You’ve spent weeks laboring over tile selections. But you’re work’s not over yet. A simple grout goof at this juncture could ruin everything. Not to worry. Read on and we’ll show you the nitty gritty of “how to choose grout color.”
This post will illustrate when to use:
Acadia White 9×30 Porcelain Wood Plank Tile by Tesoro. Notice the modern décor. The tile has a modern wood look appearance, as opposed to a rustic flair. Matching grout is perfect for this application. This porcelain comes in four colors: White, Oak, Maple and Grey. The tile is fairly consistent yet comes with 20 different faces, or images, which gives it a very realistic wood look.
Is not always the main objective. There are other valid design determinations. For example…
White Subway Tile With Dark Grout
The bathroom below illustrates objectives 1 and 3 listed above. The dark grout in the shower creates a contrast with the white tile. Plus the dark grout ties in with the color of the dark bathroom floor. By contrast, the grout on the bathroom floor ties in with the white subway tile on the walls.
Sometimes, people aren’t trying to show off patterns, they just like darker grout. It does makes a high-contrast statement. It is also a more industrial look. Some like using a darker grout because they see it as being easier to keep clean. This is not as important as it once was because manufacturers have developed more stain resistant grouts.
Urbano Ink 4×12 glossy wall tile with a 3-dimensional pattern by MS International. This collection makes a style statement. It comes in both the 3-dimensional pattern and a smooth glossy finish. In addition to the black, it is available in 6 other colors.
Havana 2×11 by Tesoro. This colorful tile, inspired by Cuba, comes in various colors, patterns and sizes including a 16×16 tile. It can be used on floors and walls and even comes with a stair tread.
What do you do if you can’t find a grout that matches your tile. Or what if your tile isn’t a single color? In that case, there are several options. You could use a white grout. But that is not always the best choice.
Another option would be to use a neutral grout. If the tile is grey. Then a grout with a grey hue would create a neutral effect. If the tile is brown, a grout with a brown hue would work well.
If the tile has multiple colors, I usually like to focus on one color within the tile and get a grout that matches that color.
With a contemporary design, the grout should practically disappear. This series, Contempo, has subtle variations in shade and a hint of texture which lend well to the design. A grout was selected that blended well with some of the background colors. Contempo comes in three colors and various sizes.
At times, it’s nice to use a dark tile with light grout to get some contrast. The dark tile can add depth to a room. While the lighter grout introduces some light into the color pallet.
Grout color is not the only consideration. There are two basic types of grout. Sanded and unsanded. As the name implies, sanded grout contains granuals of sand and unsanded grout does not.
Typically, sanded grout it not used on marble or glass tiles. The sand could scratch the surface. However, when using a shellstone floor I do like to use a sanded grout because the texture of the grout matches the shellstone better.
The width of the grout joint also determines what type of grout to use.
According to the Tile Council of North America:
Cementitious grout, joints smaller than 1/8″ generally should only be grouted with unsanded grout, and joints of 1/8″ and larger should only be grouted with sanded grout. Joints larger that 3/8″ usually need a more heavily sanded grout to accommodate the large joint.
For more on the tile council’s guidelines. Go here:
Common Grout Questions:
Do I Need Grout?
Not always. While some will give you a lengthy list of reasons why you need grout, I speak from experience.
We have an upstairs landing and hallway that we clad in unfilled travertine years ago. We never grouted the floor or filled the holes. I love the rustic feel and character of the unfilled stone.
The floor still looks great. This is an area that is not subject to a lot of dirt accumulation or spills.
Downstairs, we did grout our natural stone tile just to keep the joints clean.
Does Grout Help Secure The Tiles?
Again, I speak from experience. We did not grout our floor and our tile is not popping up. So I would have to say:
Can You Walk On Tile Without Grout?
Some caution that you will feel all the ungrouted edges. Perhaps injuring a foot. Or damaging a tile.
Again, we have not found this to be the case.
Perhaps, you say, I’m not having any problems because my feet are so large.
I won’t get into that, but I will say that my adorable 3-year-old grandson walks barefoot on our ungrouted floor all the time.
So, I’d have to declare another
Should I seal My Grout?
Yes. We recommend either sealing the grout or using a grout that does not need to be sealed.
There are many grouts on the market today that are designed to resist stains. They are a little more expensive, but worth the extra expense.
How Should I Clean My Grout?
We recommend using a PH-Balanced cleaner, such as Miracle Sealants brand Tile and Stone Cleaner.
I love this products and so do my clients. For most of my clients, a bottle of cleaner lasts between 12 and 15 months.
This cleaner is safe to use on polished marble and porcelain tile surfaces. It can be diluted with water or used straight out of the bottle with no ill effects.
How Often Should I Mop?
We recommend mopping at least once a week to avoid dirt buildup.
Sweep before cleaning to eliminate as much dirt as possible.
What Type of Mop?
I love micro-fiber mops. Tip: clean the mop head in the washing machine after using so it’s ready for the next time you want to use it.
Can I use Dish Soap?
We do not recommend using dish liquid. The soap used to wash dishes contains surfactants, which are designed to attract dirt. Great when you are washing dishes that can be held under running water to get them rinsed well.
It is not possible to rinse a floor well enough to get up all the surfactants. Therefore you are left with a floor that has a thin film of soap designed to attract dirt.
Rather than cleaning the floor, it turns it into a dirt magnet.
Also, be sure to change your mop bucket when the water begins to get dirty. Otherwise you are just swishing dirty water around.
How to Pick Grout Color
We hope this article has given you all the nitty gritty of how to choose grout color. And some added bonus materials. If you have questions regarding how to choose grout color, we are here to help.