Can You Use Grout for Stucco? (All You Need to Know!)

If you love to carry out home improvement projects or you’re an active DIYer, grout and stucco are products you must’ve come in contact with once or twice in your lifetime.

There’s one thing pretty apparent about these materials and it’s that they are both cement-based.

So, it can be tempting to use these products interchangeably, after all, they kind of have similar consistencies.

This article will be taking a look at whether grout can efficiently be used as stucco and several tips you need to have in mind when working with these products.

Here’s if You Can Use Grout as Stucco:

You cannot use grout as stucco because grout does not contain lime, has a thin finish, and possesses more water content than necessary to serve as an adhesive. Lime is absent in grout which helps it achieve its aim as a binding material. Grout is a filler, while stucco is used to bond materials together.

The Differences Between Grout and Stucco

Grout is a paste-like substance used on walls and floors to fill spaces between tiles. It is used to set the tiles and keep them firmly in place.

Grout is made by mixing cement, sand, and water. These ingredients are to be added in a specific proportion in order for the grout to work properly.

When preparing grout, you should not add too much water, and the amount of sand or, in some cases, stone you add also matters and depends on the surface the grout is to be used on.

Grout is commonly used to fill spaces between kitchen tiles and bathroom floor and wall tiles.

On the other hand, stucco, often called mortar, is an adhesive substance used on exterior surfaces.

It is made from a mixture of cement- sand, lime, and water. The presence of lime is what distinguishes stucco from other cement-based materials.

Lime is added to stucco at the end so that it can properly seal or cure, and the mixture will last long.

Stucco is a common substance used for siding in residential areas and is considered a long-lasting or durable material.

The similarities between grout and stucco are that they are both cement-based products and they’re both resistant to water to some degree, although stucco is more water-resistant.

Stucco can easily be made from a mixture of grout, but you can’t make stucco into grout. Other differences between these products include:

  • Grout is used basically as a filler, i.e., to fill in crevices and spaces between tiles. In contrast, a stucco functions as an adhesive, i.e., it is used as a  binding material between layers of concrete blocks.
  • Grout has a higher water-to-cement ratio compared to stucco. Stucco needs to be considerably thick, while grout is best used in its slimy state.
  • In tiling work, stucco forms the bed on which the tile lies, while grout is used to fill the spaces between the tiles. The adhesive strength of the stucco is needed to keep the tile in place, while the grout functions in another capacity to ensure there are no air spaces between the tiles and prevent water from seeping in.
  • You might not need to use a trowel to apply grout; it is often slimy and easy to apply. With stucco, you will need to use a hand trowel. Stucco is thicker than grout, and a trowel is needed to spread it evenly.
  • Grout is available in many colors, while there are not many color varieties for stucco.
  • Once dried, stucco can last for a long time despite being exposed to harsh external conditions. While grout upon hardening cannot really withstand external conditions like stucco.

In a nutshell, stucco and grout are different in their makeup, purpose, and durability. They serve different functions and are unsuitable for use in place of each other.

Why Grout Can’t Be Used as Stucco?

Grout and stucco, otherwise known as mortar, are substances you can make from cement, sand, and water mixtures.

The difference between the two substances lies in the presence of lime in stucco and its absence in the grout.

When you are working on your home, you might have questions about using the two substances since, to a layperson, the two might work the same way.

However, you cannot use grout as stucco because the two substances’ strength, durability, and purpose are different.

A grout is meant to be used as a mere filler to fill up spaces and cervices between tiles. The grout formation requires more water than what is used to form stucco.

It is important to know that stucco is used as an adhesive between blocks, bricks, and stone. A grout cannot function as a stucco because it is of lesser thickness and cannot hold two materials together.

Also, the grout has no lime, which is very important in an adhesive material. Lime is essential in stucco because it helps increase its durability and sealing power.

Likewise, you cannot use stucco instead of grout to fill up spaces between tiles. This is because stucco is generally thick and would leave tiny spaces when used as a filler. Having spaces in your filler defeats the initial purpose of using a filler.

Any space between tiles is an opportunity for water to seep into your tiles, and it can cause mold to grow beneath your tiles and, in extreme cases, cause the tile to stick out oddly.

What Can Stucco Be Used for?

Stucco is a versatile material made from cement, sand, and lime. You can use this material for various purposes, such as aesthetic coating on ceilings, walls, and sidings. You can also use it artistically to make sculptures.

You can put stucco to use in many ways because it is dense and, highly resistant to water. It is also attractive and budget-friendly.

Additionally, stucco can be removed from any surface it is applied on so if after applying it, you don’t quite like the finish, you can always take it off but I must warn you, it’s a tedious process.


Grout and stucco are different substances, even though they are made from similar materials. The difference between them is the reason why they are used for different purposes. Grout functions as a filler, while stucco acts as a binder.

The absence of lime in grout constitutes the major difference between grout and stucco. Other differences include water-to-cement ratio, thickness, and color differences.