The Kendo UI MVC Grid editor fields are created by the MVC framework (EditorFor()...), not by the Kendo code. That is why the CSS classes are different. As you suggested, you can use an editor template with the desired CSS class:
Html.TextBoxFor(model => model,
The server wrappers are not the only benefit of the commercial Kendo UI license. You can also take advantage of Telerik's developer support service and develop non-open-source projects. The non-commercial Kendo UI distribution is provided with a GPL 3 license.
the Telerik team
Join us on our journey to create the world's most complete HTML 5 UI Framework - download Kendo UI