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1/16 vs 1/8 Grout Lines: Learn The Difference

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1/16 and 1/8 grout lines are the sizes most frequently used when installing tiles. 

The dimensions of the grout lines are often discussed first before mounting tiles be it on walls or floors, but in most cases, homeowners go for the ones they prefer. However, there are specific rules that you must know when deciding on the size of the grout lines.

This post will explain the differences between 1/16 and 1/8 grout lines and give you the needed closure. Knowing these differences will help you determine how and where to install these two, the kind of tiles best suited for use alongside them, and much more. 

Firstly, what is grout?

Grout is a thick liquid used to seal joints or support existing facilities.

Grouts are commonly used in household tiling work, including sealing joints of bathroom walls, floors, and kitchen tiles. 

1/8 vs 1/16 Grout Lines

Deciding carefully on the grout width before you mount the tiles is essential. You don’t want the grout lines too wide or too narrow, as it takes the beauty off of your tiles. 

1/8 and 1/16 grout lines are the acceptable sizes when installing tiles in the kitchen and bathroom. If you prefer a standard appearance, tile experts suggest that the 1/16” grout lines are most suited for walls, while the 1/8” works best for floors. 

Experts recommend using 1/16 grout lines for mounting small tiles like the 4/4-inch tiles or average-sized tiles on kitchen and shower walls. Professionals also prefer using the 1/8 grout lines for more oversized tiles like 18/18 inches, regular size variation, or floor tiles with lugs.

1/8 and 1/16 grout lines thus, have several discrepancies distinct from each other, and you will find that they differ in their thickness, ease of repairing grout gaps, and locations for laying them. 

Differences Between 1/8″ and 1/16″ Grout Lines

Thickness

The comparable thickness and diameter of the grout lines decide what tiles to use. 1/8-inch grout lines are thicker and broader than grout lines 1/16”. 

It is easier to install and organize 1/8 grout lines than 1/16 grout lines, and there is less chance of messing up. It is so because their thickness allows less possibility for grout irregularity that affects the tiling on drying. 

Also, 1/8” create a sturdier and clean edge finishing than 1/16 grout lines. 1/16-inch grout lines are thinner and are mainly used for tiles with tight edges and joints since they are closed in. Thus, they are suitable for smaller tiles because such tiles require less grout to attach them.

Capacity to Service Grout Lines 

The capacity to service grout lines depends on the grout joint’s tightness or broadness. 

When laying 1/16 grout lines, you should remember that it would be tough to service or regrout grout joints differently. 1/16-inch grout lines are tight and limited, so you should set them in areas where you don’t require servicing the joints. For instance, you can use 1/16 grouts in arid regions, including the halls in your home.

On the other hand, the 1/8 grout line is ideal for regrouting the joints since it is effortless to pass a machine through and less complicated to repair and make alterations in 1/8 grout joints. 

Therefore, you can mount 1/8” in damp locations or places inclined to wetness, such as the shower. In such a manner, you can regrout or service when needed.

Similarities Between 1/8″ and 1/16″ Grout Lines

Rectified or Sharp Edge Tiles

1/8 and 1/16 grout lines don’t share many similarities between them. These two grout lines have different widths, although they are similar in their ability to work excellently with the same kind or quality of tiles. They are both suitable with rectified edges or finely-cut tiles. 

Tiles with uniform edges can adjust with small or tight grout lines since they are cropped correctly. You will find just a bit of irregularity in uniform tiles. Therefore, such tiles can work well with small to average grout lines.

For instance, a 1/16-inch is suitable for mounting glass tiles since glasses have clean-cut edges allowing for a tighter installation. Likewise, you can use a 1/8-inch with rectified tiles to let the tile design flow easily from one tile to another.

1/16 vs 1/8 grout lines
1/16 vs 1/8 grout lines

Pros and Cons of 1/8 Grout Line

Pros:

  • Allows the tiles to join firmly and moderately
  • It offers a more logical choice when it comes to cheap tiles
  • Effortless installation

Cons:

  • Not suitable for use in tiles with puzzling designs as it will lead to irregularity and make the design look unappealing

Pros and Cons of 1/16 Grout Line

Pros:

  • It has an almost invisible thin grout line, bringing out the beauty of the texture of the tiles. 

Cons:

  • Installation can be relatively time-consuming.
  • Only the superior quality tiles can come with thin grout joints. 

Is 1/16’’ Grout Line OK

Yes, the 1/16″ grout line is ok in many tiling jobs. Experts recommend that grout lines not be smaller than 1/16-inch as that can make your tiles look inelegant. 

Grout lines having 1/16-inch width are suitable for numerous tiling works. When laying tiles, you can use 1/16” as they work adequately with most tiles. However, using smaller porcelain tiles is recommended.

Since the 1/16-inch grout lines are thin, they pair perfectly well with tiles that measure up to 8/8 inches. A 1/6″ grout line works best in rectified tiles since such tiles have uniform edges, and their thin grout lines allow for tighter installation. 

So, if you prefer thin grout lines with that sleek, modern look, go for the 1/6″ grout lines.

Is 1/8’’ Grout Line OK

A 1/8″ grout line is recommended for many tiling projects as it hides any tiny flaws and imperfections the tiles may have. The 1/8-inch is best suited for floors. 

Any grout lines measuring less than 1/8-inch are perfect for pairing with rectified tiles since such tiles come with clean edges and require less grout. Thus, only a small space is needed between each tile, so a grout line of 1/8″ area is suitable as it allows the design to flow adequately from one tile to another

How Large Should Grout Lines Be

Grout lines on a tile should be 1/8-inch or larger. 

Anything smaller than the 1/8 grout lines is perfect for rectified tiles that require no or less grout. The thin line almost becomes invisible if you use it with tiles that have decorated designs and textures, and so it all depends on the kind and size of tiles you’re installing. 

In contrast, bigger grout lines take the beauty of the tiles away, resembling a grid instead. The larger the line is, the more conspicuous it will be. Also, a big grout line means you must give extra attention while scrubbing the tiles. 

Regardless of their irregularities, it is entirely up to you to choose the size you prefer but make sure the grout lines on the walls and floors accentuate each other. The options are endless; you can bring out your creativity and mix and match to suit your unique style. 

Other Questions About Grout Line Sizes

What Size Tile Should I Go with 1/16

Since the 1/16-inch has faint thin lines, the size tile of 8/8 inches is the ideal choice. Any tiles larger than 8/8 inches with 1/16 grout lines could result in tile lippage, which you don’t want.

What Size Tile Should I Go with 1/8

A 1/8 grout lines are the approved and the standard size for tile floors. Thus, the regular size tile for 1/8-inch grout lines is between 12’’/12″ and 16’’/16″.

Can You Use Sanded Grout on 1/16 Grout Lines

It is not sensible to use sanded grout on 1/16 grout lines, and most tile installers and manufacturers recommend against using sanded grout on joints as small as the 1/16-inch.

Sanded grout on 1/16” might not work correctly in sealing the thin joints, as it creates small openings that could crack over time. 

TL;DR – 1/16 vs 1/8 Grout Lines

Thus, the decision rests solely on you to choose between 1/16 or 1/8 grout lines. It all depends on how thin or large you want the grout lines to be. This article on ‘1/16 or 1/8 grout lines’ have laid bare the aspects of both 1/16 and 1/8 inches for you to work out yourself.

Hopefully, you’ll consider the factors carefully since these could determine your capacity and success on your next tiling project. If you think the 1/16” have many irregularities, choose the 1/8-inch grout lines.

Additionally, it is vital to consider the size of the tiles; laying large tiles with 1/16 grout lines could result in tile lippage which can be problematic. In such a case, the 1/8 grout lines become an ideal choice.  

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