Choosing Colors for Tile Grout

By | March 13, 2017

A Grout Color Selection Guide

After selecting the perfect tile to complete the job in progress, many homeowners may be unaware that they will also have to select the color of the tile grout. Since grout is a necessary part of the tile design, it makes sense that the grout chosen will complement or highlight the tile, while protecting the surface below from moisture.

So while choosing colors for grout may seem like a job to be left to the contractor, or one to be hurried through before moving on to larger decisions, choosing the right, or wrong, color of tile grout can have a big impact on the final look of the design.

Complimentary Tile Grout Colors

selecting grout color

In many tile designs, the easiest way to select a grout color is to find one that will blend in with the tile. This puts the emphasis on the tile itself, making the grout lines almost invisible. For mosaic grout, decorative tile designs and tile with a lot of character, such as marble it makes the most sense to choose a grout color that will simply fade into the background.

If an exact match of grout color is impossible to find, the easiest way to get a grout color to fade away is to choose a color just a shade lighter than the actual tile. For example, if using a mosaic blend of beach glass tiles in shades of blue and green, it’s going to be hard to find a color of grout that matches the colors involved. So choosing a grout color in a light blue green, such as Tec’s Sage, will ensure that the grout fades into the background of the tile.

Accent Tile Grout Colors

Occasionally, a contrasting color of grout can be used to make the tiles in a design really pop. This can be beneficial if using a very saturated or dark color of ceramic tile, such as cobalt blue.

While it may be possible to use a dark blue grout that will fade into the background, if this in a shower, a solid wall of dark blue may begin to seem oppressive. Therefore, a bright white grout will set off the blue tiles, making the cobalt seem brighter, while lightening the entire design.

The key in this case is to go light against a darker color. While it can be tempting to try to set off a light color tiled with a dark colored grout, this frequently leads to the emphasis being put on the grout, rather than on the tile.

Selecting Floor Tile Grout

While there are stain resistant grouts on the market, floor tiles which see a lot of heavy traffic, will also see a lot of moisture, dirt and stains. Even the most well sealed and cared for grout may start to darken over time in places, which can lead to a dingy looking floor. Therefore, choosing a deeper complimentary color is the way to go.

A white tile floor should be grouted with a standard gray grout to minimize staining. A cream colored floor tile should use a color of grout closer to almond than to cream; do not try to go too dark in this case as the attention will be drawn more to the grout than the tile, but a slightly darker shade can help to mask stains over time.

If using a light colored marble tile on the floor, try selecting a color of grout that matches one of the veins in the marble, rather than the body of the marble. For example, Bianco Carrara marble may look fine in a dry wall application with an extremely light gray grout, but will work better on a floor application with a medium toned gray that matches the gray veins of the tile.

Selecting Shower Tile Grout

The color of shower tile grout for the walls will depend a great deal on the type of tile being installed, and how close together these tiles are. Machine made tiles, which can be installed touching one another with very little grout, should use a color matched grout, even if the tiles are white. Handmade tiles, however, which use a much wider grout joint, should go just a shade darker than the tile to help mask water stains and discoloration over time.

The shower floor on the other hand, should either closely match the color of the tile for darker tiles, or go much darker than the tiles in the case of white or light colored tiles. Shower floors are at high risk for staining, as impurities can be wicked up from the below the shower and around the drain, as well as from above, so choose a dark colored grout to impede this staining.

Choosing colors for tile grout may seem like yet another headache in the design process, but doing so properly will help enhance the beauty and extend the life of any tile job. Take some time to select the right grout color today and enjoy a long life with the tile job.

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