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Installation Without Grout Joints

We are often asked the question: “is it possible to lay tiles without grout joints“? Our unequivocal answer is: NO, it is not possible! This answer suggests some serious arguments, which we will cover in our article.

  1. It is definitely not possible to lay non-rectified tiles without a grout joint: if cut in half it looks like an isosceles trapezoid, where the facing-up area is smaller than the mounting side. Because of this, grout joints cannot be avoided in any case.
  2. Rectified and non-rectified tiles both have tolerances for linear dimensions. Those seem quite insignificant, approximately ± 0.5 mm, but don’t be deceived by a small number, if you lay them without grout joints your flooring will be all over the place and terribly unaesthetic!
  3. Unfilled grout joints can cause serious problems, especially in rooms with excess moisture. Water can enter the gaps between tiles and become a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. There is also a risk of flooding your neighbors in multistoried buildings.
  4. In cases where tiles cover underfloor heating systems, all the materials work at a large temperature difference, and with jointless installation, the tiles can come off the base. In the bathroom setting, there is a risk of water entering the underfloor heating system, which can lead to serious injuries. The same risks exist in houses with large panoramic windows where a large heated area of one zone and a lower temperature in the other can lead to the tiles snapping off the base.
  5. Striving to have minimal grout joints of 1 mm or less is also not a great idea. All grout manufacturers recommend filling joints to at least 2/3 of the depth for a high-quality and durable seal. That can be achieved with grout joints of 1.5 mm or more. This will greatly simplify the work of the tile layer and will guarantee quality and long-lasting results.
  6. For large areas of 25 square meters and over, we recommend additional expansion joints. This is necessary to compensate for mechanical, vibration and thermal loads arising in the building structure. This is especially important to consider in private homes and commercial buildings.

To achieve an impeccable aesthetic result with high technical and operational characteristics, please take into account a simple rule: there must always be grout joints. The size of the joints is based on the recommendations of the grout manufacturers. The choice of color is based on the design concept. It can be almost unnoticeable when the grout solution matches tiles or could emphasize the joints with a contrasting mix.

Keep in mind that perfect results are achieved when all operations are carried out by industry professionals and in strict accordance with the recommendations and instructions of the manufacturers.

Wishing you a successful renovation! Read all about the specifics of laying rectangular tiles in our article “How to Lay Rectangular Tiles”.