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December 28, 2011 5:01 AM   Subscribe

What color grout should I use? I'm using these hexagonal tiles in our bathroom, and we're about to grout them, but I'm not sure if I should use black, white, or grey grout. Which color might best highlight the tile shape and pattern? I'm leaning toward black or a dark grey, but haven't seen it used on these tiles before. Any experience with a dark grout?
posted by Toekneesan to Home & Garden (18 answers total)
If you use a light grout, wear areas will darken first, leaving an uneven grout color. I think I would go with dark grey, not black.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 5:09 AM on December 28, 2011

This is for the floor? Definitely use grey because white will get dirty it'll eventually look grey anyway. Grey will look nice, like the photo.
posted by bluedaisy at 5:09 AM on December 28, 2011

Response by poster: Yes, this is on the floor.
posted by Toekneesan at 5:11 AM on December 28, 2011

Dark grey or black. The filthy white grout after a couple years use can have its own charm but it is a very narrowly appreciated charm you might find is not to your taste.
posted by From Bklyn at 5:15 AM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 5:20 AM on December 28, 2011

Yep. Go with grey. When I select grout and tile for commercial buildings I always try and think dirt. Go to any public bathroom with tile floors and match the eventual grout color near the floor drains. Caveat: some municipal waters leave a whiteish film along with the grey discoloration. And there's no way to match that.

OK, can you tell I've spent way too much time analyzing design details? Don't get me started on acoustical ceiling tile.
posted by mightshould at 5:28 AM on December 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

Go with grey! I think grey is the happy medium between white and black, and will hide dirt well as others have said. I think black grout cracks in a bathroom would have the potential to look like black mold, where grey would not.
posted by shortyJBot at 5:36 AM on December 28, 2011

I think grey is the perfect choice.

It will give your tile a nice lived in look, as if it were actual antique tile. If your house is older this is a bonus.

It will also hide wear, dirt, and stains much better than either white or black. I have grey grout in my kitchen, bath, and laundry room so I know this for a fact.

I also think grey will show off the tile the nicest. If you go with white grout then the white tiles will blend away and if you go with black you'll lose the black tiles instead. Grey will let both shine.
posted by TooFewShoes at 5:46 AM on December 28, 2011

I might go with the color of grout that is usually called "moss." It is a dull dark green, which does not "read" that way (I have it on my bathroom floor) but it looks good and adds just a hint of color. Look at the sample in the store.
posted by Danf at 5:59 AM on December 28, 2011

I would use a moss green as Danf suggested, or a solid black. That sort of tile can look very institutional, and grey grout will only accentuate the effect. Something with a tinge of colour - or else black - would make it more 'statement' than 'public lavatory at a bus stop'.
posted by tavegyl at 6:29 AM on December 28, 2011

Dark grey, moss green or black. Light gray is just as bad as white.

I disagree with colored (that is, not grey, black or white) grout because if you have to regrout part of the floor, matching it becomes a bitch. Matching greys is easier. If you want color, put it in the tile -- and, of course, save several flats of tiles for repairs.
posted by eriko at 6:36 AM on December 28, 2011

We put a hexagonal tile floor in our bathroom and we went with a medium-dark gray grout. The walls are tiled in subway tile, and we went for a lighter gray there.

My tile guy showed me some pictures of a bathroom floor like mine done in black grout and I thought it looked way too contrast-y and eye-paining. There are places where calling attention to one's grout might be a good thing, but I don't think the bathroom floor is one of those places.
posted by Squeak Attack at 6:37 AM on December 28, 2011

N'thing the grey. That's a nice look. Anything but white, which will turn grey anyway. Don't forget to seal it as well. I'd think the black grout would start to highlight dirt and turn a bit dingy over time as well.
posted by jquinby at 6:48 AM on December 28, 2011

Not black. The tile would look entirely too busy.
Not white. It will soon be unevenly discolored and quite noticeable.
Medium gray would be best for many of the reasons stated above.
posted by Gungho at 7:43 AM on December 28, 2011

Just make sure you use sanded grout. Unsanded grout is way harder to keep clean, and almost always looks bad on a floor. I would pick a natural looking grey that is sort of "colorless", as opposed some of the more saturated greys that look almost bluish.

Whatever you choose, make sure it is a standard color from a long time manufacturer. If you get "grey #7" from a standard company, you can be a little more sure that you will be able to get that color again if you need to make repairs.

Black grout will start to go chalkey and end up looking sort of like a dirty grey, and I don't think the contrast would be right. (I worked for a restaurant that built a new building. They used standard quarry tile for the floors- tan in one area and grey in another. The tan tile got a dark brownish grout, and the grey got a dark grey grout. Looked beautiful when it was first done, but was really hard to keep clean and ended up looking black because most people couldn't tell the difference between "dark" and "black" when they were scrubbing the floors. Lighter colors would have been easier because the difference between clean and dirty would have been more visible.)

And don't forget to think about the transition between the wall and the floor- choosing the right kind of base cove material is key in making a tiled floor look really good.
posted by gjc at 7:44 AM on December 28, 2011

I would pick a grey, too, but not a super-dark one to start with, as the grout will darken over time, especially in heavy traffic areas. Ideally, you want a neutral grout that's barely noticeable.

I've heard that you really need to look at the plastic tile grout colors, not the charts or whatever, to get the truest sense of the color you want next to your tiles, but if you can't do that, look for a "natural" or "neutral" grey and you should be good to go!
posted by misha at 11:56 AM on December 28, 2011

I used this exact same tile, with dark grey grout, and it looks GREAT. I picked an off-the-shelf pre-colored grout, so there was no fuss about coloring it. I went back and forth on white or black or some shade of grey, including buying small amounts and doing a test tile. Like I said, I really think it looks great, and often get compliments on how nice it looks.

Whether it's sanded or unsanded depends on the width you're filling with the grout.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 1:07 PM on December 28, 2011

Response by poster: I went with grey. I think it came out pretty good.
posted by Toekneesan at 11:02 AM on January 3, 2012

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