the power of grout

by clé tile | published: Jul 15, 2019

grout is an integral part of tile installation

if you think grout is just an add-on product for your tile then think again. while we like to point out that your tile installation is only as good as your tile installer, the color of grout you choose to pair with your tile selection can make (or break) a project.

we often get asked to recommend a grout color for a specific tile, however since grout can look completely different from room to room depending on factors like natural light and placement in a space, we suggest this foolproof approach: pick the grout colors that you most like then ask your contractor to mock up some sample boards with your tile to see what works best in your space.

to showcase the impact of grout color, we have taken the ubiquitous white subway tile (in 3×6) and paired it with our eight different grout colors to show how dramatically a tile can change depending on the grout selection.

not sure how much grout you need for your project? when ordering grout from clé, be sure to use our grout calculator which will calculate the square footage with the selected grout joint size for just the right amount. (you can also download our grout guide, here.)

light grout

for a seamless, clean and uniform look, pair with a white or light colored tile. the grout will seemingly disappear, allowing the tile to take center stage.

avalanche – this is our whitest grout. pairs well with white subway, white solid cement or white penny rounds.

frost – leaning a tad more grey, this light grout is our go-to for weathered white zellige. also pairs well with carrara planks.

neutral grout

our options for neutral grout include earthy browns and greys that pair with literally everything. these are the middle ground for our grouts, and can really pull dark or light, depending on what they are paired with.

biscuit – this nice creamy neutral pairs well with our natural unglazed zellige. it also pairs well with our weathered white, pulling it away from the cooler tones and adding some warmth.

bamboo – a medium earthy brown, this color looks great with foundry flats brick tiles.

timberwolf – a perfect medium grey color that seems to go with everything. we recommend this color with any of our cement tiles.

caramel – pair this with any of our red terracotta tiles for a seamless look. this deep caramel color pulls brown in tone and pairs well with some of our foundry flats bricks as well.

dark grout

our dark colored grouts can be used to contrast a lighter tile – making a bold statement and highlighting the layout you are creating with your tile. or, on the flip side, if you are using a dark-colored tile, these grout colors can be used to create an uninterrupted, consistent look.

charcoal – a deep, dark grey. our charcoal-colored grout looks great with darker colored tile for a seamless look. a perfect complement to a grey or dark green tile. think belgian reproduction or cindered olive.

black – we used to fear black grout, as it could stain our more porous tile. but now with mapei’s incredible flexcolor grout, we are happy to suggest it. use it without any fear of staining on any of our black and white patterned cement tiles or even white subway tiles that you want to look provocative with black grout.

don’t forget…

grout spacing is also an important consideration. for these installations, we used 1/4” spacers. typically, the wider you go, the more dramatic the look.

learn more about using grout as a design element in tile installation.