Colored Grout

When you are designing a bathroom, kitchen, or entry way where you are going to be using tile, you might spend so much time choosing the perfect tile that you forget about choosing the perfect grout color. The color of grout is almost as important as the tile itself. If you choose the wrong color, the grout might be more noticeable than the tile or the grout could get too dirty too quickly. However, if you do choose incorrectly or if you decide you want to go in a different direction later, it is possible to change the color of grout later. Grout stains and grout colored sealers are possible solutions. Once you do find the perfectly colored grout, you need to know how to maintain it. Taking care of colored grout is slightly more difficult that maintaining plain white or off-white grout.

Choosing the Right Colored Grout

The color you choose for your grout lines will depend on the type and color of your tiles as well as the location and application of any particular tiled area. In general, there are two ways to go with colored grout. Either you will choose complimentary grout colors or accent grout colors. One type is designed to blend in or fade into the background while the other is deliberately chosen to stick out. You want to choose complimentary colored grout if the tile is something visually striking like mosaic tile designs or bold tile choice with lots of character. If you cannot find colored grout to match the tile exactly then your best way to get the colored grout to fade into the background is to choose a shade that is slightly lighter than the tile.

Other times, you may want to select your grout color in order to serve as an accent. The perfect example would be a shower with very rich and dark colored tiles. If the grout was also dark colored, then that small space could begin to seem oppressive so it helps to break up the dark colored tiles with light colored grout. White grout lines in a dark blue tiled shower are visually stunning. Keep in mind that accent colored grout lines typically on lt work in situations where the grout color is light and the tiles are dark. Setting off lightly colored tiles with darkly colored grout tends to put emphasis on the grout rather than the tile which is not what you want.

There is another general grout color rule that might seem like an exception to the rules shared above. The rule is that floor grout lines should generally be slightly darker than the tiles. The reason for this is that floor tiles see a lot of traffic and the colored grout will be exposed to lots of dirt and grime so the grout is likely to get dirtier faster. Slightly darker colored grout will hide stains and dirt better. An example might be using gray grout with white tiles or almond grout with cream tiles. Another way to apply this rule is with marble tiles. Instead of choosing a colored grout that matches the body of the tile, you should choose colored grout that matches the veins instead.

Creating Colored Grout

Companies that sell colored grout sell many different colors, but most of them are variations on white, cream, and gray. Some sell basic darker colors like black, but a majority of them do not sell a rainbow of grout colors. If you are interested in colored grout that is customized, then you might have to make your own colored grout. The process of making colored grout is easy.

The first step is to buy the necessary supplies. You want to buy pure white grout, not snow white or off white or anything like that because it will not mix as well with your color choices. Pure white grout is necessary in order to get the truest color possible. Make sure to buy one more bag of grout than you think you might need because it will be impossible to match the color at a later date. You want to make an excess of grout so you are sure to have enough colored grout to do the entire job. You also want to buy acrylic paint which will add the color. You can purchase acrylic paints at any craft store. Keep in mind that the white grout will dilute the color of the paint so deep forest green paint will result in a sage colored grout. Or, a bright red paint will give you a light pink grout. One thing to remember is that you are never going to get really dark colored grout this way so if you are interested in dark blues or blacks then you have to purchase readymade colored grout.

The next step is to mix all of your grout powder together in one large container so that you get a consistent color. The hues of grout can change from batch to batch and bag to bag so it is best to mix all of your supplies together before hand to get a consistent color throughout the project. Then proceed to make your grout mixture as normal adding the paint to the mix.

Changing Grout Color

This ColorFast Grout Colorant Kit in Charcoal color, is a complete kit for use in changing the color of grout joints. Also an easy, low cost way to give old tile a new look without replacing the tile or re-grouting. Color Fast Grout Colorant also seals and protects grout from moisture and staining. It can be used on countertops, walls and floors. This water-based epoxy formula is durable and easy to use. It is excellent for use on glazed ceramic tiles and porous tiles which have been sealed. The kits are available in most popular grout colors. Each kit includes colorant, applicator brush and scrub pad. This 8 oz. bottle will cover approx. 95 sq. ft. of 4×4 tiles with a 3/16″ wide grout joint. Usually ships the same day!!

Often the decision to use colored grout is made after tile is already laid and there are already existing grout lines. In these circumstances, there is a way to change the color of your grout so that you do not have to remove the old grout and install new colored grout. The solution is grout colorant or grout stain. Grout stains and colorants come in both water based and oil based formulas and you apply them to the grout lines with a small paint brush. The colorant or stain paints on just like stain on wood and at the same time is seals and protects your grout from stains and dirt. Most grout colorant kits or grout stain kits come with some kind of scrub brush to remove any stain that gets on the tiles. Oil based stains are sometimes harder to get off the tile, but they work better in most cases because they penetrate deep into the hard grout better than water based stains. The process of applying the grout coloring can be slow and tedious, but you can get spectacular results with these products. It is a great way to give your tile an update without expensive renovations.

Maintaining Colored Grout

Tough on Dirt, Gentle on the Earth
Naturally Brightens, Whitens, and Softens Laundry
32 Full Loads
Gentle to Skin
Bio Kleen’s unique, natural, color-safe Oxygen Bleach Plus does more than just brighten colors and whites; it also contains natural fabric and water conditioners, Grapefruit Seed Extract, and special detergent boosters with stain, mildew, and corrosion fighters. Great for towels, cloth diapers, and difficult stains, makes a great pre-treater for stains! 100% active ingredients that are tough on stains and odors, but gentle enough for baby diapers and those with chemical sensitivities.
Environmentally friendly with no negative effects on river, streams, plants or wildlife.
Prevents souring and yellowing from repeated washing.
Rinses clean with no skin irritating residues left behind.
Removes tough stains from countertops and porcelain.
Contains NO: Chlorine, phosphates, borine, petrochemical solvents, alcohol, glycol ether, MEA, EDTA, sodium lauryl or laureth sulfate, artificial fragrance, colors or preservatives.
Safe for all dishes, glassware, pots and pans, and utensils designed for safe use in dishwasher. Safe for commercial dishwashers!
No animal testing or ingredients.
Made in the USA

Once you have colored grout you want to make sure that you take care of it so that it lasts for a long time. You have to be more concerned about fading and damaging colored grout than white or mostly white grout. Therefore, it is never a good idea to use chlorine based bleach products when grout cleaning and to always test harsh bathroom cleaners in small inconspicuous places to make sure they will not adversely affect the grout color. My favorite product for cleaning colored grout is oxygen bleach. Oxygen based bleaches are tough on stains, but do not fade or eliminate color like chlorine bleaches. Another benefit of oxygen bleach is that it comes in powder form so you can make a paste to apply directly to the grout lines. By letting the oxygen product sit on stains for extended periods of time, you may be able to remove the stain without much scrubbing which will also help keep your colored grout looking like new. In addition, oxygen bleach products are not toxic and are safer to use than other harsh bathroom cleaning products.