Learning Center

Find the answers to your home improvement questions.

How to Choose Grout for Ceramic Tile: Facts & Considerations

Grout for ceramic tile is a cement-based bonding material used for filling joints between tiles. The space left between tiles is called a grout joint. Grout joints need to be sealed and properly maintained to prevent stains and discoloration. They are very porous. If properly protected, the tile and grout will be easier to clean, more resistant to staining, and will provide a safer and healthier environment.

grout-red-tile

Types of Grout for Ceramic Tile

There are four basic types of grout: unsanded, fine sanded, quarry type, and epoxy.

  1. Unsanded grout : This is used for wall tiles where the grout joint is less than 1/8” wide.
  2. Finely sanded grout: This is used for floor tiles where the joints are 1/8” to 3/8” wide.
  3. Quarry-type grout: This is the same as finely sanded grout for ceramic tiles except that a coarser grade of sand is used. The quarry-type grout is used for joints that are 3/8” wide to 1/2” wide such as those used with Saltillo tiles.
  4. Epoxy grout: This consists of an epoxy resin and hardener. Epoxy grout for ceramic tile is highly resistant to stains and chemicals and has a tremendous bonding strength. It is ideal for countertops and other areas susceptible to stains.

Important Considerations 

  • The wider the joint, the coarser the sand has to be. The sand prevents the grout for ceramic tile from shrinking and cracking.
  • The Grout comes in a wide variety of pre-mixed colors.
  • The standard wall joint size is 1/16” wide.
  • The standard grout joint size for floor tiles is 1/4″ wide (finely sanded).
  • Because floor tiles may vary slightly in size, grout joints in the floor tiles should not be smaller than 3/16”. The installer will not be able to keep a straight line if the joint is too narrow.
  • Impregnating sealers go into the grout joint and protect against water and oil-based stains.
  • To prevent or limit staining problems in grout for ceramic tile, we recommend latex additives or sealers. The latex additive forms a rubber-like film over the pores in the grout for ceramic tile, thus limiting its tendency to absorb stains. However, it is not completely stain proof.

One Comment

  1. I am considering the Porcelain tile 6″x24″ “wood look” While browsing through the how too section i saw a picture of this tile tile be laid. My question is, does this wood look tile require Grouting? It appears each tile is set very close, actually touching to give your floor the real wood look. Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You can use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.