Choosing new tile to install in your home can be a fun and exciting process. Or, maybe you’re looking to spruce up a rental property? Building a custom home? Looking at tenant improvements? Chances are, you’ll have tile somewhere in the house.
There are so many tiles on the market now that you may even have a hard time narrowing it down to exactly what you want. What about the grout? Should you stick with a traditional white or have some fun and use a colored grout? Which would look better and which is easier to care for? How to Choose the Right Color of Grout for Tile
Most colored grout is made of a combination of sand and cement which is then mixed with water at installation. It can come un-sanded as well depending on the width of the space it needs to fill and the desired look of texture.
Powder is added to the grout and this gives it the color. When colored grout was first made and offered to consumers for purchase, it only came in a very limited amount of colors. Today there are several colors of grout available from teal blue to bright yellow, giving you almost countless choices.
If you want your grout to make a bold and powerful statement going with a grout that contrasts the color of the tile will certainly give you this look. A popular choice in many bathrooms today is a white subway tile with black grout. You have probably seen this somewhere before and most likely several times if you watch home decorating channels or shows on television. Contrasting grout draws most of the attention to the tile in the room/space.
If you would like a seamless and more subtle look you will want to pick a grout color that matches or almost matches your tile color.
Caring and cleaning colored grout is a little different than cleaning non-colored grout. For cleaning grout, most people suggest that you use bleach. Bleach is most famous for killing nearly every germ on the planet, but it also destroys color. Using bleach or any store-bought tile or bathroom cleaner containing bleach is a very bad idea when you have colored grout. Some home remedies suggest using hydrogen peroxide instead, but it can also act as a less intense form of bleach. Even other store-bought cleaners with harsh chemicals can cause color fading over time. It is best to be extremely careful and choosy when picking out a cleaner for colored grout. You want to make sure the bottle says it is safe for colored grout or specifically made to clean colored grout. You don’t want your colored grout to look worn out, faded, or old and tired.
Tip: Always test any new cleaner on a hidden or less noticed area before using all over. We suggest a place near the bottom of a wall or in a corner.
The argument against white grout is that it shows stains, especially mold and mildew, very easily and that these stains require a significant amount of time and elbow grease to get out. If white grout is well-maintained it can give a luxurious and bright airy feel to a room. Especially if you are using white tiles and white grout, it can give a luxurious feeling that makes a bathroom look much bigger.
The best way to care for white grout is a frequent routine cleaning. You don’t want to go several weeks between cleanings or you will end up with pink or even black stains from mildew that has had plenty of time to feed in the moist environment. This will leave you with a job requiring lots of elbow grease and time. It is best to clean any grout at least once a week for easier work. If the grout is in your shower it is best to give your tile and grout a quick wipe down after every shower as well as a more thorough weekly cleaning to keep things lighter and easier.
No matter what color of grout you decide upon, it needs to be professionally cleaned and re-sealed at least once a year. This will help get all of the deepest down dirt in the pores of the grout and help to protect it from future staining and damage.