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Choosing grout might seem simple, but choosing the right grout is not such an easy task. There are many things to consider before you make your choice like color, water resistance, and its potential to stain.

Consider these factors before you choose your grout and your tile installation will look and perform better.

Sanded or unsanded

Sanded or Unsanded grout, that is the first question. It’s a simple one, however. If you are using joints less than 1/8 inch thick, use the unsanded grout. If your joints or 1/8 inch or wider, sanded grout will hold together better, and be less likely to crack.

Water resistance

2. Water resistance. If you are installing tile in a pool, or another area that is constantly exposed to water, consider using epoxy grout. It has epoxy that helps increase its performance in very wet installations. It is more difficult to use, however. Beginners may seek professional help with this installation.

Epoxy grout is a great choice for the sauna, jacuzzi area or bathrooms with lots of traffic. It may save money in the long run, as it prevents water damage and resists cracking.

Color choices

3. Color choices. Choosing the right color grout is a challenge. While there is no right answer to choosing grout color, you can narrow your selection down with these tips. First, ask yourself if the area will attract lots of traffic and dirt. Floor tiles usually do, while wall tiles will not. Darker colors hide dirt and mold stains, while light white grout shows even the lightest stains.

Secondly, consider your tile color. Is it solid, or patterned? Stone, or ceramic pattern tile often has a few lighter or darker flecks of color in the pattern. Using one of these colors for your grout is a great choice as it will draw this color out of the tile. If there is a certain color in the pattern you like, choose it for your grout.

For solid color tiles, choose a grout color that offsets or complements the tile. White or gray is a good choice for most tiles. It is neutral, and matches just about every color. Stay away from browns, or darker colors, unless your tile is dark. Lighter browns will match solid tan, beige or brown tiles. Dark grays match green, brown, black and other earthier colors.

Take a piece of your tile to the store to match it to the grouts. Go through several colors, eliminating the ones you don’t like until you have a few grouts to choose from. Another idea is to pour the grout into your tile joints to test the color. Then, vacuum the grout up.

Once you have chosen a grout, it is time to tile. Do it the right way and you’ll be very happy with your new floor.