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How To

How to Choose The Right Grout Color For Your Tile

By Lindsey |

The color of your grout will significantly impact your overall design, and is just as important in your decision-making process as choosing your tile color. Grout color effects everything from the overall style of your design to the daily maintenance requirements of your installation, so be sure to take your time when considering your grout color options. To help you get started, we've provide the three of our most popular grout color styles below.

For more information on what grout type you should use, click here!

For more information on grout spacing, click here!

Style 1: Match your grout to your tile color

If you want your tile to be the center of attention, and not necessarily the pattern, we suggest matching your grout color to your tile color. This will prevent the eye from being distracted from the pattern found within the grout line. This style works well with neutral tile colors, especially white tile where you want the white to look fresh and clean. Keep in mind that a lighter grout color like white can potentially show more stains and will require more maintenance to keep it looking its best.

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Tile shown: White Wash 4" Triangle // Design: OLA Austin // Photo: Lars Frazer

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Tile shown: London Fog 6" Hexagon // Design: Sarah Sherman Samuel // Photo: Zan Passante

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Tile shown: Sugar 1x6 // Design: Sarah Sherman Samuel //Photo: Zan Passante

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Brick Shown: Black Hills // Design: Brasstacks // Photo: Erin Hassett

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Glass Tile Shown: Rosy Finch gloss 4x4

Style 2: Choose a contrasting grout color

If your looking to make a statement with your tile and grout, choosing a grout that contrasts your tile color will do the trick. The contrast between your tile and your grout color will emphasize the overall pattern and layout of your tile, creating a graphic focal point in your space.

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Tile shown: Crater Lake Hexite // Design: Orlando Soria // Photos: Zeke Ruelas

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Tile shown: Emerald Ogee Drop // Design: Young America Creative // Photo: Lauren Andersen

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Tile shown: 2x8 in Flagstone and Sugar // Design: Jen Pinkston // Photo: Katie Jameson 

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Tile shown: Calcite Scalene Triangle // Design: The Residency Bureau // Photo: Meghan Klein

A dark grout joint is a great way to add contrast to a classic white subway tile.  The contrasting grout warms up the white tile, preventing any sense of sterility while adding depth and dimension. Not to mention, a dark grout is easier to keep clean!  

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Tile shown: 3x6 White Gloss and Kasbah Trellis Neutral Motif //Design: Patti Wagner // Photo: Meg Cooper Photography

Note: We do not recommend a dark grout with White Gloss due to staining potential. See more below. 

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Tile shown: White Wash Small Diamond Escher // Design: Whitney Leigh Morris // Photo: Monica Wang Photography

If you do decide to go with a dark grout and a light tile color (or vice versa) it is VERY IMPORTANT to recognize the fact that your grout may stain your tile, especially if your tile has any crackle or crazing to the glaze. If you decide to use a contrasting grout to your tile, be sure to use a sealer or grout release on your tile to protect your glaze. Before installation you'll also want to test a few coats of sealer/grout release to see what treatment is necessary. One coat may not be a perfect remedy and that often times two or three coats may be necessary to ensure the grout doesn't stain your tile. Always test contrasting grouts before tackling your whole project. This concept applies to all of our materials-- tile, brick, and glass. 

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Tile shown: Daisy 6x6 // Design: Ann Edgerton // Photos: Andrea Calo

Note: We do not recommend a dark grout with Daisy due to staining potential.   

When it comes to contrasting grout colors, you can always go for the opposite look and pair a dark tile color with a contrasting white grout the way the kitchen below has done:

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Tile shown: Basalt 2x8 // Design: Jennifer Jorgensen // Photo: 2nd Truth Photography

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Tile shown: Navy Blue 6" Hexagon // Design: Kate Arends 

Style 3: Find a neutral balance

If you are looking for something in between a matching and contrasting grout color, try a neutral that is just a few shades off your tile color. For example in the commercial backsplash below a neutral gray softens the green tile for a look that is eye-catching but not overly graphic and demanding.

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Tile shown: Custom 4x12 in Flagstone // Design: The Perennial

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Tile shown: Rosemary 3x6// Design: Sarah Sherman Samuel + Emily Farnham // Photo: Tessa Neustadt

For a more subtle look, try a neutral tile color with a warm white or grey grout, for a perfectly balanced neutral look.

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Tile shown: Calcite 6" Hexagon // Design: Sarah Sherman Samuel 

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Tile shown: Calcite 2x6 // Design: Sarah Sherman Samuel

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Tile shown: Foggy Morning 4x8 and Murietta in Black and White Motif //Design: Nina Jizhar // Photo: Lauren Edith Andersen

As a reminder, all of our color detail pages have our recommended grout color choice to help get you started: 

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Want a personalized grout color suggestion based on your project? Simply call, chat or fill out our Design Assistance Form and one of our talented Design Consultants will get back to you shortly!

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