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How To Choose Grout

How To Choose Grout

Jul 26th 2018

You've spent hours looking for the perfect tile for your remodeling project and finally found it! Now on to an equally important decision: which grout should you use?

It may sound silly, but grout can make the difference between loving or hating your new backsplash, and it can also play a big part in how much time you need to spend scrubbing your shower to keep it clean. (Got your attention with that last one, right?!) 

In fact, grout can even make the color of your tile look different, as evidenced with these two identical tiles here:

Above: Bloom handmade tiles in Sky Blue Crackle (Left is ungrouted, Right is grouted in MAPEI Keracolor Sanded Grout in Biscuit)

Not to worry, we've gathered our top three tips for choosing a grout that will make your installation look beautiful and keep it sparkling clean. 

Plus, we've also included our #1 foolproof grout color if you just can't stomach making another decision. Let's get started!

Above: Getting ready to grout Two-Color Bloom handmade tile in Light Gray & Satin Silver

Tip #1: Choose a Type

Epoxy Grout - This grout is designed to be more stain resistant and may be a good choice for high traffic areas. The downside is that it's a bit more expensive and much harder to apply- Epoxy grout sets up fairly quickly so you need to move fast when applying it. And, if you accidentally let any grout dry on surrounding cabinets or appliances it won't come off without the help of a nuclear explosion.

Unsanded Grout - If you have very narrow spaces between tiles, unsanded grout might be a good choice for you. Check the label, but most unsanded grouts are designed for joints that are 1/8" and smaller.

Sanded Grout - This is a great choice for tiles with larger grout joints. Plus, an added bonus is that the sand actually makes this type of grout sturdier and more durable. 

Which grout should I use with Julep Handmade Tiles? Sanded Grout

Shown Above: Both are Two-Color Hiser handmade tile in New Satin White & Glossy White (Top is grouted in MAPEI Sanded Keracolor Grout in White, Bottom is the same brand in Biscuit)

Tip #2: Choose a Color

Similar vs. Contrasting - Choosing a grout color that is similar to your tile color can make your space look bigger and more cohesive. If you want to make the tile pattern stand out, consider choosing a grout color that contrasts with your tile. 

Light vs. Dark - Light grout can make a room feel more airy and bright, but also tends to be harder to keep clean. Dark grout is a great way to make a statement, and can add a modern look especially when paired with light colored tile. Keep in mind that over time, dark grout may fade and stain. Our favorite? Call us boring, but we love middle-of-the-road tones that aren't too light and aren't too dark.

Shown above: Brocade handmade tile in Blue-Gray with MAPEI Keracolor Sanded Grout in Biscuit

Tip #3: Try Before You Commit

Torn between two grout colors? Not sure how it'll look with the tile you purchased? We recommend trying out your grout color before you or your installer starts applying it. Here are three easy ways to test it:

1. Because of the way our decorative tile is designed, a clever trick is to apply a small amount of grout right in the recesses in the face of the tile. Let it dry and see what you think. 

2. If you're using a flat subway tile, get a few grout color samples and place them between and around the tiles.

3. If you know you have plenty of extra tiles, you can make a mini concept board to get a better idea of what the finished installation will look like. 

Shown above: Two-Color Cobham handmade tile in Cream & Wheat with MAPEI Keracolor Sanded Grout in White

And finally....

Our #1 Foolproof Grout Color: MAPEI Keracolor Sanded Grout in Biscuit. This is assuming you're using our tile or something with similar grout joints and glaze colors, but this is our go-to grout. We think it looks great with all of our glaze colors and it's not to light or dark so it should be easy to keep clean. Click here to find a store carrying MAPEI grout near you.

Need tips on how to apply grout? Check out this blog post:

Happy Tiling!