12×24 (30.5×61 cm) tiles are becoming more and more popular. If you want to update your home with them, you’ll need to use grout lines that look nice with this larger tile size. What you use for the more common 12×12 (30.5×30.5 cm) tiles might not work well with this style.
You should use 3/16 inch (0.48 cm) grout lines for 12×24 (30.5×61 cm) tiles. Being larger tiles, they may look too crowded when you use a grout line that’s smaller. Small lines also increase installation time, let you see size differences in the tiles, and can cause problems when the tiles expand.
So, you can get great, modern-looking results with 3/16 inch (0.48 cm) grout lines with 12×24 (30.5×61 cm) tiles. If you want to learn more, I included everything in this article.
What Size Grout Lines Look Best With 12×24 Tiles?
12×24 (30.5×61 cm) tiles are large and rectangular, so you’ll need to use different grout lines compared to the more common style. The tiles require less grout since they take up more space, making the project easier to complete.
Using a grout line that’s too thin can also cause issues during the installation, so you’ll want to choose the size carefully. Air can become trapped in the thin lines, leading to damage after it sets. Moisture can also make its way into the grout at that stage.
You’ll want to use 3/16 inch (0.48 cm) grout lines with tiles in this size. If you go too small with the lines, the tiles will be cluttered, eliminating the modern style most people want to get with this design. Plus, large tiles that are closer together make it easier for us to notice their various imperfections, making the area look chaotic.
So, it’s better to use thicker grout lines when working with these larger tiles.
Choosing Spacers for 3/16 Inch Grout Lines
You’ll need to use grout or tile spacers if you want consistent grout lines. These small tools help you keep the tiles at the correct distance from one another so that you can fill in the spaces between them with your grout. They’re often shaped like “T’s” or crosses and come in many sizes.
The size of the spacer you choose will determine what size of grout lines you get as a final result. Most spacers will be between ⅛ and ⅜ of an inch (0.32-0.95 cm). For longer tiles, you’ll want to use at least ¼ to ⅜ inch (0.64-0.95 cm) thick spacers.
Since the thicker lines will help to make the tiles appear more balanced, you’ll want to use the larger tile spacers. I recommend the ones that will leave you with 3/16 inch (0.48 cm) lines; you can get similar results with the ¼-inch (0.64-cm) spacers.
This size also comes with some benefits, including:
- Using fewer tiles due to the thicker lines.
- Hiding chipped edges on the tiles.
- Displaying more color for contrast.
This short YouTube video covers the different spacer sizes and how to use them:
Other Grout Line Sizes To Consider
On top of the 3/16 inch (0.48 cm) size, you might want to consider ⅛ (0.32-cm) or ¼-inch (0.64-cm) thick lines. These sizes can have slightly different effects when used with the tiles.
While ⅛-inch (0.32-cm) grout lines would be thinner than the recommended 3/16-inch (0.48 cm), you can still make them look nice. However, you’ll need to ensure that you only use tiles with sharp, clean edges and are very uniform in size. Otherwise, the design will look messier with this grout size.
The second best option after 3/16 grout lines would be ¼-inch (0.64-cm) thick ones. This size is relatively close to 3/16 (0.48 cm); it’s just slightly smaller. You can use either option and achieve similar results with the grout.
Are Smaller Grout Lines Better?
Small grout lines aren’t necessarily better than larger ones since both options can serve different purposes. Thinner lines don’t collect debris as quickly and can look highly professional. However, thick grout lines offer an easier installation and cover imperfections in the tiles.
So, smaller grout lines are better for some tile projects. However, you need to be prepared for the more complicated installation. They’re beneficial when you have smaller, consistently-shaped tiles.
Conversely, large tiles benefit more from thicker grout lines, which is why I recommend using 3/16 inch (0.48 cm) lines with 12×24 (30.5×61 cm) tiles. You can also use it for handmade tiles that might vary slightly in size or shape to get the best results.
Make sure you also consider your preferences when choosing a size for your grout lines.
What Happens if Grout Lines Are Too Thin?
Grout is there to create space between the tiles without letting debris get in the gaps. However, it also moves with the tiles as they change size at different temperatures. There will be problems without enough space for large tiles to expand and contrast.
If your grout lines are too thin, the natural expanding and contrasting of the tiles will cause damage. The tiles can push together over time, leading to cracks. They might eventually come loose too and cause other problems.
This problem can be more prevalent with certain types of tile, including ceramic, stone, and porcelain. You’ll want to give these materials more space, so they have room to move.
Overall, you want to ensure that you give the tiles enough space to expand and contract naturally. If there’s not enough room for them, they can push into each other and build up a lot of pressure. No one wants to see that happen after putting all that work into creating even grout lines.
In short, you’ll want to use thicker grout lines for your larger tiles, like the 12×24 (30.5×61 cm) ones. This process creates a modern style that looks great in any room. You can achieve this by using 3/16-inch (0.48-cm) thick grout lines.
Using appropriately sized spacers makes it much easier to create straight grout lines in the correct size. They’re usually affordable, and you can reuse them, making them convenient to have on hand for your tile projects.