Grout plays an important role in any bathroom remodel or installation project. It fills the spaces between tiles, sealing them together and protecting the underlying surfaces. With so many grout options on the market, choosing the type that best matches your specific bathroom surfaces and expected usage is essential.
Factors like the size and material of the tiles, anticipated water exposure, and desired aesthetic all help determine which grout will stand up to the rigours of daily bathroom use over the long run. This guide will help you understand the key characteristics of the major grout types and identify the ideal choice for your bathroom renovation project.
Choosing the Right Grout for Your Bathroom
The two main factors to consider when choosing grout for your bathroom are the type of tiles and the level of water exposure.
Sanded grout is usually the best ceramic, porcelain, or stone tile option. The small sand particles in sanded grout help increase flexibility and prevent cracks from developing. It works well with most tile styles.
Unsanded grout is better suited for smoother tile surfaces like glass, polished stone or glazed wall tile. The lack of sand allows for a smooth, flush finish that won’t scratch more delicate materials.
In high moisture areas like shower walls and floors, look for grouts specifically designed to withstand water. Epoxy grout provides the most protection as it’s fully waterproof. Laticrete PermaColor Grout is another moisture-resistant option. Unsanded silicone grout dries fast with mildew resistance for bath floors and walls with splash exposure.
It’s also important the grout matches the colour of your tiles. Cement-based grouts come in a large array of colours to complement any tile choice in your bathroom renovations.
Types of Grout for Bathrooms
Cement grout is the most economical and commonly used type. It’s available in sanded and unsanded varieties. Sanded cement grout has added sand particles that prevent cracking and shrinkage. It’s suitable for ceramic, stone and porcelain tile. Unsanded cement grout is smoother for non-porous tiles like glass and polished stone.
Epoxy grout is highly water and stain-resistant, making it the best option for shower walls and floors. It provides a durable, chemical-resistant seal and won’t break down over time from moisture exposure. Epoxy grout is more expensive than cement-based grout but offers superior longevity.
Flexible silicone grout can expand and contract with temperature changes. It’s best for grout lines wider than 1/8 inch and resists mildew and mould growth. While easy to apply, silicone grout is less durable than epoxy and is more expensive.
Selecting Grout Color
Choosing the right grout colour is an important decision when renovating your bathroom. It can either make or break the overall aesthetic you’re trying to achieve. Lighter grout colours tend to make smaller bathrooms feel more open and airy. They also work well with neutral tile shades.
However, keep in mind that light grout shows stains and dirt more easily over time. Darker grout is more forgiving of messes but can cramp a small room. No matter the tile style, selecting a grout hue that blends in without distracting is key.
Neutral tones like grey and beige complement most tile palettes well. Choosing a similar or matching grout colour is best when using decorative mosaic tiles or tiles with bold patterns. This allows the tiles to take centre stage. Monochromatic schemes with cohesive colour families also often look polished.
Before fully committing to a grout colour, do a test section. Mask off a small tile area and try out potential shades. Seeing how well they blend can help you visualise if tones pop tiles or overwhelm them. Be willing to experiment until you find the hue that best suits your bathroom’s light, style, and intended aesthetic. The right grout choice can beautifully finish your renovation.
Evaluating Bathroom Surface Materials
It’s important to evaluate the tile and other material characteristics carefully. Ceramic, porcelain and natural stone tiles generally require sanded grout, as the small aggregate helps reduce cracking from minor shifting or settling. The grout is also more forgiving of any imperfections in the tile.
For smooth tile surfaces like polished stone, glass or glazed wall tile, opt for non-sanded or epoxy grouts to avoid scratching. Consider also the level of moisture each surface will be exposed to. High-traffic shower walls and floors demand waterproof epoxy grout, creating a durable, long-lasting seal.
Areas with intermittent splashing, like bathtub surrounds, are well-suited to silicone or unsanded grouts enhanced with moisture resistance. Standard unsanded cement grout may perform well with proper maintenance for bathroom floors and lower walls with less water contact.
Evaluating your specific tile types, installation layouts, and water usage patterns will ensure you select grout with compatible characteristics. This leads to optimal performance and longevity for your new bathroom remodel. Take time to fully understand your material needs before making purchases.
Properly sealing grout after installation and periodically resealing is key to preventing stains and cracking from moisture damage. Look for a high-quality impregnating sealer suitable for your grout type.
Regular cleaning helps remove soap scum, mildew and other residues that can degrade grout over time if left unattended. For walls and floors, spray with warm water and scrub using a soft-bristled brush or grout sponge.
Be especially diligent with shower areas. Wipe down walls and floors after each use to prevent prolonged exposure to standing water. Cavalry-style cleaners are effective against mould and mildew build up.
For stuck-on stains and dirt, make a paste from baking soda and warm water and apply it directly to problem areas. Scrub and rinse thoroughly, then dry completely. This draws out acids and minerals.
Limit stronger cleaning chemicals that can dissolve protective sealers prematurely. Consult manufacturers for acceptable products if a deeper clean is needed for set-in grime.
Following these simple steps keeps grout looking like new and protects investments in tile and fixtures for many years of enjoyment. Proper maintenance is as essential as the initial selection.
Level Up Your Bathroom Remodel
Properly evaluating your bathroom surfaces and choosing a compatible grout type ensures the best long-term performance for your renovation. Selecting the right material based on tile characteristics, moisture exposure levels, and desired aesthetics leads to a durable seal and a beautiful finished look.
With regular maintenance and resealing, your new grout job will withstand the daily rigours of bathroom use for many years. If you need additional help evaluating your surface needs or have questions about grout selection, contact the experts at Complete Stone Care.
We have years of experience working with natural stone, tile and grout, so we can help you determine the ideal grout product to complete your bathroom project. Our knowledgeable team is ready to provide advice tailored to your unique bathroom space.