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Choosing the Right Grout for Your Flooring: Sanded vs. Non-Sanded

Choosing the Right Grout for Your Flooring: Sanded vs. Non-Sanded

When it comes to installing tile flooring, choosing the right grout is critical for both functionality and aesthetics. Grout not only fills the gaps between tiles but also provides stability and prevents moisture from seeping into the subfloor. In this article, we will explore the differences between sanded and non-sanded grout, helping you make an informed decision for your flooring project.

Sanded Grout

blue tiles with yellow sanded-grout

Sanded grout is a popular choice for larger grout lines, typically measuring 1/8 inch or wider. It contains fine sand particles that add strength and stability to the grout, making it ideal for high-traffic areas and spaces prone to movement. Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Durability: Sanded grout is known for its strength and resistance to cracking, making it suitable for flooring applications. The sand particles enhance its structural integrity and minimize the chances of grout shrinking or cracking over time.
  1. Wide Grout Lines: If your tiles have wider spacing, such as those in natural stone or textured tiles, sanded grout is the preferred choice. The sand helps fill the larger gaps, providing better support and minimizing the risk of grout failure.
  1. Enhanced Traction: The textured nature of sanded grout offers better slip resistance, making it ideal for floors, particularly in wet areas like bathrooms and kitchens.

Non-Sanded Grout

white porcelain square tiles with non-sanded grout

Non-sanded grout, also known as unsanded grout, is typically used for smaller grout lines measuring 1/8 inch or less. It is made from a mixture of Portland cement and powdered polymers, lacking the sand particles found in sanded grout. Here are some considerations:

  1. Smaller Grout Lines: Non-sanded grout is suitable for tiles with narrow spacing, such as mosaics, glass tiles, or delicate materials like marble. The absence of sand allows for easier application and better adhesion in tight spaces.
  1. Smooth Finish: If you desire a seamless and polished look, non-sanded grout is the way to go. It fills in the grout lines without the textured appearance provided by sanded grout, resulting in a more refined and consistent finish.
  1. Delicate Materials: The absence of sand particles reduces the risk of scratching or damaging sensitive tiles, which is especially important for soft or delicate materials. Non-sanded grout provides a gentle touch, ensuring the tiles remain intact and unharmed during the installation process.


Choosing the right grout for your flooring project is essential for achieving both functional and aesthetic goals. Sanded grout is ideal for wider grout lines, providing durability, strength, and slip resistance. On the other hand, non-sanded grout is best suited for narrow grout lines, ensuring a smooth and polished finish while minimizing the risk of damage to delicate tiles.

Consider the nature of your tiles, the spacing between them, and the intended location to determine whether sanded or non-sanded grout is the right choice for your flooring project. Consulting with a professional tile installer or visiting a reputable tile supplier can also provide valuable insights and recommendations based on your specific needs.

Remember, selecting the appropriate grout is an important step in the overall success of your tile flooring installation, so take the time to research and make an informed decision.

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