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Should Grout Match Tile Or Contrast?

Aside from the stylish look it adds to a room, grout is also great for ensuring that dirt doesn't get in between your tiles as it closes the gaps between them. Grout is available in several colors, so after you install your tiles, you will have to decide if you want your grout to match the color of your tiles. Don't worry, because we have gathered information to help you decide.

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Choosing between grout that matches or contrasts with your tiles depends on your preference. Matching the grout's color to your tile would make it less attention-grabbing than contrasting colors.

On the other hand, contrasting grout with your tiles would draw the eyes to it. Here are the considerations you think about before choosing your grout:

  1. Decide between a minimalistic and a stylistic look.
  2. Choose whether you want your room to look larger or smaller.
  3. Choose if you want to highlight or hide tile patterns
  4. Consider the location of your tiles.

You may wonder why you should follow these considerations. Not following them may cost you time and money, so keep scrolling down to read the details on grout and tile we have researched for you.

A builder applying blue grout to white interior tiles in a house, Should Grout Match Tile Or Contrast?

How to Choose Tile Grout Color

When you install tiles, the gaps in between them are noticeable. That is why there is a need to fill them with grout. Grout also allows the lines between your tiles to look straight and even.

Worker with rubber trowel applying white grout on red tiles on floor

Before you go ahead and put apply the tile grout, its color choices may confuse you. A wrong choice may make your room look messy, so here's a simple guide for you:

Decide Between A Minimalistic And A Stylish Look

The most important thing to consider for choosing the color of your grout is to envision if you want your tiles to be highlighted or not. Matching grout to tiles often creates a timeless and classy look.

It also makes your attention go to the other designs or decor in the room. On the other hand, if you want to give your area a stylish flare, you may do so by choosing a contrasting grout color to highlight your tiles.

Choose Whether You Want Your Room To Look Larger Or Smaller

You can choose a matching grout for your tiles for smaller areas to make the room feel more spacious. Your tile and grout blending or looking unified will create uninterrupted lines.

Make sure that you choose grout that's closest to your tiles' color if you do this, so they make the best illusion of a spacious room.

On the other hand, if your room is large, you can choose a contrasting grout for your tile. Doing this would help in making the space look more occupied. For instance, if you have black tiles, you may choose to have white grout to fill in the lines between them.

Do You Want to Highlight Or Hide Tile Patterns?

Your tile may have unique patterns you can show off by choosing a contrasting or neutral grout color. However, you can closely match the color of your grout for penny-round tiles because they are more noticeable for their large grout area.

Also, multicolored tiles may make deciding on a grout seem tricky. For this, you may match the color of your grout to any tile color present. You may also first opt to see if the most neutral color on your tile is best suited.

On the other hand, tiles that look like stones suit a grout closest to their base color.

Consider Your Tile Location

Darker grout fits if the area of your tiles is often used or is a high-traffic space. The dirt accumulated in this area would not be too visible by choosing a dark shade. Choosing a whiter or lighter color requires more cleaning as it will darken over time.

Kitchens and bathrooms typically use tile a backsplash for protection against water or flames. These spaces are often used as a focal point as they immediately draw attention, so using a contrasting grout color is excellent to make your tiles pop. 

Read this post about choosing grout for backsplash for more information:

How To Choose Grout For Your Backsplash

Best Grout Color Combination Ideas

Combining colors for your grout and tiles may stress you out, so we made a color guide of grouts that fit specific tiles for you:

  • White tile with colored grout

This combination makes an exciting choice if you want to try something new than just choosing the standard neutral colors. You may also try selecting a grout color that matches your space's other designs or interior for a blended look.

  • Dark or colored tile with light grout

https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/black-ceramic-tiles-wallpaper-and-background-concept-gm986810134-267661571?phrase=black%20tiles

Black tiles are best paired with white grout, while colored tiles pair well with the same color on a lighter shade. This pairing helps in making your tile pattern stand out.

  • Wood-looking tile with brown-colored grout

Wood-like tiles should not have grout that catches the eye. Instead, it should seamlessly blend by choosing a shade similar to one of the brown colors on your tile.

  • Colored tile with a complementary grout

You could always use the color wheel when in doubt. The colors opposite to each other pair well together. 

Deciding what grout color to choose still depends on what you feel would look beautiful. Making use of grout to enhance aesthetics other than its primary function of preventing dirt from reaching the tile gaps is often done nowadays.

That is why choosing what you think is the ideal color combination for your space would elevate its appeal. 

Check out this post for color combination ideas on tile and grouts:

11 Awesome Tile And Grout Color Combinations

How Long Before Grout Is In Final Color?

Grouting tiles with a rubber trowel

Grout is generally are darker when wet and lighter when dry; that is why you would need to wait at least 24-72 hours for it to dry and show its final color.

The time it takes for the grout to dry and to see what shade it exactly may also depend on what type of grout you used, how humid it is in your area, and if it is indoors or outdoors.

Read this post to learn about what happens to the color of your grout when it dries:

Does Grout Dry Lighter Or Darker?

Can You Change Grout Color After It Dries?

You may not have liked how the color of your grout turned out to be or want to change it as the existing grout has already darkened from accumulating dirt.

No matter what your reason is, there are two choices you have to change its color: use a tinting colorant or replace it entirely.

Using Tinting Colorant For Grout

You can only recolor grout with tinting colorant if your tile is non-porous and your grout is porous. The reason is that a porous tile may absorb the grout colorant and have stains. Here are the simple steps you must follow for using color on your grout:

  1. Apply a homemade hydrogen peroxide and baking soda paste, then scrub using a grout brush. Then rinse it with clean water and let it dry for at least 30 minutes.
  2. With a stiff-bristle brush, carefully brush the dark grout stain on the grout lines.
  3. Try to keep the tile from getting stained while using the grout colorant. You can use a damp cloth for cleaning if the tint gets on your tiles.
  4. Let the first coat of tinting colorant dry for a day, then apply additional coats in the same way if dissatisfied with the grout's shade.
  5. Seal the grout for extra protection.

Check out this grout colorant on Amazon.

Replacing Old Grout

Man uses Trowel to remove old grout. Replace the old grout between the tiles

You may also replace your grout entirely if you want to achieve a completely new look. To do this, you must:

  1. Remove your existing grout. Make sure to cover any furniture or items around the area with a plastic sheet or cloth. Then, use a grout removal tool or a multi-tool with a tile blade to eliminate the old grout. This process can produce a lot of dust, so use eye protection.
  2. Ensure the tiles are installed in the area properly. You can check by tapping the plastic backside of a screwdriver on it. If this produces a hollow sound, your tiles are attached weakly and should be removed and replaced. 
  3. Clean off the dust from the grout removal process using a vacuum, especially those between the tiles.
  4. Put pigment on the grout mix to make the desired color.
  5. Apply the grout according to its manufacturer's directions.
  6. Seal the grout.

Click here to see this grout remover tool on Amazon.

Does Sealing Make Grout Look Darker?

Sealer to paint tile grout lines in the kitchen of his residence to repel oils and prevent stains

If you want to increase the durability of your tiles, sealing is the way to go. However, keep in mind that it may darken your tile grout. The color would not change, but the shade may go one to two times darker.

You can test the grout for sealing on a small part of your tile before applying the seal to the entire area to ensure it is in the shade you want.

Click here to see this grout sealer on Amazon.

In Closing

Choosing between matching or contrasting your grout to your tiles is your call. However, you should follow the guidelines mentioned above to ensure it looks pleasing.

We gave you some suggestions about how to choose your color and gave you some color combination ideas. It is up to you to decide what works and what doesn't, because, in the end, it is your own space.

Before you go, check out these posts about how to choose grout for your space for more information:

How To Choose Grout For Your Backsplash

What Type of Grout Should Be Used In A Bathroom?