So, you are planning some tiling! Good choice. Tiles are practical, hard wearing, excellent value – and really change the look of any kitchen or bathroom without having to undertake a major remodel. Left asking ‘how much grout do I need?’ Look no further. Let’s take a look at how you can calculate how much grout is needed to complete your project without wasting any or having to take a second trip to the hardware store.
Fundamentally you only need two or three major ingredients to get your tiles up and your room looking great – tiles, adhesive, and grout. You may choose to use a multi-purpose grout product that can also be used as an adhesive in place of mortar or mastic.
Working out how many tiles you need is easy. You will have surfaces to cover that are, in the main, rectangles and squares – or at least, they are straight edges so you can cut them into rectangles and squares. Work out each area by multiplying the side by the width, add all of the areas together and you have your square meterage. It is always best to work out the area in the same unit of measurement that you buy the tiles in.
What is Grout?
Grout is colored malleable paste consisting of Portland cement, fine aggregate, plasticizers, water dispersing agents and coloring. You will be applying your tiles to the wall or floor, correctly spaced by putting tile spacers into the gaps – and then when they are fixed strongly the gaps between the tiles are filled with grout. You can choose your color to suit the décor, and adjust the spacing to suit the look you are trying to achieve.
Where do I source Grout?
You will find grout supplied from anywhere that you can buy your tiles. Make your choice on color and type of grout at the same time to project the look you are trying to achieve.
What types of Grout are available?
Best used for ceramic, stone and porcelain tiles. This is mixed with water before application and will be dry in around 24 hours. This is porous – and if you are using it in an area where it may suffer staining or water ingress the grout should be sealed after drying. This is not recommended on stone, marble or natural surface tiles as the sand content makes it abrasive and it may mark tiles.
Unsanded Grout or ‘wall grout’
Fundamentally the same as sanded grout – but without the sand. Ideal for porcelain, ceramic and stone tiles gives a scratch free finish. This is also a porous grout, and sealant is suggested in most cases.
This is a waterless grout. Epoxy grout is formed by mixing a hardener along with a two-part epoxy resin and applying immediately. This product offers you a water-resistant finish with a seamless stain. The surface remains easy to clean, and it is best used with stone, glass, ceramic and porcelain.
Epoxy grout can be challenging to use, it offers a professional finish but can be messy and difficult to apply. Take it slowly, follow the instructions, and work carefully!
You are not likely to come across this or want to use it. It is mainly used in industrial settings and comes in two color-ways, black and white.
How much grout do I need?
You have measured your tile area. You have decided on the tiles you are going to use. The amount of grout you will need depends upon the size of the tile and the thickness of the tile that you have chosen. It will also vary depending upon the size of the spacers you have chosen to go between your tiles – these can range from 1mm to 10mm and the most common sizes are 3 or 4mm. The finished look will be affected by your choice, so think about what you are trying to achieve before choosing.
A general rule of thumb is that if you have chosen a 7.5cm x 15cm tile, a 2mm spacer, and you are using a separate adhesive then a 3kg bag will give you 5 square meters of coverage.
In comparison, the same bag will cover 15 square meters if you have gone for the larger 60cm x 60cm tile with the same size spacer. More tile, less grout.
The calculation is:
- Add the width of the tile to the length.
- Multiply that figure by the width of the tile spacer you have chosen.
- Multiply that figure by the depth of the tile you have chosen.
- Multiply that figure by 1.8 (random I know!) that will give you the standard kg/meter coverage you can expect.
- Multiply the width of the tile by the length of the tile.
- Take the figure from No. 4 and divide it by the figure from No. 5.
You now have the figure that represents the amount of grout you will need.
When considering how much grout do I need? Do allow yourself for some wastage and spillage, it is not a tidy process to apply grout, and to ensure a level finish you will be over-applying and removing excess. How much grout do you need? I would say 10% more than the figure you arrive at to be safe. Always check the packaging and take into account manufacturers recommendation on how much grout to buy to complete your project.