that manufacturers recommend be installed with unsanded grout  But  I will explain how and why I used sanded grout for the installation.

Glass tile can be easily scratched when sanded grout is applied with a grout float especially when applied by an unskilled tilesetter. Manufactures recommend using the unsanded grout to install their product. But if sanded grout is applied with the hands and not a hard rubber float sanded grout can be used without scratching the tile giving the installation the long lasting strength that I would prefer in my home .
The advantage of  a UNSANDED  grout is that the finished product has a smooth finished  grout line, clean and smooth to the touch. Sanded grout ends up being rough like sandpaper to the touch.

I always try to bring my customers the highest quality installations at the most economical price , and for DIY and consumer readers with tile questions/concerns here on this blog I have the same philosophy; to bring my readers the information of options for both quality, longevity and economics

This is my opinion only based on years of tile experience. But other tile installation professionals may have different responses based on their training and experiences, so I welcome any to share their thoughts here with my readers. I want this to be a place where people can get help. 

Feel free any time to ask questions and inquires and I will do my best to help anyone in any country regarding any tile situation where my opinion can help you in making the best decision for your job. I realize my opinions are based on my experience, training and perceptions, so other professional tile installers may have different, not necessarily right or wrong just different than mine, so consider it one man's  make to make the best decision about your job  thanks.

Chris
   
Broke joint floor tile  with a 3/16 grout joint with sanded grout

1 inch hexagon marble which can be easily scratched by sanded grout using a rubber float
I hand grouted with sanded grout for strength

2 inch hexagon marble tile with a dot
easily scratched by sanded grout using a rubber float
hand grouted with sanded grout for strength
broke joint floor tile using a 3/16 grout joint and sanded grout

glass and metal mosaic tile recommended to use unsanded grout to prevent scratching
If hand  grouted carefully sanded grout can be used for strength  

glass and metal mosaic tile recommended to use unsanded grout to prevent scratching
If hand  grouted carefully sanded grout can be used for strength  

8 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I am
    waiting for your next write ups thanks once again.

    My webpage; Tilers Romford (romfordtile.com)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Chris, I agree with what you have mentioned. I am a tile installer as well and you are correct. All tile contractors have different techniques or ways on how doing their job. Through the years of expertise we are actually practicing our techniques into perfection. BTW, you did a great job on the flooring congrats and I must say you are one of the experts. Keep it up ;)

    -Ferdy

    ReplyDelete
  3. thanks Ferdy I appreciate your comment Its so good to hear from other tile installers Who really understand the business thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's hard to find experienced people for this subject,
    however, you sound like you know what you're talking about!
    Thanks

    my homepage - vinyl flooring

    ReplyDelete
  5. My wife and I are doing remodeling throughout our house and we're planning on installing some type of marble tile. It's really good to know what type of grout is best for marble since we're doing the installation ourselves. I didn't realize that the sand grout could scratch the tile. I'm glad we'll avoid that now. http://www.marble4us.com/

    ReplyDelete
  6. This kind of tile is actually more pricey although stronger when compared with linoleum and vinyl fabric best tile saw for the money. You should utilize this kind of tile to the floorboards regarding nearly all part of your abode. Nevertheless whenever you'll put in this kind of selected tile for a rest room, be sure that you select ceramic with tough floor.

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