How to Select the Right Grout for Your Project

There are so many choices to make when you remodel. While selecting the right grout doesn’t sound like a very exciting decision to make, it’s very important because the wrong grout can ruin the look of your tile work and even affect its longevity. As experts in kitchen and bath remodeling, we at M&K Renovations can explain your options and even show you what your choices will look like in real time. 

Choosing the right grout type

Grout fills the spaces between your tile, keeping moisture and debris from getting under the tile and protecting the tile edges from crumbling. The correct type of grout depends on the type of tile and the size of the gaps. 

Grout is made of a mixture of cement, water, color pigment, and sometimes sand or polymers. If you have stone or marble tiling, you’ll want to use grout without sand, to avoid scratching the stone. Non-sand grout is also called for when the gaps are 1/8 inch or less. 

Sand with grout is generally used for all other tile types. It also has the benefit of adding friction to slippery surfaces, which is beneficial in the bathroom. When gaps between tiles are particularly wide, polymer additives increase flexibility in order to decrease the risk of the grout cracking from impact, especially on flooring. 

Choosing the right grout color

To guide you in choosing just the right grout color, ask yourself whether you want the grout to match, contrast, or complement the tile color. Here are a few considerations.

  • To make a room look larger, choose a matching color. For instance, match white tiles with white grout.
  • If you’re laying the tiles in a unique pattern such as herringbone, choose a contrasting shade to highlight the design. You’ll want to pick a grout color that is several shades lighter or darker than the main tile color so that it remains in the same color family and doesn’t clash.
  • Light-colored grout will need to be cleaned more often than dark, but dark can produce efflorescence – crystalline salts that can exude from the grout when exposed to moisture. This would be more visible on dark grout than lighter shades and would need to be removed from time to time.
  • Choose a grout with the same cool or warm undertones as your tile. “Cool” refers to blueish, grayish, misty, and pastel colors. “Warm” suggests undertones of yellow, orange, and red. Green straddles but is usually considered warm. So if you have a tile with blue marbling, you’ll want to choose a grout in grayish or blueish tones, or a white that is more gray than cream.
  • If you have other tile or flooring in the room, choose a grout (and tiles) that will coordinate well with the existing tile or flooring.
  • If your tile edges are uneven or “natural,” choose a grout color that will blend in or match the tile to hide imperfections or unevenness.
  • If your tiles are large pieces with smaller designs on them, for instance, a large tile that has the design of many smaller geometric tiles, you’ll want to match the grout on that large tile so you give the impression that all the smaller tiles were laid individually. If your larger tile is monochrome with an interesting design, match the grout to the color of the tile to allow the design to shine.
  • Wood-look tiles look like short boards. In order to create the effect of hardwood flooring without the maintenance of a wood floor, look closely at the colors in the faux wood and choose a shade of grout that will blend naturally into one of the predominant shades. 

There are many other considerations in choosing the right color grout for your tile. The best way to choose is to allow one of our designers to show you the many grout color options against your tile choice, so you can see for yourself how it will look. 

At M&K Renovations, we have over 40 years of experience in the construction and remodeling industry and service Philadelphia and surrounding areas. Call us today at our Main Line office, (610) 353-2895, to arrange a consultation. We can help you make the right choice in tile and grout and lay your tiling professionally and quickly.


Renovating the Philadelphia Area for Over 16 years