Asked on Oct 03, 2016

Is it ok to use different grout colours in a single room?

Leah Wynne
by Leah Wynne
We are starting to plan our 1904 house remodel. We are thinking of putting white penny tile with black flowers and black grout on the floor in the bathroom. We are thinking about grey subway tile around the tub, floor to ceiling...and white subway tile around 1/3 up around the rest of the room with black grout as well. Would it look weird for the grey tile to have white grout? Or should the grey tile have black grout as well and would THAT even look weird or ok?
  8 answers
  • William William on Oct 04, 2016
    Selecting the grout that will divide and frame the tiles is often a mere afterthought. But grout deserves more attention and respect…Not only does grout fill the voids, it makes the floor, wall, or countertop stronger by bonding the tiles together and preventing the edges of a tile from chipping and cracking. Grout helps determine the functionality and durability of a tiled floor, especially in bathrooms and kitchens, which are often high-traffic rooms that are exposed to a lot of moisture and mess. But grout also plays a key aesthetic role; the color of grout will determine whether the eye is drawn to the beauty of the individual tiles or to the overall pattern and sequencing of the tiles across the surface. ***** Selecting Grout Color: ***** Experts recommend choosing several color samples and spacing them around and in between your tile sample. You could also have your contractor mock up some sample tile-grout combinations, which will cost extra but will help you avoid even costlier mistakes. The Grout Selector Tool is also a great way to try out different color combos. ***** There are three basic approaches to choosing grout color: ***** 1)Matching: By matching the grout and tile color, the grout lines become less pronounced and the tile itself is accentuated. This is the best option if you have chosen a beautiful (and pricey) tile with a basic layout. ***** 2)Contrasting: By contrasting the tile and grout colors, you draw attention to the pattern and layout of the tile overall. This may be the best choice with detailed geometric or decorative patterns. These days we see a lot of white subway tile with darker grout. Some people love this contrasting, bold and historic look (and appreciate that darker grout is effective at hiding dirt). Others think the grout just looks “dirty” from the get go. ***** 3)Neutral: Opting for light neutral colored grouts in grays, beiges and browns is probably the safest bet in many bathrooms. “You may not be madly in love with gray but chances are you won’t hate it, either”. ***** Choosing Between Light vs. Dark Shades: ***** There are pros and cons to both ends of the spectrum. Darker grouts hide dirt and stains but are also more prone to fading and staining from harsh cleaners. Lighter grouts, on the other hand, are more likely to show dirt. Some experts recommend shades that are neither dark nor super light. Colors like tan, beige, light brown and grey are easier to keep clean and less prone to fading and discoloration. Visualizing the interplay between tile and grout can be hard for the novice. *****
  • Jhmarie Jhmarie on Oct 04, 2016
    Yes. In my bathroom with subway tile walls and mosaic floor, the floor has gray and the walls have white grout.
  • Monica Ickes Monica Ickes on Oct 04, 2016
    Grout is very messy! And black grout makes me want to scream! But besides that... would you consider using grey grout throughout? When you use black grout with the penny tiles on the floor, your black flowers will look like black circles. I have dark brown tiles with dark brown grout on my bathroom floor and it shows a lot of dust. (Even from your toilet paper). And don't even get me started on white grout! If it's in an area that gets is very hard to keep clean (and white). I don't mean to insult your plans. That's not my intention. I flip houses and my job is the tiles (and painting and what ever else needs attention). The house I'm working on now has 4 bathrooms! Ahhhhhhh! I did a backsplash on a previous house with white subway tiles and black grout. I really wished I had used grey grout instead. And you can't unring that bell!
    • Leah Wynne Leah Wynne on Oct 04, 2016
      Hmmm good point...I never thought about the black flowers looking like circles. I wasn't loving the idea of grey grout but it's still better than white grout. I'm in love with the black grout and white tile but I may need to test both colours now. Thanks for the input.
  • Johnchip Johnchip on Oct 04, 2016
    Your intial plan seems fine with the two color grout. But I like Monica's thoughts and going all grey might be a better choice. I don't mind white, as I keep mine clean easily by sealing it with a marine varnish then every few months cleaning it with clorox. nothing to it. Any way you go, I recommend sealing with Varathane/marine varnish using a small pointed artist brush. If it seals a boat it will seal your bathroom.
  • Suellen Hintz Suellen Hintz on Oct 04, 2016
    I'd think this plan would work as you're picking the colors to work best for you...
  • Julie Julie on Oct 04, 2016
    Hi there I personally would stick to one grout colour to match TILES. a neutral colour is best.Don't forget to seal your grout so as to avoid the mould staining your grout.This is so important .Grout is porus mould easily penetrates.Once it embeds itself into the layers you will have trouble cleaning it out.Hope this was helpful..
  • Rockie Rockie on Oct 04, 2016
    I grout color. It will prevent the room from looking "chopped up" and make the space feel larger.
  • I don't think this would look bad at all. However, if you're really uncomfortable trying this then why not compromise and go with a dark gray? I have gloss white tile kitchen counters and I picked a dark gray grout. The builder tried to talk me out of it. I'm so glad I didn't listen. I love the contrast and it's so nice not having to worry about white or light colored grout getting stained. Good luck.
    • Leah Wynne Leah Wynne on Oct 09, 2016
      I think I'm going to do the dark grey. Thanks for the input everyone.