What Is The Difference Between Sanded And Unsanded Grout? [Answered]

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Grout is used for several flooring purposes like filling the gaps or making some sticky. But there are two types of grouts; sanded and unsanded. Which one to use? Well, you’ve to compare them directly to understand it better. 

What is the difference between sanded and unsanded grout?

The name of the grouts answers it all. The sanded grout contains sand. The additional sand provides extra stability and durability. On the contrary, unsanded grout is smoother because of not having sand. Unsanded grouts are also more expensive than sanded ones. While sanded grouts are good for floors, unsanded grouts are used in vertical installations. 

Anyway, that was a quick overview of the whole discussion. We’ve compared and explained each of these topics in detail for you. 

Let’s jump right in!

Sanded Grout vs Unsanded Grout: Key Differences

Before we go to a full discussion, let’s have a look at them first. A first look can tell you a lot of information. These can give you a surface idea about similarities or dissimilarities. 

For instance, caulking over sealed grout requires you to know about caulking and grout. 

That’s why we’ve come forward and made a table for you-

FeaturesSanded Grout Unsanded Grout
Price0.50$-4.00$ per lbs1.99$-6.99$ per lbs
Applications Floors onlyFloors & Walls
Joint sizeGreater than ⅛”Smaller than ⅛”
DurabilityStrongWeaker
ThicknessThickerThinner
Shrinkage Doesn’t shrinkShrinks over time

Which one are you liking more after going through the table? 

Sanded Grout vs Unsanded Grout: Head to Head Comparison

If you haven’t made a decision yet, that’s absolutely fine. These topics are pretty detailed in general and require elaboration to understand clearly. 

We have compared different features of both of these grouts. Sit back and go through the entire discussion to reach a conclusion. 

Price Range 

The first thing that matters is the price of the product. Because you’ve to apply a lot of grout on flooring and walling. This will take a lot of money. 

Sanded grout is quite cheaper than unsanded grout. It’s because there’s a lot of sand mixed in the product. 

In reverse, you have to pay extra dollars to buy unsanded grout. It’s because the cement amount in this grout mix is more. Cement costs are usually way higher than sand. 

Because of that, it takes a lot of money to do projects with unsanded grouts. 

Winner: Sanded grouts scores the first point. 

Applications

Both sanded and unsanded grouts have different purposes. Let’s discuss how and where to apply them. 

Sanded grout is known to be thicker. Because it has more sand in it. Sand also prevents shrinkage which in turn allows the grout to stay the same. 

Because of this, when it gets dry, the sand still stays in its place. This is how sanded grout keeps the stability. 

On top of that, its resistance to crack is better than unsanded grout. This makes it perfect for flooring applications.  

The only problem this grout has is that it may create pinholes when adding to joints. But pinholes are easy to fix

The unsanded grout can shrink over time as the water in the mixture evaporates. This makes the grout unstable in the long run. 

Automatically, it becomes prone to shrinkage. A grout that has been shrunken won’t be able to withstand the weight. 

We’ve made a small table to further clear the confusion:

Applications Sanded GroutUnsanded Grout 
Living room floorYESYES
Shower WallNOYES
Bathroom/Kitchen FloorYESYES
Bathroom/Kitchen Wall NOYES
Rectified TilesNOYES

As you can see, unsanded grouts can be used everywhere. It keeps the tile stuck on the wall. But it may not be perfect for flooring applications. 

On the contrary, sanded grout is better for flooring. But not usable at all when it comes to vertical installations. 

Winner: For flooring applications, sanded grout is more durable. But for other applications, unsanded grout takes the win.

Durability

Durability is a concern when you pay a lot of money. Because no one wants to regret after spending so much money. 

The durability of sanded grout is unmatched by everything else. Sanded grout can last for 15 to 20 years. But they have to be maintained properly. Resealing the grout regularly is the best way to maintain sanded grout. 

Unfortunately, this isn’t the same case for your unsanded grout. At least for flooring installations. But for walls and other vertical installations, it can last for years. 

Winner: Sanded grout wins the round. 

Joint Size 

After flooring and tiling, it’s time to talk about joint sizes. Which grout should be used in joints? 

The answer is very simple. The sanded grout can’t be used in narrow joints. If a joint is thinner than ⅛” you can’t use sanded grout. 

Because these joints require precision. Sanded grout provides anything but that.

In these situations, you’re better off using unsanded grout. It’s easier to get them into small joints. 

Winner: Unsanded grout takes the point. 

It’s advised to use sanded grouts for flooring applications. Because it can reduce the overall cost by a lot. One other option for the sanded grout is to use epoxy grout instead. 

You can grout tiles yourself if you think you can. But there’s always an option to hire an expert to get a better finish. 

FAQs

Question: Should I use sanded or unsanded grout in a shower?

Answer: For shower walls, always use unsanded grout. Because sanded grout doesn’t have stickiness. On top of that, floors have a lot of foot traffic. Since sanded grout can withstand a lot of weight, they are the better choice.

Question: Can I mix sanded grout and unsanded grout?

Answer: Yes, it’s possible to mix sanded and unsanded grout. Actually, product instruction does contain the mixing ratio. Mix the required amount of powder with each other. Then add water to combine the mixture.

Question: What is the purpose of grouting?

Answer: Grouting is done to fill the voids. It makes the floor or the wall tough by bonding the tiles together. It also prevents the tiles from getting cracked. Sanded grout is better than the rest because of its extra bonding capabilities

Wrapping Up

That was everything from us on what is the difference between sanded and unsanded grout. Hopefully, you’ve found the answers that you were looking for! 

Finally, good luck out there!

Richard Allen