How To Choose The Best Grout Color For Your Tile

How To Choose The Best Grout Color For Your Tile

When you are installing tiling in your home, of course your first priority would be to choose tiling that captures the aesthetic you are looking for, enhances your home decor, and complements the furniture you already have in the space.  But what you may not realize is the grout, which refers to the colored paste that fits in between the crevices of the tile, is itself an important design element. The right grout color can add the finishing touches to your tile, highlighting its beauty and distinct patterns, as well as help bring the whole look together.  Depending on the color you choose, you can choose a hue that seamlessly matches with your tile, making the grout less noticeable or your grout color can be in contrast to the hues of the tile, creating standout visual appeal. 

In this article, we will be discussing the ins and outs of how to choose the best grout color for your tile.                                                                        

Should Your Grout and Tile Color Match?

The simple answer is no,  it is not necessary for the color of your grout to match the color of your tile. It also can be difficult to match your grout color directly to the color of the tile.

The mixture of the grout will determine how strong of a color it is when it finally cures. It’s more important that the color of your grout complements or enhances the color of the tile, rather than it being an exact match. Think of how the grout color can change up the entire look of your tile, depending on the color you choose. 

Should Grout Color be Lighter or Darker Than the Tile?

Again, there is no one answer and it depends on the effect you are seeking. Sometimes, you may be seeking a more complementary look in which the color of the grout is one to two shades lighter or darker than the color of the tile. Choosing a grout color that is more similar to the color of the tile will create a more uniform, and subtle look which may be perfect if you intend for other areas of the space to be focal points and you want your tile and grout color to create a more complementary look. If you want to emphasize the pattern of your tile, you would want to choose a color of grout that creates bold contrast to the tile for a more dramatic visual effect. 

Take the Size of Your Space into Consideration 

It is also important to consider the size of the space you are working with to choose the right grout color.  Is the space in the room on the smaller side, and you therefore want to maximize the room as much as you can to make it feel larger? If so, then you would want to choose a grout color that meshes into your tile color.  Think about the different effects you could create with a white subway tile in a room such as your bathroom. With a white subway tile, choosing a grout color that is also light or even white will make the room appear larger, creating an overall light and airy effect. However, if you choose a contrasting tone for the white tile such as black, you would not only be highlighting the pattern of the subway tiles, the wall with the tile would become a centerpiece of the bathroom that may overwhelm the size of your space.                   

Grout and Natural Stone: What You Need to Know

While this topic doesn’t immediately sound relevant to choosing grout color, it’s important to understand how natural stone works with grout because incorrect use can dramatically affect its color and final appearance of the tile. Natural stone offers some of the greatest beauty to be found on earth. Many types of tile attempt to simulate the look of natural stone, and while some are able to achieve a strikingly similar appearance, nothing will be able to fully capture the stunning elegance of the natural world.  Natural stone brings some element of challenge, but nothing that can’t be overcome. Natural stone, especially softer stones such as marble and limestone tend to be more porous which means they will easily absorb other surrounding materials. This is why it’s common to hear the rule that you should avoid drinking red wine near white marble or setting a glass of red wine on a white marble surface. 

As grout is in a semi-solid state, but is still very liquidy, when you apply it in between the crevices of tile, it will easily spread all over the tile. In the case of natural stone, it can permanently taint the color of your tile, ruining its appearance, again as natural stone can be so porous. To avoid this, it’s important to make sure  that your natural stone tile is completely sealed using a natural stone sealant prior to applying the grout.