How to Choose Grout Colors on Tile Backsplash

The grout color changes the look of a tile backsplash.
When choosing a grout color, decide if you want to enhance or minimize the lines.

Homeowners search, compare and ponder tile selection. Giving grout color the same intense consideration can make a major impact in the look of the finished product. Grout color can make grout lines blend in, pop out or emphasize the color and pattern of the tile. It serves a functional purpose, but the grout also becomes a major design element in a kitchen design project.

Overall Look

Bold Grout Lines

The primary decision is whether or not you want the grout lines to stand out. A contrasting grout color, such as dark gray grout with white tiles, draws attention to the lines and the individual tiles. This can create an interesting aesthetic value to the backsplash and highlight patterned tiles, but it can also highlight any inconsistencies in the spacing of the tiles.

Subtle Grout Lines

A matching grout color blends in with the tile itself. The grout is usually a shade darker or lighter rather than matching the tile exactly. This method works well with tiles that are one color.

For a Little of Both

Neutral grout colors, such as tan or lighter shades of gray, go well with most tile colors and patterns. A neutral grout on the backsplash falls between the pop of a contrasting color and the blending effect of a matching grout color.

Create a Test Run

You can get color samples for grout, but the small swatches make it difficult to select a color. Instead of guessing or choosing randomly, do the following:

  • Buy a small amount of the grout color you think you want. 

  • Create your own color board by attaching a few tiles to any type of small board and grouting with the sample grout.

  • Wait until the grout dries, as the color can change slightly. 

  • Position the sample board against the backsplash area. 

  • View it at different times of the day to see how the grout lines look in different types of light.

You're ready to make your decision.

About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience comes from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.