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Should My Tile Grout Match Or Contrast My Tiles?

Your Asset Renovations Bathroom

Your Asset Renovations Bathroom

When undertaking a bathroom renovation, tile grout is a necessary component of tiled areas. Besides filling the gaps between tiles for a polished look, tile grout also protects the tiles from absorbing moisture and further, protects the tile edges from being chipped and becoming porous and damaged. Grout is essentially the glue to protect the tiles. From a design perspective, grout can be utilized as a creative way to create dramatic effects, or completely streamline the look of tiles.


Practical purposes aside, our renovation clients will ask, ‘yes but what colour grout should we choose to best showcase our beautiful new tiles?!’ During our complimentary colour selection we provide to our renovation clients, after selecting tiles we will pair a grout colour to each tile selected. The choice is usually to a) make a feature of the tiles with contrasting grout or b) match the grout to the tile as closely as possible.

If you wish to contrast your tiles with your grout, this can create several effects. A subway splashback for example with dark tiles will look great with a dramatic white or light grout for contrast. Similarly, white or pastel penny round tiles paired with dark grout will make the tiles pop. Just beware pairing white subway tiles with dark grout as it is starting to look dated and a little too ‘Industrial movement of 2014’. These days, the trend is to keep everything white, bright and airy, and people are pairing white or light grout with white tiles for a fresh look. 

Worried about using white grout on a kitchen splashback or wet area? The problem with grout as it ages is that the protective sealant applied during installation erodes. It is this sealant which protects the colour and keeps it white. Once the sealant breaks down, homeowners often use bleach or other cleaning chemicals, which further breaks down the sealant, leading to a downward spiral of grimy grout. You can reapply a sealant every six to twelve moths, or you can opt for a grout just a few shades off white, either a soft grey or a soft beige, depending on the undertone of your tiles.

If you are trying to achieve a streamlined look, then matching your tiles to your grout as closely possible will be the best option. The key here is to match the undertones of your tile colour- for instance a warm, sandy coloured tile will be matched to a sandy, beige grout, or a mid-tone grey tile will be matched to a mid-tone grey grout.

The grout industry has come a long way in the last couple of decades, and where there used to be a dozen or so colour options varying from white, creams, greys and black, there are now hundreds of grout colours to choose from, ranging from your standard whites, greys, and browns, to primary colours, jewel tones and shiny metallics. Take a look at the Mapei colour chart here for more inspiration- there is a grout in every colour to complement or contrast your beautiful new tiles!

Another tip if you are trying to create a look as streamlined as possible is to choose rectified edge tiles over cushion edge. The edge of a rectifed tile is laser-cut with absolute precision, meaning the tiles can be installed flush up against each other and there will only an extremely small grout line, 3mm or less and as low as 1.5mm. If you choose larger tiles and they are rectified, the resulting streamlined effect will be worth every penny of the increased cost that rectified tiles cost in price and installation!

Ultimately, the decision to match or contrast your tile grout to your tiles is an individual one, with the end desired effect being kept in mind. Choosing the team at Your Asset Renovations for your Sunshine Coast renovation will make this and many other decisions that much easier, with our Colour Consultant guiding you throughout the selections process. If you are ready to start renovating, contact us today!

Sunshine Coast Unit Renovation Beaumonts Subway Tile United Deep Blue Gloss
In our Point Cartwright Unit Renovation our clients chose this glossy navy subway tile from Beaumont Tiles. We contrasted the deep navy tile with white grout (Mapei 100). The result looks fresh and coastal.
Sunshine Coast Unit Renovation
Our Twin Waters Project features large-format, 600mm x 600mm rectified edge tiles. The clients wanted a uniform, streamlined look so we matched the grout as closely as possible to their tiles.