I had a contractor come in and lay new tile in my home. When the job was done, there were 2 or 3 tiles that were uneven and we asked the tile setter to chip out those tiles and replace them.

For those 2 or 3 tiles, I suspect (for various reasons) that the tile setter used mortar (Versabond thinset) between the replaced tile and its neighbors rather than grout.

How can I tell for sure?

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Good question: keep em coming. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to participate here. Jun 26, 2019 at 18:29
  • Does the color match, and texture (sanded or non sanded)? Jun 26, 2019 at 19:12

1 Answer 1


Color would be one indicator, other than that in the short term there really isn't a way to tell the difference because grout and mortar are very similar the only big difference is that mortar has lime and grout does not. Over time mortar will/can show signs of efflorescence, a white chalky looking film.

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