Sanded Vs. Unsanded Grout: Basics, Pros & Cons

Sanded Vs. Unsanded Grout Basics, Pros & Cons

Are you looking for the best grout setup to seal your tile floor surface? You must be confused between sanded vs. unsanded grout or don’t know which way you should go. This short guide will clear all your doubts about these two grout types with a clear difference.

Once you have installed the tile floors, they must be sealed with the perfect material so bacteria and grime can’t get their way in this space.

Keep reading to find the right material to fill this space with an ideal grout.

Sanded Vs. Unsanded Grout Basics

Let’s begin the guide with the basics to clear your ideas. Sanded grouts are one of the highly recommended grouts and are mostly used for different tile projects.

It is fine sand that is friendly to your pockets and also gives a tight lock. However, it is important to note that sanded grouts should be sealed once you have installed them. The method of sealing them is also that much of a hard task. Any DIYer can do it with just a few instructions.

Sanded Vs. Unsanded Grout Basics

If we move towards the unsanded grout, it doesn’t contain sand as the name defines. It is ideal to be used in a place that requires a thin gap filling.

Moreover, you do not need to seal them like sanded grouts after installation. It is also one of the recommended grouts.

Both contain different pros and cons that we will discuss below so that you make it clear which way you want to go. Let’s talk about the uses of both groups below.

When to Use Sanded Vs. Unsanded Grout

It is important to know which grout is suitable at which place as you can’t use them anywhere you want.

When to Use Sanded Vs. Unsanded Grout

Rectified TilesRectified Tiles


For rectified tiles, better use unsanded grout and once you have installed them, you do not need to seal them. For these tiles minimum, a grout joint is required that’s why you do not need sanded grout.

Shower WallShower Wall


It also doesn’t require a lot of grout joints so go for unsanded grout.

Shower PanShower Pan


For the shower pan, you can choose any grout be it sanded or unsanded.

Bathroom and Kitchen FloorBathroom and Kitchen Floor


For bathroom and kitchen floor tiles, any grout would be suitable and appropriate.

Polished or Horned StonePolished or Horned Stone


They have an unpolished finish and don’t require a lot of grout joints so you can use unsanded grout.

Bathroom WallBathroom Wall


For Bathroom walls, you can choose any.

Sanded Vs. Unsanded Grout: A Comparison

Sanded Grout

You are already familiar with the basics now let’s talk a bit more about these grouts. Sanded grout is made of inorganic aggregates, silica, and chemicals that go best for places that require a wide sand line.

It is normally the first choice for various tiling projects as they have the ability to create a sturdy joint.

Sanded Grout

The most significant feature of this grout is being inexpensive to unsanded grout. It is available in the market easily and is the most durable one as well.

Amazingly, you can use this ground in maximum places, especially where there is a 1/8-inch to 1/2-inch wide line. They can’t be used on the delicate surface because sand particles might provide harm.

Let’s move ahead and discuss its pros and cons.

Pros of Sanded Grout

  • It is quite friendly to the pockets and available at cheap rates.
  • It is available in numerous color options.
  • You can make thick joints with sanded grout.
  • It is the most durable grouts that can easily handle heavy traffic.

Cons of Sanded Grout

  • You need to seal them once they are installed.
  • It might create scratches on the surface.

Unsanded Grout

Unsanded grout that is also known as non-sanded grout doesn’t contain sand so it is sticky. It is easy to be applied on a vertical surface and is the most suitable for places that require a thin grout line.

If you have delicate tiles at home that needs to be filled then unsanded grout is the best option for this purpose.

Unsanded Grout

Amazingly, it is the best choice for surfaces that have scratches as it completely fills them. It might be a bit expensive but it is the best choice in many cases.

Pros of Unsanded Grout

  • It doesn’t collapse on vertical surfaces
  • For delicate and sensitive tile floors, it is the best choice.
  • You do not need to seal the grout after installation.
  • They have better material used than sanded grout.

Cons of Unsanded Grout

  • They are a bit more expensive than sanded grout.
  • You do not have enough color options.
  • It can’t be used on wider grouting lines.

Recommended Uses

For floorings and walls, sanded grouts should be your top choice as most people prefer to go for this side.

Most importantly, they are available in the market in different color choices so that you can get your hands on your required one. A few places surely require unsanded grout other than that, always go for sanded grout.

However, we can’t ignore the fact that unsanded grout has the best working material and it is most suitable for thin grout lines where you can’t use sanded grout.

For vertical surface, you can’t think of any other grout than unsanded one because it sticks perfectly and also protect the floor from damage.

Grout Tile Buying Guide

Tile SurfaceTile Surface


We often use this grout in places where there is no possibility of scratches with the sand.

You can use this grout yourself too if you are confident about it otherwise, you can hire a professional to perform this task. On the other hand, you can’t risk using sanded grout on delicate and smooth surfaces.

For delicate and sensitive surfaces, always use unsanded grout because no sand is involved in the material so there is no chance of scratch or damage.

These are a few things about which you should be cautious in order to protect your floors and tiles.

Cost of Sanded and Unsanded GroutCost of Sanded and Unsanded Grout


The cost is the essential factor people are usually concerned about. Sanded grout is the least expensive one while unsanded is 2 times more costly.

It is due to the fact that sanded grout contains cheap sand while unsanded grout uses expensive polymers in order to form the material. Sanded grout doesn’t contain any expensive material.

Grout WidthsGrout Widths


The grout lines that range from 1/8-inch to 1/2-inch are best suitable for sanded grout because if the number exceeds it will start cracking.

Unsanded grout is suitable for 1/8-inch lines. You can’t use unsanded grout for thick grout lines while sanded grout can’t be used in thin lines otherwise, the floor or surface will become damaged and full of scratches.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s move toward the commonly asked questions to clear all your confusion.

Which Is Better Sanded or Unsanded Grout?

It depends on the tile project as both are the best grouts but can’t be used everywhere.

For delicate surfaces, your first priority should be unsanded grout while for wider grout always choose a sanded one. Sanded grouts are often highly recommended.

Why Would You Use Non Sanded Grout?

The best use of this grout is on vertical surfaces as it is a slippery grout that is easily applied on smooth surfaces.

Moreover, for thin and delicate surfaces, non sanded grout is the number one choice. It also protects the floor from damage.

What Is the Best Grout to Use in A Shower?

For shower walls, always choose unsanded grout while for shower pans, you can consider both.

Can You Use Sanded Grout on Ceramic Tile?

You can use sanded grout on ceramic tiles as they require a wide grout line.

Is It Ok to Use Sanded Grout in A Shower?

For shower and bathroom walls, you can use both sanded and unsanded grouts but remember that unsanded grout uses expensive material so it has better working.

For shower walls, it is better to consider unsanded grout.

Final Remarks

Sanded and unsanded grouts are commonly used on different floors and tiles but people are usually unaware of the differences they both contain.

Undoubtedly both are beneficial in their own ways but you should know which grout should be used at which place.

The clear and the major difference that best differentiates both grouts is that sanded grout is used in wide grout lines while unsanded grout is used in thin grout lines.

It is a DIY project that can be done at home but for better work, you can also ask for an expert. If your floor tiles have a gap that needs to be filled immediately, go ahead because it should be done on time.

I have mentioned all possible details in this article to clear all your confusion regarding grouts. I hope this guide will be helpful for you in the future whenever you require grouts for your tile projects.

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