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How to avoid thick grout lines when tiling?

hanzo
New Contributor

How to avoid thick grout lines when tiling?

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Hey guys, im looking to tile my splashback area in the kitchen and wanted to know A: if i could get away with using 1mm to 1.5mm spacers for this tile? I think its rectified but not sure, As i want the pattern to be uniform i dont really want to see thick grout lines so im after the credit card lines iv read about. Also B: what white unsanded grout should I use as its only 4m2 that needs grouting so not sure if i get the powder or the premix dunlop tube stuff? Please help! 

Cheers

 

Hanxo

MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How to avoid thick grout lines when tiling?

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @hanzo. It's terrific to have you join us, and many thanks for your question about grouting tiles.

 

A 1.5mm spacer and grout thickness can be used for rectified tiles. Place the edges of a few tiles together to check their evenness. If they are high-quality rectified tiles, all sides of them should be uniform, and you shouldn't see any gaps between their edges. If the sides are very uniform, you can go down to a 1mm spacer if you'd like. However, my advice would be to stick with a 1.5mm minimum. There is little room for expansion and contraction of your wall and tiles when you lay tiles with a 1mm gap. In some situations, you can experience tiles popping off your wall. 

 

If they are not rectified tiles, you can get yourself into a sticky situation by using <3mm spacers, and you might experience sections where the gap becomes too small that it can't be filled sufficiently with grout.

 

I'd suggest using Dunlop 1.5kg Ultra White Flexible Coloured Grout if you are after an unsanded grout.

 

Here's a helpful step-by-step guide that you'll find useful: How to grout wall tiles

 

Let me mention one of our knowledgeable members @Vis-á-vis to see if they have any thoughts.

 

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Mitchell
 

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Vis-á-vis
Established Contributor

Re: How to avoid thick grout lines when tiling?

Hi Hanzo,

I'm not a qualified tiler but am qualified in Construction Waterproofing and have done more than my fair share of tiling over the years.

As Mitchell has already said, lay out six tiles on a flat surface and push them all together, if they are rectified then they will be absolutely snug up against each other with no variation at the seams.

If they are not rectified then don't attempt a really thin grout line.

Given the style of tile I would try and match as closely as possible the 'faux' grout line that already exists between each of the distinct squares. If that line is 3mm then go with a 3mm grout line. If you use a 1.5mm grout line then it will be more obvious than a 3mm grout line in this situation with those particular tiles.

If you lay six tiles down in a brickwork fashion and place 1.5, 2 & 3mm spacers between each tile to find out which width will match your faux grout line. See diagram below.

As for which grout, it is a personal preference. Certainly, for wider grout lines you generally want sanded. If I am tiling a stone-look tile or a traditional-looking tile (as in your case) then I will use sanded but because your 'faux' grout lines are smooth then I would use unsanded or probably epoxy as this will match the texture of what already exists in those lines between each of the squares.

Like paint, white grout is not necessarily white, there are plenty of variations. I would take the tile and look at some grout swatches or fans to see whicvh brand has a white that most closely matches your tile.

 

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MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How to avoid thick grout lines when tiling?

Many thanks for your input, @Vis-á-vis. I trust @hanzo really appreciates your very well informed advice.

 

Mitchell

 

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Re: How to avoid thick grout lines when tiling?

Thankyou for the in depth advice! I did what you said and placed the tiles together to see what gap would work best and it seems 1.5mm should do the trick to make the gaps look like they are part of the tile pattern as the faux grout line is quite thin. I was thinking a tube type grout would be best to squeeze into the thin gaps to make sure the grout hits the back of the tile then whipe off excess with a wet sponge? Or should i have no issues with grounting the standard way on a 45° angle?

EricL
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How to avoid thick grout lines when tiling?

Hello @hanzo

 

It's great that you've received excellent advice from @MitchellMc and @Vis-á-vis. You shouldn't have any problems with grouting using the standard method. I suggest using QEP 6" Handyman Squeegee so that you'll have full control of the grout as you spread it into the tile gap.

 

 A good technique is to have two buckets with two sponges. One bucket to remove the excess grout and the other to give the tile surface a good preliminary clean. In this manner, all the excess grout will be removed from the surface of the tile. A final wipe off is recommended so that you don't leave grout film left over the tile.    

 

Please keep us updated with your progress, we look forward to seeing your tiled splashback installed.

 

If you need further assistance, please let us know.

 

Eric

 

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