Learn how to pick a grout you know you’ll love before it’s too late.

So you’ve finally picked out the perfect tile for your kitchen or bathroom, so now what? By now you’re probably feeling overwhelmed with having to make decisions but there is one last choice you need to make – grout color. Choosing grout can seem like a pain but it’s important that you decide on grout colors that you like and that look good with your tile. Although it seems like a very minimal step, the grout can completely transform the look of your tile. So I am going to walk you through how to choose the right grout color for your tile so that you can make these decisions more easily. 

Getting Started

First, you need to decide between three options. Decide whether you want the grout to match, complement, or contrast the tile. Imagine a white tile – a white grout will match it, a gray or beige grout will complement it, and a black grout will contrast it. Each option will have a much different effect on the tile and the space. A matching grout will usually make a space feel larger and a contrasting grout will give a busier look. Either one is fine, just keep in mind the style and overall design you are going for. 

How to Know Which Color to Specify 

When you are ready to choose your grout, make sure to get a grout chart. This is a grout color sample kit that has all of the grout colors there are to choose from. Each grout company has its own colors. I’ve found that Custom Building Products has the best range of color but I’ve also use Bostik and Laticrete if you want to see all of your options. To use the grout chart simply put each tile next to the colors to find one that you like. The sample sticks slide out of the chart so that you can put it right next to the tile on the floor to imagine how it will look. Once you find one that you like, note the name, number, and/or code printed on the side of the stick. This is what you will instruct your contractor or tile setter to buy. 

Where to Get Grout

Each brand of grout will be carried at different home improvement stores. Custom Building Products can be found at Home Depot, Bostik can be found at Lowe’s or Lumber Liquidators, and Laticrete can be found at Lowes. But, check their websites and find the nearest store that carries the product you need. 

Things to Think About

The look of your space isn’t the only thing to think about when choosing a grout color. Keep in mind maintenance and cleaning. In general, a dark grout will stay visibly cleaner and a light grout will require some extra scrubbing. Either one you decide to go with, the grout should be sealed after installing to prevent most staining and should help keep the grout clean. Also, keep in mind, you don’t have to use the same color grout everywhere.  This is a question I get a lot but you can have a different color grout for each tile if you want to.  

Final Thoughts

Always make sure you specify the grout color for each area. Whether you have a designer or not, be sure to let the contractor or tile person know the exact grout you want for each tile. I’ve seen situations before where the person laying the tile hasn’t been told what grout to use and they just put in whatever color they have or can get for cheap (you can imagine how well that turns out). So just remember communication is key.

Some Examples Using White Subway Tile

White grout to match white subway tile. This look is used if you want the lines of the grout to disappear.

Taupe grout to complement white subway tile. This look is a great way to compliment white subway tile and introduce warmer tones or wood accents in other areas of the design.

Black grout to contrast white subway tile. This look is used if you want the grout lines to stand out.

Kelli Corkill, Interior Designer | Kelli Marie Interiors

Kelli Corkill is an interior designer and home decor blogger at Kelli Marie Interiors. Originally from San Diego, Kelli now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is passionate about turning houses into homes. Kelli specializes in kitchen and bath design while also creating functional spaces that meet the needs and lifestyle of her clients.

Learn more about working with Kelli Corkill of Kelli Marie Interiors through her eDesign Tribe member profile! You can also follow Kelli on Instagram and Pinterest.