You should always ask the store where you purchased the tile how to install it. Even though the grout does not make the tile installation more stable, you will still need to grout the tiles. Even if the spaces between the tiles are small, they will still need grouting. If you don’t grout them, food and water could get into the gaps and damage the tiles and the wall.
There are vitrified tiles that do not need grouting. If your tiling project is in a dry location, you can install this tile without grout. These tiles are made from clay dust. They are straight and square, so they can be put together without gaps. Due to its appearance, this tile is not good for the kitchen.
You must use unsanded grout. No matter how big the space, there’s always a place for grime, ruin, and grease. For a proper, waterproof, and easy-to-clean job, you need grout for your backsplash.
To put it simply, natural materials like stones are designed to be of a fairly consistent size for use. Not only that, but most of them look alike. For this reason, a beginner might want to install them without grout lines at first.
Some people also say that installing tile without grout looks better and gives the job a neater look. Still, experienced contractors will tell you that’s not a good idea, and even the choppiest grout lines can make a big difference.
What Is the Best Type of Grout for Kitchen Backsplash?
You will find both cementitious grout and epoxy grout when looking for grout for your kitchen remodel. Each of these two types can also be sanded or not. Let’s look at the differences and talk about which one is best for kitchen folders.
Cement grout that is not sanded is simply cement, powdered colors, and water. Sanded cement grout is the same as regular cement grout, but it contains sand. Sand is added to the grout to make it thicker and prevent the joints from shrinking.
The grout is the most important thing to consider when deciding whether to sand or not (i.e., the space between the tiles). The general rule is to use unsanded grout for spaces smaller than one-eighth of an inch. Sanded grout is good for joints wider than an eighth of an inch because, as we’ve said before, the sand prevents the grout from shrinking and gives it extra strength.
Most of the time, homeowners choose cement-based grout because it is cheaper and easier to use. But epoxy may be a better choice for tiling in areas where there is a lot of foot traffic or where grease, acids, or other things that can damage the tiles are used.
Epoxy is made of resin and a hardener, which makes it resistant to most things and hard to stain. Because it lasts longer, it is often recommended for kitchen backs, tile countertops, and floors. As we just said, whether to use a sanded or unsanded epoxy grout depends on the width of the gaps between your tiles.
How to Grout? 7 Simple Steps
Step 1: Once you have everything you need, the first thing to do is cover your counters. To do this, place plastic sheets on it and glue the parts with painter’s tape.
Step 2: Mix your grout when your countertops are no longer in danger. Using your putty knife and the instructions on the grout package, mix the grout in one of your buckets. The goal is to get the grout to look and feel like peanut butter.
Step 3: Put grout between the tiles. Depending on the size of your kitchen folder, you may want to divide it into smaller areas.
To use your mix, use your float to spread the grout on your backsplash tiles. Work at a 45-degree angle, spreading the grout upward and pressing it between the backsplash tiles. If your kitchen cabinets, counters, or windows are caulked, don’t get too close.
Step 4: Wait 10-15 minutes for the grout to dry, then fill the second bucket with warm water. You use the sponge and warm water to wipe extra grout from your backsplash tiles.
During this whole process, rinse your sponge often and find that it is only slightly damp. Too much water can damage your grout lines, and a dirty sponge will leave a haze on your kitchen backing.
Step 5: Your grout needs time to dry, so you can come back to this project in a few hours or let it sit overnight. When the grout is dry, you will go over the area again with a soft cloth. This is to ensure that your folder tile is not covered in the film.
Step 6: You can wait a few hours to complete step 5, but you must wait at least 24 hours to start step 6. At this point, you will use your sealer and a clean cloth to seal the grout. This will prevent stains and color changes from occurring on your grout over time.
Step 7: Now caulk the edges of your backing where it meets counters, windows, and all other corners. Gently use a bead along the edges, then use a lightly dampened sponge to go over the line. To get the perfect line, gently press your finger on each line of putty, then leave it with the sponge.
As soon as your putty has dried, your project is complete. You did a great job of grouting your kitchen backsplash.
Not All Tiles Are the Same
Even though your tiles may look the same size, they probably aren’t. The differences can be very small and hard to see without a ruler, but they can make it difficult to install tile without grout. When you put the tiles together, all those little flaws will make the whole thing look a little off and unprofessional. After laying tiles for hours, the last thing you want to know is that they are not aligned correctly.
Grout allows you to hide different sizes of tiles and control their appearance. Even the smallest lines can make the tiles fit together perfectly, giving the whole thing a nice symmetrical look.
Yes, it is technically possible to lay tile without grout, but as the article above says, it’s not worth it. There are three main problems with laying tile without grout:
- If the tiles are not all the same, they will not line up;
- Dirt can penetrate under them and injure them over time;
- Movement can cause objects to break.
So, what if a customer insists on not having the grout cleaned? You should try to convince them not to. Obviously, it’s their choice in the end, but try to help them see why the grout is important. Some people may want a tight look and think the grout is breaking up the pattern of the tiles. try to show them that the grout has benefits that pull them in the long run. After all, most people are likely to choose something that lasts longer than something that “looks nice” for a few months.