The bathroom is filled with opportunities for tile: the floors, the shower walls, a backsplash at the sink, the wall behind the sink, etc. Whether you’re updating the entire bathroom or redoing the floors in a half bath, you’re bound to think about tile — and, by extension, grout lines. Whenever you install tile, you need grout. What color should you choose? Is it better to go with a color that matches the tile or a color that complements it? To help answer these questions and guide your bathroom grout choices, here’s a look at how to select the right grout for your bathroom space.
Why Grout Color Matters
No matter if you’re going with a classic white subway tile or a bold, colorful design, the grout you pick matters. Why? Believe it or not, the color of grout you choose can dramatically impact the look and feel of your bathroom. Do you want the grout to make the tile stand out, give the bathroom a more seamless feel, or make the room feel busier? The answer will guide you in your grout choice. Here are the three basic options to consider when choosing a grout color:
- Match the tile. A grout color that’s the same color as your tile — whether that is beige, brown, white, black or blue — will make the room feel larger. Because the grout blends with the tile, it visually expands the look of the tiled area.
- Complement the tile. A coordinating grout color can help highlight your tile choice without too significantly breaking up the look of the area.
- Contrast the tile. Pairing, say, a dark gray grout color with a bright, white tile is a great way to draw attention to your individual tiles. Contrasting grout colors tend to make tiled areas look busier and smaller, which may or may not work for your bathroom — depending on your desires.
Common and Uncommon Tile/Grout Combinations
There’s no end to options when it comes to tile/grout combinations. If you can imagine it, you can try it — but for combinations with longevity and mass appeal, here are a few pairs worth considering:
- White tile and white grout. White on white creates the illusion of one cohesive surface. This popular combination doesn’t catch the eye like contrasting grout lines and tile. Yet it works beautifully as a background when you have other elements you want to stand out. In a bathroom that’s already got a dramatic flair, white tile and white grout keep the focus where you want it. Likewise, this combination is ideal when you’re trying to maximize space in a small bathroom.
- White tile and gray grout. Using gray grout with white tile is another classic choice that focuses more attention on the shape and arrangement of your tiles. This choice is great for making the tile more of a showpiece. Soft gray does this without over-focusing the eye on the tile. It highlights the shape and pattern of the tile, without making the grout the main feature.
- White tile and black grout. Using black or dark grout with white tile highlights the grout. The arrangement of the tiles becomes much more noticeable in the bathroom space. When using this trendy combination in the bathroom, you typically will want to use more muted elements in the rest of the design — letting the tile become the focus without cluttering the look.
- Black tile and dark grout. Compared with white tile, when you’re working with a dark tile, the rules for combining with various grouts reverse. With dark tile, dark grout will create a softer, more seamless look, and light grout will highlight the tile pattern. A colorful grout option. Say you’re using a light-colored tile and want to make it look unique.
- A colorful grout color — yellow or green, for example — can go a long way toward adding interest. While less common, colorful grout can often feel more fun and whimsical, and it’s definitely a bolder choice.
How to Clean Different Colors
Generally speaking, white or light grout isn’t as forgiving of discolorations and staining, and ends up requiring extra upkeep to make it look good. Darker grouts, on the other hand, can hide typical stains better, but they’re more likely to fade or stain from cleaners. In both cases, properly seal your grout lines to help protect them from staining and make maintenance simpler. To clean grout, try scrubbing with oxygenated bleach, a commercial grout cleaner or a coarse brush. Ultimately, the choice of what grout to use is personal. To make the best pick for your space, browse lots of photos, consider what you like and what you’re hoping to accomplish with the tile. Then, go with what works for you. To find all kinds of bathroom products at factory-direct prices, visit Modern Bathroom. We offer everything from vanities and faucets to showers, mirrors and storage pieces. Contact us today to learn more!