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What's the Difference: Sanded vs. Unsanded
Nov 15, 2018

sanded Vs unsanded groutAlthough it’s available in more than 100 colors, only two types of cement-based grouts are used to fill the gaps between tiles: sanded and unsanded. The choice is determined mostly by the width of the joint between tiles.

Unsanded grout is preferred for joints that are less than 1⁄8 in. wide. This smoothtextured grout is most common in ceramic-tile installations and clings firmly to vertical surfaces. It’s also recommended for any floor or wall tile installation with narrow joints. Unsanded grout is also a good choice for highly polished stone such as marble, where sanded grout may scratch the tile surface.

Sanded grout contains an aggregate of silica sand to provide strength to the grout joints. It has a coarser texture and is a bit harder to clean, but it’s the best choice for tile joints wider than 1⁄8-in. because it resists cracks from shrinkage. It’s possible to use sanded grout in thinner joints, but it can be difficult to force the sandy mixture into tight joints, and pinholes in the finished grout lines are a common problem.

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