A tiling job can be exhausting and time-consuming. Adding a grout job to the mix only makes the job more challenging, wasting more of your time. With this, it’s normal to wonder if you can tile without grout.
You shouldn’t tile without grout, irrespective of how daunting the task seems. Grout does more than fill the empty holes; thus, it’s an integral part of tiling. However, if you want to avoid using grout, other alternatives are available.
If you have questions about using grout, you’ll find your answers here. Keep reading to learn about grouts, their importance, and the best substitutes.
- 1 Must I Use Grout When Tiling?
- 2 Protection of Tiles
- 3 Are There Alternatives to Grout?
- 4 How Do I Minimize Grout Lines?
- 5 Are There Groutless Tiles?
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions
Grout work can be exhausting. You’ll have to mix it, apply it carefully, and finish off with a neat wipe. It can also be exhausting as you may be required to repeat this process for every line between adjacent tiles.
Nonetheless, this application process is essential if you add substance to your tiling job. In other words, there are several reasons why you should use grout when tiling.
Below are some reasons to use grout during tiling:
Installing tiles is like laying a rocky foundation. These tiles tend to build up pressure with everyone you lay. The more tiles you add, the more pressure builds, making them susceptible to cracks.
Grouts between the spaces provide a cushion for the tiles by cementing each one to another. Without them, too much foot traffic can cause the tiles to crack or break off completely.
Aside from this, grouts are very useful in kitchen and bathrooms walls or floors. These two areas deal with excess moisture, which could seep into the tiles and damage them in the long run.
Kitchen tiles also tend to get food spills stuck between them. Over time, the food decays, leading to the development of harmful bacteria.
This will make your tiles look untidy, and it’ll be unhealthy for toddlers who love to pick things off the floor. However, tile grout gives no room for water and food spills to get in between the tiles.
Aside from protecting these tiles from cracks, grouts serve as extra glue. Though you’ll use cement to hold these tiles in place, there’s still a high tendency of them moving if you apply too much pressure. To prevent this from happening, you must use grouts between the tiles.
Without grouts, there’ll be tiny spaces between each tile. These edges are sharp and could cause serious injury to people. A careless step or a slip could be a disaster for whoever is involved.
Fortunately, grouts prevent this occurrence. The proper application ensures that tile edges are not jutting out or posing a threat to people or pets.
Though cement grouts are very useful in keeping tiles together, they still have disadvantages. First, they can be time-consuming, posing an extra duty after the tile installment. They also wear with time and will need replacement with new grout.
Cement grout is also prone to stain. As a result, they tend to look dirty after a while. Their cement nature also makes it difficult to clean.
For this reason, manufacturers produced epoxy grout as an alternative. They are non-porous; thus, moisture, dirt, and grime can’t get into them. With this, they are ideal for kitchens and bathrooms.
Sometimes, tiles could have a slight variation in size, and the best way to cover up for them is using grouts. As a result, you must leave spaces between each tile to fill in the grouts and make the tiles look even. These grouts also help you set the tiles in a regular pattern.
In some cases, you can’t avoid broad grout lines when using standard ceramic tiles. The only way to have less space between your tiles is by using rectified tiles.
Rectified tiles are tiles that have a consistent shape and size. Unlike traditional ceramic tiles, they are the same size, making them easy to fit together. This allows you to fix them as close as possible
There are variations of rectified tiles that can fit so closely that grout becomes unnecessary. In addition, these tiles have low variance, meaning that they don’t need too much space between them.
The downside to rectified tiles is that they are only made of ceramic or porcelain. Therefore, if you prefer a tile made from another material, rectified tiles aren’t for you.
Also, rectified tiles don’t eliminate the use of grout. Even those with low variance might need grouts for them to last longer.
Groutless tiles are a great option if you don’t want to use grouts. These tile types stay in place using a mesh backing instead of grouts or a sealer. The mesh is then covered in Cliks, a material that makes it clicks to the other tiles.
Using groutless tiles has several benefits. One of them is their easy installment. They eliminate the need to mix, measure, and apply grout during installation, making the process swift.
Groutless tiles are also made of solid material that makes them durable. Due to their make, they can withstand foot traffic and extreme temperatures without getting scratches or cracks.
Another thing to note about them is their easy maintenance. Click tiles are smaller than standard tiles with a surface that’s easy to clean and maintain. They are also less expensive than their counterparts, making them a better choice of tiles in some cases.
Despite their benefits, groutless tiles have several downsides. Due to their solid structure, it can be difficult to cut them into smaller sizes when necessary. Removing or replacing them is also very challenging because of the Cliks between them.
Groutless tiles, unlike traditional counterparts, have limited design options. They usually come in square or smaller rectangular shapes, with similar patterns. Thus, they don’t offer you too many options for your home.
The biggest drawback of groutless tiles is they’re not always slip-resistant. Grout tiles have a surface that makes them easier to walk on when wet. Manufacturers have tried to replicate this texture on groutless tiles, but they’ve yet to achieve this.
SnapStone floating tiles are made of ceramics. These tiles are easy to install as they don’t need a mortar or backer board to stick together. Instead, the tiles come with a porcelain layer, a tray, and a side-locking mechanism.
You lay these tiles by placing one tile on the floor, then sliding another into it till it makes a clicking sound. As a result, they are called floating tiles because they don’t have to adhere to the floor.
The best thing about Floating tiles is that they don’t need a spacer. Once one tile locks with the other, it leaves a space where you can fill in the grout. This space is consistent, making it easy to achieve a uniform look.
The downside is that you can’t adjust the spacing to smaller than they are.
SnapStone tiles make provision for you to use grouts. Therefore, you must fill in these spaces with grout. However, instead of cement-based grout, you can use urethane grouts as fillers.