1/16 grout line - grout type & other concerns [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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06-11-2019, 01:00 PM
Hello everyone, first time poster here...

My contractor installed our backyard tiles (24”x48” rectified porcelain tile) with a 1/16 grout line and I’m wondering if it’s better to use sanded or unsanded grout. I’ve always heard that unsanded is better for grout lines less than 1/8 but that sanded is better for flooring... so since this is flooring that is 1/16 I’m not sure which would be best. Unfortunately I don’t have the most confidence in my contractor as there have already been a number of mistakes.

A separate but related question I have is whether it was a good idea to do 1/16 grout line to begin with. I asked him to do the thinnest grout line possible so I’m worried he did this just to appease me when maybe 1/8 would’ve been better. I called the vendor who sold me the tiles and they recommended 1/8 but said 1/16 should be okay with an experienced installer. What risks might we run into with a 1/16 grout vs 1/8? Cracking? Lippage? The tiles are in a grid (vs offset) if that matters.

Thanks all for your input!!


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06-11-2019, 01:44 PM
Kay...With a tile that large, they would have to be extremely close to identical in size for that small of a joint...and generally does require unsanded grout and I try to avoid as it doesn't seem to hold up as well as sanded grout. Prism grout from Home Depot would work, but I would go no smaller than 1/8" inch, and at that point, you can use a sanded product.

Cracking is a possibility with the unsanded in an outdoor situation. Lippage has zero to do with grout suitability; that's strictly a function of the installer's expertise in setting the tile.

Got a pic? :snapshot:

Just re-read your post and I see the tiles are already in, so looks like grout size discussions are moot. Take a look at the Prism grout...

John Bridge
06-11-2019, 04:10 PM
Hi Kay, and welcome to the forum. :)

I think Laz about covered it. If the tiles are set correctly 1/16 in. joints should be okay. I would have gone a bit wider, though. :)

Maybe you can put up a picture or two.

06-11-2019, 05:08 PM
I normally go with 1/8 joints with tiles that size. The Prism grout Laz mentioned works with 1/16 joints although there are other grouts that work also.

06-11-2019, 05:36 PM
Thanks everyone for your input! I will definitely look into the grout you suggested. Here’s a photo for your reference... it’s almost half done so too late to redo with 1/8. Hopefully it turns out okay with the 1/16 and we don’t run into any issues later on 🤞🏻 I plan to use a light gray or white colored grout to make it look as seamless as possible... do you think that would help conceal any potential unevenness?

06-11-2019, 08:34 PM
Pictures won't say much about lippage...you need to judge that, but the line consistency looks good....:yipee:

06-11-2019, 09:50 PM
Can you explain the "number of mistakes" you said your contractor has made? They're not evident from the picture.

06-12-2019, 08:14 PM
At that bottom intersection, looks like the joints are starting to wander. I prob would’ve gone with at least 1/8” as well.