Grout is often neglected in the tile selection process, or just treated as an afterthought. But it shouldn’t be! It’s as much a part of the overall finished look as the tile itself. The selection of grout can truly define the character of a space based on the amount of contrast and rhythm that is introduced. The job of grout is to bring out the best in the tile or stone that it surrounds.
Grout seems so simple but there are myriad types of grout that are recommended for various applications, design choices for creating patterns and interest and an overwhelming number of colors to choose from. So, how do you select the perfect grout? The team at Talie Jane Interiors offers some great tips.
Surprisingly, there are many different types of grout. Who knew? However, all usually fall into one of three types: Sanded, un-sanded and epoxy.
• This type of grout includes a small amount of sand, which increases the strength of the grout joints, improving the overall durability of the product.
• Best for large tile seams, interior flooring projects, ceramic and stone tiles, and high-traffic areas.
• However, it is gritty and may scratch or scuff matte tile, stone or polished tile.
• It’s the most affordable option for DIY projects.
• This type of grout is stickier and easier to work with than sanded grout.
• It’s perfect for tiling on walls and vertical surfaces.
• Unlike sanded grout, un-sanded grout is smooth and won’t scratch soft, smooth or polished tile and stone.
• Epoxy tile grout is among the toughest and most sustainable on the market. Unlike sanded or cementitious grout, it comprises epoxy resins and a filler powder. This makes it strong, durable, and virtually stain-proof.
• It’s waterproof and stain and shrink resistant, making it a great option for bathrooms.
• Unfortunately, it’s also quick drying, which makes it more difficult to work with and is prone to yellowing when exposed to sunlight.
There are fun grouts too. Yes, grout can be fun!
• Use colorful grout in place of the typical grays, browns, and whites.
• This will spark interest in your space and make your tile stand out. Love the way this blue grout accentuates the white tile!
• Glitter grout adds just enough shimmer, making backsplashes, tiled showers, tubs and floors permanently gleam.
• Brass inlay as grout is a trend that started in 2014 by popular designer Emily Henderson.
• To achieve this look, utilize a 1/8” brass Schluter strip in between the tile.
The distance between tiles, where the grout fills in, is typically 3/16” or 1/8.” These grout lines can be an elemental part of the design, depending on the grout color you choose and the way you layout out your tiles. It’s a great way to show off the tile pattern, or even create a new pattern.
• Chunky, oversized grouting has been a recurring theme in bathrooms and kitchens of late, offering a more graphic, playful look on the walls or floor.
• From rustic, artisanal terracotta flooring to asymmetrical, geometric patterns on shower walls, this grouting idea is certainly defining the modern bathrooms and kitchens of 2023.
• The extra-large grout joint accentuates “the woven” and more graphic characteristics of this tile combination, while the warm terracotta tones make the installation more tactile and grant an extra-earthy quality to it.
• Multi-shaped tile combinations work well with the oversized grouting idea.
• For a visually striking idea, try experimenting with different-sized grouting joints within the same design. The vertical slim lines between the rectangular tiles are more akin to the sort of tiling designs that have dominated the last few years, but the chunky, horizontal joints between each row make for a more unique, contemporary look.
#1 Beware of White
• White is the color most susceptible to staining and discoloration. Even quality grout that gets regular cleaning can become stained and show soap scum.
#2 Use Contrast
• Contrasting grout is best when you want to add a playful design element to your space. If you like a bold look or prefer pattern over simplicity, then contrasting grout is for you.
#3 Coordinate Colors
• Coordinating colors of grout, but not a 100% match, will draw attention to the tile shape and pattern, but not be too overpowering. If your tile has color variations, choose one of the main colors of the tile to match your grout. This keeps the transition between tiles smooth.
#4 Match Tile
• A perfectly matched or very similar grout match works well for busy patterns of tile that would be overwhelming with a contrasting tile.
#5 Use Dark Colors
• An area like the shower will benefit from slightly darker grout to help hide stains and mildew that can creep in and discolor grout.
#6 Keep it Cool
When sourcing cool colored tiles, use a cool grout tone.
#7 Keep it Warm
Similarly, when sourcing warm colored tiles, use a warm grout tone.
How to Clean Grout
Cleaning grout begins with good prevention, including resealing the grout as needed, cleaning up kitchen spills right away, and using a mild homemade or commercial grout cleaner regularly.
Once grout begins to look stained or dingy, refer to the steps above. An important reminder about how to clean grout is to start with the mildest approach because this will be the least likely to damage or discolor the grout. If the grout stain persists, move on to progressively more intense methods. Always ensure adequate ventilation and wear rubber or nylon gloves when cleaning grout.
For design assistance with your baths, kitchens, mud rooms and laundry rooms, or any space that needs tile, contact Talie Jane Interiors at 855-TALIE JANE (855-825-4352).
Article by the Talie Jane Interiors team.
- a. The Key Tile Grout Detail You Never Thought Of | Architectural Digest
b. Types of Grout – The Home Depot
- a. Tile Grout Types – Archtoolbox
b. Chunky grouting is the tile trend of 2023 – 3 ways to use it | Livingetc
- a. https://www.fireclaytile.com/blog/full/choosing-grout-everything-you-should-know#:~:text=Grout%20color%20also%20has%20a,be%20hard%20to%20keep%20clean.
- a. https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/how-to-clean-grout