When it comes to building or renovating your home, you might be more concerned with paint colors and flooring types than you are with little things like sanded or unsanded grout. Even though grout isn’t the most exciting part of your home, it is an important detail when it comes to your flooring.
Grout is used for tile flooring and helps bind tiles together. The right kind of grout can help keep moisture out of your floor and protect the foundation from water-related damages. Grout also helps you keep your tile a certain distance apart, which adds to the style and design of your flooring.
Types of sanded or unsanded grout
Grout comes in two different forms: sanded or unsanded grout. Choosing the kind of grout that is best for your floor depends on the kind of tile you want and how far apart the tiles should be.
The difference between sanded or unsanded grout is the addition of, you guessed it, sand. Unsanded grout is cement based and is a mixture of cement, pigment, and water. Unsanded grout can also be made of an epoxy base, a mixture of resin and hardener.
Sanded grouts use these same foundational materials (cement or epoxy), but add sand to the mix. The sand thickens the grout and prevents joint shrinking between tile pieces. Cement-based grouts are perfect for residential homes and can be used for wall and floor tiles.
Uses for sanded or unsanded grout
Unsanded grout is best used for smaller joints or smaller spaces between tiles. Unsanded grout has a smoother appearance and is useful for smaller spaces because you don’t have to worry about shrinking as much. This kind of grout works really well for vertical tiles on walls. If you are installing porcelain, glass, ceramic, or other more fragile tiles, unsanded grout can be more protective and gentler on these tile types.
Sanded grout is better for larger spaces between tiles. Sanded grout shouldn’t be used for easily scratched tiles because the installation of the grout and the tiles could damage the tile. A stronger tile can benefit from sanded grout, as can floor tiles. Sanded grout is less likely to crack or break when put under the pressure of floor traffic.
Since grout is visible in your home, the color and type of grout you use can affect the appearance of your tile. You want to make sure you match the grout to the tile you are using and to the color of your room as well. You may be using tile for a mud room or laundry room floor, where the grout will help keep out debris and moisture.
Tile can also accent different rooms of your home, including your kitchen and bathroom. Each of these rooms require their own interior design creativity, so choosing the right grout is important. You want to make sure you are picking the grout that won’t shrink in the space between your tiles, that uses the right pigments, and that will help create a barrier for moisture no matter where in your home you use it.