Sanded vs unsanded grout kitchen backsplash [2022]

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A backsplash is a very important part of the kitchen. They are vertical surfaces that give a new look to the kitchen and protect your wall from getting damaged due to heat and water splash. Consequently, finding the right backsplash makes all the difference in your kitchen. Here’s what to consider with sanded vs unsanded grout kitchen backsplash.

sanded vs unsanded grout kitchen backsplash

Tiling the backsplash is also a crucial part of the process, but what do you do when choosing between the infamous sanded and unsanded grout for your tiling project?

Grout comes in two main types: sanded and unsanded. Sanded or traditional grout has grains of sand that give it some texture. Unsanded grout doesn’t have any sand or marble dust added. Let’s look at the difference between sanded and unsanded grout options and then finally choose the best-fitting one for your kitchen backsplash.

What is Grout?

Imagine having tiles that fall off and crack after you install them, and worse when they are on vertical surfaces. Grout is the material that fills in the spaces between tile joints to make them firm and stable. Grouting aims to protect against water, staining, and dirt. Grouts are available in various colors and textures, which allow them to be used with most types of tiles, including:

  • Ceramic tiles
  • Metal tiles
  • Smooth tiles
  • Porcelain tiles

How Does Grouting Work?

The process of grouting your tiles is pretty simple. First, you need to choose your grout. Then, mix it with water and apply it along the grout lines on the tiles using a grout float. Once that’s done, remove the excess grout between the tiles with a sponge or rag. Then, apply a sealant over the grout to protect it from stains and water damage.

sanded vs unsanded grout kitchen backsplash float

The most important thing to remember when grouting is to use enough grout and apply it evenly. You’ll also want to fill in all the gaps between your vertical tiles, so ensure you don’t leave any voids.

What is Sanded Grout?

Sanded grout is a grout made with sand particles. It is a Portland cement-based grout that comprises several materials, including colored powdered pigments, silica sand, and water. It has a rough texture which helps it stick to the wall or floor firmly.

Sanded grout is a great choice for a kitchen backsplash. It’s easy to clean and has a beautiful, elegant appearance that goes well with most kitchen backsplashes.

If you’re looking for a way to make your next DIY project stand out from the crowd, you should consider using sanded grout for your tile installation.

Pros of Sanded Tile Grout

Here are the benefits of using sanded grout for your wall tiles:

  • Sanded grout is more durable and won’t get damaged easily. Since it has a rough texture, fine particles of sand and other particles are less likely to stick to it. This means that your backsplash will look clean for longer.
  • Sanded grout can be cleaned more easily because it doesn’t absorb stains. Using sanded grout on the surface of your backsplash will create a textured finish that makes it harder for stains from food and liquids to soak into the material.
  • Sanded grout is less expensive than traditional grout because fine sand is a cheaper filler than what is used for other types.
  • Sanded grout can be used for wider grout lines ranging between 1/8-inch to 1/2-inches, making them versatile. It can be used for any tile backsplash project, including shower walls and other vertical surfaces with denser joints.

Cons of Sanded Tile Grout

The biggest drawback of sanded grout is that it takes longer to dry. This makes installing more difficult since you must wait for the joints to set before moving on. The extra time required for drying means that you have a lot of work ahead of you after completing the installation and sealing your backsplash—so make sure your schedule has room.

sanded vs unsanded grout kitchen backsplash installing

Another downside is that it is easily scratched and can damage smooth tiles. This problem may not happen with a porcelain or metal tile, but it is still a disadvantage.

Finally, some people find it harder to install than others—especially those trying their hands at DIY home improvement projects for the first time. Sanded grout requires a proper fill and sealing of the surface.

What is Unsanded Grout?

Unsanded grout is a type with no sand included in its composition. It’s called “unsanded” because it does not have sand mixed in with the cement. Unsanded grout fills cracks and crevices in tile, stone, brick, and other hard surfaces. The lack of sand makes unsanded grout much easier to work with than other types of grout, as it does not require any special tools to apply. This makes it perfect for thinner grout lines and delicate tile surfaces like glass tile floors.

There are two common types of unsanded grout: cement-based and epoxy grouts. Cement-based is made with cement, water, and powdered pigment. Epoxy grout is made from epoxy resin and other ingredients, such as pigments and liquid plasticizers.

Pros of Unsanded Tile Grout

There are many benefits to using unsanded grout in your kitchen backsplash.

  • It’s better for sensitive tile surfaces because it lacks silica aggregate filler, which causes scratching and abrasion.
  • It does not need a sealant to keep it stable.
  • It is also well-suited for thin grout lines that are 1/8-inch in width or less.
  • Unsanded grout dries faster and is easy to use for DIYers.

Last but not least, unsanded grout tiles work well with both kitchens and bathrooms alike—so no matter where you want your backsplash tile project done, pick up some unsanded grout for an easy fix!

Cons of Unsanded Tile Grout

So far, we’ve seen that unsanded grout has many benefits. However, there are also some downsides to using unsealed grout in your kitchen backsplash.

  • It can be harder to clean: unsealed grout stains easily and is more prone to mold and mildew growth than sanded grout. This means you may have to clean it more often, so it does not become discolored over time.
  • Cement and epoxy based unsanded grout is more expensive than their counterparts.
  • It only works for very thin grout lines, and it is limited in terms of color and style.

What Are the Differences Between Sanded and Unsanded Grout?

The basic difference between sanded and unsanded grout is that sanded grout has a coarse texture and unsanded grout has a smooth texture. Let’s compare both options using certain determining factors.

sanded vs unsanded grout kitchen backsplash texture

Sanded vs. Unsanded Grout: Appearance

Sanded grout comes in a wider range of colors than unsanded grout because it is dyed with colored pigments mixed into the cement mix before being baked into the tiles. If you want something bold and colorful like red or yellow, unsanded grouts won’t give you those options because there’s nothing but white cement powder in them.

Sanded vs. Unsanded Grout: Price

Sanded grout is more expensive than unsanded because it is more durable. Sanded grout will last longer and require less maintenance, making it a worthwhile investment. Unsanded grout is cheaper, but that does not mean it doesn’t last as long. Sanded grout is more expensive than unsanded grout because it requires additional work to achieve a smooth finish.

Sanded vs. Unsanded Grout: Durability

If you want your kitchen backsplash to last for years, sanded grout is the way to go. Sanded grout is more resistant to stains, water damage, and shrinkage, making it the right grout for your vertical surface.

sanded vs unsanded grout kitchen backsplash resistant

This has to do with how each type of grout is made. Sanded grouts are made using sand, which makes them more porous than unsanded grouts. This means that your sanded kitchen backsplashes will be better able to absorb moisture from spills or steam when cooking—less likely to stain over time.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing Sanded or Unsanded Grout

As you look for your new kitchen backsplash, there are many factors to consider. The grout type (sanded vs. unsanded) can make a difference in the overall appearance of your backsplash. To make your decision, you have to take into consideration the following factors:

  1. The type of surface it is going on. Sanded grout will work better on a vertical tile surface. This is because it will fill in the grooves and create a smooth surface, which you want for a kitchen backsplash.
  2. The color of the tile. The difference between sanded and unsanded grouts is just as visual as functional. If you’re using light-colored tiles, it’s best to use unsanded grout so that it doesn’t stand out too much against the tile color. If you’re using dark-colored tiles, it’s best to use sanded grout to blend into the background and not look out of place or tacky.
  3. The ease of installation. Sanded grouts are generally easier to install than unsanded grouts. This is because sanded grouts tend to be more forgiving and less likely to crack than unsanded grouts. This means that you don’t have to be as careful when installing sanded grout for it to look good. You can also use an aggressive tool such as a floor scrubber on sanded grout without damaging it.

Your choice: sanded vs unsanded grout for kitchen backsplash

When it comes to choosing sanded or unsanded grout, the difference is all in your preference. Grout is the mortar that helps you to steady the surface where you will be laying the tiles for your backsplash. The grout is very important in any project because without it, your work would not be complete. Depending on your personal preference and budget, many grouts are available in the market.

Ariel Path

With over three decades of experience in food manufacturing and kitchen design, I bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. My expertise spans across various aspects of the culinary world, from kitchen appliances to cooking techniques, food selection, and promoting a healthy lifestyle. My ultimate goal is to educate and inspire you in creating your dream kitchen, where functionality meets aesthetics. As a trusted source, I strive to provide valuable insights and guidance to make your kitchen remodel an enjoyable and successful experience. Together, let's transform your space into a culinary haven that reflects your unique style and meets your specific needs. See more details here.

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