Tile is a popular flooring option because it’s durable and easy to clean. However, grout can be a challenge to keep looking tidy. In this post, we’ll discuss the differences between sanded and unsanded grout, and help you decide which one is right for your project. Let’s get started!

Sanded vs. Unsanded Grout: Which One Should You Choose?

Tile surface

Sanded grout is used for tile surfaces where the possibility of scratching from the sand content in the tile grout will not be a problem. This feature can be beneficial for do-it-yourselfers who are not confident about their grouting skills and may need to regrout at least one other time.

Unsanded grout is usually recommended for tile that is easily scratched, such as natural stone, glass, and certain porcelains and ceramics. In theory, the sand content in sanded tile grout may damage these surfaces. Source: TheSpruce

Grout joint size

Unsanded grout should be used in joints that are less than 1/8-inch-wide. It has a smooth texture and clings well to vertical surfaces, which makes it useful for grouting ceramic wall tiles. Sanded grout should be used for flooring and wall tile joints wider than 1/8 inch because it resists shrinkage and cracking. It is possible to use sanded grout in thinner joints, but forcing the bulky mixture into these joints is difficult, and pinholes may occur in your finished grout lines. Joints larger than 3/8 inch need heavily sanded grout mixture, which is typically labeled as a wide-joint mixture and is available at most hardware and flooring stores. Source: HomeGuides.SFGate


Generally speaking, people find that unsanded grout is easier to install because it’s stickier. It’s also a quicker installation because you don’t have to use a sealer (although it’s wise to use one in high-moisture areas).

Sanded grout takes longer to cure and requires a sealer, making it a more time-intensive install. Source: Angi

If you need help deciding which type of grout is best for your project, call us! We would be happy to discuss your options and help you choose the perfect tile and grout for your home.