How to Select Grout Color


Grout is a mix of portland cement and silica sand. Pigments are added to the mix, giving the grout color. Used between tiles on flooring, walls and back-splashes, the grout is exposed so its color becomes a part of the design scheme. Select a grout color for your tiling project that complements both the tile and the overall decorating scheme in the room. Grout, in both light and dark colors, needs to be sealed to avoid degradation of adhesion over time.

Things You'll Need

  • Tile
  • Grout sample card

Color Blend

  • Obtain a sample card of grout colors available from the retailer of your choice or from your contractor.

  • Place the sample card on top of one of the tiles you've selected for the project. Do this in the room in which the tile will be installed.

  • Compare the base color of the tile with similar colors found on the sample card.

  • Narrow your choices to two to three colors and mark these on the card.

  • Hold the card up to the walls in the room, the trim and other elements such as fabrics and window treatments.

  • Select the one grout color that works best with the tile and the other elements in the room.

Color Contrast

  • Create a contrast between tile and grout by selecting a grout color opposite or in contrast to the color of the tile. This works well with solid color tile.

  • Place the sample card on the tile and consider the impact of the opposite colors. For white tiles, look at dark browns, blacks or reds. For dark or black tiles, look at reds and yellows.

  • Hold the sample card with the selected color or colors next to other elements in the room and choose the color that best reflects the overall color scheme of the room.

Neutral Colors

  • Select neutral colors from the grout sample card.

  • Don't try to match a light-colored tile; light-colored grout shows wear and dirt. Consider tans, light browns or grays.

  • Choose a darker shade of one of the neutral colors for your grout color. Darker shades of grout color show less wear and dirt and won't yellow or discolor as easily.

Tips & Warnings

  • Expect color variations in the grout; variation in shades are more evident in darker-colored grout. When grout is mixed, the pigments react to the pH in the water used as well as environmental factors such as temperature and humidity. Make up as much grout as you can in a single batch to reduce color variations throughout the tiling project.

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  • Photo Credit Tiler replacing wall tile in shower cubicle image by Bryan Clark from
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