Below we discuss sanded and unsanded grouts, including the differences and how to choose the best grout for your tile project.
When laying tiles, be it a floor, wall, backsplash, countertop or other, you should not only choose the right size, shape and type of tile, but also think about the joint lines. The choice between sanded and unsanded joint can really make a difference in appearance, cost and durability.
Chain is the mortar used to glue the tiles together. Cement mortar is essentially a mixture of cement and water, but there is also a type of cement mortar called epoxy mortar to which resin and a hardener are added.
Types of injection mortars
Traditionally, cement mortars have been used in residential applications, e. B. for tiling a bathroom wall or kitchen backsplash.
Epoxy mortars are slightly stronger and can withstand harsh conditions, which is why they are often used for placing outdoor tiles. They are also resistant to corrosive substances such as fats or acids and can therefore be used in garages.
Difference between crushed and unground cement
Cement and epoxy mortars are available on the market in two versions: ground and unground. The main difference between the two is the presence or absence of sand in the mixture.
Depending on the type of tile you are laying and the size of the space between the tiles, one type of grout may be more economical than another. Let’s take a look at these two types of grouts to see how sanded and unsanded grouts differ for your next project.
What is crushed cement?
Whether cement or epoxy, ground cement mortar contains a third main ingredient: Sand. Adding sand to the mixture makes the cement thicker and prevents it from shrinking around the joints between the tiles. Floor mortar is most suitable for wide joints due to its high dead weight. It is also a more economical cement mortar because sand is cheap.
When should I use grout?
When installing tiles with joints wider than 1/8 inch, grout should be used.
Although floor mortar can be used on joints of less than 1/8 inch, it can be difficult to get this small amount of grout into the joints due to the mass of the floor mortar. You could end up with uneven cement.
If you are working with joints larger than 3/8 inches, you will need to use a grout with a higher sand content. It is called broad-groove cement mortar and is easily found in hardware stores.
Soil mortar is often used in soils because it is more resistant to the pressure of pedestrian traffic. You can use the joint for the floor tiles of the bathroom, but not for the shower walls.
Finally, sanded grout offers more colour choices for those who want more choice.
What is unmixed cement?
Unconsolidated cement mortar, both cement-based and epoxy-based, does not contain sand. This makes it smoother when dry. It is also lighter, which can be an advantage, but it also makes it prone to cracking.
As unpolished joints are often used for delicate tile surfaces, more skill/experience may be required for tile laying, especially for crumbly or differently shaped tiles. However, it is often easier to work with unbaked joint than with moulded joint, even vertically.
When should I use an unpolished grout?
Ungrouped grout adheres better to vertical surfaces, therefore it is better to use it for wall tiles. You should also opt for a joint without joints if you are installing tiles with joints less than 1/8 inch wide.
The most common applications for unpolished joints are kitchen windows or shower enclosures.
If you install tiles that scratch easily, like. B. marble, you need to go to seamless joints. Floor mortar can damage this type of tile. Ungrouped grout has a less abrasive and much smoother texture, making it more suitable for use on delicate tile surfaces.
Unsanded joint is also less hard than sanded joint and can crack or break under pressure, so unsanded joint is not recommended for boards.
For more information on related patterns, see our article on tile patterns.
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