We are starting a series of blogs on common questions we receive from customers. Our first blog is the difference in sanded and unsanded grout and which applications to use each one in.
Although 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.
The main difference between unsanded and sanded grout is the presence or absence of sand. Unsanded cement-based grout is a smooth mixture of Portland cement, powdered pigments, and water. Epoxy grouts are made of resin and hardener. Sanded cement-based grout and sanded epoxy grouts are basically the same as the previously mentioned mixtures but with sand added. The sand thickens the grout to prevent shrinking in the joints.
Both cement-based grouts and epoxy grouts come in sanded and unsanded types and can both be used with floor and wall tiles. Cement-based grouts are traditionally used in residential applications. Epoxy grouts are ideal for situations where the tiles will be exposed to harsh materials, such as acids and greases.
Unsanded grout should not be used in floor tile, however, because the grout can crack and break under the pressure of floor traffic.