Grout Colors

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There are a number of considerations when choosing a grout color.
There are a number of considerations when choosing a grout color. (Image: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

If there is a downside to the clean, crisp look of ceramic tile, it's the fact that grout lines have to be kept clean and can often be the first thing that wears out with daily use. Choosing the proper grout color will not only enhance the look of your tiled area but can make it easy to maintain.

Initial Considerations

Grout is the bane of many of a homeowner. Cleaning and maintaining it can feel like a chore, and if you've moved into a home with an existing grout color that you can't stand, it can be an eyesore. When you're in the position to choose your own grout color there are a few things that can make your life easier. White grout can be bleached and works best with pure white tiles. Grout should always be sealed to withstand the day-to-day battering it's likely to receive. The darker your grout, the easier it's going to be to hide dirt and grime. Epoxy grout is great for countertops and protects even better than sealer. Finally, if your existing grout is discolored or faded, it can be re-stained.

Contrast

If the tile you've laid has a mosaic design, you're likely going to have to settle for one of the shades found in the mosaic pattern as your grout color. In this case, the color will contrast with other shades in the tile, but still act as a cohesive background. If you have very light tile but want very dark grout, you're naturally going to create a checkerboard look. Make sure this is precisely the dramatic look you're aiming for before you apply the grout.

Customize

If you absolutely want the grout line to match your tile but can't find the right shade, ask your local home improvement store to add color pigment to white grout until you get the shade you're looking for. The color of wet grout can be different when it dries, so test it before application. Customizing also gives you the opportunity to add your design touch to the overall decor. For instance, if you're decorating an art deco style room that has glossy black tiles, lipstick red grout would create an interesting color scheme in keeping with your design.

Blend

Just as a monochromatic room takes on a sophisticated and clean look, so does a monochromatic tile floor. You create a monochromatic look by using varying shades of the same color for your tile and grout. For instance, if your tile is medium brown, add a tan or chocolate shade of grout. If the tile is icy blue, use a sky or medium blue grout. Keeping the tile and grout in the same color family ensures that they look as though they belong together.

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