Posts filed under ‘Choosing Grout’

Did you know that all grouts are NOT created equal?

Seriously…All grouts are not created equal.

More often than not, grout becomes an overlooked element within the tile installation process (why is that btw?).  We believe it’s just as important as finding the tile that’s right for you!  Grout is what seals everything together – literally.  Don’t go through all this time to find the right tile only to not think about what grout you will grout it with.

Since we have the fortunate privilege of chatting daily with wonderful people like yourself about their tile installations, we are in the know as to what people are planning and what they are…well…not.

Grout can either be something that you have to do OR it can be something that makes your tile look even more amazing when it’s complete!  Like we have mentioned in the past, we are extremely passionate about StarGlass Grout paired with most of our modwalls tile.  It’s kinda like the perfect marriage of tile and grout.  And we want to encourage you to specifically ask yourself, “What type & color of grout would look best with this tile [I’ve selected]?”…and “When is sanded grout most appropriate?”…

Since most of us are visual learners, I had this super cool idea to photograph our ModRocks Recycled Glass Pebbles in both StarGlass Grout and regular sanded grout.  The visual speaks for itself…one is “clearly” better AND it’s better for the environment. :)

Helpful hint = whenever you are installing glass or any translucent tile, the surrounding grout has a major impact on how your tile will appear once installation is complete. 

On the left- Diamond Starglass Grout and on the right is a standard white sanded grout.

Note:  Both of the above images are taken with the same digital camera in the same lighting conditions.

In the application on the left, the StarGlass grout allows light to enter in and through the grout and also the clear glass pebbles – making the whole area appear more illuminated.  The sanded grout application, shown on the above right, does not allow light to flow through the grout and therefore makes the pebbles appear much darker overall.  Same exact pebble tile, but with different grouts.

Here are some other examples of StarGlass Grout paired with our Lush® modwalls tile:

Modwalls Lush Blend installed with Opal StarGlass Grout

Modwalls Rex Ray TYPE White Tile grouted with Diamond StarGlass Grout

Modwalls Lush Glass Subway tile grouted with Diamond StarGlass Grout

Now lets get a little more in-depth on the StarGlass specifics…The actual product description is Translucent Grout for Glass Tile.  

For all you eco-friendly peeps out there, you’ll be happy to know that this product is made from post-consumer recycled glass – a truly revolutionary one-of-a-kind product!

The recycled glass is reduced down to teeny tiny beads (texture totally resembles the consistency of sugar) and is mixed with a translucent urethane binder that allows light to pass through the grout itself. So cool!  This waterproof, stain-proof formula won’t crack or break down over time, emits little to no VOCs, and eliminates jobsite waste since it’s pre-mixed and stored in a resealable container.  StarGlass long lasting, easy-to-use formula provides unmatched stain resistance, ultimate color consistency, crack resistant flexibility, mold/mildew protection and UV stability (aka it won’t yellow over time).  Plus, it comes in these fantastic 15 colors: diamond, onyx, opal, aquamarine, topaz, hematite, jade, amber, moonstone, aventurine, palm wood, citrine, copper, silver, and bronze.

One final benefit we want to be sure to point is how the StarGlass Grout has the ability to minimizes the look of grout lines – if this is your goal. Check out these two kitchen backsplash installations below where both purchased Lush® 3×6 Sky tile, but one kitchen grouted with Aquamarine StarGlass grout and the other with regular sanded grout.  The images truly speak for themselves.

Left – Lush 3×6 Sky with StarGlass Grout and to the right is Lush 3×6 Sky with white sanded grout.

StarGlass also offers benefits of a traditional Urethane grout:

• Pre‐mixed, ready to use
• Excellent chemical, stain and mildew resistance
• Semi‐flexible, low shrinkage and high crack resistance
• No color fading, streaking or shading – Even when wet!
• Fast, easy clean‐up when compared to epoxy and cementgrouts
• Innovative, proprietary coloring system
• Excess product can be saved and used later
• UV stable colors (non‐yellowing)
• Self‐sealing – no sealing required
• Non‐sag formula for vertical surfaces
• Free of BPA (bisphenol‐A) found in epoxy grouts
• Dust‐free mixing
• Fast, easy installation ‐ installs up to 50% faster than othergrouts
• Superior to cement grout
• Contributes to USGBC LEED Credits: MR 4.1 & 4.2(Recycled Content), MR 5.1 & 5.2 (Regional Materials), and EQ, 4.1 (Low‐Emitting Materials).
• Contains over 80% post‐consumer recycled content.

Overall, all these features and benefits are sure to minimize life cycle costs and provide a translucent, three-dimensional, reflective appearance that you can enjoy for years to come!

Where can you use StarGlass grout you ask?  StarGlass Grout can be used on vertical or horizontal surfaces in a variety of interior and exterior installations of ceramic, porcelain, glass, and natural stone tiles in a range of grout joint widths.

When is sanded grout appropriate?

Sanded grout is appropriate in many installations.  I think sanded grout looks great with natural stone, ceramic tile, porcelain tile, etc. – basically any solid tile aka non-translucent.  Below are images of a some modwalls products installed with neutral sanded grout.  As you can see, sanded grout can be used as a design element to add heavy contrast and definition to the tile and/or the pattern.

Example where sanded grout is totally acceptable = with ceramic, porcelain, or other opaque tile products.

Modwalls ModDotz Confetti grouted with a sanded grout

Brio Blend Palisades grouted with a neutral sanded grout

ModDotz shower installed with white sanded grout for high-contrast.

Now what??? :)

It is our hope that you would soak up all this information and spend some time to select the best grout for your tile – whether that be StarGlass Grout or sanded grout!

Have more questions?  Feel free to call or email us with any related or unrelated tile installation questions.

We’d love to help!

Modwalls is making tile modern with colorful and unique designs that are in stock and available for purchase online 24/7 at

May 30, 2012 at 4:53 pm 1 comment

Want Clean Tile? Then Choose a Quality Grout

We get the question, “How should I keep my tile clean?” so often.

And it makes perfect sense to ask of course; if you’re going to remodel and invest in new tile, you want to keep it in the best condition possible.  It’s a great question.

But the answer might surprise you because really, it’s not as much about keeping your tile clean…  It’s waaaay more important to keep your grout surface clean!

Your tile might get a little soap residue on it, but that can be wiped away.  What’s more difficult is trying to fight back scum, mold and mildew in your grout lines.

In the case of grout, preventing mold and mildew is your best bet.  We’ve given the full run-down about all grout options possible previously on our blog, so you know we highly recommend top-of-the-line grouts like our StarGlass Urethane Grout over all other options. We stand by the claim that this product really is the best of the best.

StarGlass Grout colors with modwalls ModRocks Recycled Glass Pebbles

StarGlass Grout is a one of a kind product: It’s made from recycled glass dust, pre-mixed and stored in a resealable container. It’s waterproof and stainproof formula won’t crack or break over time, and it has a gorgeous translucent glow.

StarGlass is composed of post-consumer recycled glass and it emits little to no VOCs.  StarGlass’s long lasting and easy-to-use formula provides unmatched stain resistance, ultimate color consistency, crack resistant flexibility, mold/mildew protection and UV stability.

These features and benefits are sure to minimize life cycle costs and provide a translucent, three-dimensional, reflective appearance that you can enjoy for years to come.

So if you are embarking on your remodel and going to use tile for the job, please keep our grouting tips in mind!  Any questions?  Feel free to post a comment! =)

July 18, 2011 at 2:03 pm Leave a comment

Its Time to Grout: Helpful Tips for Choosing Your Best Option

So you’ve found the perfect tile. It’s just right; it’s just what you’ve been looking for forever, and now its time to install it. But there’s a little more to it; you’ve got to grout that tile… and there are so many choices! Where to begin?

Here’s some information we think you’ll find helpful in selecting grout for your modwalls® tile.

Options: Sanded Grout, Non-Sanded Grout and Urethane Grout

Step one is figuring out which type of grout will be best for your installation. Urethane grout, like modwalls® Starglass Grout, is a unique option that is suitable for any installation with any of modwalls® tiles & more.

Here are some general rules to follow when choosing grout:

  • If your tile’s grout width is between 1/16” and 1/8” (like all of modwalls® glass tile lines including Brio®, Lush® and Viridian™ tiles and our ModDotz™ Porcelain Penny Rounds), you can use any option, sanded, non-sanded grout or urethane; it’s up to you.  Sanded grout and urethane grouts are more durable and if your tile will be installed in a wet area like a shower or a pool, or on a floor, then you definitely should use sanded or urethane grout.
  • If your tile’s grout width is less than 1/16”, like modwalls® Stainless Steel tile, you should use non-sanded grout or a urethane grout like StarGlass grout, which is specially designed for use with metal and glass tiles.

Note: Sanded grout WILL NOT scratch glass tile!  So rest easy and don’t let that scare ya.

Urethane grout like modwalls® StarGlass grout is a top notch option and we highly recommend it over any other option, hands down.  If you choose to go with another option though, keep in mind that sanded grout is generally more durable, so modwalls® recommends it over non-sanded grout for most installations. Other than durability, the main difference between sanded and non-sanded grout is that sanded grout has a sanded, textured appearance and non-sanded grout has a smoother, more matte and flat finish.

modwalls® Brio® tile with sanded grout

Grout Sealer: When Do You Need It?

Typically it’s not your tile that’s difficult to keep clean, it’s the grout spacing between it.

Urethane grouts, like Starglass Grout, and epoxy grouts, have grout sealing agents in them that will protect your grout color without you having to take any extra steps. Most sanded and non-sanded grouts don’t though, and you may want to purchase a grout sealer.

Here are some examples of when you MUST seal your grout or use a urethane or epoxy grout:

  • When installing tile in a wet area.
  • If you’re concerned about staining, mildew or mold.  Urethane and epoxy grouts will protect your tile from issues like these.

There are different kinds of sealers; some are applied only to the grout and some are applied over tile and grout. The Custom Building Products website has some helpful information about different grout sealers:

Most sealers are applied over both tile and grout and will not stain glass, porcelain, or glazed ceramic tile.

Why StarGlass Urethane Grout?

Yes, we play favorites when it comes to grout, and that’s because we know we’ve got the best option out there. Modwalls® StarGlass grout is composed of post-consumer recycled glass, emits little to no VOCs, and eliminates jobsite waste. It’s long lasting, easy-to-use formula provides unmatched stain resistance, ultimate color consistency, crack resistant flexibility, mold and mildew protection, and UV stability. These features and benefits are sure to minimize life cycle costs and provide a translucent, three-dimensional, reflective appearance that you can enjoy for years to come.

Modwalls® is proud to carry StarGlass grout. It’s made from recycled glass dust, pre-mixed and stored in a re-sealable container. The waterproof, stain-proof formula won’t crack or break over time. And since it’s made from recycled glass it truly sparkles.

The Fun Part: Color!

Gone are the days of all white grout all the time; today there are lots of grout color options and they can really change the look and feel of your installation.  Modwalls® stocks 15 shades of StarGlass Grout, so there’s no need to feel limited!

In general, we suggest that you avoid a stark contrast between the color of your tile and the color of your grout, so we recommend choosing a grout color that is as close to the color of your tile as possible.

Left: 1/2x2 & 3x6 Dune with Starglass Citrine (top) and Amber (bottom). Right: Brio Cream & Candlelight Pearl and 1/2x2 Dune with Starglass Aventurine grout sample

Consider the look and feel of the room… do you want one color to dominate?  Then you might consider grouting your tile that color.

Top left: Cork Penny Rounds with Palm Wood, Copper, Topaz grouts. Top right: Brio Taupe with Hematite grout and Dry Ice with Opal Grout. Bottom left: 1/2x2 Rain with Silver, Moonstone & Aquamarine grouts. Bottom Right: 3x6 Moss with Jade grout.

If you have a blend, think about which color you want to stand out the most, and opt for a grout that is similar in color.

If you want the lighter colors in a blend to stand out, go with a lighter colored grout. If you want the darker color to stand out, choose a darker grout. This is our 1x2 Carmelita blend with Aventurine (light grout option) and Copper (dark grout option).

These are just suggestions… you could also do something different like this customer did with our 3×6 Dune tile and a blue/gray grout that coordinates with the cobalt countertops. Stunning!

The gray/ blue grout really compliments our 3x6 Dune tile and it pulls in the blue countertop.

So get creative with your grout, and make that tile installation sing!

March 11, 2011 at 12:59 pm 17 comments

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About Modwalls

Modwalls' mission is to provide both our retail and trade customers a modern and colorful alternative to what is available in most tile and hardware stores, as well as a very personal online buying experience.

We've been designing modern tile collections and selling them online since 2005. The latest modwalls® designs range from gorgeous glass tiles in a wide variety of colors, sizes and finishes to glazed porcelain penny rounds, modern glazed ceramics, and sustainable cork, recycled pebble tile and bamboo mosaics. Our collaboration with fine artist Rex Ray has resulted in the signature Rex Ray Studio for modwalls American Made glass and soon to be ceramic tile collections.

You can reach us Monday-Friday from 9-5 Pacific Time by phone (1-877-439-9734) or by email:
"Making Tile Modern"

Rebecca Lonergan

Co-Founder and Creative Director of, a designer of modern tile with an online showroom at Modwalls are colorful tile designs with a uniquely modern sensibility in a wide range of materials.

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