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Light vs. Dark Grout for Tile Installation

Tile installation Brampton

One of the easiest ways to take the look of your tile to the next level is to open your mind to the possibilities of different colours of grout. We’ve been doing tile installation in Brampton, Toronto and the GTA for decades, and in that time, we’ve seen how grout colour can make or break a tiling project.

With this in mind, here are some of our top tips for selecting the best grout colour for your aesthetic and your project.

Light vs. Dark Grout for Tile: Which Is For You?

Let’s start with classic light grout. This grout is usually white, off-white or cream, and can be used to either seamlessly blend with the tile, or stand in brilliant opposition to it.

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For example, a white tile with white grout is a perfect option for a smaller space, like a powder room, since the uniform aesthetic makes the space look larger. It can also provide a stunning background for a larger space where another feature, like a fireplace or feature wall, is the main attraction.

The same rules apply with dark tile with dark grout, such as black tile with black grout. The difference with all-white or all-light tile and grout is that it will be less forgiving to stains and discolouration, so will take more care to keep it looking pristine.

However, when you use light grout with a darker tile or a dark grout with a lighter tile, the effect is quite different. The grout will stand out and enhance title features to create a visible pattern. This makes the tile and grout the focal-point of the room. Consider a contrasting combo if you are tiling a feature wall, or want to highlight the shape or layout of the tile – in herringbone or chevron patterns for example.

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You can also consider using grey or charcoal grouts for a more neutral, but ever so noticable look. These are especially good choices for very dark tiles where something softer in contrast is usually better than stark white.

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Considerations of Grout Size

In our years of doing tile installation in Brampton and throughout the GTA, we’ve seen how grout size is one of the most overlooked, but aesthetically powerful, decisions you can make (or not make) when it comes to the look of your tile.

The thickness of grout lines will affect the look of a finished surface by either hiding or complimenting shape and pattern. Tiles can be spaced tightly, with grout lines as small as 1/16”, in which case you won’t see much of the grout at all. This is ideal if you’re trying to achieve a more seamless appearance with natural looking materials. Generally, the rule is with tighter tiles it’s best to choose a grout colour close to the tile colour. However, if you want to play up the pattern of your tile, space them further. More standard sized grout lines of 3/16” leave room for contrasting coloured grout to work its visual magic.

Beware Staining!

Should you decide to use a light grout with a dark tile or dark grout with light tile, be forewarned that the grout could stain your tile. The risk of staining is greater if your tile’s glaze has crazing

or crackle, and when using natural stone materials that are more porous. While the risk is real, the fix is easy: just use grout release or a sealer on your tile.

Pro-tip: Before you start setting the tile, test with two or three coats of grout release or sealer to see how much treatment is required.

And don’t forget: we offer free consultations, so if you’re looking at doing some grout work, contact us first. We’re always happy to lend our expertise to people doing tile installation in Brampton, and beyond. Contact us today.








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