Choosing Grout Colors: How to Find The Best Color For Your Tile

Kitchen stove and range hood with white tile backsplash
Light grout color makes this kitchen tile backsplash blend in seamlessly with the surrounding wall. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

With so many grout colors available, choosing the best one for your project can be challenging.

This post is sponsored by Custom Building Products.

Aesthetically speaking, one of the most important decisions when choosing grout is whether it will blend with or stand out from the tile.

Light grout between light tiles can make your installation look like a single uniform piece — ideal for minimalist design. On the other hand, contrasting dark grout with light tiles makes a bold statement.

To pick grout color based on the impact you want your finished design to have, consider the following:

In This Article

Multi-colored accent tile in white subway tile
Choose grout color based on the tiles’ style and design. (MultimediaDean/Getty Images)

Tile Design

Consider the tile’s characteristics and appearance. Then, answer these questions to ensure a successful installation:

  • Are the tiles patterned or do they have a solid color? With patterned tile, pick a grout color that best matches the tile edges so the pattern isn’t interrupted.
  • Are they natural stone or manufactured ceramic? For more contrast with natural stone tile, pick a darker color to highlight the dark veins.
  • If it is glass tile, is it transparent or opaque? White grout accentuates clear, iridescent and translucent glass tile.
  • Are there mosaic sheets or accents, and do they contain differently-colored tiles? Pick a neutral grout that works well with all the colors, or try a grout that’s light or dark enough for contrast.

Once you’ve answered these questions, it will be easier to determine which grout color will best suit the project.

Intricate kitchen backsplash with small and large tiles behind stove
When picking grout color for a backsplash, consider coordinating the color with the countertops. (TimAbramowitz, Getty Images Signature)

Room Colors

Look beyond the colors in the tile for grout color inspiration. Consider the walls, surfaces or fixtures, and use color theory to find a grout color based on those.

Maryville University describes color theory as the art of combining colors based on the color wheel to create harmonious color schemes.

Color wheel display graphic
Complementary colors are found opposite each other on the color wheel. (Adobe Stock)

The color wheel is an arrangement of all colors on the spectrum based on their relationships. To choose a grout color, use the wheel to create a color palette and find a complementary color.

Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel. They enhance each other’s intensity when placed right next to each other, which is why they’re often used to create bold, high-contrast images that pop.

So, for instance, if your room is blue, choose a grout color with orange or yellow hues. Or if your room has shades of green, find a grout that has hints of mauve.

Black gloved hand with brush cleaning grout on tile
Dirt and spills are more noticeable on lighter-colored grout. (makasanaphoto, Canva)

Cleaning and Maintenance

Grout color can also have a major impact on tile installation and maintenance.

A lighter-colored grout can be easier to clean off the surface of tile during installation but is more difficult to maintain in high-traffic areas.

Dirt and spills are more noticeable, though a good sealer and cleaner can help to maintain the look of the original installation.

Darker grouts, meanwhile, may be more challenging to clean and are more noticeable on the surface of porous tiles. Pre-sealing the tile can help eliminate this issue.

Once installed, darker grout does not show wear, dirt or damage as easily. In commercial kitchens, darker grout accents tiles and reduces the appearance of stains.

Custom Building Products Fusion Pro Grout bucket on tile during installation
Fusion Pro Grout from Custom Building Products is stain resistant — no sealing is required. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Custom Building Products Grout Selection

Once you choose a color, the next important decision is what type of grout to use.

Custom Building Products’ designer-inspired palette of grout colors provides 40 of the most popular shades.

Whether your installation requires a subtle color that matches the tile or a striking shade that accents your installation’s beauty, you can find the perfect grout with the performance characteristics that you need.

Grout Types

  • Fusion Pro Single Component Grout is a professional-grade sanded grout that features stain resistance with no sealing required. You don’t need to mix any other components to this grout, so it’s ready to use and easy to spread and clean. Fusion Pro can be installed in commercial and residential environments, interiors and exteriors, and on walls, floors and shower floors. Its patented formulation can be applied on all tiles and has built-in Microban antimicrobial product protection.
  • Prism Ultimate Performance Grout: Prism’s calcium Aluminate cement-based, latex polymer-modified formula offers consistent color with no shading regardless of tile type, temperature or humidity, and it will not effloresce. The rapid-setting formula results in high early strength and dense grout joints up to a half-inch. A unique blend of lightweight recycled glass and fine aggregate sand allows for a smooth consistency that is easy to spread and clean.
  • Polyblend Plus Sanded is a polymer-modified, cement-based sanded grout that produces hard, dense joints that resist shrinking, cracking, and wear. Formulated for durability, Polyblend Plus Sanded Grout accommodates 1/8- to 1/2-inch joints for interior or exterior installations, including floors, countertops, walls, ceilings, showers, fountains, and pools.
  • Polyblend Plus Non-Sanded is a polymer-modified, cement-based unsanded grout designed for highly glazed or polished tile, marble and natural stone that sanded grouts would scratch. This durable, non-shrinking grout accommodates joints up to 1/8-inch and can be used for interior or exterior installations, including floors, countertops, walls, ceilings, showers, fountains and pools.
  • SimpleGrout Pre-Mixed Grout is a no-mix, no-mess alternative to traditional grout. This sanded, shrink- and crack-resistant formula also resists common household stains. SimpleGrout is easy to use, ideal for grout restoration and is available in eight colors.

Two woman spread grout on a subway tile backsplash behind a stove
Grout color may change slightly once it’s cured. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Grout Color and Installation

No matter which grout you choose, always mix it according to the manufacturer’s instructions, if required. Improperly mixing the grout can lead to uneven color pigment distribution, which causes blotchy and inconsistently colored grout lines.

You don’t have to mix single-component grouts like Fusion Pro and premixed grouts like SimpleGrout; the color is already evenly distributed.

Find a caulk that matches the color of your grout for use on movement joints and changes of plane like Custom’s Commercial 100{a35e9624d39d09a786c5f8acdb55c526966431d9c107db63c11fc3d9ba4fafc9} Silicone Caulk. It’s easier to match grout colors when selecting both products from the same manufacturer, as the manufacturer will have designed the products to have the same hue.

Grout usually takes several days to cure and set, so if you’re concerned about color right after installation, give it time to get its final color.

Similarly, the color of the powder before installation and curing is different from the color of the finished plaster treated. Slight variations may occur based on mixing methods and drying conditions.

Further Reading