Installing a kitchen backsplash can transform the look and feel of your cooking space. With so many tile options to choose from like subway tile, glass tile, and natural stone tile, deciding on the right material is only half the battle. You’ll also need to purchase the correct amount of grout for your backsplash installation. So how much grout do you need for a kitchen backsplash?
The amount of grout required depends on the total square footage of your backsplash, the type and size of tiles, and the width of your grout lines. Generally, you’ll need around 1/4 to 1/2 pound of grout per square foot of backsplash when using standard 1/8 inch grout lines. For example, a 4×8 foot backsplash requires about 2 to 4 pounds of grout.
Purchasing the right amount of grout is important – too little grout can lead to unfinished sections or grout that dries up during application, while too much grout leads to waste. With some simple calculations, you can determine the ideal grout quantity to buy.
Estimate Your Backsplash Square Footage
The first step in figuring out your grout needs is to measure the total square footage of the area you’ll be tiling. To do this:
- Measure the length and height of your backsplash area. Multiply them together to get the square footage. For example, if your backsplash is 8 feet wide by 4 feet high, the area is 8 x 4 = 32 square feet.
- For angled walls like in a corner, measure the length and height at the longest and tallest points.
- If tiling around outlets, windows, or other openings, measure the total wall space then subtract the areas of the openings.
- For multiple separate sections, calculate each area then add them together.
Be sure to measure precisely and round up to the next full square foot for a slightly generous estimate. It’s better to have a little extra grout than to run short.
Account for Tile Size
In addition to the total square footage, the specific tiles you choose also affect how much grout is needed:
- Small tiles like mosaics, penny tiles, and subway tiles have more grout lines per square foot, so you’ll need more grout.
- Large tiles like 12″ kitchen tiles have fewer grout lines, so you’ll need less grout per square foot.
- As a general rule, use the grout coverage estimates below based on your tile size:
- Mosaics: 3/4 to 1 pound per square foot
- Tiles under 4″: 1/2 to 3/4 pound per square foot
- 4 to 6″ tiles: 1/3 to 1/2 pound per square foot
- 8 to 12” tiles: 1/4 to 1/3 pound per square foot
So if using 4″ square tiles on a 30 sq ft backsplash, you’d need approximately 15 to 22.5 pounds of grout.
Factor in Grout Line Width
The last major factor determining your grout needs is the width of the grout lines between tiles.
- The standard grout line width is 1/8 inch, which provides a polished, uniform look. This is a good default option.
- Wider grout lines like 1/4 inch add more of a handcrafted, rustic feel but require more grout to fill.
- Narrow grout lines like 1/16 inch are sleek but can be trickier for installation.
Use the standard 1/8 inch grout lines unless you specifically want a different aesthetic. Combine your tile size, total backsplash area, and grout line width to get your final grout quantity.
Buy Grout in the Right Amount
When purchasing grout, it’s often sold in pounds or half-pound bags:
- For small backsplashes under 10 square feet, a single 10 or 20 pound bag is usually sufficient.
- For medium backsplashes between 10 and 30 square feet, buy two to three 10 pound bags or one to two 20 pound bags.
- For larger backsplashes over 30 square feet, go with 40+ pound bags or multiples of smaller bags.
Having too little grout poses a bigger problem than having excess, so round up and buy a little extra if between sizes. Leftover grout has many uses around the house.
Some other tips for buying grout for your kitchen backsplash project:
- Choose a grout color that matches or complements your tile. White and gray are popular backsplash grout colors.
- For heavy duty areas like behind stoves, use an epoxy grout which is more durable and stain resistant.
- Buy grout caulk in a matching color for sealing any gaps along the edges or corners.
- Consider a grout haze remover to simplify cleanup after grouting.
With the right calculations and planning, you can determine just how much grout is required for your particular backsplash installation. Carefully measuring and purchasing an appropriate amount of grout allows you to grout efficiently while minimizing unused grout and avoiding emergency grout runs. Get your tile ready, gather your supplies, and mix up the perfect quantity of grout for creating a stunning kitchen backsplash.
Frequently Asked Questions About Grout Quantity for Backsplashes
How much grout do I need for a 20 square foot backsplash?
For a 20 square foot backsplash with standard 1/8 inch grout lines and medium 4-6 inch tiles, you will need around 6 to 10 pounds of grout.
What size bag of grout should I buy for a backsplash?
For a small backsplash under 10 square feet, buy a 10 or 20 pound bag. For a medium 10-30 square foot backsplash, get a 20 pound bag or two 10 pound bags. For larger jobs, use multiple bags or a 40+ pound bag.
Should I buy extra bags of grout for waste?
It’s better to have a little leftover grout than to run short. Buy one extra 10 pound bag or round up to the next full bag size as a buffer for waste and touch-ups.
How much grout coverage should I calculate per pound?
On average, one pound of grout covers 8 to 12 square feet of wall space with 1/8 inch grout lines and standard 4-6 inch tiles.
Can I return unused grout bags?
Most hardware stores allow unopened grout bags to be returned. Opened bags can’t be returned but leftover quality grout can be resealed and used for future projects.
What do I do if I’m unsure how much grout to buy?
When in doubt, overestimate your square footage and go up a bag size, or even buy two small bags instead of one large one for more flexibility. Having extra grout is better than running out halfway through your project.
Key Takeaways on Grout Quantity for Backsplash Projects
- Carefully measure the total square footage of your backsplash area to estimate needed grout.
- Factor in tile size – small tiles require more grout per square foot than larger tiles.
- Standard 1/8” grout lines are suitable for most backsplash designs and budgets.
- Buy grout in 10, 20, or 40+ pound bags based on your backsplash size.
- Round up on quantity and purchase an extra bag as a buffer to avoid running short on grout.
- Use a grout calculator or formula to get an accurate estimate before buying.
- Proper planning of grout quantity leads to a successful backsplash installation.