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How to Choose the Best Grout for Your Tile

A man installing groutDuring a remodeling project, you will have to make what feels like thousands of decisions on a variety of issues. However, when it comes to laying new tile, the staff at our tile store in Anaheim stress that choosing the correct grout is an essential task that should not be overlooked. Grout is important because it seals out water and dirt, supports the structural integrity of the tile and compensates for tiny size differences between each tile. Unfortunately, if you choose the wrong grout or fail to seal it, numerous problems may occur. Below are some tips to help you with this task:

Knowing Where to Begin

There are two primary types of grout, which are synthetic grout and cementitious grout. Generally speaking, synthetic grout is the best choice for areas that may frequently become wet, with cementitious grout being the most appropriate option for all other areas. You must also choose from among sanded, non-sanded, and epoxy grout. Epoxy grouts are the most resistant to water damage, stains and harsh cleaners, and therefore are the most durable among all three types. Additionally, epoxy grout usually does not need a sealer.

Sanded grout is an excellent choice for installations with wide grout lines, such as an eighth of an inch or wider. This is because sand grout has a cement base to which sand is added, and this helps prevent the cracking and shrinking of the tiles.

Non-sanded grout is a cement-based grout that is generally utilized for smaller grout joints that are less than an eighth of an inch wide. It is the best option for tiles that are being installed vertically, such as on walls. This is because it holds its position better during the application, as its texture is somewhat sticky.

Selecting the Best Color

Color selection is largely a matter of personal taste, but there are practical ways to narrow down your choices. For example, if you want the surface of the tile to be the focal point, you should match the grout color as close as possible to the tile. If you enjoy a vintage look, consider selecting a grout color opposite to that of the tile. If you want a pleasant contrast, choose a shade that will highlight the primary color and pattern of the tile and make it more noticeable. If you are a bit overwhelmed with the selection process, it is always a safe bet to choose neutral grout, as such colors blend well with all shades and patterns.

However, always keep in mind that grout typically seals darker than its original color, and therefore you may want to choose a slightly lighter shade than that of the end result you have in mind.

Sealing the Grout

It is also very important to seal the grout, particularly if it is light-colored and will be installed in a moisture prone area. With the exception of epoxy, which is pre-sealed, all grout must be sealed to ensure the best results from your tile project. Penetrating grout sealer is typically recommended, as it creates an impenetrable barrier by soaking through the other materials. In certain cases, a membrane sealer is recommended, but such sealers should not be used in bathrooms and other moisture prone areas. Regardless of which kind of sealer you select, it should be reapplied at least once every 15 years.

Whether you’re using marble, travertine, or granite, adding new tile to one or more rooms in your home is a great way to improve both its beauty and value. In most cases, however, it is best to have a professional complete the job to ensure satisfactory results. Talk to the experts at our Anaheim tile store for more information about grout.