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Installing Tile without Grout - Is this wise to do?

Posted by brenda_md (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 21, 11 at 13:12

I am planning on redoing our bathroom and want to have tile installed in the shower area. My sister-in-law redid her bath and had limestone installed in the shower area, but without grout. The tiles are just butted up to each other. She lives in Florida and said it is done a lot down there. Is this a wise thing to do and how do you keep the water from getting onto the wallboard behind the tiles. Granted, I love the thought of not having to deal with keeping grout lines cleaned, but would be concerned about wall damage and possibly mold build up between the tiles.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Installing Tile without Grout - Is this wise to do?

No, it's a bad idea, but not for the reasons you think. Tile and grout do not provide the waterproofing in a shower. Water can and does get behind tile and grout, regardless of the size of the grout line. The waterproofing is done behind the tile.

Back to why it's a bad idea. When you butt tiles together, there is still a very small gap. If you don't fill it grout, something else will find its way in there, and that something else will be soap scum, dead skin cells, dirt, etc., which increases the odds of growing mold, etc. on that organic matter. I'd much rather have grout between my tiles than a bunch of gross junk.

Another reason not to do it is that many tiles are not exactly the same size, and they will not line up properly.


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RE: Installing Tile without Grout - Is this wise to do?

Exactly right. No matter WHERE it's being installed in the home, it's a bad idea.


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RE: Installing Tile without Grout - Is this wise to do?

I've seen pictures of floors (not shower floors, just floors) where it looks like stone tile is butted up against each other, is that just really small grout joints? Just curious.


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RE: Installing Tile without Grout - Is this wise to do?

It's just really tiny grout joints. There are special grouts for "invisible" joints.


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RE: Installing Tile without Grout - Is this wise to do?

Thanks Terriks and Bill, I had a feeling it was not good to do. It makes me wonder how such practices get started.


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RE: Installing Tile without Grout - Is this wise to do?

PPC-- You may HAVE seen an ungrouted floor. Just in the kitchens forum alone there have been many who've ignored my advice and gone forward with groutless installations. Doesn't mean it's right, or even a good idea.


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RE: Installing Tile without Grout - Is this wise to do?

". It makes me wonder how such practices get started."

.............ya know , I was reading on the internet last nite

-OR-

did you see that Home Makeover, they put in the floor tile without grout and they said it was super terrific.


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RE: Installing Tile without Grout - Is this wise to do?

Thanks for clarifying. I suppose as many times as I've seen/heard people installing tile in a shower over drywall with no waterproofing of any kind, I shouldn't be surprised to see something else done incorrectly.


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RE: Installing Tile without Grout - Is this wise to do?

"No matter WHERE it's being installed in the home, it's a bad idea"

There are some tiles that are designed not to have grout. All of the new "stacked stone" type tiles would look absurd with grout lines. Of course, I wouldn't want those anywhere near a shower.


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