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Getting the Grout Right

Updated: Sep 16, 2019

Grout has been added to the master bathroom shower. The color is exactly what we had in mind.

We spent a lot of time picking out tile for the bathrooms. We visited several tile stores, saved lots of photos on Pinterest, and listened to advice of designer friends. We chose tiles that would compliment the place and each other as well as work toward the master design plan. But other than the hours we spent choosing tile there is another decision to be made to make it look it’s best that’s not to be underestimated: Grout joints and color. 

The grout color can bring the tile color out, show off or hide the pattern, and with to minimize dirt showing. Matching the grout color to the tile will blend in for a more uniform look and a contrasting grout color will highlight the shape and pattern of the tile. We also had to decide how wide the grout joints would be. Sometimes a wider grout joint can be as much as a feature as the tile itself. 

The contrasting grout color has been added to the guest bathroom walls

The tiled areas are in our place are two bathrooms and the kitchen backsplash. Our choices are mostly classic with a few modern touches. 

Guest Bathroom

The contrast of grout color will help us tie in the design elements to the bathroom

The dark grey is a nice medium with the hex design tiling.

In the guest bathroom we chose a classic hex floret for the floor and a classic subway tile for the walls. All of the tile is in a matte finish. We wanted the grout to contrast the tile and show the patterns, but we didn’t want stark a contrast with too dark of a grout color. Darker grout also has an advantage of not instantly looking dirty like a light color grout can (although we’ve been warned against too dark of a grout in a shower because the soap can leave a white residue - can’t win!) We went with a medium grey grout to contrast the white subway and hex tile as well as the black hex tile since it’s lighter. We love the way it looks and think it’s a perfect happy medium.

Master Bathroom

We added a light grey grout and grout release to the handmade tile.

It's going to be so beautiful when done!

For the master bathroom we went with something a little bit more modern. We got beautiful handmade tile from Fireclay Tile. The floor will be a charcoal grey 4” hex and the wall will be 6” square matte tile. Since the tile is handmade it has an amazing variation in size, shape, and color. The 4” hex creates a great pattern that we love, but the room is not huge and we don’t want it to take over. We went with a grey color that would show the nice variation in the overall make the tile look lighter but not contrast too much. It’s slightly lighter than the tile itself. Now that it’s grouted the pattern can be seen but it is not overbearing. Since there is so much pattern in the floor we are going with a very light grey grout color to blend with the white wall tile. They are in a matte finish which can be prone to staining if we use too much of a contrasting color. We’ll be using grout release even though it’s a lighter grout. It really is amazing to see how the grout color transformed the look of the 4” hex tile in the master bathroom. The slightly lighter grey brought together the various shades in the different tiles and made the varying sizes and shapes more cohesive. 

The master bathroom side walls are next on the grout list

Kitchen Backsplash 

While the grout sets, we are banned from going in (and taking pictures!)

The kitchen backsplash is all about the pattern. We got a white 2x6 handmade tile from Fireclay that will be installed in a herringbone pattern. We definitely want to show off the pattern with a contrasting grout so we’re going to do a darker charcoal color. The tile has a bit of gloss so we aren’t too worried about staining but we’re still going to use grout release. 

So far the full guest bathroom and the master bathroom floor are grouted! We’ll update you once the master bathroom walls and kitchen backsplash are done!

Testing grout color cheaply with tubes of matching caulk.

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