Which grout color goes best with this tile?

This is a frequent question that I hear from my clients.  My general rules are the following:

For a white marble or ceramic mosaic (for example: hexagon, penny or basketweave) on a bathroom floor, I prefer a light to mid-gray grout, because you don’t want dirt to show immediately and it’s difficult to keep the white grout clean on floors … believe me.

When floors consist of field tiles (larger size) in stone, I specify a grout color just slightly darker than the primary tile color or the grout color can be the same as the darkest color in the tile (for example: a dark gray vein in Calacatta or Carrara stone). Keep in mind that the grout joint should be paper thin for stone tiles that are polished or honed (tumbled tiles can have thicker joint, since the edges are not as precise).

The rules are trickier for tile on walls, so I will just write about white subway tile. The most common grout colors are white and gray for white subway tile – dark gray or black grout is really trendy now. I prefer white grout with white subway tile for both bathroom and kitchen walls and backsplashes, because it is a timeless design. The exception is when a white subway tile continues behind the cooktop or range where grease and dirt show frequently – I then specify a medium-gray grout throughout the kitchen for a consistent design. Your subway tile should extend from the top of your countertop to the underside of your cabinets; there is no need for a 4″ high backsplash of your countertop material beneath the tile backsplash.

If tile is not your thing, check out next week’s post about my preferred solutions.

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