When it comes to tile installation, the size of the grout line can dramatically alter the look of your flooring. Lines that are too thick can give the appearance of imitation or low quality materials, while ones that are too small and forced together may make the tiles look forced and unnatural. There are some general guidelines for tile grout that should be followed if you are not using an interior designer and are installing the tile on your own.
That beautiful glass tile backsplash that you have always envisioned is about to come to life. If you are buying the tiles on a mesh netting, they will be already spaced evenly for you. If you are purchasing them all individually and creating the glass tile backsplash freehand, you want to allow for only about 1/16 or 1/8 of grout line. The focus should be on the tiles and not the grout, so be sure that you do not create a larger grout line space.
Like glass tiles, natural stone tiles also need a small and highly detailed grout line. If the line is too large, those expensive natural stone tiles that you purchased begin to look like imitation knock offs. Keep the focus on the beauty and detail of the stone tiles and not on the grout lines.
If the regular square tiles at your large home improvement store are ideal for your home s flooring, you may want to use a slightly larger grout line. The general rule of thumb is to make the grout line approximately 1/4 thick. This allows for any slight changes in the tile s size and shape during manufacturing while still maintaining the beauty and integrity of the tile floor itself.
Saltillo or Mexican Tile
As many homeowners in the Southwestern part of the country can attest to, Saltillo tiles have unique grout lines. Due to the way the tiles are manufactured and their uniform nature, it is difficult to pinpoint an exact line width that works for all. Generally, Saltillo tiles have a larger line that ranges from 3/4 up to 1 1/4 thick. This makes a floor done with Mexican tiles a truly unique piece of flooring. Even if a friend or neighbor buys the same type of tiles from the same place, you can guarantee that both floors will be very different.
Not only is it important to have a sense of the correct grout line size for your tile floor, but it is also important to think about a couple of other things. You will also need to consider the color and the type of the grout that you will need to use. Natural stone and glass tile, because of their precision grout lines use a non sanded variety, while regular tile uses a sanded type og grout. Again, Saltillo tile is unique in that it has an entirely separate type of grout that works best for it. Knowing what you need in terms of grout, can help cut down on the time spent installing your new flooring.
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