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Old 01-20-2009, 09:14 PM   #1
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Question About Grout Line Size


This weekend I was in a restaurant that a ceramic tile floor laid with 16" tiles. The grout lines were minimal- to my calibrated eyeball they looked like about 1/16th of an inch. It occurred to me that this would be a good idea for minimizing the "dirt traps" that larger grout lines can create and for maximizing the evenness of the floor, and I liked the look.

Are there any "rules" regarding the size of a grout line? Is it a matter of design taste, or are there some real guidelines that I should consider?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 01-21-2009, 01:44 AM   #2
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Question About Grout Line Size


I believe it is for the most part what you think looks the best. The only rule i have ever read is that gaps less than 1/8" can have unsanded grout and anything over 1/8" has to have sanded grout.

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Old 01-21-2009, 06:30 AM   #3
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Question About Grout Line Size


What Ponch said is true, but you have to have a good quality tile to be able to set the tiles closer than 1/8" apart in the first place. Most cheaper tiles can not be installed close because they are not a consistent size and/or are rectangular instead of square. Some are a chore to install under 1/4"

The tiles you see with tight joints are almost always "rectified" tiles, not regular ones.

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Old 01-21-2009, 10:59 AM   #4
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Question About Grout Line Size


Jaz Man is correct. The tiles need to be rectified or perfectly square. Like natural stone usually is or some porcelain.
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Old 01-21-2009, 11:16 AM   #5
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Question About Grout Line Size


My shower tiles were 4". I used the built in edge ridges on the tiles as the determining factor in grout size

For the floor I went with an almost white tile
I used large grout lines & black grout to make the tiles stand out

In my hallway I went with 1/8" lines - 12" square tiles

For another bathroom I again went with larger grout lines as the 12" tiles had "scalloped" edges & it looked better
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Old 01-21-2009, 11:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JazMan View Post
What Ponch said is true, but you have to have a good quality tile to be able to set the tiles closer than 1/8" apart in the first place. Most cheaper tiles can not be installed close because they are not a consistent size and/or are rectangular instead of square. Some are a chore to install under 1/4"

The tiles you see with tight joints are almost always "rectified" tiles, not regular ones.

Jaz
I would never have known that unless I asked on this forum. I assume that I would have to specify "rectified" tile when purchasing and that they are more expensive than standard tile? (Let me guess: the help at a "big box" home store would give me a blank stare...)

Thanks!
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Old 01-21-2009, 12:05 PM   #7
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Question About Grout Line Size


You may get a blank stare. Unfortunately they are not as knowledgable as a tile store employee may be. Just make sure when they answer they are confident. I see no reason why they would not carry a rectified tile...just need to make sure. Usually a heavy glaze would be a sign of non-rectified...the glaze (if dripped over the edges) would make it out of square...it would have a clean cut on all 4 sides to be rectified...usually.

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