Paint is a great way to set the mood and ambiance in a room. But there’s another often overlooked design element that has a huge impact on the look of the space – grout! It may be hard to believe, but grout color can completely transform the energy of a room!

You can use it to match, complement, or contrast with the tile you’re using. A grout color that matches or coordinates with the tile is great for making a space feel larger. If you want to make bold statement, I love using a grout color that contrasts with the tile. The way you pair your tile and grout color has a different effect on the overall design.

It used to be that white grout was your only choice, but now there are tons of different colors available. As you’re considering what tile and grout colors are best for your home, there are a few things to think about. I’m excited to have Alison Dominguez from Daltile on the journal to share her tips about choosing a grout color that works for you.

Choosing the Perfect Grout Color

When you’re choosing a grout color, the two main things to I tell clients to think about are the style and maintenance.

What is Your Tile Style?

Before you decide on a color, you want to think about the look you’re going for. You can use grout to create contrast or use it to give the space a more cohesive look. One of the trends I’ve been seeing a lot recently is pairing white subway tile with gray grout. It’s neutral, clean, and lets your eye focus on the tile.

How Much Are You Willing to Devote to Tile Maintenance?

The grout color you choose affects how much maintenance it needs. Lighter color grout needs to be cleaned more often. With darker color grout, you may see efflorescence, a white powder on the surface that needs to be removed.

In the past, grout used to be tough to clean. Almost impossible! Now, there are lots of grout brands that are made to resist stains, mold, and mildew. When a stain does happen, rest assured, there are great grout cleaners out there.

Whether you opt for a light or dark color, sealing is the best way to prevent staining.

Here are a few of our favorite tile and grout combos.

White grout between these subway tiles lends a more cohesive look.

White tile with white grout via DigsDigs 

Go Monochromatic

Using the same color tile and grout is perfect when you want a clean, seamless look. Visually, it makes the grout lines disappear and the surface blends together. The combination is great when you want a cohesive look and don’t want the tile to be the center of attention.

White on white is a classic monochromatic style. It brightens up a room and gives it an open, airy feel. Not having distinct grout lines prevents visual breaks and makes your eye perceive a larger space. Different shaped tiles or laying the tile in a fun pattern is a great way to add visual interest to this timeless look.

navy fish scale bathroom backsplash with navy grout

Navy terracotta tile with navy grout via Domus Tiles 

For a bolder monochromatic look, try something unexpected like navy on navy. These navy terracotta tiles with navy grout turn the wall into a piece of art. The curve of the fish scale tile mirrors the sink and adds a feminine vibe to the deep navy and dark wood. This look would be perfect for a pool bath or a powder bathroom.

Have fun with Color

Another way to add a touch of color is to use a colorful grout. It’s a playful way to make a statement and show off your personality. A white tile paired with a colorful grout is a great way to tie in other colors you use in the design. It’s a modern, fun combination that’s perfect for creating a space that’s truly you!

One thing to remember, though, is that grout isn’t as easy to replace as paint. If you choose to use a colorful grout, make sure it’s a color you’ll love looking at for years to come.

Black and white bathroom, black grout, bath tub white subway tiles and large plant

Black tile with white grout via Green Apple Interiors 

Create Contrast with Black and White

Black and white is a dramatic, timeless combination that works with any interior design style. A black grout with a white tile is great for creating movement and making the tiles pop. It focuses your eye on the tile pattern instead of the tile itself.

If I want the focus to be on each individual tile, I’ll pair a black tile with a white grout. The high-contrast look adds drama and visual interest to the design. It gives the space a moodier, modern vibe.

This black and white bathroom is absolutely stunning! I love the geometric pattern the black hexagonal floor tiles create. It’s bold and helps ground the design. The white subway tiles with black grout give the bathroom an industrial vibe and keep the space from feeling closed off. (It’s the perfect backdrop for this chic black and white soaker tub!)

The rugs adds softness and mirrors the visual lines of the wall tile. I love the warmth and touch of organic texture the wood accents bring in. And the pop of fresh green helps break up the black and white color palette without making the space feel visually overwhelming. It’s a striking combination!

Dustin Aksland - natural tile with white grout

Blue-gray tile with gray grout via Elizabeth Roberts 

Reasons to go Gray

Gray grout is a beautiful alternative to white grout. It gives you the same look of a white grout, but hides the dirt a little better than white grout does. It creates subtle visual definition between the tiles and highlights the tile shape without taking your focus off the other design elements. It’s great for making smaller spaces feel more open.

A neutral gray grout is a timeless color that works wells with both white or colored tiles. In this bathroom, the gray grout mirrors the color of the counter top and floor tiles. It’s the perfect complement to the soft hued blue-gray tile on the walls. It plays off the colors in the rug, but doesn’t busy the eye. It’s a relaxing, serene combination that won’t go out of style.

Choose Your Perfect Grout Color

The grout color you select plays an important role in the design of your space. White grout is my go-to when I’m creating a classic, timeless space where the tile isn’t the center of attention. Colored grout is a fun way to make a bold statement and create visual interest. Neutral grout shows off the individual tile without being too dramatic. With so many color options available, you’re sure to find the perfect color grout for your space.

Follow along on Instagram for more tile design ideas and inspiration.

How to Choose a Grout Color | Laura U Interior Design