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Tile and Grout: The Basics

Tile can be a lovely addition to any home. There are many advantages that tile has over options like wood or carpet. At the same time, there are some important considerations to keep in mind. These are important considerations if you already have tile in your home or if you’re considering having tile put down. 

Before we get into the basics of tile and grout, be sure to remember that Steam Master Cleaning and Restoration is here to answer any and all of your questions. We offer so much more than carpet cleaning services. If you’re located in the San Antonio area, please reach out to us for quality services from tile and grout cleaning/sealing, upholstery cleaning, air duct cleaning, pressure washing, and, of course, carpet cleaning services (and that’s just the beginning). We look forward to hearing from you!

On that note, let’s start exploring the world of tile and grout.

Tile and Grout: What Are They?

First things first is defining exactly what we’re talking about. You probably have a good idea what tile is — although it’s easy to be fooled! Luxury plank vinyl is a popular flooring option these days, and the customizability of vinyl flooring allows it to imitate a range of flooring types, including tile. Nonetheless, authentic tile comes in individual sections. These are usually square or rectangular in shape, and they’re made with hard-wearing materials such as stone, clay, ceramic, metal, or glass. We’ve been reaping the benefits and beauty of tile for quite some time; the earliest evidence of tiles comes from the Ancient Middle East, clocking in at over 3,000 years old!

Tile by itself is just a bunch of loose shapes. What makes tile a great choice for floors, roofs, walls, tabletops, and the like, is the grout. Grout might not be as common a term as tile, but we’re all familiar with it. Grout is the filler that is used between the joints of tiles in order to ensure that they stay together. Most grouts are a powdered mix of cement, lime, color pigment, and sometimes sand that hardens when mixed with water and left to cure. It also offers several important benefits, including:

  • Giving your floor or wall a crisp finished appearance
  • Keeping dirt and debris from getting in between and under your tile
  • Adding rigidity and strength to the tile installation

In order to get all of these benefits, it’s essential that you choose the right type of grout for the job at hand. There are many different kinds of grout, and each of them are suited for specific types of rooms. Three of the most popular types of grout include sanded grout, unsanded grout, and epoxy grout. 

Sanded Grout

Sanded grout is perfect for larger joints between the tiles. It is mixed with sand, giving it a gritty texture that should be comparable to thick peanut butter. Sanded grout is versatile and can be used indoors or outdoors. A limitation for sanded grout comes when the joints are very slim or you’re working with tiles that can scratch, such as marble. In those cases, you will want to turn to…

Unsanded Grout

This is exactly what it sounds like: grout without sand. The reason this is effective for smaller joints is because it allows there to be a higher ratio of grout to sand. If you get too much sand, the grout isn’t effective. You won’t have to worry about that as much with bigger joints. And you won’t have to worry about the grit of sand causing any scratches.

Epoxy Grout

Another popular grout is made from epoxy, which is a plastic-based adhesive. Epoxy grout is typically far more expensive than other grouts. It does not need to be sealed, it isn’t porous, and it protects against the growth of bacteria. This makes it a great option for areas where you’ll be dealing with a lot of moisture, such as countertops and pool tiles.

Tile and Grout: Cleaning and Sealing

Clearly, there are all sorts of tiles and grouts that you might be dealing with, each of which has its own requirements for cleaning, sealing, and maintaining. You can learn more about the importance of cleaning and sealing by visiting our Tile and Grout page. Here you will also be able to learn about some strategies for maintaining your tile and grout. We will also be doing a deep dive into what’s required for cleaning and maintaining your tile and grout in a future blog post. So, stay tuned!

More Than Carpet Cleaning Services

In the meantime, be sure to reach out the experts with any of your questions. Steam Master Cleaning and Restoration in San Antonio is here to help. From tile and grout to carpet cleaning services, we have it all. See for yourself!


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This was the first time I’ve had my carpets professionally cleaned. Fred Martinez did an excellent job. He was very professional, courteous and efficient. I would recommend this company and Fred Martinez to everyone.
Fast and friendly customer service! I’ve used this company many times over the years (we have pets) and they do such an excellent job cleaning the carpet. They are very reliable and were able to accomadate our tight schedule!
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Fred was super pleasant and professional. He thoroughly explained the cleaning process and answered all questions. I’m very happy with the finished product and will definitely be a return customer. Thanks Fred-my carpet looks brand new again..
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