The Guide to Picking the Right Grout
Not all Grout is Created Equal
So you’ve decided to do some renovations or upgrades to your space. You’ve prepared your area, and you’ve even chosen and stocked up on your tile. Now you’re faced with the dilemma of choosing from a myriad of different grouts of all kinds and colors. It can be overwhelming, and it could be something that could make or break your installation, so it’s important to choose wisely.
The type of grout you use will have a tremendous impact on the lifespan of your tile and depending on the application, one type may be more appropriate than another.
The most common grouts are cement based. These are what you are likely to see in most professional or DIY installations. It comes in sanded and non-sanded varieties. Sanded grouts, as the name implies, have sand added into the mix where it helps create stronger more crack and shrink resistant application. Sanded grouts are also naturally more slip resistant, due to this; it is best used in installations with larger grout lines. It also sets at a slower rate making it easy to work with.
Non-sanded grout is best used in installations with thinner grout lines (1/16th and 1/8th inch). Unlike sanded grout, it is not as resistant to cracking from shrinkage. It is ideal for use on vertical walls because of its “sticky” nature allowing it to better hold in place during installation while setting.
Other than cement based grouts, there are also epoxy grouts. These tend to be the most durable of all options as they are the most resistant to water and stains and can hold up against harsh or abrasive cleaning products. It’s durable, and resilient nature makes it the ideal choice for areas in your home with a lot of moisture or foods such as kitchens and bathrooms. Exterior applications should be avoided with epoxy grouts, as they can yellow or fade when exposed to the elements. Always check manufacturer specifications for acceptable application use.
Making the most of your grout applications
Sealing your grout is a must-have finishing touch, especially if you plan on using it in areas with a lot of moisture or a lighter colored grout to avoid deterioration or staining. This is of course only if you aren’t using epoxy grout. Be sure to use one that adequately penetrates through more than just the surface for the best results.
Grouts also come in all sorts of colors and styles. Be sure to choose one that nicely compliments your tile of choice or contrasts enough to help define your space. Of course, you want to make sure in the end your installation blends into the overall aesthetic of your space working with your walls or furniture.
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Be sure to read our recent post outlining our thoughts on options for Alternative Tile Installations. Click Here