2

I understand the need of grout lines and I did have grout lines for bathroom and kitchen project. But as a DIY with request from the spouse (who hates seeing the grout lines), we plan to cover the raised concrete fireplace hearth with porcelain tiles and no grout.

Something like this (picture shown tiles fitting closed to each other - Not fireplace specific):

enter image description here

Obviously I have never done tile without grout before. I did some research and people said two things about grout:

  1. Tiles can move --> But it's a fireplace hearth only 70x10x10 and we won't even turn on the fire. So it's less likely the concrete expanding itself from inside out to cause cracking.

  2. Dirt getting inside, hard to clean --> But it's way closed, the gap is not visible to see. Plus I can put non-sanded grout and run through after things done.

Will I regret doing this without grout? Please advise

1

This is more or less a matter of opinion, but many floors of many types have been installed over the years without grout. If you don't want grout, don't use grout.

Regarding your point #1, grout isn't structural in the sense that it prevents movement. Your mortar and a sound substructure do that. It's not a valid concern.

I don't know what you're saying in point 2. You can't grout tiles that are tight together, even if it's non-sanded. You need at least a minimal void to accept the material and ensure a good bond.

  • On #2, let's say I left out like 1/32" gap. If dirt can get in, I could be proactive and pour very liquid non-sanded grout to fill up whatever gap. Just a plan in my head. Thanks for the confirmation on #1. – HP. Dec 18 '18 at 21:25
  • 1
    Grout needs to be mixed to spec, not "very liquid", or you'll end up with fragile mush. You need at least 1/16". – isherwood Dec 18 '18 at 21:27

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