What Color Grout To Use With Gray Tile?

It's not something we often think about when planning a kitchen, bathroom, or flooring remodel, but choosing the correct grout to go with your perfect gray tile is a must to create the appearance you desire. It may sound like an easy enough decision. However, it may be quite a tough one. We've done the research to give you guidance in this area.

Gray tile can be paired with:

  • White grout
  • Light gray grout
  • Dark gray or black grout
  • Taupe grout

Now you know that these are the best choices to go with your gray tile, but perhaps seeing some examples would help you make a more informed design decision. Keep reading to learn more. 

domestic bathroom with dark gray tiles, white ceramic toilet bowl. What Color Grout To Use With Gray Tile

White Grout

White grout can be a beautiful choice with dark tile if you desire a striking contrast. It can even offer a retro feel.

Consider this bathroom. The walls and shower are tiled with a dark gray. There are thick white grout lines to create a bold polarity. It seems to give off an ere of masculine style. We think this is an attractive option for those with a love of bold details and decor. 

On the other hand, there is this backsplash with thin white grout lines. These lines are more delicate and pretty, with less contrast, yet they still clearly show the outlines of the tiles. This is an excellent option if you still want a bit of eye-catching contrast with dark tile. 

White grout can also be paired with light gray tiles for a bright, clean look. Maybe you enjoy a kitchen or bathroom that sparkles. This is a combination to consider if you do. 

Light Gray Grout

A light tone of gray grout may be another way to go if you prefer a more subtle contrast on your tile work. However, we suggest pairing light gray grout with a darker gray tile. If paired with a light gray tile, the similarity may be too much for it to be appealing to the eye. In addition, two barely varied shades of gray may cause a clash. 

A beautiful example of a dark shade of gray tile and light gray grout is this backsplash. The contrast is certainly noticeable but subdued. This results in a very zen space. 

Take a look at this light gray grout on Amazon.

Dark Gray Or Black Grout

Just as with white grout, dark gray or black grout can be used to create a subtle or dramatic contrast. This results in a sleek, midtown feel. 

The tiles are a bit lighter in this backsplash, and the grout is a dark gray. The grout lines are thin but allow for just a bit of contrast that effectively details the interesting shape of the tiles. The kitchen looks trendy and sophisticated. There's just enough eye-catching detail for a space that is minimalistic but not boring.

Upon first glance, we can't help but notice how sleek and high-end this bathroom feels. The large wall tiles are the focus, with deep charcoal grout lines that tie in tidily with the other black features. Even with the very dark tile, the grout lines create a very discernable, bold contrast that is perfect for this room.

Taupe Grout

So far, we've shown how gray tile can be chic, but perhaps you desire gray tile in your space, but not without sacrificing your love of earthy hues and a homey feel. You may also need to match other features or decor in your home with brown undertones. Fortunately for you, you can pair light gray tile with taupe or beige grout.

The backsplash in this bathroom has very light gray tiles, and taupe grout lines join them. The tiles seem to have a beige undertone that is brought to the surface by the grout color, and it goes quite nicely with the natural wood elements of the vanity. 

Another example is this gray Carrara marble backsplash with beige grout lines. The lines are not dark enough to show a significant amount of contrast, just slightly tinted so that it brings out the beauty of the marble and pairs nicely with natural wood cabinets and greenery. 

Choosing A Color

You may be wondering how to know which tone of grout to choose in your particular situation. It may surprise you that the style you are trying to accomplish is not the only component to think over. Here are a few more considerations for picking your perfect color. 

Ease Of Installation

This may especially be a concern if you will be installing the tile yourself. Dark grout paired with lighter tile is apt to stain the tiles, which is something even the most seasoned professionals can have difficulty with.

Lighter grout is less likely to stain tiles. If you choose a darker grout, this means there may be more hiccups in the installation process. However, it may be worth the frustration for the simple fact that it will be less challenging to keep clean over the years.


Grout can be a pain to keep clean and bright, especially lighter colors of grout. If you've ever stepped into an older kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room, most likely you've noticed that the grout between the tiles once saw better days. It's probably become stained or turned dark over the years, and this isn't the desired look for your home.

If keeping the grout clean is a concern for you, you may want to consider a darker shade of grout. This will prevent noticeable stains and dirt and probably save you a lot of precious time and headspace over the years. 


A common question is whether, stylistically, grout should be lighter or darker than the tile. This depends entirely on how much space is in the room you are working on and the style you're trying to bring about. 

For a smaller room, you might consider matching the grout to the tile or at least using a complementary color, as this will prevent the room from feeling broken up and thus allowing it to look larger. The tile will create texture in the design, but not busyness. 

For a larger room, where creating an illusion of space is not a concern, you could perhaps go with more contrast and choose a grout that is either darker or lighter in color. Depending on your color choices, this could create a modern or retro feel. 

domestic bathroom with gray color concept, gray tiles, white sink and bathtub

How Do I Keep Light Grout Clean And Bright?

For frequent cleanings, you can use one of three solutions:

  • Baking soda, vinegar, and water 
  • Hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap
  • Oxygenated bleach

Oxygenated bleach is the most versatile of the options, being safe to use on even natural stone tile. For other types of tiles, the other solutions are safe and effective. 

Take a look at this oxygenated bleach on Amazon.

You will want to apply the cleaning solutions and scrub them in with a thin brush. You will want to leave them to sit for some time to give them time to lift the stains. Finally, you will cleanse the area of the solutions with water and mop.

For less frequent, periodic cleanings, you may want to rent or buy a steam cleaner. This will not only lift stains and grime from the grout, but it will also destroy spoilage or mold that has begun to build. 

Check out this steam cleaner on Amazon. 

What's The Difference Between Grout And Mortar?

Mortar is a binding material used to connect two surfaces. It is used to connect tiles to a substrate, for example, such as a plywood subfloor. This is an essential material for your project, but it is not the same as grout.

Grout is a filling material. It is used to fill joints between tiles. Also essential to your project, this is the finishing touch to laying tile. It creates a polished, even surface. 

In Closing

Choosing a grout color for your tile may be a difficult decision, and many stylistic components may influence your choice. The four best color choices to pair with gray tile are white, light gray, dark gray or black, and taupe. Keep in mind the style you are trying to echo, whether that be modern, traditional, or somewhere in between, as well as the other design and decor elements of your home. Mostly, be sure that your tile and grout pairing will make you enjoy living in your space.

Want to learn more about installing tile? Visit these related posts:

11 Great Tile Around Bathtub Ideas

Can You Tile Without Grout? [And Here's How]

How To Transition Carpet To Tile Without Transition Strip

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