Calculating the amount of tile you need for a job is simple; the length times the width of the room gives you the square footage. Calculating the amount of grout you'll need for this same area requires more information. Several factors affect the amount of grout you'll need to complete a job, including the size of the tile, the depth of the joint and the type of grout being used.
Types of Grout
There are three types of grout commonly used in tile applications: sanded, unsanded and epoxy. Each of these grouts spreads differently than the others, which will affect the amount of grout required for a job. Sanded grout uses particles of sand to help fill larger grout joints; more grout will go between each joint, meaning that more sanded grout is required for a job than unsanded grout. Epoxy grout can be stiff and hard to spread, meaning that more may be required of this material as well.
Size of the Tile
The size of the tile is important to consider when calculating grout. A 12-inch square tile will require less grout than a 5/8-inch square tile. In one square foot, a 12-inch tile will only require grout around its perimeter. In this same square foot, 5/8-inch tiles will have 324 small tiles to be surrounded by grout, requiring more grout per foot.
The type of tile will also affect how much grout is required. River rocks require vast amounts of grout, since the grout must go partially beneath each stone. Ceramic tiles require far less grout, since the surface is non porous and the edges smooth. Travertine tiles may require more grout, if the surface is full of holes, which must be filled during installation.
The size of a grout joint is determined by two things: the depth of the tile and the tile's edge. A 3/8-inch thick tile with an uneven edge will require more grout than a 1/4-inch thick tile with a straight edge.
Putting it Together
A general rule of thumb is that most wall tiles will use unsanded grout, while most floor tiles will use sanded grout. For standard sizes of ceramic wall tile, one bag of unsanded grout can cover up to 200 square feet. Floor tiles have more variation, since size, thickness and edge as well as material change so frequently. If using sanded grout, one bag should cover 100 square feet of 12-inch square tiles. Smaller tiles will require more grout accordingly.
- Photo Credit Boden image by Milosz Bartoszczuk from Fotolia.com
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