The Difference Between Grout and Mortar and Why You Need To Know Before You Tile

If you’re looking to start a brand new tiling project or just want to repair some older, damaged tiles, you’re likely baffled by the number of options.

In fact, DIY repair can be a bit overwhelming between the sheer amounts of tiles and textures.

Before you remodel that kitchen, you’ll want to make sure you’re using the right material. For instance, will you want to use mortar or grout?

If you shrugged and said that there’s no difference between grout and mortar, you’re in for a surprise.

Read on to learn all about the major differences between grout and mortar and which is best for your needs.

The Difference Between Grout and Mortar: What to Know


Thanks to its pricing and easy installation, grout is a favorite amongst builders. And for good reason, there are tons of benefits to using grout!

Typically, grout is a thinner material, made from a combination of water and cement. It’s a perfect choice for filling in cracks between smaller tiles.

But while it has a similar makeup to mortar, it isn’t quite as adhesive as its heavy-duty counterpart. In fact, its intended purpose is to serve as more filler than adhesive.

That isn’t to say it won’t do a great job — grout is one of the best options on the market. Just go into your project knowing that you’re not getting the same properties as mortar.

Grout isn’t without its downsides, however. For instance, stains tend to show up easier on grout. And since grout is used to fill crevices, it can sometimes be difficult to clean or remove those stains.

With that said, it’s also far easier and more cost effective to repair than mortar. While it doesn’t have the longest shelf life in the world, it’ll certainly get the job done and look great doing so.


If you absolutely need something heavier, mortar is likely going to be the better of the two options.

In contrast to grout, mortar IS specifically a binding agent. Its purpose is to set objects in place and keep them there for years to come.

A mixture of cement, sand, and water, mortar is a harder, thicker substance than its porous partner. The result is a paste-like substance that dries quickly.

And if you’re looking for a material with a high shelf life, look no further. Mortar may be more of a monetary investment upfront, but you’re ultimately going to save money.

The repair is tougher and more expensive, but mortar has a much higher shelf life.

The Difference Between Grout and Mortar: Which is Better?

Ultimately, there’s no easy way to determine which is better. Both are fantastic at their respective jobs, and your decision should be influenced by a few things:

  • Budget
  • Project details
  • Type of tile
  • Size of tile

If you’re using larger tile on a project, mortar is going to last longer and look cleaner. With that said, grout is great for a project on a smaller scale and budget.

There are some big differences between grout and mortar, so make sure you choose the right tool for the job.

The Right Tools at The Right Price

Whether you’re using grout or mortar, you’ll want to make sure you get a great price. At Build More Materials, we’re dedicated to giving you the best products at the fairest price.

So whether you’re building an entire house or just remodeling one room, get in touch and let us help. We’d love to help you find the right materials.

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