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Groutless Tile Installation: The Essential Guide

Grout - you either love it or you hate it! 

Those hard-to-clean lines between tiles do serve a purpose! This combination of cement, water and dye is a thick paste that helps keep the moisture out of the substrate, keeps tile lines straight, and prevents tiles from rubbing against one another. For some, grout color even serves an aesthetic purpose in tile design by pulling the overall look together!

Mother Of Pearl Divine Herringbone Mosaic Tile Backsplash with a Marble Bathroom Countertop

Mother Of Pearl Divine Herringbone Mosaic Tile adds a stunning graphic backsplash detail

 

Let’s be honest, though - almost none of us think about the technical aspect of grout, but instead describe it as the “the stuff on the shower wall we have to scrub all the time”. There’s a simple reason for that! Grout is essentially a sponge with thousands of little holes in it. It starts out fresh and clean but over time dirt and mildew can collect in the porous material. This can make it feel impossible to keep your tiled areas clean, no matter how easy it is to swipe down the tiles themselves! 

If you’re one of those homeowners who hates dealing with grout lines, we definitely hear you. And whether you want to get rid of its tedious cleaning chore or just prefer the look of a groutless tile, we’ve got you covered. Read on to find out how amazing zero-grout tiles can be and just how easy they are to install!

Mother Of Pearl Wild Triangle Mosaic Tile

Mother Of Pearl Wild Triangle Mosaic Tile

Pure White Illusion Mother Of Pearl Mosaic Tile

Pure White Illusion Mother Of Pearl Mosaic Tile

 

Groutless Mother-of-Pearl Tiles

It’s no secret that Mother of Pearl tiles are perfect for your kitchen backsplash! This chic choice for any interior design instantly adds a glamorous, modern touch to your room. The elevated sheen of shell tiles is ideal for wall surfaces to create a luxurious feel. AS a bonus, many of our Mother of Pearl tile designs are seamless, meaning no grout is needed! 

 Mother Of Pearl Abalone Mosaic Tile Kitchen Backsplash

Mother Of Pearl Abalone Mosaic Tile adds a diamond pattern to this shell backsplash

Wouldn’t it be great to have a bathroom wall that you can just spray and wipe to keep clean? No need to look further! These tiles can transform your bathroom walls for an elegant grout-free option. Mother of Pearl tiles are popular choices for bathroom design because they catch the light and can make even a small bathroom feel more airy and open. Add natural iridescence to your bath or shower without having to worry about dealing with dingy-looking grout!

Pure White Mother Of Pearl Tight Joints Square Mosaic

Pure White Mother Of Pearl Tight Joints Square Mosaic are a luxurious twist on a classic tile design for a modern bathroom!

Groutless tiles are a great option for other areas of your house since they’re so low maintenance! If you fell in love with the look of a feature wall or want to add a dazzling fireplace surround, grout-free (or in this case, minimal grout) tiles are a stunning option that won’t add to your household chores!

Pure White Mother Of Pearl Herringbone Mosaic Tiles are a luxe touch to reflect the light in your living room!

Pure White Mother Of Pearl Herringbone Mosaic Tiles are a luxe touch to reflect the light in your living room!

 

How to Install

These seamless Mother of Pearl tiles are fixed on a mesh backing that makes them extremely easy to install, even if it’s your first time tiling a backsplash! We have all the tips you need to make this a quick DIY project you can complete by yourself.

The installation options for Mother of Pearl tiles are endless when it comes to your kitchen, bathroom, living room, or floors. Keep in mind that shell tiles can go anywhere where it will not be submerged in water, as submersion can cause tiles to darken over time. 

Mother Of Pearl Pillow With Abalone Dots Mosaic Tile adds shine and texture to bring light into this chic powder room!

Mother Of Pearl Pillow With Abalone Dots Mosaic Tile adds shine and texture to bring light into this chic powder room!

 

  1. First determine the area you want to retile and measure out the square footage with a tape measure. Once you have your square footage calculated, we recommend adding 10% to your tile total count to ensure full coverage on your walls. You can use our Tile Calculator on any individual product page to determine how many tiles you’ll need for your area!
  2. Next, remove any old tiles you may have on the surface. Remove any switch plates if needed, and clean and lightly sand the wall to ensure a smooth surface.
  3. Lay out your tile without adhesive to visualize the placement and cut your mesh to size when needed, i.e. when installing around outlets. 
  4. Next, apply your adhesive (thinset) on the wall area using a 3/16” trowel at a forty-five degree angle and swipe to smoothly cover the entire area. Since shell tiles are thin and lightweight, only a thin layer of adhesive is needed. 
  5. Carefully place your tiles on the adhesive and hold until they are lightly adhered.
  6. After the adhesive is applied and tiles are placed on the wall, cut the edge of your tiles with a glass tile nipper or a wet saw to ensure a perfect fit!
  7. Let the adhesive dry according to the directions provided by the mortar manufacturer. Once it it dry, we do recommend sealing your tiles to protect them against any dirt or spills over the time - further cutting down on maintenance and cleaning! 
  8. Finally, apply a thin layer of white caulk along the edge of your backsplash for a smooth look and you’re done!

Installing Rectified Tiles with Minimal Joints

 Another option to minimize grout lines and cleaning in your tiled areas is by using rectified tiles. While minimizing grout lines in both appearance and maintenance, the contractor term ‘jointless laying’ isn’t completely grout-free.

This is a great option for tile projects in a dry area with relatively stable room temperature. This can be done with rectified tiles  – which are also called perfectly straight tiles – that are porcelain or ceramic tiles with perfect and uniform size and shape. Rectified tiles are characterized with evenly cut edges, milled at right angles so that the tiles can perfectly fit each other without rubbing against one another. The edges of rectified porcelain or ceramic tiles are usually precisely cut at a square: a 90-degree angle. 

The American National Standards for Ceramic Tile Installation recommends that anyone looking to install the tiles without grout joints purchase tiles that have been rectified to 0.0025 inches in variance or less; since larger variances would demand at least a small grout joint. The TCNA recommends a minimum 1/8" grout joint for rectified tile.

Kasai Fumo 10x60" Rectified Porcelain Tile is a great flooring option for Large Format Tiles.

Kasai Fumo 10x60" Rectified Porcelain Tile is a great flooring option for Large Format Tiles.

Using large format tiles when you can is a low maintenance flooring option - basically a homeowner’s dream! Laying rectified tiles with minimal joints also enhances the look of tile flooring, as it creates a beautiful, decorative, uniform lining. You can use rectified tiles to achieve a clean and modern surface on a wall or floor!

Ionic White Decor Impact A Rectified Porcelain Tile

Ionic White Decor Impact A Rectified Porcelain Tile

If you’re installing rectified tiles in a bathroom, make sure to check our other post about ‘How to Install Large Format Tile’ for more tips on bathroom applications.

Stress-Free Peel-and-Stick Tiles

The easiest and quickest way to install groutless tile is definitely peel and stick tile options! With no grout or special tools needed, peel and stick backsplash tiles are installed with ease and absolutely no mess. Our peel-and-stick tiles come with a paper backing that you can peel away and stick as an easy way to upgrade the look and functionality or your kitchen or bathroom. It has never been easier to give your space an instant refresh!

Copper Look Picket Peel and Stick Tile

Copper look picket peel and stick tile

These easy to maintain tiles can be installed in just minutes! To prep, make sure you have a clean and smooth wall surface. Trim the tile sheets at needed with a utility knife or scissors, and you’re ready to go! Just like the name says, you can simply peel off the backing and stick to your wall. Ta-da! You’ve got your new backsplash installed. They’re a great budget-friendly renovation option as well!

 

Carrara Marble Peel and Stick Tile Backsplash for a DIY Install

2.5" Carrara Hexagon peel and stick tile

Ready to break away from dealing with grimy grout? If you suffer from the hassle of cleaning grout lines and struggle to maintain the beauty of your tiles, you have options! Thanks to the variety of creative tile products we offer, you don’t have to sacrifice style and design to leave your worries behind. Now that you’re armed with the options for groutless tile, you can choose the right material to enjoy your bathroom, kitchen, or any other tiled area in style!

Questions about which material is the best option for your needs, room, or project? Our team is here to help! We’re happy to answer questions over phone, email, or chat!

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