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1/16 Vs 1/8 Grout Lines: Which Is The Best Option For You?

Working on a home improvement project can always be tricky. Especially considering how many options are available.

1/16 Vs 1/8 Grout Lines

Because of this, it can be difficult to imagine what will look best in your home, and what will not be complementary to your space.

There are so many brands, there is so much hardware to get it you’re doing it yourself. The whole process can be overwhelming. Once prime example of this is tiling, with many more options than you assume.

The decisions we mentioned are  important when it comes to tiling. This because the choices you make will impact the quality and the aesthetic of your final product.

And the worst part is, mistakes are not easy to fix when you are working with tiles. Knowing what products you need when tiling, especially for a beginner, can also be its own issue, not knowing what you need, how to get it, and how to use it. 

A lot of beginners assume that when tiling, the main decision you have to make are the tiles that you are using, and that is it.

But, there are plenty of other decisions you have to make, a lot of which are to do with the grout and how you use it. 

There are lots of debates around what color, texture, and type of grout works best in whatever space. But something that is often overlooked is the thickness of the grout.

For example, if you are working with a standard 3 x 6 subway tile, then what size of grout is best?

The most common two choices you will be stuck between when it comes to grout, not for this tile size, is going with 1/16 or ⅛.

But, with this, there are a variety of other factors that you want to keep in mind which will alter which of these is the best option for you. 

Because of this, we have put this guide together to ensure that you make the best decision. So when you are choosing which of these options will work the best for you!

What To Know When Working With Tiles

If you are a beginner, something like the grout lines might sound like a minor consideration. But, when looking at the final product, especially when you cover your whole surface, you will notice how impactful this difference is. 

The size of the grout lines will impact how big your tiles look. This can make the space between either more or less distinct. In spite of this, there is an easy way to make your mind up if you are unable to decide.

If you are a beginner to installing tiles, we recommend opting for a ⅛ inch line. But why? The main reason for this is that having a grout line in this bigger size allows for you to make some more mistakes. 

You can also cover up imperfections a lot easier when you have a little more space to work with. In spite of this, if you are looking for a more sleek and modern appearance then go for 1/16.

But you will likely need  to hire a professional or learn the technique yourself. If so going with 1/16 inch lines is a better idea.

Whichever one you want, you will get great results if you do it the right way.

But, you want to make sure you have an understanding of what the final look will look like, so you are not disappointed by the final result.

You will transform your whole space and then have a very distinct look depending on how these lines turn out. So ensuring that you can get it as clean as possible is important!

Do Smaller Lines Look Better With Tiles?

Yes, generally speaking, having tighter grout lines with tiles, especially subway tiles, will look better. This will ensure that your space looks more modern and a bit less busy.

In spite of this, when going with smaller lines, there is more of a chance of making visible mistakes. 

These can look sloppy if you are not experienced with tiling. This is why we would not recommend getting any tighter with your grout lines than 1/16 since. Then it becomes too difficult.

You will need a lot of precision if you want tight grout lines, and imperfections will show up since they do not have any wider grout lines to hide behind.

There is of course chance for human imperfection when you are tiling. So especially if it is your first time, or if you are tiling a very visible area, we do not recommend trying 1/16 inch lines. 

You will also need a lot more patience. If you want 1/16 inch lines, we recommend getting help from a professional with proven tiling experience.

Factors To Consider When Choosing Grout Size?

1/16 Vs 1/8 Grout Lines

There are many different factors you need to consider when you are choosing tiles for your project. Because of this, we have broken down what you need to consider into different categories.

This is so you can go over each point when making your decision. If you do these steps, then you will be more informed on what your grout line sizes are going to impact. 

Also have a simple step by step method for choosing the best grout lines for your project!

Variation In Size

This is one of the most important factors, and if you are a beginner, this is an issue that you are going to be running into quite often.

For example, if you are using handmade tiles that are often beautiful. But you are also going to want to consider that there could be some minor irregularities with the size of the tiles.

These size differences can make it particularly difficult to get your grout lines looking equal and precise. This is a common challenge tilers run into.

Also, if you are planning, or have already, bought tiles in bulk, then you are going to want to ensure that you are buying tiles from the same brand.

This will ensure that the results are as uniform as possible. You can also save money if you buy more tiles from the same brand instead of mixing and matching. 

A good way to ensure you do not run into any issues while tiling is to do a dry run. Then place the tiles in the pattern you plan to use and take into account the size of the grout lines you want to do.

Size Of The Tile

The size of the tile is also something you are going to need to consider. The size of the tiles will impact how distinct the grout lines are.

The way a ⅛ inch grout line looks on a small tile is completely different compared to a much larger one. 

You can often get a more clean cut and defined edge if you use a ⅛ line. But, if you want to accent the size and the variation of certain tiles, then 1/16 inch lines are often a better choice.

Try looking for inspiration with tiles that are a similar size to the ones you are using and look for the grout lines to see what they are doing!

Grout Sizes

As we have mentioned throughout this guide, the size of the grout line that you are using will make a massive difference in the final results.

This is why we recommend looking at examples online and in magazines of examples of ⅛ and 1/16 inch grout lines. Then see which align with your space, and your vision for your space the most. 

Having a strong vision for your final results will make you a lot more confident when it comes to picking out what grout line size you are looking for.

If you are working in a smaller space, we actually would recommend going with 1/16 inch lines if you are confident. In smaller spaces these lines are perfect for accentuating sizing and variation.

But, if you are using ⅛ inch grout lines, these will lend a lot more definition to your space. This can be perfect if you are using them on a larger surface. 

Also keep in mind the practical aspect if you are tiling the floors since grout lines can add some much needed friction if necessary!


While there are plenty of different reasons why we recommend ⅛ or 1/16 inch grout lines, both of which will look great if you do them well.

But, if you are new to tiling, then getting impressive results with 1/16 inch grout lines the first time is  rare. so if you are doing it in a very visible space, we recommend getting help from a professional. 

But, ⅛ lines are a lot easier to achieve even if you are new to tiling, you will need to be patient. Also, look for inspiration with tiles like yours to see what they are doing!

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