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Buying or specifying tile is a journey that takes some training to traverse. Architessans have spent many lifetimes (across our staff) learning about material & the industry, but there are some key things you should know before buying or specifying tile. Tile 101 covers tile terminology, product browsing tips, and other helpful things to foster your buying experience.

TILE DESIGN AND COLOR

The evolution of grout has made more colors available today than ever before and has made epoxy-based grouts (SpectraLOCK) formulated for residential use, where they previously were only used in select commercial applications installed by highly-skilled tile setters. Epoxy-grouts are less porous, however, most grouts on the market today have technical performance features.

Matching the color of your tile creates a more subtle look, whereas a contrasting grout color makes the shape & pattern the grand feature. White subway tile with grey grout pays homage to the early days of tile, where cement was actually used as grout. Dark grey grout with subway tile is typical for historic renovations, but now this style is ubiquitous and has morphed over the years to be adaptable to any design style.

Grout line thickness depends on if your tile is manufactured with a rectified or pressed edge, which should be discussed with your salesperson and installer.  

Rectified = 1/8” typical minimum grout joint
Pressed = 3/8” typical recommended grout joint

Our showrooms and commercial reps have grout kits in their toolbox and can help choose which type and color of grout is best for your installation.