DIY tiling success depends on the right grout

(BPT) - Tiling or retiling your kitchen or bathrooms is a great way to refresh your home. Tile is a durable, low-maintenance material that, when installed correctly, can last for years. In areas like the kitchen and bathrooms, tile is the perfect marriage of aesthetics and functionality.

The tile itself may constitute 95% of a home improvement project, but a key component to successful tile installation is a high-performance, easy-to-spread and -clean grout. Grout fills the spaces between tiles and strengthens the structural integrity of the tilework. Picking the right grout also highlights the beauty of the tile and ensures the job will last.

Many people only focus on color when picking grout but performance and suitability for their project are equally important. Not only is the grout highly visible but choosing the wrong grout can lead to cracks, stains and discoloration over time. To pick the appropriate grout for your DIY home improvement project, you’ll need to know the types of cement grouts and their applications.

Sanded grout

Sanded grout is a cement-based product that, as the name suggests, is made of fine sand, aggregates and pigment. It’s the go-to choice for most tiling projects because sanded grout is less expensive than other grout options. According to The Spruce, sanded grout creates dense joints, best for filling wider grout joints and suitable for bathroom and kitchen floors and shower pans.

Sanded grout does have some drawbacks. The sand particles can scratch the surface of more delicate tiles, like glass, so you should always test the grout on a sample tile first. Additionally, it may require sealing to help prevent staining, making it unsuitable for some applications.

DIY tiling success depends on the right grout

Luckily, most of these drawbacks can be avoided by using Prism Ultimate Performance Cement Grout. This cement-based grout provides uniform, consistent color without shading or mottling, regardless of tile type, temperature, or humidity. This fast setting, easy-to-work with grout is available in 40 colors with matching sealant available for filling soft joints and changes of plane, such as at the edge of a tub surround. Prism is also 30% lighter than typical grouts and includes post-consumer recycled aggregate.

Non-sanded grout

Non-sanded grout is made of fine mineral particles and has a smoother texture than sanded grout. If you’re working with easily scratchable materials like glass, natural stone, metals and some porcelain tiles, you should consider a non-sanded product. The other primary reason to choose a non-sanded grout is for very small grout joints between the tiles. Without the sand, these product can be used in joints up to 1/8-inch wide.

There are also some disadvantages to this kind of product. In general, it does not provide the same stability and strength as sanded grout. As it dries, non-sanded grout is prone to shrinkage, leading to the grout pulling away from the tile. If your project requires joints wider than 1/8-inch, non-sanded grout tends to crack so a sanded grout should be used.

Non-sanded grout is also typically more expensive than sanded grout and tends to have fewer color choices.

Don’t let the price point ruin your project

Once you’ve chosen the type of grout suitable for your project, make sure you don’t skimp on quality. Whether you use sanded or non-sanded grout, don’t choose the cheapest one. You may save some money on your project, but you will likely spend more time and money in the future when the grout begins to crack and stain.

High-performance Prism grout and other tile installation materials from Custom Building Products are popular among commercial contractors, bringing professional-grade quality to your DIY home improvement projects. Many of their products are also GREENGUARD Gold certified, meaning that the product is proven to have low emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) commonly found in flooring, paint and other building products.

To learn more about Prism and other tile installation products, visit CustomBuildingProducts.com.