How to Choose Grout Colors for Any Tile
One question we hear all the time is: “How do I choose the right grout color for my tile?”
There is no right or wrong way to choose grout colors!
Selecting the right grout color really comes down to your individual style. And the great thing about choosing a grout color is that—depending on the brand—you can find almost any color your design eye desires.
But even though there are no hard and fast rules around choosing a grout color for your tile installation, you’ll want to consider how different grout colors can impact your final design.
Follow along below as we review the most important things you should consider before you choose a grout color for your tile.
Consider Your Design
Before finalizing a grout color for your tile, go back to your plans for the space you’re redesigning.
Are you envisioning a cohesive look for your space?
Think about choosing a grout color that matches or seamlessly blends into the colorway of your tile.
This kind of color combination creates tidy, subtle lines in your tile installation and can make the space you’re transforming feel larger and more open.
Here, the designer achieved a cohesive look in the space by selecting a grout color that matched the light-colored Terrazzo base of the Stella tile. Thanks to this design choice, the final suite space feels spacious and unified.
Searching for something a little more striking and unexpected with your overall design?
Think about choosing a grout color that contrasts the color of your tile.
While a cohesive color combination is certainly an instant classic, combing your tile with a contrasting grout color can provide added visual interest to your installation, letting your tile take center stage in the new space.
To pack more of a visual punch, try out grout colors that are several shades darker or lighter than your tile!
Review Grout Types
Did you know?
Grout color can be affected by:
- The type of grout you select (cementitious vs. epoxy)
- The amount of water you add to your grout mixture
- The amount of time you let your grout cure for
If you’re looking to create an exact or close color match with your installation, consider your grout type up front.
Epoxy grouts are known to produce more even coloring, whereas cementitious grouts are known to come with more color variance.
Cementitious grouts, like sanded or unsanded grout, have more variance because they require water to be made and the amount of water added to these grouts can impact their final color.
If you’re set on using a cementitious grout, you may want to consider testing your grout mixture before you apply it.
It’s worth noting that cure time can also impact grout color.
You might see uneven coloring between your tiles if you don’t leave enough time for your grout to fully cure—around 24 to 72 hours depending on the specific grout type you choose.
Find the Right Grout Brand
With different materials and finishes, certain tiles may require specific grout brands for installation.
Remember to check with your tile manufacturer to see what grout types and brands they recommend before you settle on a grout color. Some grout brands may have all the colors of the grout rainbow, while others may only offer a limited set of colors to choose from.
At LIVDEN, we’ve tested countless grout brands to find the very best for our tiles made from 65-100% recycled materials.
That’s why we recommend using a brand like Mapei, which offers a variety of different colored, unsanded grout. You can typically find Mapei at stores like Lowes or Floor & Décor. For a 10lb bag, prices usually range from around $12 to $20.
Think About Traffic
Another lesser-known grout factoid? Grout can darken over time.
And this is especially true if you’re working with cement-based grouts or grout in high-traffic areas.
So, what does that mean for your tile installation?
If you’re working in a high-traffic area, opt for a more forgiving grout color that will weather the tests of time.
Try something dark that can mask or absorb the normal wear and tear your space takes on!
Play with Tile Patterns
While searching for the right grout color, don’t hesitate to take color inspiration from the tile you’re installing.
Modern, patterned tiles lend themselves nicely for color inspiration because you can pick your grout color according to the dominant or accent colors in the pattern artwork.
For example, check out this bathroom installation below, featuring our Popsicles Sharpie tile in the colorway Navy Blue.
This tile installation features a deep, navy grout color that was sourced from the navy accent color of the Sharpie tile.
Similarly, this installation featuring our Acacia Complex tile in the colorway Terracotta, uses the same technique.
Taking inspiration from the colors of your patterned tile can create a space that feels polished and harmonious for years to come.
Study Your Undertones
When it comes to selecting a grout color you’ll love, you may also want to be mindful of the undertones at play in your space.
Undertones are usually separated into two categories: cool and warm.
Cool undertones refer to colors that have green, blue, or purple undertones, whereas warm undertones refer to colors that typically have orange, red, or yellow undertones.
Peek back at your design plans again and ask yourself: Does this design feature mostly cool or mostly warm undertones?
Once you analyze the colors and undertones at play in your new space, you can figure out which direction you want to go in with your grout color.
Color Me Confident
Now that you have a handy little how-to checklist for choosing grout colors, we hope that you feel confident and empowered to find the grout color that’s right for you and your space.
Feeling like you might need a refresher on the basics of grout? Head on over to Grout 101, where we discuss the ins and outs of all things grout on our blog.
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